This is from the Globe and Mail.
To be seen as tough on terror trumps human rights for the Conservatives even when the Khadr case really is just a matter of making the optics right for
Khadr report tabled in Ottawa
OMAR EL AKKAD
Globe and Mail Update
June 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM EDT
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — A widely leaked house subcommittee on the Omar Khadr case was officially tabled in Ottawa on Tuesday, one day before the detained Canadian is set to appear in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom for the ninth time to resume pretrial hearings before a U.S. military commission.
The report's first recommendation is that the government of Canada demand the immediate termination of the U.S. military commission's proceedings against the 21-year-old Canadian.
However, conscious of the security concerns raised throughout the Omar Khadr debate in Canada, the subcommittee also called for the Director of Public Prosecutions “to investigate, and, if warranted, prosecute Omar Khadr for offences under Canadian law.”
The subcommittee – which broke down along party lines, with opposition parties calling for Mr. Khadr's return to Canada and government members arguing against such a proposal – said in the report that Mr. Khadr should be considered a “child involved in armed conflict” and afforded special protection under international protocols dealing with child soldiers.
“The subcommittee therefore believes that the Government of Canada has an obligation to ensure that its position on the case of Omar Khadr is consistent with its commitments to international human rights law, and its policies on child soldiers and on assistance to Canadians imprisoned abroad,” the report stated.
It was widely expected that the opposition members on the subcommittee would make such a recommendations, while the government members would dissent.
In their dissenting opinion, the Conservative members accuse the Liberal opposition of simply reacting to “a recent sway in public opinion and the potential for political gain.” The Conservatives also argue that the subcommittee process was one-sided, limited in its scope and of the opinion that Mr. Khadr is a victim.
The dissenting opinion also provides more insight on the government's deep opposition to bringing Mr. Khadr home – Conservative members usually respond to questions about the detained Canadian with one or more of a handful of pre-approved talking points.
“Mr. Khadr could become a litmus test on Canada's commitment to impeding global terrorism and the results of our actions today could result in consequences that are not in the long-term interest of the country,” the dissenting opinion states.
Mr. Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002, will be back in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom on Wednesday. He faces multiple charges - including the murder of a U.S. soldier during an Afghan firefight - before a military commission. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.