Contra the National Post, whose hard-libertarian editorial line I generally agree with, I’m still where I was five years ago on this case — let him rot.
If Khadr came back to Canadian soil, he’d probably have to be let free. Which is as it should be, I suppose, barring a treason charge and trial. The man’s a Canadian citizen, and has the right not to be barred from his country.
But I still see no affirmative obligation to go and fetch him. With my Canadian hat on, I say let the Americans deal with him.
If and when the Yanks return him, then he’ll be Canada’s problem.
But with my American hat on, what do I think of his continued incarceration at Gitmo? I’m really not losing any sleep over it… though I would prefer that the military tribunal get on with it and put him on trial, finally.
Update: Actually, I rather like Spector’s prescription –
As soon as he’s digested the Supreme Court decision and had time to be advised by the Government’s lawyers, the Prime Minister should request a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. At that meeting, which need not be publicly announced, Mr. Harper and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada would explain the decision. As a Harvard Law School graduate and former professor of constitutional law, Mr. Obama will easily grasp the issues.
After excusing the Chief Justice, Mr. Harper should then ask the President – who’s in a difficult spot in public opinion these days, with Republicans hounding him mercilessly on several national security issues – whether his administration would welcome a formal request from the Government of Canada to repatriate Omar Khadr to his country of birth, on the understanding that he would likely not stand trial here but would undergo some form of rehabilitation organized by his supporters.
That’d be the most honest way to deal with it. Let the president know what really would happen — upon his return to Canadian soil, OK almost certainly walks free.
And then let his people decide.