The Liberals are often their own worst enemies. Small-l liberals frequently find it difficult to support much of what the Liberal Party of Canada adopts as its policy. Paying over $10 million to a known, convicted and confessed terrorist over human rights violations is one such example.
Omar Khadr has received an apology and a payout of $10.5 million from the Liberal government for his treatment (including torture, it is alleged) at the hands of the American government. Those who jump at every opportunity to make apologies for terrorists were quick to say that the money is more than justified, because this is also what had been paid to Maher Arar.
These two cases, of course, are not identical, nor comparable, because Arar wasn’t involved in terrorist organizations and activities. And in his case, it was the Canadian government at the time that was instrumental in his being rendered to the Americans for torture and imprisonment.
Khadr, however, like every single member of his family, was a member of al-Qaida and deeply committed to Islamist, terrorist causes. Khadr, himself, has yet again admitted to his past wrongs:
“Look at my actions. My past: I’m not excusing it, I’m not denying it. We all do things that we wish we could change. All I can do right now is focus on the present and do my best to become a productive member of society, a good person, a good human being. Look at my actions and judge me on that.”
I tend to believe him when he says that he’s reformed and doesn’t wish to commit criminal and terrorist acts any longer. But as he said himself, he did terrible things in the past. Why, then, should Canadian taxpayers pay him even a cent? Let alone owe him an apology?
Again, unlike Arar, Khadr was no innocent. And if anyone were to owe him an apology, or monetary reward, it would be the American government.
As Khadr’s own words in a recent interview, as shown above, clearly demonstrate, he doesn’t deny his past actions. He isn’t saying, “Look at me, I didn’t do anything bad or evil. The Americans captured and tortured me, but I was innocent. And the Canadian government failed to help me.” What he says instead is, “I did terrible things before, and I’m sorry for what I did. I’m not that person anymore.”
Does that warrant a huge reward and jackpot payout? No, it doesn’t. For if it did, any convicted killer could step forward and sue the government for millions of dollars for having been incarcerated – as long as they claim to be reformed and promise that they’ll never do such things ever again.
Arar was an innocent man who suffered greatly as a result of flawed intelligence, but Khadr, just like his entire family, isn’t innocent. He killed, or played an instrumental role in killing, a U.S. soldier while being a dedicated member of a terrorist organization. Yes, he was fifteen at the time, but that doesn’t make him a “child soldier”. Fifteen-year-olds and other teenagers know exactly what they do and why. That is to say, when they murder people or commit other crimes, as so many of them do as members of gangs in Toronto, for example, they can’t put up a defence saying they are minors, legally incompetent and therefore not responsible for their actions.
Should Canadians believe Khadr and give him a second chance at a normal life? Yes, by all means, because he does come across as sincere when he says he’s sworn off terrorism for good and, let’s not forget, he’s served his time. But all Canadian taxpayers should now refuse to pay their taxes after Khadr has received over ten million dollars of their money to which he wasn’t, isn’t and never will be entitled.