Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 6, 2017
‘Odious’ or overdue: Reports of Omar Khadr settlement draw sharply different reactions
A case that has divided Canadians for nearly 15 years continued to do so Tuesday as news leaked that Ottawa would apologize to Omar Khadr and offer a settlement of more than $10 million for the abuse he endured while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
The vitriol was most intense among fringe commentators on the far right and left, but the issue quickly drew political reactions from across the spectrum, with former members of the Harper administration taking to Twitter and other social media to weigh in.
“Odious,” wrote former Conservative defence minister Jason Kenney, now leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party, on Twitter. “Confessed terrorist who assembled & planted the same kind of IED (improvised explosive device) that killed 97 Canadians to be given $10-million.”
Others praised the government apology as long overdue. “Finally we have seen the light!” wrote Shelly Whitman, executive director of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.
While Khadr’s case has always elicited a vigorous debate, news of the settlement triggered extreme commentary Tuesday, including calls on social media for Khadr’s murder and the deaths of the journalists reporting the story, or of advocates who support a government apology. (Continued: Toronto Star)