Saturday, May 15, 2010

Omar Khadr and Catch-22

News of a plea deal being offered to Omar Khadr surfaced weeks ago as the Obama administration did not want to be seen prosecuting someone who was 15 years old when he was plucked off the battlefield. Add to that evidence of abuse at the hands of his American captors and you have a PR nightmare for the Obama administration. Rumors have the deal being offered at time served up until now plus five years. At the time Khadr seemed determined to reject the deal and have his day in court.

Now, word is that he's having a change of heart and his defense team are busy negotiating with his prosecutors on a plea deal. It's likely the prospect of a military tribunal where no precedent exists is the determining factor in the decision to negotiate. Such tribunals have been ruled illegal during G.W. Bush's presidency but that has not kept Barrack Obama from maintaining them.

This would also end a potential headache for Canada's Conservatives as Stephen Harper, in spite of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling that Khadr's human rights were violated, has done nothing to protect or repatriate him. Remember Canadians, he'd do the same for you!