There are plenty of outraged conservatives out there angry that Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed to take Omar Khadr back. The argument goes that the government never should have agreed to sing onto the plea deal that saw him sentenced to eight years in prison and able to apply for return to Canada after one year.
But would have rejecting that part of the offer have changed anything?
I’d have to say the evidence says no. Mad as I am that Khadr is in Canada and will likely be freed by next summer, not much would have changed had Harper said no.
Prior to the Harper government’s arrival in 2006 the transfer of prisoners, other than Khadr, from American prisons to Canadian prisons was routine and essentially rubber stamped. But rejecting some applications has not been met with kindly by the justice system in this country.
Last June a judge ordered the government to take another look at an application of a fellow in jail in the US after being caught with 119 kilos of cocaine. This was the 15th time a judge had ordered a re-do for the government.
So imagine that the US made Khadr the offer, serve eight years and apply for return to Canada after one and the Harper government said no. If that had happened Khadr’s lawyers would have been aware, the plea deal would not have been stopped and the rejection by the Canadian government would have been used in a court proceeding to force Khadr’s return.
At best saying no to that part of the deal would have delayed Khadr’s return to Canada by six to 12 months but at worst a leftie judge would have used it in a ruling to bring Khadr back even earlier.
I don’t like that Khadr is here but getting mad at the government for allowing this to happen makes about as much sense as being angry that they didn’t do enough to stop the sun from rising.
Remember, the jury wanted to give him 40 years, the Obama admin said 8 would do.