By now most of us have heard about the CBC’s newest documentary, Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows. Teaming up with one of Canada’s largest newspapers, The Toronto Star, they decided to whitewash the story of former child soldier and convicted terrorist Omar Khadr. It was called a documentary, but that did not seem accurate or make much sense calling it a that after seeing it for myself. It is clearly a piece of propaganda designed to mislead viewers. There was information missing, questions left unasked and the obvious bias of this showcase marks a new low for Canada’s Broadcasting Corporation and the Toronto Star. And a new low for White Pine Pictures, a Canadian film and television Production Company, based in Toronto.
It is worth noting that this propaganda piece was largely based on a book written by the Star’s Michelle Shephard, Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr, published in 2008. What is more interesting to note is that Shephard actually tried to evaluate all sides to this story and tried to reach out to the family of Khadr’s victims, the family of Sgt. Christopher Speer. But the CBC failed to do the same.
Adrian MacNair of the National Post writes, “After watching CBC’s new interview and documentary of Omar Khadr I was left feeling sorry for the 28-year-old who was recently freed on bail after 13 years in custody. And that’s an indication that the journalists who collaborated on this project didn’t do enough to balance the piece objectively.”
More importantly, MacNair points out, “No one asks if Khadr felt making explosives was a bad thing to do, what he thought about his role in the war, or whether he felt uneasy helping what were clearly Islamic Jihadis.”
The CBC has failed in doing its job of basic honest investigative journalism and reporting. And the result of that failure is an incomplete and misleading report. Other questions such as, “Mr. Khadr, are you filled with remorse?”, “would you reach out to the family of the soldier you killed and try to make amends?”, “will you publicly condemn Islamic extremist radicals?”, “Will you condemn radical Jihad?” were never asked. And when the odd vague ‘tough’ question was asked of Khadr, the answers where glossed over or outright shut down.
Khadr’s lawyer, Dennis Edney, wouldn’t let reporters ask any tough or overly sensitive questions. Edney has stated, “[Inaudible] having long day and I don’t mind going back into the house. So, so let’s just be respectful here okay? Omar is going to say a few words. You can also ask him certain questions. If the questions become too intrusive, then I’ll shut it down. And we’ll go back into the house”.
So reporters aren’t allowed to ask tough questions of this convicted terrorist; leading me to wonder how much control over the whole documentary did Edney or even Khadr actually have? Too much, it would seem. And it seems that the CBC was only too happy to comply. It would seem that they sacrificed journalistic integrity to elevate a convicted terrorist to celebrity status.
It’s also interesting to note that Khadr is currently living with Edney. How many lawyers do you know that would allow a convicted terrorist into their home? Or even simply just another convicted criminal into their home?
Edney, not failing on taking advantage of his client’s media attention, tried to score some media points in attacking Canada’s Prime Minister. The Star reports Edney is quoted saying, ““Mr. Harper is a bigot. Mr. Harper doesn’t like Muslims,” [Edney] said in response to the federal government’s long fight to keep the 28-year-old Khadr incarcerated.”
Canada has a more than fair and open immigration and refugee system. It would seem that Edney was indeed just attempting to score some cheap shots.
Adrian MacNair also shares the same conclusion I arrived at, “Indeed, the piece so strongly advocates for Khadr that it sometimes feels like a public relations piece produced by his lawyer David Edney. Not only are many of the devices used in the segment emotionally manipulative, such as Edney’s wife weeping in the opening, there are no opposing voices beyond stock footage.”
The CBC and the Toronto Star calls Khadr a ‘translator’. This is also misleading. He may be able to translate, but his primary function was to aid in the development of homemade bombs. And indeed, it was Omar Khadr himself that threw the grenade that killed Sergeant Speer.
To add insult to injury, the CBC did not expose a critical connection between the state broadcaster and Al Jazeera in the production of this puff-piece. Al Jazeera is owned by Qatar and is often used as a go-to propaganda station for Muslim terrorists who wish to send a message to the world about their Jihad atrocities. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s equivalent to our own CBC in that they are both state-owned broadcasters. Indeed, there has been more than one alarming report that suggests Al Jazeera aids in financing extremist groups such as ISIL, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. And I am left to wonder, what exactly are the priorities of our Canadian Broadcasting Corporation? And exactly how are they spending our tax dollars?
Ezra Levant of theRebel.media notes, “Qatar of course is a major funder of terrorists like the Islamic State [ISIL]. Qatar is an O.P.E.C. dictatorship. Qatar hates Canada; we are actually fighting a proxy war against Qatar right now. They’re funding the Islamic State and we’re attacking the Islamic State with our CF-18 jets”.
Ironically, Al Jazeera noted their partnership with the CBC on their website, “The interview was part of a documentary called Guantanamo’s Child – Omar Khadr, a collaboration between Al Jazeera and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which airs on Al Jazeera English on June 7.” I must remember to capture a live screenshot before the source changes its wording. Their site now reads, “The interview is part of a Witness documentary called Guantanamo’s Child – Omar Khadr, a collaboration between Al Jazeera, White Pine Pictures, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which airs on Al Jazeera English on June 7.” But they acknowledge their partnership even post revision.
If the Toronto Star or White Pine Pictures want to sellout for a deal with the devil, that’s their business; they are privately owned companies. But the CBC is a publicly owned crown corporation supposedly accountable to the Canadian taxpayer. They have a responsibility to us to report the whole story. Isn’t that why we subsidize them with over $1.1 Billion dollars a year? I don’t think it is too much to ask them how they are spending our money; it’s not too much to demand of them the details of their partnership agreement with Al Jazeera. We have a right to oversee our public broadcaster’s activities.
There have been many arguments defending Khadr’s actions. He was just a child soldier. It wasn’t his fault he was indoctrinated to kill American infidels. He was just 15 years old when he threw the grenade!
Well here is the counter argument to that: Now out on bail, only thirteen years later, Khadr still will not renounce terrorism. He will not condemn radical Islam. He will not condemn any actions committed by the Islamic State. He has attempted to argue remorse, but Khadr knows how to play the cameras. And his interviewers didn’t seem interested pursuing the rest of the story. They didn’t or couldn’t bring themselves to ask the hard questions.
To further pour salt onto the open wound, the CBC stepped up in their campaign of falsehoods. They even went as far to paint Khadr’s father into a more positive light. The so-called ‘documentary’ identified Ahmed Khadr as a humanitarian!
Ahmed Said Khadr was an Egyptian citizen who had ties to a number of militant and Mujahideen leaders in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda.
But the CBC did not feel this was appropriate information to share with its audience.
The CBC, Toronto Star, Omar Khadr and his lawyer Dennis Edney have so masterfully attempted to pull the wool over our eyes.
Why is it that this convicted terrorist, now 28, is such a Canadian media darling? Why did the CBC, the Toronto Star and White Pine Pictures decide to idolize Khadr?
Don’t ever forget that he is a convicted terrorist with terrorist ties. Don’t ever forget that he murdered a man; and we just set him free. You’re right Omar, “we will be watching you”.
The CBC won’t call Khadr a terrorist. But that is what he is; a convicted terrorist.
I’m optimistic that the majority of Canadians will see through the smoke and mirrors of dogmatic productions that stem from the CBC. I’m optimistic that Canadians continue to hold Omar Khadr under strict scrutiny. But then again, we were dumb, or perhaps naïve enough to bring this convicted terrorist back to Canada. Why this murderer is still not in jail belittles common sense.
And it does shed light on another serious problem in Canada; bleeding heart judges who adopt the “hug-a-thug” approach to justice. Well congratulations Canada, you now have another known terrorist walking the streets.
I wonder if the soldiers who captured Khadr are shaking their heads in outrage of Canada’s love affair with a terrorist that deliberately killed one of their own. And I also wonder if Widow Tabitha Speer and her fatherless children are wondering whether or not we are insane to have let Khadr out of prison.