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Douglas Bell

Meanwhile in Absurdistan Add to ...

The New York Times is reporting this morning that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - having been waterboarded by the CIA 183 times - will be transported from Guantanamo to New York City to face fair trial in federal court for his role in "masterminding" the attacks of 9/11.

At the same time the federal government of Canada is arguing before our Supreme Court that the Canadian courts have no business demanding that the United States release Omar Khadr into Canadian custody.

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This stuff is so far through the looking glass it barely registers on the rational richter scale. Omar Khadr was 15 years old when he was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002. Mohammed was subject to years of continuous torture.

In these matters, one fears being glib. What Mohammed is accused of is particularly monsterous, no doubt. But the idea that the machinations and rhetoric of justice and the rule of law are being brought to bear as though Mohammed could conceivably receive a fair trial a stone's throw from ground zero or that Omar Khadr is somehow subject to Canadian standards of fair treatment before the law beggars credulity.

Kirk Makin must have had his tougue buried a long way into his cheek when he wrote of the Khadr case: "[One]Cannot rule out one other outcome: Canada could ask the U.S. to return Mr. Khadr and be met with a polite refusal."

It's a line worthy of Monty Python.

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