Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Omar Khadr interrogation tapes

This morning I was asked to comment on the release of the Omar Khadr interrogation tapes, or at least on issues arising from the interrogation itself, for local radio station KCAT. I don't know if or when the interview may be broadcast, or what it will sound like when edited, but you can pretty much see my point of view in this Globe and Mail opinion column by Ed Broadbent and Alex Neve, which I found about an hour later on the Globe's website. This is an excellent summation of the issues.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

PM Harper not responsible for anything important

Certainly not the well-being of Canadian citizens!

Perhaps someone should ask him who he works for.

From the Canadian Press:

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo - where he met with the Japan's emperor and prime minister following this week's G8 summit - Harper said the Liberal government of the day knew about Khadr's treatment in Guantanamo Bay.

"The previous government took a whole range, all of the information, into account when they made the decision on how to proceed with the Khadr case several years ago," he said.

"Canada has sought assurances that Mr. Khadr, under our government, will be treated humanely. We are monitoring those legal processes very carefully."

The prime minister then said Canada "frankly, has no real alternative" to the U.S. legal process.

However, Khadr's U.S. military lawyer, navy Lt.-Cmdr William Kuebler, took issue with that in an interview Thursday on CTV's "Canada AM.

"I think that what is being done to Omar Khadr right now rest squarely on the shoulders of Prime Minister Harper," Kuebler said.

"There is very little question that if Canada, the last western country to allow its citizen to be detained in Guantanamo Bay, demanded Omara's repatriation from Guantanamo to face due process under Canadian law, that the U.S. government would heed that request," he said.

Kuebler said the Canadian government has known since at least 2004 that U.S. assurances regarding the treatment of Khadr were false, "yet continued to hide behind those assurances in allowing Omar to be detained in Guantanamo Bay."

He said videotaped interviews with Khadr are expected to come out in the next few days and that the contents are likely to be "quite powerful."

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Canada's Supreme Court tells the government, support Omar Khadr's right to a fair trial

In a 9-0 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Government of Canada must allow Omar Khadr's lawyers to see evidence collected at Guantánamo Bay by Canadian interrogators. The Court unanimously pointed out that the "judicial" procedure in place at Guantánamo at the time of the interrogations was illegal by Canadian and international law, and that the United States Supreme Court had also ruled that procedure as illegal. The ruling said that Khadr deserved to have access to the information gathered by Canada, and that the government had no excuse to deny him material relevant to his defense.

Details (the Globe and Mail's report) and a link to the Supreme Court's judgment can be found here.

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