“… arguing that the return of one youth…

Arguing that keeping Omar Khadr a prisoner in Guantanamo is a “litmus test” for Canada’s commitment against global terrorism is ludicrous.

Dear Editor;

Arguing that keeping Omar Khadr a prisoner in Guantanamo is a “litmus test” for Canada’s commitment against global terrorism is ludicrous.

The scores of battle deaths and hundreds of wounds suffered by our troops in Afghanistan have earned whatever marks there are available, from whomever it is that is doing the testing.

Government arguments in favour of a military tribunal are redundant. The United States Supreme Court decision was that due process not Presidential order be followed.

Khadr is the only citizen of a western country still in captivity. Imprisoned at the age of 15 he has spent a quarter of his life in Guantanamo. Under Canadian law he has already been incarcerated longer than the time to which a person committing a crime at his age could be sentenced.

“The government believes Mr. Khadr would have no other recourse than to re-establish his ties with his family, a group of suspected terrorist-sympathizers espousing an extremists (sic) ideology.” The government is setting a new standard: of judging a person. Is it to be limited to re-establishing ties only with a family suspected of “espousing an extremists (sic) ideology.” or to other anti-social beliefs as well?

It is stated as “fact that it is unlikely he will ever face conviction in Canada.” His returning to be judged by Canadian law “could become a litmus test on Canada’s commitment to impeding global terrorism,” His returning to Canada “could result in consequences that are not in the long-term interest of the country”.

With all due respect, the government of Canada prejudging verdicts of our country’s courts, considering failure to convict becoming a test on Canada’s commitment to impending global terrorism, arguing that the return of one youth would have consequences not in the long term interests of our country is ludicrous and is unworthy of serious consideration.

Joe Hueglin

Niagara Falls, Ont.