Friday, July 11, 2008

Fair Trial Would Free Khadr

Therefore, we need to give him an unfair trial.

That makes perfect sense, as long as you're a Globe and Mail Editorial writer. I'm charitably assuming they wrote this editorial at 3 a.m., wired up on espresso.

What an argument:
According to documents released by the Federal Court of Canada this week, Canadian officials who visited Mr. Khadr, still oozing blood from a six-month-old wound, reported that he had undergone sleep deprivation (being moved every three hours for 21 days) to soften him up for their visit, and would then be put in isolation for three weeks. What Canadian court would accept any statements made by a 16- or 17-year-old under such duress, and without being allowed to see a lawyer?
Right. He was totally tortured and all of his statements were coerced and therefore invalid.
Is there enough of a prima facie case to try him for murder? It is not clear that anyone witnessed him throw a grenade, as alleged, and U.S. government documents state that an adult al-Qaeda fighter was next to him.

Right, so there's no evidence he did anything wrong.
As a barometer of how our courts might view a war-crimes prosecution against Mr. Khadr, recall that the Supreme Court of Canada, in the 9-0 judgment that led to the making public this week of some Canadian documents on Mr. Khadr, wrote forceful reasons in May, asserting that Canada and the United States had violated their international human-rights obligations in his case.

First of all, there was no "war crime". Throwing a grenade at civilians, or leaving their landscape littered with mines and cluster bombs, would be a war crime. Throwing a grenade at invading soldiers (if we could ever prove he did such a thing) would be an "act of war", making Khadr a "prisoner of war". Uniform or not, if soldiers were attacking his village and there was a firefight, he wasn't committing a war crime.

Second, yes indeed, his human rights are being violated.

So what should we do? Demand his freedom? Demand that evidence be presented or the accused be set free? Demand that he be returned to Canada for rehabilitation from his traumatic torture?

Help arrange a plea bargain with the United States and Mr. Khadr and his lawyers that would address legitimate security concerns while giving him an opportunity to rehabilitate himself at home.
What? He should cop a plea and admit guilt because there's no evidence he's guilty of anything?

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1 comment:

April Reign said...

What? He should cop a plea and admit guilt because there's no evidence he's guilty of anything?

Welcome to the new world order. *shakes head sadly*