It’s like Omar Khadr hit the jackpot for killing Sgt. Christopher Speer — a giant $10.5-million lotto win financed by Canadian taxpayers.
“It’s a real head scratcher, let me tell you,” said retired sergeant Layne Morris, who was not only there when Speer died in Afghanistan in 2002 but lost an eye in the firefight.
“Typically, criminals pay for their crimes but this time we are paying the criminal for his crimes,” added the former American soldier. “It’s kind of ass backwards you have to admit.”
It’s blood money. For the Trudeau government, it’s a deal with the Devil.
Only in Canada could a combatant who fought against us, was convicted of killing one of our close ally’s soldiers and served eight-years in Guantanamo Bay be awarded an outrageous $10.5-million — and also receive an apology.
“As far as I am concerned — if you know the history of this case — that whole Khadr family owes humanity an apology,” said Morris, 55, just before getting ready for July 4th fireworks at his home in Utah. “I don’t understand the government giving him reward for this. His reward is being alive because an American medic like Speer used his special skills to keep him alive. He would have bled out in 30 more seconds.”
The logic of this boggles the mind.
“I can tell you I can certainly think of more worthy causes to use more than $10-million for,” said former Conservative defence minister Julian Fantino. “Just think of what that money could do to help our veterans and their families who actually served the country.”
Someone like wounded Canadian Afghanistan veteran Bruce Moncur who received just $22,000 for losing part of this brain. Another wounded veteran, Paul Franklin, got $276,000 for losing both limbs.
And how much does Wounded Warriors Canada — which supports veterans who lost body parts or suffer from PTSD — receive from the government?
“Zero,” said executive director Scott Maxwell.
He’s not asking for any, either. But on a day when $10 million-plus is going to a former enemy is not something that slides by without notice.
Who would want to serve if the guys on the other side are getting the cash and respect while the good guys get kicked the curb?
“We have lost more soldiers who served in Afghanistan to suicide than we did the 158 who died in battle there,” said Maxwell.
The other people we think about on such a day are widow Tabitha Speer and her fatherless kids, as well as special forces soldier Morris.
Both have won a $102-million settlement in American courts against Khadr but it’s unclear if they will ever get to see any of it.
“The truth that $10-million is actually our money,” said Morris. “It’s not a lock that it won’t be. The attorneys are working on it. For me it’s more symbolic but who I feel for is Tabitha who is raising children and has far more financial pressure than I do. For her, I hope that there is something that can be done.”
But, he said, it’s not lost on him that “in this case, the killer is the one who gets compensated.” He’s not holding his breath.
As for this coming down on July 4th “while it is some salt being rubbed in the wounds, the truth is don’t stay awake at night thinking about Omar Khadr and I rarely give that turd a second thought.”