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What’s behind Obama’s curious timing of Gitmo jihadist Omar Khadr’s release

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 1, 2012 09:25 AM


This is a murderous Islamic soldier, not a “child”

If I read one more description of Gitmo jihadist Omar Khadr as a former “child soldier,” I will throw up. As some of you may have read over the weekend, the 26-year-old Muslim killer who pleaded guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty to five charges related to the battlefield killing of U.S. soldier Christopher Speer was released from Gitmo by the White House on Saturday and sent back to Canada.

Khadr was captured during a 2002 bloody firefight at a suspected al Qaeda compound near Khost, Afghanistan.

Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald/McClatchy broke the story this weekend of his repatriation:

Khadr departed the base in Cuba before dawn Saturday, a secret transfer 10 days after a Canadian diplomat paid Khadr a visit on his 26th birthday. He landed at a Royal Canadian airbase in Ontario and was transferred to the Millhaven maximum security prison for what his lawyer described as an assessment of the most suitable place to serve out his sentence.

The case of Khadr — Guantánamo’s last Western captive — stirred debate in international law and human rights circles.

Because he was captured at such a young age, some called him a child soldier who was dropped off in the war zone by his father and deserving of rehabilitation not interrogation. Others called him the respected scion of an al Qaida family, nicknamed Canada’s First Family of Terror in news reports, and opposed his repatriation.

Psychiatrist Michael Welner, testifying at the Guantánamo war court for the prosecution and paid by the Pentagon, called Khadr a continuing danger who spent his time at the U.S. prison camps in Cuba “marinating in a community of hardened and belligerent radical Islamists.”

I have followed Khadr’s case and his sob-story lawyers since 2003 (archive of Khadr posts here and columns here and here.)

Background I reported in 2003 about the Khadr family, led by a senior al Qaeda member who was killed in 2003 in a battle with Pakistani forces:

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is vacationing in the Dominican Republic this weekend, where he will tee off with former U.S. President Bill Clinton for the newly inaugurated Soft-on-Terror Masters Tournament.

While Chretien golfs, his fellow countryman and favorite accused terrorist Ahmad Said Khadr is still on the loose.

Khadr, an Egyptian-born Canadian citizen, is considered by intelligence officials to be the highest-ranking Canadian within Osama bin Laden’s inner circle. He studied computer science at the University of Ottawa and worked for an Ottawa-based Islamic charity, Human Concern International, which was generously subsidized by Chretien’s government.

Khadr is suspected of siphoning charity funds to bin Laden and other jihadists, and of serving as a chief terrorist recruiter. Known as “al-Kanadi” (Arabic for “The Canadian”), Khadr had previously been in custody in Pakistan for the 1995 bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad that killed 17 people.

As I’ve noted before (and it is especially worth repeating in light of attempts by some high-ranking American diplomats to make amends with Canada), our so-called friend and supposed War on Terror partner Chretien was instrumental in securing Khadr’s freedom.

Chretien personally intervened on behalf of Khadr during a 1996 state visit to Pakistan. He aggressively sought guarantees from Benazir Bhutto, then the country’s prime minister, that Khadr would receive due process and fair treatment. The suspected Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist was released shortly after Chretien’s diplomatic lobbying campaign.

The United Nations, U.S. and Canada (last, of course) have since frozen the fugitive Khadr’s assets due to his suspected ties to bin Laden. One of his sons, an al-Qaida operative and former terror training camp commander, is on the run with Khadr.

Another of Khadr’s sons, 16-year-old Omar, is in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay for his alleged role in an ambush of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last summer. Omar is accused of lobbing the hand grenade that killed Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, a 28-year-old medic with the U.S. Special Forces.

“That wasn’t a panicky teen-ager we encountered that day,” Sergeant First Class Layne Morris of South Jordan, Utah, who lost his right eye in the ambush, told the Boston Globe last month. “That was a trained al-Qaida who wanted to make his last act on earth the killing of an American.”

Speer left behind a wife and two children, ages 3 and 11 months. Just days before his murder, Speer had selflessly walked into a minefield to rescue two wounded Afghan children.

Two words: WHY NOW? And what’s really behind Khadr’s release? Will the dhimmi lapdog media dare to ask?

Reuters suggests that the repatriation was promoted by “U.S. anger” over leaked video of Khadr’s interrogation. The Obama administration is accusing the conservative Canadian government of the breach. But the Toronto Star has reported just the opposite:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office denied any knowledge of the source of the leak.

“We have no comment on the accuracy or inaccuracy of the Maclean’s article and do not know what sources the magazine relied on,” said Harper spokesman Andrew MacDougall.

“Access to the interview video is strictly controlled within the government of Canada,” he added.

The PMO would not say whether the government would undertake an investigation into the leak. The office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews did not respond to the Star’s queries.

But Welner, the psychiatrist who conducted the interview, suggested the fault lies with Khadr’s legal defence team, if not with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

In an emailed statement to the Star, Welner said he has not disclosed the transcript.

He claims the Maclean’s story is a “distortion” of the transcript.

“I am sure that were anyone interested in an accurate understanding of the interview, the interview itself would be released to the public to form its own impression,” he wrote.

Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer Army Lt.-Col. Jon Jackson said “No member of the defence team released the tape or transcript.”

“None of us have or ever would release classified information.”

According to Maclean’s, and the excerpts it published, Khadr may be a victim of torture as he has sworn to, but also appears as the “unrepentant and unconvincing” man that Welner characterized at trial.

Please note, dear readers, that the Center for Constitutional Rights (to which White House visitor and Muslim Brotherhood community organizer Hisham Altalib donated a huge chunk of change) has been at the forefront of pressing for Khadr’s release.

I also remind you, dear readers, that CCR also crusaded for the release of Gitmo jihadist Abu Sufian bin Qumu — now the lead suspect in the bloody attack on our consulate in Benghazi.

And I remind you that this appeasement-addicted administration is reportedly weighing the release of the Blind Sheik, while clinging to the blame-the-video shield against accountability for the mess in Libya.

So: Why now?

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