Monday, June 4, 2007

Is this Keystone Kops or what?

The so-called "Canadian Taliban," Omar Khadr, had the charges against him unexpectedly dismissed today at Gitmo. Seems that there is a difference between "unlawful enemy combatant" and "enemy combatant," at least as far as the relevant statute is concerned. While Khadr probably won't be released any time soon, it may indicate that the Bush Administration's case against who he deems "terrorists" is built on a house of cards. For none of the detainees have been called "unlawful." Even weirder is that Bush has 72 hours to appeal but the court that's supposed to hear such appeals doesn't even exist.

A bigger issue, though, is that by treaty the United States is not permitted to execute someone who was under eighteen at the time an alleged capital offence took place -- something affirmed by the Supreme Court a couple of years ago. And Khadr was only 15 at the time he was captured. The US decries juvenile executions in other countries yet will not apply the same principles at home -- the hypocrites.

Terrorism must be stopped, no question. And the rest of the Khadr family are hardly innocent, either -- Omar's father was a founding member of al-Qaeda and at least a couple of the women in the family actually openly celebrate the atrocities of 9/11. But if the US won't play by the very rules it agrees to, it endangers the very lives of those men and women who are supposed to be hunting the evil-doers. If America doesn't play by the rules, why should any other country? And as far as Canada is concerned, Harper needs to get that point too. Otherwise, next time the terrorists might actually succeed in toppling the CN Tower.

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WarBicycle said...

The case was not dismissed, it was dismissed without prejudice, this means the prosecutors will be able to bring forth new charges. Not nearly as bad as our left leaning media wants us to believe.

BlastFurnace said...

That may be true, warbicycle; and for the record I am certainly not a left-wing pinko -- not by any stretch. My point is that the process has been flawed from the beginning ... when even lawyers within the military say that the government has to acknowledge there's a problem. And said, even if Khadr is ultimately freed he won't exactly be welcomed back in Canada with open arms -- I would not be surprised if there may be pending charges against him here we don't know about.