In a move sparking outrage and disbelief across North America, the Canadian government has awarded Canadian born Omar Khadr an $8 million dollar settlement for allegedly “oppressive interrogation” procedures that were carried out after his detention.
Khadr was captured in 2002, following a firefight with U.S. troops at an Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan. Khadr was suspected to have thrown a grenade that killed Army Medic and Soldier’s Medal recipient, Sgt. Christopher Speer, and blinded another soldier during the encounter.
After being put on trial at Guantanamo Bay, a military commission charged him with war crimes including murder in 2010. While initially pleading not guilty to the charges, he later reversed his decision admitting to wrongdoing and was sentenced to eight years, non-inclusive of time served.
The convict was returned to Canada in 2012, which is when the narrative of the story started to change. Captured at just 15, his defenders argued that Khadr had been just a child soldier. That he could not be charged with responsibility for the heinous crimes he had committed at the time.
The appeals gathered steam until 2015 when his defense team was able to secure his release based on allegations that his confession had been elicited under “duress”. Apparently sleep deprivation is grounds for releasing an enemy combatant and admitted murderer.
Not content with being allowed to walk on Earth as a free man, Khadr then decided to sue the Canadian government for a staggering 20 million Canadian dollars, citing wrongful imprisonment. A case he has since fought and won, not only becoming a multi-millionaire in the process but also receiving an official apology from the state of Ottawa.
Reaction to the court ruling was swift from former a Minister of Immigration
Odious. Confessed terrorist who assembled & planted the same kind of IEDs that killed 97 Canadians to be given $10 million by Justin Trudeau https://t.co/58SA6llPya
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) July 4, 2017
An independent radio host, Charles Adler, publicly declared, “I, Charles Adler, would not apologize to Omar Khadr, even if you offered me $10.5 million,” continuing to say, “We’re apologizing to an enemy combatant who betrayed his country and went overseas to build roadside bombs.”
For their part, the bereaved family of Sgt. Speer was not content to sit silently while this gross miscarriage of justice was being carried out. Last month they lodged an application in Canadian courts to claim the amount being handed over to Khadr as a rightful settlement for the wound inflicted on their family. So far the appeal has proven unlikely to succeed.
For our part, we stand with the military families shocked and dismayed at the cowardice shown by the Trudeau Administration.