That’s how Conservative leader Andrew Scheer described Omar Khadr’s payout after the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner had his rights trampled by the Canadian government. Scheer's disgust is politeness itself compared to the viciousness on social media.
Tensions are running high. Seventy-one per cent of Canadians say that the Canadian government “did the wrong thing” with the $10.5-million payment to Omar Khadr.
People are recommending assassination of the prime minister right onto the Facebook pages of members of Parliament.
This is precisely the moment for reporters to dig behind the storm of opinion and outrage and deliver insightful analysis.
But too many media outlets are vacillating between reporting on opposition to the payment and highbrow lectures on how everyone (even people you hate) has rights.
Liberal friend emails to say apolitical friends at soccer were talking about tonight $ for Khadr; "All really pissed." This is going to hurt— John Ivison (@IvisonJ) July 8, 2017
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Columnists like Sandy Garossino focus on the evidence and make sure that you have access to the information you need to make your own decisions.
That’s how we make progress, learn and fix things. It’s how we avoid the nasty polarization that has emboldened racists and tangled up Americans with a horrifying reality show in the Oval Office.
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After Sandy published What if Omar Khadr isn’t guilty?, she delivered a challenge to the Twitterverse:
She’s still waiting.
It’s been seven years since the Supreme Court found that Canada’s treatment of Khadr “offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects."
“Canada's participation in the illegal process in place at Guantanamo Bay clearly violated Canada's binding international obligations,” said the Supreme Court judges.
Garossino painstakingly clarifies that Khadr went through all those years in Guantanamo, abetted by the Canadian government, based on extremely poor and contradictory evidence.
Maher Arar wondered aloud:
The uproar created by Omar's haters is not about his innocence or guilt. It's rather a mixure of political opportunism & bigotry/racism. https://t.co/eFaqrrBQhb— Maher Arar (@ArarMaher) July 8, 2017
Let's me put things more bluntly: Omar Khadr would not have been mistreated/demonized if he were not Muslim.— Maher Arar (@ArarMaher) July 8, 2017
Only nine per cent of Conservative voters support the Khadr settlement. The number is just 39 per cent for Trudeau voters. The issue is highly volatile and supercharged with –isms.
So many media outlets are telling you what you ought to think. But you deserve thoughtful analysis to make up your own mind on an issue as fraught as this one.
Writing like Sandy Garossino's takes time, effort and a depth of reflection and insight. If you value in-depth, thoughtful analysis about Canada, you can make sure more of it happens.
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