The national shame of paying a convicted terrorist

How many dead U.S. soldiers would it take before the Liberal government would balk at lining the pockets of the man who killed them? What if they were Canadian?

An old adage warns us to be careful what we wish for because we just might get it. I’ve often wished that my American friends and colleagues would pay more attention to Canada.

They’re paying attention now. They all want to know if the $10.5-million payout to convicted terrorist Omar Khadr is true, fake news or just a joke in very bad taste.

Unfortunately, I had to admit it’s not a joke. It’s very real and the only person laughing is Khadr – all the way to the bank.

Khadr was convicted by a military tribunal of throwing the grenade that killed American soldier Christopher Speer during a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002. How many dead American soldiers would it take before the Liberal government would balk at lining the pockets of the man who killed them? Would 10 be the cutoff? Twenty?

What if that grenade had taken out a Canadian soldier or two along with Speer? I doubt if even that would have prevented the Liberals from making Khadr the second Edmonton resident – along with hockey player Connor McDavid – to cash in this summer.

It’s especially galling that the government of Canada does something in the name of all Canadians that in no way reflects the will, the world-view or the values of a vocal majority of Canadians.

Regardless of ideology, when a political party forms the government, it’s incumbent upon it to put aside partisan beliefs and weigh seriously the implications of its actions. It must refrain from and eschew any official act that would so impact upon the identity and soul of the country it serves – not just in the here and now, but in the lingering residue that will remain across years and generations.

What the Liberals have done instead is to succumb to the weight of their own supercilious sanctimony and pay off a man who should under any sane circumstances be considered a pariah, a stain and a national embarrassment.

Far from getting one red cent, the convicted terrorist Khadr should not even have been given an apology – courts be damned. Had a grown-up government been in place instead of the lollipop-land Liberals, I’m sure an actual apology would have come when hell and Stephen Harper had both frozen over.

And apologize for what exactly? It may just be that sharing intelligence with Americans is what really has the Liberal knickers in a knot. It could be that their perennial desire to prove themselves kinder, better, gentler, more enlightened and vegan than the cowboys to the south – who spit and swear and have sex with their boots on – is what really drives this odious settlement.

Note to the Liberals and their ilk: if a person in a combat zone – which Afghanistan was in 2002 – kills, tries to kill or encourages the killing of your own or allied soldiers, then he or she is what the rest of the world calls an enemy.

Canada and the United States were allies in Afghanistan in 2002. By committing his aggression against an American soldier, he did, in effect, commit it against the Canadian state itself – that’s what being an ally means. So, logic alert, the Liberal government is, in effect, apologizing to and rewarding an enemy of the state instead of finding the deepest proverbial hole to put him in so he can be wiped from our memory and the very thought of him removed from civilized society.

What they should have done is stood on principle as long as humanly possible. What they should have done is refuse – loudly – to apologize or pony up a single loonie. A leader should have said that the Canadian government would litigate the case to the last lawyer standing and never willingly capitulate unless and until it was ordered to do so.

Then they should have stuffed any court-ordered money into a body bag – perhaps the same kind used to hold Christopher Speer – hurled it into Hudson Bay, let it sink and told Omar Khadr to go fetch.

Troy Media columnist Gavin MacFadyen is a Canada-raised, U.S.-based writer and occasional lawyer. Blending insight and wit, he brings a unique perspective to the issues of the day. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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