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A sordid deal

A diplomatic plea deal — revealed only after the fact — makes the youngest Guantanamo Bay inmate’s 40-year prison term a sham and the outcome of his case a mockery of justice.

In exchange for his guilty plea to five war crimes, al-Qaida terrorist Omar Khadr, 24, will be allowed to serve his sentence in Canada — where parole rules ensure his release by age 32 . The Pentagon’s chief war crimes prosecutor says the deal ensured his conviction. What it really ensures is denial of justice.

Born into a militant Muslim family in Toronto, Mr. Khadr grew up there and in Afghanistan. He was 15 when captured in Afghanistan, where he planted mines and threw the grenade that mortally wounded a U.S. commando assaulting an al-Qaida compound in July 2002.

Those are actions of a committed, fanatical Islamist warrior — not of the “child soldier” portrayed by Khadr’s apologists. Four decades in prison would barely be commensurate with his crimes. The eight years he’ll actually serve — at most — constitute a travesty.

If ever an al-Qaida terrorist has been coddled, it’s Khadr. And with U.S. officials undercutting their own military justice system at Gitmo, al-Qaida has even more incentive to recruit more deadly “child soldiers” like him.


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