Canada’s war on terror has a Catch-22 absurdity: Walkom

By Thomas Walkom | Fri Dec 19 2014, Toronto Star


Finally, Omar Khadr. Could anyone be more Catch-22?

Khadr is the Canadian sent by his father to fight for the Taliban. At the age of 15, he was captured by the Americans. At Guantanamo Bay, a U.S. military court convicted him of war crimes.

Why was it a war crime for Khadr to shoot at U.S. soldiers and not a war crime for them to shoot at him? Answer: Catch-22.

The U.S. government ruled that any soldier fighting for the Taliban was, by definition, a war criminal.

The Harper government is keeping Khadr in prison in Canada because it is politically convenient to do so. He is going blind.

In 20 years, it will be the common wisdom that Khadr was badly mistreated. He will receive a public apology and a large cash settlement. The war on terror will be deemed a time of collective madness.

But now he — and we — are caught in that madness. Little makes sense.


Read full article: Canada’s war on terror has a Catch-22 absurdity: Walkom | Fri Dec 19 2014, Toronto Star


Omar Khadr turning blind by lack of treatment in Canadian prison - CIA torture report

27 Omar Khadr During the past 3 months, the vision in Omar’s right eye has been rapidly deteriorating. He is no longer able to read and his studies have been put on hold. Omar is already blind in his left eye as a result of the US attack on a compound in Afghanistan and the cruel treatment he received in the US torture prisons Bagram and Guantanamo Bay. Omar has a cataract in his right eye caused by shrapnel lodged in it. This is treatable, but will only get worse if left untreated. It is distressing that he has not received timely medical attention and follow-up that his condition requires, and Corrections Canada has delayed till Omar is no longer able to read or continue his studies. The mandate of Corrections Canada is to provide “every inmate with essential health care“. Omar does not receive essential health care. Since Omar’s return to Canada, political interference has had unfortunate and damaging consequences. Without treatment his loss of vision may be imminent. Denial of medical treatment while his eyesight is rapidly failing is cruel and heartless. Since his torture by the United States, including waterboarding at the age of 15  (also see “CIA Torture report“), he is not in a better place on Canadian soil. We ask Omar’s supporters to continue writing to him, as his friends will read his letters to him. We strongly recommend that people write immediately to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney urging him to ensure Omar Khadr receives eye surgery quickly. [email protected]


However, as Juneau-Katsuya points out, intelligence Canada shared with the CIA led to the torture of a number of Canadians. “That’s exactly what took place with Maher Arar, that’s exactly what took place with Omar Khadr, that’s exactly what took place with tons of other people,” says Juneau-Katsuya, who calls Harper’s stance “a very hypocritical position.”

Address Omar Khadr:

Omar Khadr, Bowden Institution, Unit #3 Highway #2 PO Box 6000 Innisfail, Alberta T4G 1V1, Canada

[+] Dos and don’ts for sending letters to Omar