The yo-yo called Gitmo

There’s a lot wrong with Guantanamo Bay and this latest episode demonstrates clearly the perils for those detained there.  Seventeen Chinese Muslims who have been detained for seven years were given their marching orders by a federal judge who told them they could go.  What’s extraordinary about that is since 2004 it has been known these men were not hostile to the United States, and were not declared enemy combatants, illegal or otherwise.

The United States determined in 2004 the 17 Uighurs are not enemy combatants, but has kept them at Guantanamo while trying to persuade other countries to resettle them. Officials said they were not returned to China because of credible fears they could be mistreated if returned.

The irony is that instead of turning them over to someone who officials thought might persecute them, it was decided to keep them locked up and persecuted at a US federal facility!  Go figure, but that’s not the end of it.  As I’ve said before, Americans are some of the kindest,  most decent people alive, and they demonstrated that kindness by offering to take care of the men from China once released by the government. Relief and faith based organizations throughout the country offered to take the men in and get them settled in the US, but acting on the politics of fear, the Administration said they were unsure what such a group in the heartland might do and didn’t want to release them.  I guess I can understand the fear the government would have of retribution from people who had been unlawfully detained, tortured and abuse for the last seven years.  Most people wouldn’t take too kindly to that sort of treatment and might want to “get even” as it were.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.  An appeals court has blocked the release of these men until further notice.

A US appeals court has temporarily blocked the release of 17 Chinese Muslim Uighurs from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp as President George W. Bush’s administration scrambles to appeal it.


The 17 were officially declared no longer “enemy combatants” by the government in June, and the US government approved their release back in 2004.

But officials had maintained they could continue to hold the men at Guantanamo Bay if no other country accepted them.

The Uighurs were not returned to China due to credible fears they would be tortured upon return.

The White House condemned Tuesday’s ruling, saying it paved the way for extremists to demand the same freedom, and added it would continue to work to find another country to take in the men.

The article goes on to mention the resettlement of a group of the same ethnic Muslims to Albania where they live in peace but “with no possibility of returning to their families any time soon”.  However these Muslims from China are not acceptable in the US……it could be they are too close to corporate media who might in a fit of conscious decide to actually interview them to expose what took place in Guantanamo Bay.  In any event, their saga continues and the terrible legacy of Gitmo, left to us by this Administration, too continues and remains very much in the air.

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