Monday, 24 December 2012

Generous Canadians have already donated $41,225

Dear Readers,

Although some may think it's a little early to present my 2012 award for journalistic excellence for the best article written in any newspaper, this year my award goes to Ezra Levant of the QMI Agency for his brilliant expose about a fellow, a hero who is no longer with his young family and another fellow who now in a Canadian prison who along with his Toronto family have been at the centre of a media storm. Below, I present Ezra's article verbatim and as usual, my response is below....and there is room for your comment below that...or email me directly if you would like additional information.

                                                  In memorium...US Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Speer

Omar Khadr
A courtroom sketch shows defendant Omar Khadr listening to testimony during his sentencing hearing at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, in this sketch from October 26, 2010.                  
                                                              (REUTERS/Janet Hamlin/Pool/Files)
Ezra told us on Monday, October 01, 2012 that there are five myths about Omar Khadr. The biggest of which is that you can’t do anything — oh yes, you can.

The first is that we had to take him into Canada. That’s not true. A U.S. 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.

The third myth is that Khadr is peaceful. In Guantanamo, he taunted guards by bragging about killing Speer. He said laying landmines was the proudest thing he’d ever done in his life. One of his guards was an African-American woman — three things he hates. So he called her a “bitch,” a “slave,” and a “whore.” Even his lawyer, Dennis Edney, publicly called for Khadr to be deradicalized.

The fourth myth is proven by the last three. We don’t have a lot of reporters in Canada; what we have are a lot of anti-war, anti-Stephen Harper, anti-American editorial writers pretending to be reporters, but serving up soft-on-Khadr PR propaganda.

But the fifth myth is a hopeful one. The myth that we can do nothing. Take your rage — at U.S. President Barack Obama for emptying out his prison in our streets, at Toews for letting him — and your sorrow for the murdered medic and do something positive.

Go to and chip in a few bucks. The money will go to Tabitha Speer, Christopher’s widow, to help raise her two fatherless kids, Taryn and Tanner. All the money will be sent to her care of her U.S. lawyers. I’ve chipped in the first donation. Will you put in $10 or even $100 to show that you stand for freedom and against terror?

                                          Funeral for US Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Speer

my response....

Medic Chris Speer was wounded on July 27, 2002 during an attack in Afghanistan and died at a military hospital in Germany on August 7, 2002. Speer died of a head wound suffered when his reconnaissance patrol was ambushed near Khowst, in eastern Afghanistan. A young fellow was tried and convicted for throwing a grenade that killed Chris. Six days before he received the wounds that killed him, Chris walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children. He applied a tourniquet to one child and bandaged the other. Then he stopped a passing military truck to take the wounded children to a U.S. Army field hospital saving their lives. Chris is remembered as a loving husband and father who had a sparkle in his eyes whenever he talked about his family. Chris leaves behind his wife, Tabitha, and his two children. In terms of the fellow who was apprehended at the scene, tried and convicted of murdering Chris Speer, I think James P. Brown of Ottawa says it best with his op/ed in today's Toronto Sun that follows....

                                                                      Tabitha Speer

Help Speer’s children
On October 2, Ezra Levant wrote about the tragic death of Cpl Christopher Speer at the hands of Canadian-born Omar Khadr (“Khadr myths”). Levant mentioned Speer’s two young children, Taryn and Tanner, who’ve been left fatherless, and that a fund had been established to provide some money for the children’s education. By early December, generous Canadians had donated $41,225 — about 82% of the modest target of $50,000. I would encourage readers to give some thought to contributing to the fund as a positive thought from the sad circumstances — via website...

                                                            A wounded Chris Speer

.....and to this, I have nothing to add, except...why doesn't Immigration Canada initiate a program to identify those who hate; like those who could commit honour killings and/or female genital mutilation before granting them status? There are too many Honour killers in our prison population right now and whether through improved screening or educational programs, some folks clearly need assistance making the transition to life in peaceful and respectful Canada! It's all about prevention! It should not come as a shock that Canada is nothing but a 'country of convenience' for too many folks who only want a safe haven to run to and it behooves our politicians when they remember this. Should your MP initiate a program to identify those who could commit honour killings or other atrocities? You may want to ask them!

                                  Chaplain Keith Jackson walks out of the church with Tabitha                  

So, if you want to show you care, you may want to think about little Taryn and Tanner, who’ve been left fatherless!

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