Vic Toews is remaining firm on the stance that Omar Khadr was not acting as a child soldier, but as a terrorist. When it is claimed that he threw a grenade that killed an American soldier. Khadr at the time of the incident was 15 years old.
Vic Toews discussed this with CTV news HERE. The CTV article below video also states that Khadr and his brother were taken to train with Al Qaeda leaders when he was 10 years old.
Lets apply some common sense here. A child taken to train at the age of 10, then commits an act of murder in a war zone at the age of 15. If that is not a clear cut case of a child soldier what is?
Here is childsoldiersglobalreport.org’s definition of a child soldier:
“While there is no precise definition, the Coalition considers a child soldier any person below the age of 18 who is a member of or attached to government armed forces or any other regular or irregular armed force or armed political group, whether or not an armed conflict exists.”
How did the Canadian government decide that he did not fit into this child soldier category? Vic Toews stated that Khadr does not fall into the child soldier category because he “does not believe that Khadr was mislead”. So under this logic even a 8 year old who commits an act of war, but is not mislead. Is not a child soldier?
Beyond the issue of khadr being a child soldier, there is the issue of his guilt. In an October 2010 military commission, Khadr pleaded guilty to five war crimes including the murder of Sgt. 1st Class Speer. But there are many questions surrounding this. Primarily the use of torture to obtain this confession.
Here is video of an interrogation of khadr when he was 16 (in Guantanamo)
As many Canadians have become aware of, our government has condoned torture and the admissions that result from it. Once again lets apply some common sense. Would you think that a confession of a prisoner who had been tortured for a period of nearly ten years is acceptable? Or is it more likely that the prisoner simply agreed to end the suffering?
This Toronto Star article published in 2009, it is highlighted that:
U.S. Special Forces shot Khadr twice in the back during his capture, and he was brought to the American-operated prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, in critical condition. During the three months before his transfer to Guantanamo, he was interrogated more than 40 times for up to eight hours a day. His chief interrogator, Joshua Claus, was later court-martialled in connection with the death of an Afghan taxi driver at Bagram.
Khadr claims that during his questioning he was threatened with dogs, hung by his wrists or put in stress positions, despite his injuries. He also alleges he had a hood placed over his head and then soaked with water until he began to suffocate, and had LED lights shone into his eyes, injured by shrapnel.:
As well as some real questions of his guilt:
“Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr was buried face down under rubble, blinded by shrapnel and crippled, at the time the Pentagon alleges he threw a grenade that fatally wounded a U.S. soldier, according to classified photographs and defence documents obtained by the Star.
The pictures, which were taken following a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan and have never been made public, show the then 15-year-old Canadian covered in bricks and mud from the roof of a bombed compound.
The body of an adult fighter – the unnamed man Khadr’s lawyers contend could have thrown the grenade that killed U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer – lies beside him. ”
With all of this information many activists and non activists alike have been dumbfounded by our governments handling of this case. Their total unwillingness to back down even an inch.
But it makes total sense to me. The Canadian government has been “grabbing at straws” since the 9/11 attacks. To install fear into the Canadian people that we are under a direct threat of terrorism. When in reality we have not had one single instance of Islamic terrorism in the nation, not one creditable threat of one (the closest was the “Toronto 18″ case, which was proven to be a witch hunt), and that old story that some of the 9/11 hijackers entered America from Canada. Which turned out to be completely false.
To give an example of Vic himself promoting the risk of terrorism to Canadians in 2010, here is a video I posted while with WAC Brantford.
Now if that is not “grabbing at straws”, I do not know what is!
To simply put it, our government needs this Khadr guilty verdict and will seemingly do anything to stand by it. Without it, what will they point to for terrorism effecting Canada?