Prime Minister Stephen Harper is playing fast with the facts when he says the Conservative government has "no real alternative" to the U.S. legal process in the Omar Khadr case, say the Canadian detainee's lawyers.
"This is a disingenuous comment from the prime minister," says Khadr's Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney.
"The prime minister, through his cabinet members, particularly Mr. (Peter) MacKay, have long said that they have been assured that Omar Khadr was being well treated, when in fact the Canadian government well knew that was not the case," Edney said in a telephone interview from Edmonton.
Harper is not alone in Canadian governance when it comes to mewling and pathetic acquiescence to the Bush government's abandonment of the rule of law. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien was at the helm when these interrogations took place and Paul Martin's rule followed. There is more than plenty of shame to go around but Mr. Harper goes well beyond the call of duty with his disingenuous comments. His government has made the abandonment of Canadians in difficulty a policy. How sad that the leader of our elected government is so willfully blind to Canadian tradition and to that much vaunted notion of law and order. We share in the British common law tradition that dates back centuries and equips us quite ably with the mechanisms of justice quite sufficient to the task of dealing with a Canadian citizen and former child soldier. To state otherwise is to partake in the ongoing crime being committed against Mr Khadr.
We are a signatory nation to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols. For five long years we have allowed a Canadian youth to be held and mistreated in direct conflict with the standards we have vowed to uphold. And so we become that which we fear and detest, war criminals, liars and torturers.