Updated: Jun 6, 2019
Pictured above is Sgt. Christopher Speer being taken off a medevac flight and into a hospital at Bagram Airfield where he would later die.
I want you to take a long moment to look at that photo, and understand that the man lying on that stretcher was a husband to a woman and a father of two young children.
A man who devoted his life to selflessly serving his country.
He gave his life for his country when he was only 28 years old.
Now understand that the terrorist who pulled the pin on the grenade that killed him is being awarded an apology and ten million dollars by the Canadian government.
A source has confirmed that Ottawa will apologize and pay 10.5 million in compensation to former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Canadian, Omar Khadr, who confessed to killing U.S. army medic Christopher Speer when he was 15.
Born in Toronto, Khadr was 15 in July 2002 when he was captured by U.S. troops following a firefight at an Al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Sgt. Christopher Speer.
Two weeks before receiving his mortal wounding, Speer was awarded the Soldier's Medal for risking his life to save two Afghan children trapped in a minefield.
Khadr was suspected of throwing the grenade that killed Speer and confessed to doing so during later interrogations by military and FBI investigators.
The Canadian was taken first to prison at the Bagram U.S. military base in Afghanistan and then to the prison at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba and ultimately charged with war crimes by a military commission.
Omar's father, Ahmed Said Khadr, had taken his family to stay with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy. A well-documented al-Qaida insurgent, he was killed in 2003 during a firefight with Pakistani forces.
Omar's younger brother was shot and rendered a paraplegic in the same battle in which his father was killed.
A third brother spent five years in jail on a U.S. extradition request before finally being released.
And yet another bragged to the press about being a proud member of an "Al-Qaida family."
It is quite apparent that this legal settlement decision had nothing to do with wether or not Omar Khadr pulled the pin and threw the grenade that killed Sgt. Speers.
The decision was made based on the fact that Omar spent years being tortured in Guantanamo, and that this government decided that those torture methods violated his human rights.
Here's something that a large majority of the population does not understand.
"There is no morality in warfare."
It's not clean. It's not pretty. And despite whatever some ink spilled on paper in 1949 says - there are no rules to war.
Thankfully our forefathers fighting in WWII understood this.
Sometimes you don't take prisoners.
Sometimes innocent people have to die.
As Bertrand Russel says,
"War does not determine who is right, only who is left."
It's despicable to think that such a terrorist would be treated with dignity.
You waived your rights to being treated like a human being when you threw the grenade that left a woman widowed and two children fatherless.
But still, many disagree.
Last month, the NDP wrote a letter to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould urging her to act on an e-petition that said "Canada abandoned Khadr to a decade of torture and abuse."
It went on to say, "We recognized that his fundamental rights had been deprived as has been explained by the Supreme Court of Canada and this was really about the treatment he received while he was incarcerated," the NDP justice critic Alistair MacGregor told CBC.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it would welcome a "long overdue" apology and compensation.
"It is the right decision in light of the callous and unlawful treatment meted out to Mr. Khadr with the complicity of Canadian officials," NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in a news release.
But here's a statement that won't make any more mention of the terrorists name or share around any pictures of his face.
From all of us at War Doll:
"Rest in peace, Sgt. Christopher Speer. We thank you for your service to your country. We also thank your family for the sacrifices they've had to make to ensure that America remains the land of the free, because it's home to the brave."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jozef Lalka is a former Infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces and founder of War Doll. Since releasing from the military, Jozef continues to rigorously train and expand his knowledge of a variety of weapons platforms and tactics.
Having earned a diploma in Media & Video production, Jozef works as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer while pursing a passion for current global conflicts and how they relate to historical events.