Skip to comments.Khadr video didn't change minds: poll (Interview video of Gitmo prisoner Omar Khadr)
Posted on 07/23/2008 3:54:28 AM PDT by Clive
Nearly eight in 10 Canadians who saw Omar Khadr's interrogation video say it did not change their opinions of his case, according to a new poll.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid for the National Post, suggests 52% of Canadians have viewed clips of the seven-hour video since it was made public last week. Among those who have seen the footage, 78% said it had not altered their views on Mr. Khadr while just 22% said it did have an effect.
The tape shows Mr. Khadr being questioned at the U. S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) agents in 2003, when he was 16 years old. His lawyers released the footage in a bid to garner support for their efforts to have the 21-year-old repatriated to Canada. But the poll suggests public opinion has not been swayed.
"There's nothing here to suggest that any appeal to the Canadian public is going to change their minds all that much," said John Wright, senior vice-president of Ipsos Reid. "Canadians have heard the arguments on this case for years now. People have learned about this case, whether it be fleetingly or otherwise. This is not something that is new to people across the country and there's not a lot of wiggle room."
Out of the 22% of respondents who said the video changed their mind, 18% said they became more sympathetic and 4% said they are now less sympathetic. Meanwhile, of the 78% who were not affected by the video, 50% said they do not have any compassion for him while 27% are empathetic to his cause.
"This thing has not lived in a vacuum. I think people understand the dynamics," Mr. Wright said. "They have a view of terrorism, they have a view of Guantanamo. And whatever the shortcomings, we've heard a lot about this over the past seven years. It's hard not to have an opinion on it already."
The results also demonstrate public support for Stephen Harper's decision not to intervene in the case. Overall, 60% of people said they believe Mr. Khadr should remain in U. S. custody, while 40% said he should be immediately returned to Canada. "The Prime Minister has echoed the sentiments of the country," Mr. Wright said. "His position on this is pretty sound and opinion is pretty firm."
Support for Mr. Khadr varies between different regions of the country. Fifty-six per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada and 52% in Quebec contend the young prisoner should be returned to Canada. Support for his repatriation is lowest in Ontario, where only 31% of people back the notion.
"I don't think its surprising that in Ontario, where the Khadr family has been most evident and made most of their statements, that there is the highest level of opposition to bringing this young man home," Mr. Wright said.
Members of Mr. Khadr's family have lived in Southern Ontario intermittently for nearly 30 years. Ahmed Said Khadr, his father, was killed in a battle with Pakistani soldiers near the Afghanistan border in 2003.
U. S. soldiers captured Mr. Khadr in Afghanistan in 2002. He is accused of killing a U. S. soldier with a grenade and is scheduled to be tried before a military commission in October.
The poll of 1,021 people was conducted online between July 17 and 21. It is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
A dead check would have saved all concerned with “seven” years of torture.
Another column of a few days ago suggest that there was about seven hours of video.
The defence lawyers obviously released only the parts that they thought would be tear-jerkers.
Where are the videos of the FARC jungle resorts? Where are the calls for the end of the FARC incarcerations? Where are the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal cases on FARC policy?
You mean they left out the parts where he said he was ready to die for jihad?