Former Gitmo Prisoner Applauds Khadr Payout, Apology

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Another former prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center just can’t understand the outrage in Canada and elsewhere over the apology and $10.5 million payment to confessed terrorist killer Omar Khadr.

British citizen Moazzam Begg told The Canadian Press that anyone who opposes the deal with Khadr has a faulty moral compass and should be proud of how the Canadian goverment gave money to a man who fought against his own country.

“The nation shouldn’t be upset about issuing an apology for something that’s right,” Begg said from his home in Birmingham, England on Tuesday. “If people are getting upset about that, I think they need to revisit what their morals and values are about.”

A poll released this week found that 71 percent of Canadians are opposed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to “compensate” former al-Qaida operative Khadr.

Britain settled lawsuits with 16 former Gitmo prisoners in 2010, although those settlements did not arouse the same degree of passion in the U.K. as the Khadr payout has in Canada, the Press notes.

Begg admits that Khadr’s payment was much larger than anything received by the British Gitmo group and that Khadr’s record of terrorist activity and confession of killing a U.S. Army medic makes his case more controversial.

But that’s not the issue to Begg, who insists, “Canada has set the bar. It isn’t about the amounts, though the amounts…are far, far greater. It’s about the apology.”

Begg spent time with Khadr when both were imprisoned at Bagram in Afghanistan. Begg confirmed that Khdar was badly wounded and alleges that soldiers “would scream at him and drag him around.” He did not comment on the fact that U.S. medics saved Khadr’s life while he was in captivity.

After their time in Afghanistan, both Begg and Khadr were moved to Guantanamo Bay where Begg alleges, “we were tortured in various ways.”

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