Canada has been one of our finest allies in the war on terror, but their judgement has been called into question this week after their decision to reward a man who killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. According to reports, Canada’s government is getting ready to hand an official apology – an $10 million! – to an Al Qaeda terrorist fighter who spent some time in Club Gitmo for his war on American forces. Omar Khadr, who is a Canadian citizen, will supposedly be compensated because Canadian security forces “oppressed” the poor baby when they interrogated him. So says the country’s Supreme Court, anyway.
Khadr went to join up with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan when he was only 15 years old. He later confessed to killing Sgt. Christopher Speer, a U.S. Special Forces medic, with a grenade in the midst of a shootout.
Asked for comment this week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would neither confirm nor deny reports of the payout.
“There is a judicial process underway that has been underway for a number of years now, and we are anticipating, like I think a number of people are, that the judicial process is coming to its conclusion,” he told reporters while in Ireland.
Making matters even more angering, Sgt. Speer’s wife won a wrongful death lawsuit against Khadr in 2014 which would have given her $134 million. Of course, because Khadr lives in Canada, Speer’s lawyers did not have much expectation of getting the money. Now, apparently, Khadr himself is well on his way to a tidy payout courtesy of the Canadian government.
In a CBC opinion column, writer Jonathan Kay argued that the terrorist deserved every penny he had coming to him.
“The question of when a human being – especially a child – is morally culpable for his or her actions is complex and wrenching,” he wrote. “Finding the correct balance becomes impossible in a climate of hysteria and paranoia. Khadr deserves his apology, and his money – even if it won’t buy him back his lost Gitmo years. If the outlay helps us remember not to lose our moral compass the next time a child soldier comes up for judgement, it will pay dividends for years to come.”
Ugh, what a weaselly argument. Fifteen is not too young to divide right from wrong, and neither the U.S. nor Canada owes Khadr anything more than the war-crime sentence that was handed down when he was captured. And in a climate where ISIS is busy trying to attract young jihadists to come and fight for them in Syria (and carry out terrorist attacks where they live), this is a crazy message for Canada to send to any underage Muslims who might feel compelled to answer the call.