As the U.S. conducts the war against terror, it’s important that we are unshakable and strong before the enemy.
Having allies who support our cause is important as well, particularly with our closest neighbor, Canada. What the U.S. doesn’t need is Canada pardoning a former Guantanamo inmate who killed an American soldier and providing him with $10 million. (via Global News)
In 2002, Omar Khadr was involved in the death that left Army Sergeant Christopher Speer dead from a grenade blast. Khadr was found alive nearby with several gunshot wounds. Khadr was 15 at the time, one of many ‘child soldiers’ Al-Qaeda employed in Afghanistan to fight against the U.S. After a lengthy trial he pled guilty to the murder and additional war crimes. Afterward, he was held at Guantanamo for 10 years.
The case was riddled with controversy and criticism by politicians worldwide. Much of the controversy revolved around how Khadr was treated as a minor, despite his supposed terrorism affiliations. Under the Obama administration he was repatriated to Canada and served the remainder of his time in a maximum security prison.
Khadr filed a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the Canadian government for his imprisonment by the U.S. and failing to protect a Canadian citizen. Canada decided to settle with a formal apology and $10 million.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been very tight-lipped about the case. When asked about the case while in Dublin, Ireland, he said, “We are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that the judicial process is coming to its conclusion.” There has been no official reason given for Khadr’s pardon.
On Tuesday, a lawyer representing the widow of Army Sergeant Christopher Speers filed a suit against the Canadian government. The lawsuit seeks to halve the $10 million meant for Khadr go to Speers’ widow and another U.S. soldier who was injured in the attack that killed Sergeant Speers.
Don Winder, the lawyer acting on behalf of Speers’ widow, said to The Associated Press, “We will be proceeding with that application and trying to make sure that if he gets money it goes to the widow of Sgt. Speer and Layne Morris for the loss of an eye.”
Jason Kenney, former leader of the Conservative Party in Canada, sent out the following tweet showing his disgust over the settlement: “Odious. Confessed terrorist who assembled & planted the same kind of IEDs that killed 97 Canadians to be given $10 million by Justin Trudeau.”
Andrew Sheer, leader of the Conservative Party, tweeted out his advice to Khadr on the matter: “Canadians know this is wrong. If Omar Khadr is truly sorry for what he did, he’ll give every cent to Tabitha Speer [widow] and her two children.”
Regardless of how the trials were handled, or whether Omar Khadr is guilty or innocent, the entire affair is bad timing for the U.S. military fighting ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Canada’s handling of the matter sends terrorists the message that under the right circumstances, lawsuits can be used in their favor to further war efforts against the U.S.
This lawsuit could easily embolden terrorists to use even more child soldiers due to the controversial nature of their trials and imprisonment. They could utilize children from various nationalities to put the U.S. at odds with its allies when it seeks to detain those captured in war.
Canada’s apology and payment to Omar Khadr is a beacon to terrorists abroad that there is another way to conduct war against the U.S. — through the courts.