- John Baird, The Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety
As Canadians deeply concerned about public safety and national security, we demand transparency in the matter of Omar Khadr’s imminent return to Canada.
In 2010, Khadr was sentenced by an American jury for the 2002 murder of army medic U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer in Afghanistan. Khadr admitted in 2010 that he was given multiple chances to surrender, thought the soldiers entering his compound were looking for the wounded and dead and believed the firefight was over. He still threw a grenade that killed Speers.
Although the prosecutors were asking for sixteen years, based on the strength of expert forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Welner’s testimony on stand, the jury still gave Khadr a harsh sentence of forty years.
Khadr’s defense team and the Obama administration fought relentlessly and succeeded in preventing Welner’s sixty page final report and eight hours of videotapes interviewing Khadr from being evidence at the trial. However, they couldn’t keep Welner off the stand. This evidence was deemed so incriminating that had the jury actually seen it, they may have sentenced Khadr even more harshly than forty years!
Unfortunately, the jury verdict was meaningless as a secret deal was struck between the Obama administration and the Canadian Foreign Affairs minister. Khadr was given a light sentence, eight years with the provision that Canada take him back after one additional year in a U.S. prison.
However, there may be a way to keep this highly dangerous, unreformed al Qaeda terrorist out of Canada according to Ezra Levant in his book “The Enemy Within”.
According to Section 10 of the Canadian law, the ITOA (International Transfer of Offenders Act), the decision to accept a prisoner from another country is made by the Minister of Public Safety. Yet Canadians and the Minister of Public Safety have not been allowed to view Welner’s incriminating evidence on Khadr.
According to Section 10(1)(a) of the ITOA, Canada must consider whether the transfer of Khadr “would constitute a threat to the security of Canada”. Section 10(1)(b) of the law asks whether Khadr “left or remained outside Canada with the intention of abandoning Canada as (his) place of permanent residence” Section 10(1)(c) asks whether Khadr has “social or family ties” in Canada. Section 10(2) adds “whether, in the Minister’s opinion, the offender will, after the transfer, commit a terrorism offence or criminal organization offence”.
Khadr spend nearly his entire life in Pakistan and Afghanistan, joining al Qaeda. Most of his family are a self-described cell of al Qaeda while remaining Canadians of convenience. Welner concludes that Khadr is highly dangerous, remorseless and unrepentant, and the chance for successful de-radicalization is unlikely.
The Obama deal states that the U.S. government does not have the authority to “bind the government of Canada to allow the accused to enter the country, or to direct, control or otherwise influence the accused’s confinement, transfer, parole, or release while in the custody of the government of Canada”. The Americans may complete the paperwork for the prisoner transfer but Canada can refuse Khadr’s entry.
Toews must review this evidence before he conducts the review described by the prisoner transfer law. This way, he will be able to make a fully informed decision without compromising public safety and national security.
Toews also must release the videotapes to the Canadian public before rendering his opinion.
We Canadians, of all races, religions and cultures, have to live with the consequences of Khadr on our streets. The Toronto Star, the CBC and the Canadian Bar Association who have taken a pro-Khadr stance by erroneously labelling Omar as a ‘child soldier’ and labelling anyone against their hard-left wing position as ‘racist’, do not represent the majority of Canadians.
We, as patriotic Canadians not only have a right but a duty to protect our borders from those who are likely to commit terrorist acts within our beloved Canada. Omar Khadr, if returned to Canada and released as a free man, would be a role model for Canadian jihadists and may rekindle a Canadian branch of al Qaeda.