Yesterday, a Canadian judge granted Omar Khadr bail pending an appeal of his war crimes convictions. Michelle Malkin has a piece on the Khadr release here.
Khadr was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2002 after he threw a grenade which killed SFC Christopher Speer and blinded SFC Layne Morris in one eye. At the time of the attack, Khadr was 15-years old and became the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
His case became something of a cause célèbre in Canada due to the fact he was born in Toronto, his age and allegations of torture while in Gitmo. Unfortunately, there exists a strain of anti-Americanism in Canada which is quite ugly and unbecoming. Yet I wonder if Khadr would garnered much sympathy had he killed a Canadian soldier instead.
The Obama Administration, desperate to vacate Gitmo, made a deal with the Harper government in Canada in 2010. Khadr plead guilty to the murder of Speer and in exchange agreed was returned to Canada in September 2012 to serve out the rest of his sentence.
Under the terms of his sentence, Khadr would have been to be released in 2019. However, under Canadian law, Khadr was eligible for parole. The Harper government opposed early release, but to no avail. Justice Myra Kielby of the Alberta Court of Appeals determined that Khadr posed no threat to society and released into the custody of his attorney, Dennis Edney.
Edney is quite a piece of work. He said of the Canadian Prime Minister, “Mr. Harper is a bigot. Mr. Harper doesn’t like Muslims.” Right. Edney asked Harper, “When you put your children to bed, ask yourself if you would like your children abused like Omar Khadr?” Hmmn, I don’t think Stephen Harper’s children are likely to throw a grenade at a Canadian soldier.
Yet it was only seven months ago that a Canadian soldier was gunned down at Canada’s War Memorial by a jihadist while another Canadian soldier was killed and one wounded in a hit & run attack in Quebec. Who can say Khadr wouldn’t have the opportunity to attack a Canadian soldier? The release of Khadr could also serve as an inspiration to aspiring jihadists in Canada.
When Khadr arrived in Canada, he renounced his guilt claiming he only plead guilty to murdering SFC Speer to get out of Gitmo. But upon his release yesterday, Khadr claimed he had renounced violence and said, “I can just say that I’m sorry for the pain that I might [have] caused the families of the victims.” That doesn’t sound like the words of an innocent man.
Next month, Edney will go before a U.S. court to appeal Khadr’s war crimes conviction.
If Khadr does something then both Khadr and Edney will have a lot for which to answer.