There are five myths about Omar Khadr.
The first is that we had to take him into Canada. That's not true. A US jury sentenced him to 40 years in prison for the cold-blooded murder of a special forces medic name Christopher Speer.
It was only due to Canada's participation in a plea bargain that it was cut down to eight years, and then cut down further with a transfer to Canada's ultra-liberal parole laws.
Forty years down to perhaps two. So much for truth in sentencing.
But even if Khadr had not been convicted of murder, he had no right to simply leave Guantanamo Bay, any more than a German soldier interned at a Canadian prisoner of war camp in the Second World War had the right to simply head home in 1942.
Today's wars are against transnational terrorist groups. So the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court have approved a modified POW system. Anyone who is a member of al-Qaida or the Taliban can be detained until the war against them is over. No trial or charges needed. We didn't have trials for every German soldier. They were just kept until the war was over. That's U.S. law.
Canadian law could have kept Khadr out, too. The International Transfer of Offenders Act gives Public Safety Minister Vic Toews the discretion to keep out Canadian citizens, who are prisoners in other countries, if they'd pose a danger here at home. No prison transfer in Canadian history has been as dangerous as Khadr.
The second myth is that Khadr was a child soldier. Khadr wasn't a soldier - the Geneva Convention says that soldiers must be part of a chain of command, wear uniforms, carry their weapons openly and generally follow the laws of war. Murdering a medic in cold blood isn't war - it's terrorism.
But was Khadr a child? He was a few weeks shy of his 16th birthday when he murdered Speer.
We prosecute 15-year-old murderers in Canada. There is no jurisdiction in the world that doesn't. Even the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says a child soldier is someone 14 or under.
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