Omar Khadr: The case, the compensation and the media – The Listening Post (Feature) - | cape town south africa vacation

August 6, 2017 1:14 pm
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A news story that broke last month has divided Canadians and their media outlets. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government announced it would settle a lawsuit filed by Omar Khadr, a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, by paying Khadr $8m. Khadr was transferred to a Canadian prison in 2012 and released by the courts in 2015.

Canadians watching or reading conservative news outlets tended to come away outraged. Khadr, they were told, was a convicted “terrorist” – who had confessed, or so it seemed, to killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in a firefight between US forces and Taliban fighters, the details of which remain shrouded in the fog of war.
Those exposed to a more liberal treatment of the story were informed Khadr was a child soldier, just 15 years old at the time of his alleged crime; that he had been held at Guantanamo illegally; that he had been tortured; that his confession, therefore, would not stand up in court and that he was more of a victim of the so-called “war on terror” than a participant.

“Omar Khadr is just an example of a larger divergence in narrative that’s taken place throughout the entire media, between left and right, on the issue of what causes terrorism,” says journalist Jonathan Kay.

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