Khadr's transfer 'unconscionable': Rising GOP star 0
In this Pentagon-approved photograph of a sketch by artist Janet Hamlin, Omar Khadr, listens to closing arguments Oct. 30, 2010.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. congressman Allen West denounced transferring Omar Khadr to Canada as "unconscionable" Thursday, and warned the convicted terrorist and murderer could be back on the battlefield soon.
West, a Republican from Florida who is a rising star in the GOP and also a 20-year army vet who served in both Iraq wars and Afghanistan, has led the charge against sending Khadr back to Canada.
"This is unconscionable and is yet another reason why the Obama administration must be defeated in November," West said in a statement to QMI Agency and Sun News Network Thursday.
"Based upon the reports of recidivism with released Islamic terrorists, we can expect his return to the battlefield."
A year ago, West wrote to his constituents about the plea deal struck by Khadr, which saw him sentenced to eight years in prison for five war crimes, including killing a U.S. Special Forces medic nearly 10 years ago in an Afghan firefight.
The deal allows Khadr to apply to transfer to a Canadian jail after serving one year of his sentence at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which was completed in October 2011.
"Upon his release to Canada, the maximum time he will serve is seven years," West wrote in a March 2011 newsletter. "What message does that send to our men and women in uniform?
"These non-state, non-military belligerents who do not openly declare nor carry their arms are UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANTS and not deserving of any rights under the Geneva Convention. However, out of our Western civilization benevolence, we treat them humanely and rightly so. Still I will not consent to offering constitutional rights to these creatures of abject evil."
Mark Toner with the U.S. State Department told reporters Wednesday there may not be any more steps required for the Obama administration in order for Khadr's potential transfer to happen, but recent reports have suggested that Congress must be notified of the transfer 30 days before it occurs.
In 2010, Khadr admitted to throwing the grenade that killed U.S. Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer in a July 2002 Afghan firefight, as well as making and planting roadside bombs as part of an al-Qaida cell, supporting terrorism, spying and conspiracy.
His victim's widow, Tabitha Speer, is declining media interviews at this time, according to her lawyers.