Editor, The Times:
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding regarding the $10.5 million given to Omar Khadr to resolve his civil suit concerning allegations of mistreatment and breaches of his Charter rights.
1. It is not the prime minister’s decision. The Supreme Court of Canada came to the decision.
2. This has been an ongoing legal battle that has gone through four prime ministers. Justin Trudeau happened to be the one who got to apologize publicly.
3. Khadr allegedly threw a grenade to allegedly save his father. I believe this is reasonable considering he was 15 years old. Most 15-year-olds would attempt to protect their father.
4. I say “allegedly” because part of the issue is that Khadr was never tried fairly. He was incarcerated and tortured in Guantanamo Bay. He confessed after being tortured. The Canadian government left him there. If we had tried to bring him home to try him fairly, we would possibly have another outcome. We didn’t.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects all Canadians, even when it is uncomfortable. For those unhappy with the settlement, the widow of Sgt. Christopher Speer — the U.S. medic killed by the grenade in 2002 — is filing a civil claim against Khadr. No amount of money could bring back her spouse, but now Khadr has funds that can be taken and, possibly, paid to her.
I hope this clears up some confusion. It is easy to blame the prime minister of the day when he actually has no real connection to the whole ordeal. I think Trudeau handled the apology with grace and we should all be grateful to have a world leader who does his job so well.