“Adopt a Terrorist” by Canadian Minister of Defense Gordon O’Connor-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Canadian Minister of Defense Gordon O’Connor wrote a letter to concerned citizen about the country’s  Adopt a Terrorist initiative, also known as the Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers (LARK) program, for those concerned about the treatment of terrorist suspects.

The Truth:

Canada doesn’t actually have an Adopt a Terrorist program, and widely circulated letter supposedly written by Canadian Minister of Defense Gordon O’Connor about it appears to be a joke.

 

The letter, which began circulating in late 2005 or early 2006, is often circulated with a simple set up: A Canadian woman wrote to Gordon O’Connor to voice concerns about the mistreatment of suspected Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists being held in Canadian prisons.

The Canadian Minister of Defense, the story goes, responded to the letter by thanking the woman for voicing her concerns and informing her that he’s found a solution to the problem: the Adopt a Terrorist program, otherwise known as Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers. Gordon O’Connor (supposedly explained):

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.

Gordon O’Connor’s Adopt a Terrorist letter appears to be a joke at the expense of those who were concerned with widespread reports about the mistreatment of terrorists held in Canadian prisons in the mid-2000s. The real author of the letter is unknown, but Canada has never had an Adopt a Terrorist or Liberals Accept Responsibility of Killers (LARK) program — and no letters have been written by government officials about them.

Gordon O’Connor served as Canada’s Minister of Defense from February 2006 to August 2008, when O’Connor was forced from the position over the same accusations of mistreatment of detainees that the Adopt a Terrorist letter pokes fun at, Britannica reports:

Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor found himself embroiled in a scandal in April when the national media reported claims of torture from prisoners who were detained by Canadian forces and were being held by Afghan security forces. Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons in May 2006, O’Connor had stated that the International Committee of the Red Cross had signed an agreement with Canada to examine prison conditions and to report any inhumane or illegal treatment. In March, however, the Red Cross disputed that such a deal had ever existed. The scandal deepened when a national newspaper published excerpts from a heavily censored internal government document that warned of the potential for trouble in Afghan-run prisons. O’Connor apologized for misleading Parliament and announced that a new deal with the Afghan government had been signed, but in August he was demoted to minister of national revenue in a cabinet shuffle. Foreign Affairs Minister MacKay replaced O’Connor at the Defense Ministry, and Maxime Bernier took over as foreign minister.

After servings as Secretary of Revenue, Gordon O’Connor served a brief stint in Parliament before apparently retiring from public office.

In the end, Gordon O’Connor didn’t write the Adopt a Terrorist letter, and that program never existed in Canada. The Adopt a Terrorist letter likely won’t stop circulating any time soon, however.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

A unique way to handle the release of terrorist and it doesn’t impact the cost to any U.S. Citizen to house them in our prisons stateside. I wonder which one of the “Progressive Democrats” will be first in line for the opportunity?

The Canadians sure know how to handle complaints!

A Canadian female liberal wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter. She received back the following reply:

National Defense Headquarters

M Gen George R. Pearkes Bldg., 15 NT

101 Colonel By Drive

Ottawa , ON K1A 0K2

Canada

Dear Concerned Citizen

Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.

Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counselling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.

Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbours or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.

You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of ‘respecting his culture and religious beliefs’, as described in your letter.

You take good care of Ahmed and remember that we will try to have a counselor available to help you over any difficulties you encounter while Ahmed is adjusting to Canadian culture.

Thanks again for your concern. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job and care for our fellow man. Good luck and God bless you.

Cordially

Gordon O’Connor

Minister of National Defense