Meanwhile, Back at Gitmo….

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Commenter "Ugh" points us to an article in today's Washington Post that begins like this:

In late 2003, the Pentagon quietly decided that 15 Chinese Muslims detained at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could be released. Five were people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, some of them picked up by Pakistani bounty hunters for U.S. payoffs. The other 10 were deemed low-risk detainees whose enemy was China's communist government—not the United States, according to senior U.S. officials.

More than 20 months later, the 15 still languish at Guantanamo Bay, imprisoned and sometimes shackled, with most of their families unaware whether they are even alive.

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  1. Wow. Doesn’t look good for the Reuters camerman then…

  2. What should shock rightwingers especially is that at one point, according to the story, we let these prisoners be interrogated by Chinese Communist government interrogators.

  3. Let’s see, if the Chinese Muslims have been in for 20 months, probably the cameraman will be out in no more than 10.

    He might be walking kinda funny when he comes out…

  4. Sadly:

    Ironically, many view the United States as a “beacon of hope” that “will assist in the Uighurs’ quest for fundamental freedom and human dignity,” said Nury Turkel, a U.S.-trained lawyer and president of the Uighur American Association in Washington.

    And:

    The Justice Department has argued in court that it has no obligation to release the Uighurs because of “wind-up power,” which gives a government the time necessary at the end of a conflict to figure out what to do with detainees. As a precedent, it cited the treatment of Italians held in the United States after World War II.

    So let’s see, we’ve taken you into custody, allowed you to be interrogated by the Chinese government (at a U.S. military installation, no less), determined that you’re actually innocent, but still claim the right to hold you for a minimum of 20 months at the most secure prison we have because of our “wind-up power”?!!?

  5. Hey, if they didn’t want to be locked up indefinitely in an extra-constitutional black hole without any means of defending their human rights, then they shouldn’t have been Muslims in the first place. Serves ’em right.

  6. Ugh:

    Exactly which conflict are we at the tail end of? Regarding the Italian example, WWII had an actual END. Which “conflict” is “ending”? The “War” on Terra? The “struggle” against “violent extremism”? Far as I can tell, them’s things that have as much chance of “ending” as the war on [non-government-approved] drugs.

  7. Evan –

    I think we’re on the same side here. The actions of the U.S. government in this case are abominable.

  8. Where are our resident right-wingers on this or the other Gitmo thread? I’m waiting for an explanation of why this behavior from us is totally okay, and anyone who opposes it simply hates George Bush, freedom, Mom and apple pie.

  9. Man, if they hated us for our freedom before, imagine how pissed Osama is now. I bet steam’s coming out of his ears and stuff.

  10. Chinese Muslims.
    Why does that make me giggle?

  11. M1EK:

    Dang, they hate us for our freedom, then they hate us for our gross lack of freedom. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, I guess.

    I never understood the whole “they hate us for our freedom” bit…not for the obvious reasons (i.e., they hate us for our ultra-interventionist policies), but simply because the premise, on its face, is absurd. Yeah, our women have the “freedom” to walk around sans headscarves, but christ, all Osama’s gotta do is pick up a copy of the US Code of Regulations to see how much freedom we supposedly have. There’s not a single thing we do that isn’t regulated, at some level, by our government. So what do they hate us for?

    It’s all hogwash anyway. Osama started his Jihad against us because he offered his rebel army’s services to defend Saudi Arabia against Saddam, but was turned down in favor of George HW Bush’s protection offer. Which, of course, was a complete embarrassment.

    He didn’t wake up one day and say, hey, you know, I hate their freedom!

  12. He also hates our Monday prime time television lineup, especially UPN and FOX.
    But then, who doesn’t?

  13. Chinese Muslims. Why does that make me giggle?

    I wonder if there’s tons of strife between them and the Chinese Jews. Which reminds me of a joke. (Imagine the voice of Jackie Mason telling this.)

    A Jewish American traveled to Shanghai on business. On the Sabbath, he wanted to go to synagogue. “Oy! Where the heck am I going to find a synagogue in Shanghai?” But he asks the hotel concierge, and surprise! He learns there’s a little community of Jewish converts in Shanghai, and a synagogue just 10 blocks away from his hotel. So he walks there, and of course it’s full of Chinese people, and he goes in and starts praying. Suddenly he looks up, and all the Chinese people are looking at him curiously. “What?” he says. “I’m Jewish. I came here to pray.” And they all say, “That’s funny — you don’t look Jewish!” Buh-dump-bump! Thank you. I’m here all week. Try the moo shu brisket, it’s delicious. Thank you.

  14. Where are our resident right-wingers on this or the other Gitmo thread? I’m waiting for an explanation of why this behavior from us is totally okay, and anyone who opposes it simply hates George Bush, freedom, Mom and apple pie.

    Uh, maybe that’s because “right wingers” have been trying to get these guys freed for over a year, while libertarians were cowering behind their pot plants, as usual.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/937qsgpy.asp?pg=1

  15. Hey Jennifer: I’m sure you’ll be as surprised as I was to read this report, from another front in the global war on terror, indicating that the London cops now claim that “[n]ne of the cameras at the scene of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July were working”:

    http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article307649.ece

  16. Maybe we can chain the Chinese Muslims at Gitmo to a machine for 18 hours a day and force them to make Barbie Dolls?

  17. “The Justice Department has argued in court that it has no obligation to release the Uighurs because of ‘wind-up power,’ which gives a government the time necessary at the end of a conflict to figure out what to do with detainees. As a precedent, it cited the treatment of Italians held in the United States after World War II.”

    The U.S. asserted the right to keep Italians civilians, who they knew to be innocent, in custody as “unlawful combatants”? Who knew?

  18. John,

    Would they be making more money than they are right now? If they would, then they’re free!

  19. “Uh, maybe that’s because “right wingers” have been trying to get these guys freed for over a year, while libertarians were cowering behind their pot plants, as usual.”

    I remember when the torture apologists were as thick as flies around here. …I don’t remember seeing any left wing torture apologists. Does anyone else remember seeing any left wing torture apologists?

  20. I guess it would have been better for them to be sent back home to China for organ harvesting, then western starbuck cowboy critics would be quiet. You need to get a different angle, Matt.

  21. Horst-

    So, the only options are to keep them in chains in Gitmo or send them to China?

    As I recall, some of them have been judged completely innocent of any violent involvement, and the rest have been determined to be anti-China guerrillas/terrorists/insurgents/freedom-fighters/criminals/insert-preferred-term-here.

    One could make a case for keeping the guerrillas/etc. out of the US. What about the others?

  22. BAD Stevo. Naughty Stevo.

    Ken – the left wing torture apologists are busy hollering about how there’s “too much freedom” in the world. And they’re still asleep 🙂

    thoreau: protectionism, of course.

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