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Stockwell Day believed Maher Arar was/is innocent, despite Guantanamo revelations.

So, you’ve probably heard the revelations today from Guantanamo Bay by the prosecution’s first witness that not only was Omar Khadr happy to talk with them, but that he identified Maher Arar by name as being at an Afghanistan Al Queada prison camp. That of course has set off some of the frothy right-wingnuts into saying that we paid off a terrorist, and so on and so forth.

Impolitical has already mentioned how suspicious this looks – a last ditch attempt by the Bush administration to railroad Obama and his new administration not to do anything with the trials, when Obama has announced the Guantanamo gulag would close, and many […]


Now we know (in writing) the reason Conservatives don’t want Omar Khadr returned.

They’re being George W. Bush-Republican shills, or at least parroting what they say:

Mr. Khadr could become a litmus test on Canada’s commitment to impeding global terrorism and the results of our actions today could result in consequences that are not in the long-term interest of the country,

This was the reason given by the Conservatives in their minority dissenting opinion on a subcommittee report that calls for the Government of Canada to demand to the US that the military commission’s proceedings be halted, that Omar Khadr be repatriated, and that an investigation be commenced and if warranted, Khadr charged and prosecuted under Canadian law.

They couldn’t exactly give the standard line from this government that “Omar Khadr faces serious charges, and we are confident he is being treated humanely and being given due process”. The US Supreme Court ruling last week that habeas corpus applied to Guantanamo Bay detainees and that the Military Commissions were inadequate blew apart the 2nd part of that argument, so they had to give the real reason, which is apparently the global war on terror will collapse if Canada does this. Funny, it wasn’t a litmus test for all the rest of the Western countries that demanded repatriation for their citizens from Guantanamo. I also didn’t notice any collapse on the War on Terror either when those repatriations occurred.

I am fairly confident in saying that if the Conservatives had been in power when Maher Arar was illegally renditioned to Syria, he’d probably still be in detention over there, because if you look up Hansard from back then, he was getting called a terrorist by Stockwell Day and Harper amongst others over in that caucus before the facts of the case had even been heard, when they were slamming the Canadian government for trying to help Arar get released and get home. The only difference with him was he didn’t have a family that raised the ire of Canadians, thus causing the son to be punished for the sins of the family. What IS the same is that the C-CRAP party (an appropriate moniker, if there ever was one) was parroting and believing the George W Bush-Republican cool-aid.. er.. philosophy on this way back then, and has continued to parrot it in its current reincarnation as the Conservative Party.

The Canadian public however is starting to see that for whatever distaste they might have for the Khadr family, the Khadr son’s treatment is neither morally right nor legally right – something the Conservatives on the Committee recognize because of their whining about the opposition and specifically the Liberals just reacting to a “sway in public opinion” – meaning they recognize they’re starting to lose the argument with the public over why Khadr should be kept at an illegal site with little rights being afforded him.

The process in Guantanamo is illegal. Khadr was a child soldier who was probably brainwashed by his father into going to Afghanistan. His US captors and Canadian officials are on record as saying he can be rehabilitated with proper treatment. He has been held without habeas corpus rights for 6 years since his capture and held without charge – something the US Supreme Court has just deemed in violation of the US Constitution. Bring him home and if you have evidence, charge him with something and give him a fair trial in a proper court with the rule of law. And, whether he’s found guilty or not, make sure he gets treatment and rehabilitation as international protocols on child solders demand (which Canada is a signatory to).

H/T Impolitical

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