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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 07:00

More heartwarming, will be the movies & books about this incident.
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How Omar Khadr was caught in the American fog of war

Post by Trooper on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 15:55

How Omar Khadr was caught in the American fog of war: Mallick

The U.S. failed to learn from its own history, repeatedly waging war with guerrillas who spoke languages Americans couldn’t be bothered to learn. The blowback has been fantastic.

Mon., July 24, 2017

The U.S. attitude to warfare is a puzzling thing. It has been so since the Second World War, which was a clear battle between armies with distinctive uniforms Then the clarity ended.

It was the last time Americans fought a war that everyone, themselves included, fully understood. There’s something wretchedly appealing about that.

I am thinking of the fallout from the Omar Khadr settlement after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on what happened off the battlefield when Canadian officials went along with the U.S. torture of a 15-year-old Canadian citizen.

I am thinking of the four Canadian soldiers killed and eight wounded in Afghanistan in 2002 — the same year Khadr was taken prisoner — when a U.S. fighter pilot bombed them in “friendly fire.”

The pilot, Maj. Harry Schmidt, was eventually reprimanded and fined $5,600 U.S.

As the CBC reported, Schmidt appealed, lost and later sued the U.S. military for allegedly violating his privacy. He accepted no blame. The Canadian families did not sue him. How could they?

War is complicated, something Americans have rarely been willing to concede. They tend to see war as if it were the Super Bowl, a staged event with simple rules, omnipresent umpires and cameras, and frequent, scheduled breaks. Everyone makes money.

But war is a blood soup with horrible lumps: burned baby hands, bits of bone and tendon, severed heads, desiccated corpses, scraps of fabric, dusty bones, the hoods of Abu Ghraib, families annihilated when angry male veterans return, eyeballs, bullet casings ...

In the Second World War, soldiers fought until they died or Hitler did, end of story. Modern war isn’t like that.

Without a draft to evade, it seems more like an ordinary job with “contractors” (once called “mercenaries”), tours of duty, retirements and pensions. Death is relatively rare. The horrible work is largely done by working class grunts, as the recent USS Fitzgerald collision at sea revealed.

The U.S. fought and failed in the Korean War. It shouldn’t have invaded Vietnam in the first place, but it did and lost, bringing the genocidal Khmer Rouge into Cambodia. It shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan either, or Iraq, creating chaos that invited another horror, another style of violent death.

The U.S. failed to learn from its own history, repeatedly waging war with guerrillas who spoke languages Americans couldn’t be bothered to learn. The blowback has been fantastic.

The failure to understand modern war is summed up by “unlawful combatant.” It’s a phrase dreamed up by Americans who don’t grasp the informality of soldiering, of foreigners being deeply attached to their own soil and fighting for it until they died or the U.S. was driven out.

It is a useful term for torturers who, despite the International Criminal Court that the U.S. won’t join lest it be accused of war crimes, wanted permission to ply their trade.

Americans, fine people that they hope they are, persist in thinking that war is rational. It is not. The Supreme Court of Canada is by its nature rational, and it insists that the Canadian government not make use of the American willingness to torture our citizens.

The Second World War did not bring justice. Nothing could ever match Nazi Germany doing the worst things humans have ever done. It brought respite, which is a different thing entirely.

Ken Burns’s new documentary, The Vietnam War, will be shown on PBS in September. In preparation, I urge you to watch The Fog of War, the 2003 Errol Morris documentary in which the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara — incinerator, napalmer and bomber of millions from the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo to the Vietnam catastrophe — talked directly to the camera about what he had learned.

Said McNamara: “What ‘the fog of war’ means is war is so complex it’s beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend all the variables. Our judgment, our understanding, are not adequate. And we kill people unnecessarily.”

McNamara’s extraordinary conclusion — though it was not a confession of guilt — was that the U.S. never understood what it was doing in Vietnam. He placed his hope in the American people’s retrospective wisdom.

To this end, he quoted T.S. Eliot. “We shall not cease from exploring/And at the end of our exploration/We will return to where we started/And know the place for the first time.”

He died in 2009, having lived to see two more pointless American wars. The fog of war had never cleared.

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'This is a human life'; Medic recalls saving Omar Khadr's life

Post by Trooper on Mon 24 Jul 2017, 16:28

'This is a human life'; Medic recalls saving Omar Khadr's life



Donnie Bumanglag stands in the backyard garden of his home, Saturday, July 22, 2017, in Lompoc, Calif. Bumanglag is a former U.S. soldier who served in Afghanistan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Owen)

TORONTO — "This is a human life."

For years the battle-hardened and decorated American veteran wrestled with his conscience, with whether he’d done the right thing in saving the life of Omar Khadr, seen by many as a terrorist who profited from his crimes.

Now, watching the furor over the government’s $10.5-million payout to Khadr from afar, Donnie Bumanglag wants to tell his story, offer a perspective born of bitter experience — one he admits may not be popular with many Canadians, or even some of his own former comrades in arms.

Bumanglag, of Lompoc, Calif., 36, has spent years coming to terms with his former life as an elite airborne medic supporting U.S. special forces during three missions to Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s been haunted by flashbacks, frequently thrown back to that time in the summer of 2002, when he spent hours in the back of a helicopter frantically working on Khadr, then 15 years old and at the very edge of death.

“This is a human life. This is war. This is something that most people can’t fathom, and they want to be real quick to give an opinion just because it makes them feel good about themselves,” Bumanglag said. “(But) there’s more to this story than just talking points.”

The following account is based on interviews Bumanglag gave to The Canadian Press, as well as on a recent podcast he co-hosts in which he talks about saving Khadr.


Doc Buma, as the 21-year-old Ranger medic was known, was looking forward to leaving the remote area of Afghanistan in which he had been operating for more than a month and heading to Bagram for a shower and some downtime before redeploying to Kandahar.

Instead, as they flew toward Bagram that day in July 2002, a distress call came in. The MH-53 helicopter veered toward Khost and an encounter that would stay with him for years.

Edmund Sealey, then the Rangers platoon sergeant, remembers the call coming in with orders to divert and pick up an “enemy fighter” who had been shot.

“I was on the aircraft. We picked up that casualty in a firefight,” Sealey, 47, now of Columbus, Ga., said from Afghanistan where he still works as a contractor. “With Buma being a Ranger medic, he’s going to assist as soon as you get on board, enemy or friendly, it doesn’t matter.”

With the chopper gunners providing covering fire, they landed in a field. Sealey led the way, Bumanglag behind him, as they threaded their way through a suspected minefield, down a road, and connected with a group of U.S. special forces soldiers.

On what appeared to be a wooden door lay the wounded enemy fighter, shot twice by one of the elite Delta forces. The soldiers had found the casualty barely alive in a compound the Americans had pounded to rubble during a massive assault. One of their own, Sgt. Chris Speer, had been fatally hit by a grenade, and another, Layne Morris, blinded in one eye. It was apparent to the incoming medic that the Delta soldiers were in “some pretty severe distress” over the loss of their comrade.

“There’s a look on somebody’s face when the whole world went to s--- 10 minutes ago and it’s too much to process,” Bumanglag says.

As he recalls, the soldiers gave him bare-bones biographical data on the casualty: The fighter had killed Speer. He was a Canadian who had been Osama bin Laden’s “houseboy.” They also told him to keep the high-value detainee alive because he would be a vital source of information and passed him off.

Bumanglag was now charged with saving Khadr, son of a high-ranking member of al-Qaida. He didn’t know Khadr was 15 years old, but his youth struck him.

“I don’t know if I can call him a little kid but he sure looked little to me. He’s 80 pounds or something. He’s a little guy who’s on a door, basically,” Bumanglag says.

They moved the patient up the ramp and the chopper took off. The medic immediately began working to save the boy, who was covered in blood and sand.

“Omar, with gunshot wounds and flex cuffs like an animal had been shot, didn’t look human,” Bumanglag recalls. “But moving in closer and working on him as a patient and seeing the facial features and seeing the skin pigmentation, those images always stuck with me.”

Khadr, it turned out, bore a striking resemblance to one of Bumanglag’s cousins, which bothered the young medic then, and for years after.

“All I seen was a kid that looks like a kid that I knew.”


As the chopper bobbed and weaved toward Bagram, Doc Buma worked to stabilize his disoriented, barely conscious patient, who was writhing and moaning in pain. At the other soldiers’ insistence, Khadr’s hands remained handcuffed behind his back out of concern he might turn violent.

Bumanglag’s main task was to deal with Khadr’s two gaping bullet exit wounds on his chest. His head raced with thoughts about whether he should save the life of this “terrorist,” whether he’d have enough medical supplies for his own guys should something happen. He even pondered pushing the enemy fighter out the chopper and being done with it.

“He’s rocking his body around everywhere,” he says. “I took it as aggression. You get this idea that everybody is jihad and they’re going to fight to the death.”

Then there was his ego, he admits: the notion that saving this captive would earn him praise, would show he had what it took. So he kept working, trying to staunch the bleeding.

“My mission, my job was just to save him, keep him alive. There was no politics in it then. I was a young Ranger and this was my chance,” Bumanglag says. “I worked on him for over two hours in the back of a helicopter as the sun went down. At the end, I’m working under finger light.”

He kept working, and Khadr kept living, not saying anything, just making noises.

“His body indicated that he was a pretty brave guy. He fought for his life just as much as we fought to save him,” Bumanglag says. “Some people have a will to live and some people don’t. He definitely did.”

They finally touched down at Bagram.

“We plugged all the holes and we tried to keep things viable,” he says. “I pass him off and I don’t know whether he’s going to live or die.”

What he did know was that Khadr hadn’t died on his watch and it was therefore mission accomplished — one for which he would later be commended for by his superiors. It would take another year or so before Bumanglag learned that Khadr had survived.


Omar Khadr, born in September 1986 in Toronto spent several months recovering from his wounds at Bagram, where, from the moment he was conscious and able to speak, he underwent what were, by most accounts, some of the harshest interrogations the Americans had devised in the War on Terror.

A few months later, in October 2002, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay. He had just turned 16.

It was in his early days at the infamous U.S. military prison in Cuba that Canadian intelligence officers went down to interrogate him. The Americans made the interviews conditional on having the information he provided passed on to them. The Canadians also knew the teen had been subjected to the “frequent flyer program,” a brutal process of sleep deprivation designed to soften him up.

Video would surface years later of a weeping teen, now realizing the Canadian agents weren’t there to help him, whimpering for his mother.

Khadr ultimately pleaded guilty to five war crimes in 2010 before a widely discredited military commission. He later disavowed his confession to having killed Speer, saying it was the only way the Americans would return him to Canada, which happened in 2012.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government had violated Khadr’s rights. The ruling underpinned the recent settlement of his lawsuit in which Ottawa apologized to him and, sources said, paid him $10.5 million.

“If you say you’d go through what he went through for $10 million, you’re out of your mind, and that’s the truth,” Bumanglag says.

Khadr has said he no longer remembers the firefight and would not comment on Bumanglag’s account.


Doc Buma returned to his native California and left the military in 2003. He became a police officer, working anti-narcotics, for almost 10 years. Ultimately, the flashbacks, the post-traumatic stress bested him and he retired as a cop about five years ago. He studied educational psychology, he said, as part of trying to sort himself out.

He took up co-hosting a podcast, Sick Call, in which he and a fellow vet talk about a variety of issues, including topics related to the military and law enforcement. In one recent episode, he talks about Khadr. It’s all part educating others, part therapy for himself, he says.

The years since his days in the military, when he was ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and heed the call of duty wherever it took him, he says, have afforded him time to grow up, to gain some perspective on war, on his life as a soldier, on demonizing people he has never met or with whom he has no personal quarrel.

“I’ve been on the worst combat missions. I bought into the ideology. Now it’s time for reflection,” he says.

Time and again, he is careful to make clear he intends no disrespect to Speer’s relatives or to Morris and empathizes with what they have lost.

“Omar lost his eye, too. I don’t know how much more symbolic that can be.”

At the same time, he is clear that Speer and Morris were grown men who had signed on the line to become elite professional soldiers, knowing the risks of their jobs.

On the other hand, Bumanglag also makes it clear he empathizes with the young Canadian who was taken by his father to another country and thrown into an ideologically motivated war over which he had no control.

As a married father of four, Bumanglag says it’s naive to believe Khadr could somehow have just walked away from the compound his father had sent him to. More to the point, he says, had he found himself as Khadr did that fateful day in July — under heavy bombardment with the fighting men dead and the enemy closing in for the kill, he likely would not have hesitated to throw a grenade.

“What happens if the shoe is on the other foot? This is the scenario that I’ve played in my head,” Bumanglag says, his mind turning to those who are furious at the Canadian government’s settlement with Khadr.

“They can be upset but the reality is that they don’t understand the full story. I don’t think any of us do.”

Doc Buma says he longer frets that he should have let Khadr die.

“Everybody may hate him but I’m glad I saved his life,” he says. “It just wasn’t his time then.”

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Re: WHY???

Post by Dannypaj on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 06:27

NO exceptions.

Omar Khadr comes from a family deeply connected to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. His father, Ahmed Khadr was arrested and charged with aiding terrorism!

Joined the Canadian Armed Forces to have my charter of rights and freedom (made by which pm?) to be taken away from me?
Meanwhile back in Kansas, we're throwing millions at this fellow.
There must be more to this storey, using the courts (run by the feds) and easily handing over such a large monetary award.

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Re: WHY???

Post by johnny211 on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 19:37

PM ignores pleas too meet with father. Too busy doing Selfies.

Dad of dead soldier wants sit-down with PM


He had time to oversee Omar Khadr’s $10.5-million pay out and apology.

Time for foreign superstars Bono and The Edge on Canada Day and the Aga Khan for Christmas in the Bahamas. He also had to time to boast about his political acumen to Rolling Stone Magazine.

What Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not had time to do is respond to the father of a fallen Canadian soldier in Afghanistan who can’t believe Khadr – similar to a teen who killed his son – is made a millionaire while the lives of their victims’ families remain shattered.

“I feel Khadr committed treason and should be tried for it,” said Fred McKay. “ I sent Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau a letter July 7 (through his office's Facebook page) and I have not heard back.”

McKay, a 32-year district chief for Toronto Fire Services, said regardless, he and his wife and family will never get over what happened May 13, 2010, when two soldiers stopped by his house to tell him his 24-year-old son, Kevin, was killed.

Pte. Kevin McKay, a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Unit (PPCLI), stepped on an improvised explosive device and was killed instantly.

“We had just raised a toast to Kevin finishing his tour and being inside the wire at Kandahar Air Field, sipping a beer, waiting to come home,” said the elder McKay. “Instead, I jumped into a van towards my wife’s work (to tell her the news) and break (her) heart.”

He was supposed to be home, but a volcano meant the skies were not able to handle flights, so Kevin’s team was delayed.

“Rather than skip a day of patrol and give the Taliban a window to plant explosives, they decided to not put the incoming team at risk,” said Fred. “It was supposed to be Kevin’s last patrol there.”

It was.

He stepped out of a house they were sweeping onto an IED planted under the stairs – a blast so powerful, it severely wounded two other soldiers who are still recovering.

“I’ll tell you, it was a punch in the face,” said McKay. “Worst moment in my lifetime.”

But this summer’s bizarre $10.5-million Khadr government settlement and apology became too close to home for McKay and brought it all back to the forefront.

“I mean what the hell?” said McKay. “I don’t mean to be crass, but, really? Paying and apologizing for a Canadian working with the enemy and building IEDs to kill our people?”

Fred McKay wrote six people about the settlement, including three members of parliament: John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil), Bruce Stanton (Simcoe-North) and Larry Miller (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound), who all wrote back. As did Aaron Wudrick of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and legendary Toronto Sun journalist Mark Bonokoski. McKay also wrote Trudeau. The only one to not get back to him was the prime minister.

He asked Trudeau: since it was a 15-year-old solider similar to Khadr who planted the bomb that stole Kevin, “am I to believe that, should these bomb maker’s families come forward with a lawyer, our Canadian government would apologize and compensate them to the tune of $10 million?”

McKay (pronounced McEye) told Trudeau, “By the way, we received $90,000 from the government when we lost our son, a far cry from the $360,000 maximum. We were told we were receiving that particular sum because Kevin was single and had no dependants, and we accepted that reasoning.”

The mourning father is “not asking for more money” because “Kevin was a soldier and he went off to war and we all knew that he might be killed or wounded.”

But the dad says his objective is to have parliament ask Trudeau to have “Khadr tried for treason since he is seen on video building IEDS while being a Canadian citizen.”

I agree with McKay on this and e-mailed the PMO Friday to try to facilitate contact between he and Trudeau.

Eleanore Catenaro promptly replied, “Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we don’t foresee an opportunity for you to sit down with the PM due to his busy schedule. I’m adding my colleague Sarah and Rob from Minister (Kent) Hehr’s office here if you would like an official comment on behalf of the government, as it falls under their purview.”

If only I worked for Rolling Stone and if only McKay’s son had been the guy building the bombs instead of being killed by one.

Maybe then there would be some time in Prime Minister Trudeau’s busy schedule.


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Re: WHY???

Post by pinger on Fri 04 Aug 2017, 20:36

The GoC fracked up royally. Period.
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No support from this Canadian on Khadr

Post by Trooper on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 06:07

No support from this Canadian on Khadr

Posted on August 16, 2017 by oshawaexpress in Letters

Dear Editor,

The latest excuse (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau is now expecting us to swallow concerning the terrible decision to reward our enemy with 10.5 million taxpayer dollars is hilarious.

He tells us that to go to court to fight the convicted terrorist demands would mean we lose in the end, and it would cost us another $20 or $30 million dollars to boot!

This sudden concern for taxpayer funds from a part-time drama teacher, now acting like a highly qualified attorney himself is very strange behaviour from a man that gave away $2.6 billion Canadian taxpayer dollars his first week in office to the green energy scam in developing countries! This, instead of spending here at home for much needed infrastructure such as upgrading water and sewer systems that have been underground for over a hundred years! Plus the fact that several Canadian cities still dump raw sewage into our waterways! Spending taxpayer money has never been a problem for Liberals in the past, so why the sudden concern to the PM over a measly $20 or $30 million more, especially to do the right thing?

As far as this Canadian figures, anybody that leaves Canada to go and fight against us, or our allies, forfeits his or her rights as a Canadian citizen, no matter what their age may be. No Charter, no way!

Many of our vets fought against the Hitler youth in Europe and they found them to be treacherous opponents and well trained in killing.

Of course, many of our boys were actually mere boys themselves, as they lied about their age to sign up to fight for Canada. They too became well trained killers as they were paid to do just that.

What (Omar) Khadr did was an act of treason, and at one time that meant a noose or firing squad, not a reward. At the same time, theLiberal government has taken wounded Canadian vets to court to deny them proper veteran benefits after being chewed up in the Afghanistan conflict, many by the same roadside explosive devices Khadr is shown on film building to use against us! Whose side are they really on??

Disgusting excuses, nothing more!

Russ Horner


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