I will be blunt. The abhorrent treatment of Mr. Khadr – who was 15 at the time of his capture – is a condemnation of Canadian and American systems.
They are right to fear that he has been radicalized by his experience. The experience of Mr. Khadr was one brought about by extremism. To expect otherwise would be silly. But the danger posed by Mr. Khadr is nothing compared to the irreparable harm that has been done to the social fabric by liberal democratic states willing to sell their principles in the name of “security”.
Mr. Khadr was a child. He was not an innocent, that would do him a disservice. But the fact that he has endured a life sentence worth of detention, torture, interrogation and pain as a young person speaks to a failure on our part to show mercy when it was within our power to do so.
Everything about Mr. Khadr’s detention and treatment has been a state of exception. Now he will be ensnared in a surveillance system that will never let him go.
Mr. Khadr is the embodiment of this nation’s enduring shame. The fact that we could not find a way to bring a badly damaged 15 year old home, and deliver him from Guantanamo is the only answer anyone ever need give in response to Canada’s immodest grand-standing about our moral role on the global stage.