Monday, July 21, 2008

Harper's cowardly position on Khadr

(For anyone wondering about the lack of updates, I've been suffering from Dark Knight withdrawal and too depressed to blog. Recovering...)

The Khadr tape continues to make waves across Canada, and many are asking how our government can approve of his treatment and continued denial of anything resembling due process, even hawkish columnists like Jonathan Kay at the National Post.

To summarize, Khadr was a child soldier, and the main accusation against him is most likely bullshit. Yet Harper's stance is disappointing, to put it mildly.

From Dr. Dawg:

Indeed, Harper's stubbornness on the matter, it seems to me, borders on
pathology. He seems to delight in it. "Mr. Khadr faces serious charges. There is
a judicial process underway to determine Mr. Khadr's fate. This should
continue," his new mouthpiece Kory Teneycke said, only a few minutes after
images of Khadr's interrogation by CSIS were flashed around the world.

"Judicial process?" Khadr has been held in a detention camp for six years
without trial. He was tortured
right from the get-go
. When the "judge" of the case agreed to too many
preliminary defence motions on issues of disclosure, he was summarily replaced.
Evidence has been tampered with by the prosecution. If ever there was a classic
kangaroo court, the Gitmo "military tribunals" are certainly that.

Is this the rule of law that Harper supports?

I hope not.

I think Harper's a smart fellow, and I really don't believe him to be the right-wing nutjob that many on the Canadian Left do, but during his term as Prime Minister, he sure has been very reluctant to challenge Bush on these issues, even when Canadian citizens are involved, as in the case of Khadr.

The fact is that Bush is the worst president of our generation, widely despised around the world, and responsible for numerous human rights violations, even war crimes depending on who you talk to. There's only so much Harper can do, and I don't expect him to expend much diplomatic capital on freeing an accused terrorist. But we can do without the patronizing "judicial process underway" bullshit.

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