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June 15, 2006

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Are the Canadians on record on this? Are they not because it would annoy our admin no end to have those men within easy interviewing distance?

I think rilkefan nails it, it "was determined" that it would be bad for the administration for these men to show up on 60 Minutes detailing their story and their treatment at Guantanamo Bay, therefore they must be shipped half-way around the world and even then kept incommunicado.

[blockquote}As I've said before, we owe it to the Uighurs to let them settle here.
[/blockquote]

More innocent guys just wandering around Pakistan... I wonder if these are like the innocent ones we released that have gone on to murder "real" innocent people.

Hilzoy, I volunteer your new home as a place for their relocation if you are so passionate about this. Also, why don't you call the Albanians and tell them that you volunteer to pay for their education and training.


Which would be a swell supposition, if being halfway around the world were any barrier to being interviewed.

I agree with hilzoy. Unless we have some idea that these people would be a danger to society, we have an obligation to make things right for them. Why do we have to wait decades before setting wrongs aright?

greenone,

As much as it may shock you, the rhetorical tactic of "you take them in your home" probably won't work so well on hilzy here. I know I would work to find a place big enough for them to live with me if the opportunity were given, and I suspect she would do the same. Moreover, by repeatedly suggesting the US should take them, she is in effect suggesting that the US do just that.

Also, since you make the claim and I haven't seen it anywhere else, can you give some cite to support this: I wonder if these are like the innocent ones we released that have gone on to murder "real" innocent people.

More innocent guys just wandering around Pakistan... I wonder if these are like the innocent ones we released that have gone on to murder "real" innocent people.

if "you" doubt "their" innocence, "why" don't you "take" it up "with" whoever decided "to" release them ?

More innocent guys just wandering around Pakistan... I wonder if these are like the innocent ones we released that have gone on to murder "real" innocent people.
Good point, greenone! I suggest that we simply declare the nation of Pakistan a prison and build a barbed wire fence around its borders. Wandering around Pakistan is terribly suspicious, and we should not give Pakistanis a free ride out of some misplaced notion of 'white guilt.'

greenone: or you can take up the issue of their innocence with the US military, which cleared them.

Which would be a swell supposition, if being halfway around the world were any barrier to being interviewed.

No sense in making it easy for the US press to do so.

There is a default presumption that people are entitled to their freedom. The fact that some free people, inevitably, will end up committing crimes does not mean that we erred in not locking them all up to begin with.

It takes a remarkably callous person to suggest that because some people who have been released by the U.S. have gone on to commit crimes, we should keep them "all" locked up just in case. Then again, it's this kind of thinking that led to the elimination of the federal parole system, so let's not pretend it's an unusual way of thinking.

They expressed a preference for a European country

And instead they got Albania? Poor bastards.

Oh, and Greenone: I would feel much safer with any given Uighur in my home than with *you* in my country. I hear Albania is lovely this time of year ....

Junket to Montreal, junket to Qarku i Korces. Hmm, which would I prefer?

Seems pretty clear to me that the USG sent them to Albania as a way of ensuring Chinese access to them while "our hands remain clean."

As if there were enough water in the world to wash off the stains of this regime.

Out, damn'd spot!

No, I think greenone has hit on a pretty profound logical principle here.

You can't really claim to care passionately about where refugees are settled unless you're willing to have them in your home.

You can't really claim to care passionately about feeding the homeless unless you're willing to open a soup kitchen and feed them yourself.

You can't really claim to care passionately about fighting terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan unless you're ... um ...

If one has a history of showing more verbal support for terrorists, oops I mean people on Holiday in Pakistan or Afghanistan, than their own gov't then they probably need some kind of outlet for that passion.

I don't think anywhere I claimed she wasn't passionate if she didn't do it. I recommended a path of action for her to feel more helpful and productive.

Obviously voting isn't working for her.

I think we can safely ink up the 'TROLL' stamp at this point.

So far I've heard two reasons for sending them to Albania - make it easier for the Chinese to get them and make it harder for them to reach the US media. What about making it harder for them to access our legal system?

Jeff:

I think we can safely ink up the 'TROLL' stamp at this point.
Got it in one.

Canada was my first thought, too. Despite Hilzoy's good intentions and my own, I tend to agree that the U.S. is not the best place for them: the danger of bodily harm would be very real. How long would it take Michelle Malkin to post their new address on her website?

But why not Canada? Surely if Bush applied just a teeny bit of pressure on our neighbors to the north, they could make room somewhere for five more people. (Five people who would, were there any justice, be receiving a comfortable pension from the United States.)

And conservatives couldn't even complain--surely having to wait in those awful lines for health care is far more torture than a measly four years in "tropical Guantanamo Bay, where prisoners "must think they've died and gone to heaven."

If one has a history of showing more verbal support for terrorists, oops I mean people on Holiday in Pakistan or Afghanistan, than their own gov't then they probably need some kind of outlet for that passion.

What happens if it's their own government that's saying that the terrorists were just on holiday?

I vote for Brazil. No one wants to freeze their butt off in Canada.

The US is actually full of gun carrying republicans - so I can see why it might not be considered safe - not that that isn't an interesting commentary on the US's belief in their own ability to protect the rights of individuals.

Anyway - I'm sure they can find them a suitable country as long as they come with a monetary donation. it would be hard to find a place worse than afganistain/"the ass end of china" so most places would be a step up.

I was rereading the comments here and it struck me that greenone is an excellent case for why libertarians should join up with liberals right now.

I was rereading the comments here and it struck me that greenone is an excellent case for why libertarians should join up with liberals right now

i was thinking greenone and the latest Congressional "war resolution" hijinks makes an excellent case for why the Republican party should change its name to the Jingoist Party. since the best they can come up with is drooling nationalism and constant mendacious accusations of TREASON!, they should change the brand name to reflect the chief characteristics of the product: Jingoism. it's time to quit misleading consumers.

When hilzoy says, "...take it up with the American military.." what I think she really means is, "Go tell it to the Marines." Sometimes the best way to say something is the old way.

LowLife: hilzoy pretty much always says precisely what she means. It's one of the great cornerstones of this blog. Even if, in this case, she hadn't, your take - in the interest of being clever - would nonetheless be way off.

So let me get this straight:

If you support your country then you are part of the Jingoist Party.

Can we then conclude that if you don't support your country you are part of the Traitorous Party?

Hilzoy doesn't have any post that I know of supporting her President, country or troops. She always jumps to the worst conclusion about all of them and almost always is proved wrong when all the facts come out.

However, when it comes to the terrorists she almost always gives them the benefit of the doubt.

It's a sad day when someone like Hilzoy shows more faith in two guys enjoying the Pakistani country side than the President of the United States.

Did somebody fart?

Hilzoy doesn't have any post that I know of supporting her President, country or troops. She always jumps to the worst conclusion about all of them and almost always is proved wrong when all the facts come out.

However, when it comes to the terrorists she almost always gives them the benefit of the doubt."

I disagree with hilzoy on huge areas of policy. I supported the Iraq war and am pained by our President's idiocy with respect to it.

But I suspect you haven't read her much or with much comprehension if you have come to the conclusion I quoted.

ObsidianWings is (or at least tries to be) about people of good will but differing political opinions coming together and discussing those things.

On first pass it seems to me that you are not arguing in good will. I'm lonley enough around here without chasing off conservative voices, but if you refuse to argue in good will please do not bother coming here.

Greenone,
setting aside your opinions on terrorism, your comment is internally self-contradictory. You say

Hilzoy doesn't have any post that I know of supporting her President, country or troops. She always jumps to the worst conclusion about all of them and almost always is proved wrong when all the facts come out.

And you conclude

It's a sad day when someone like Hilzoy...

The first part is an attempt to suggest that Hilzoy is wrong on general principles, but your second part is an attempt to appeal to public opinion and plug into the general understanding (at least in this blog, though I think if you google, you'll find lots of comments echoing it) that Hilzoy is someone who can discern a great deal. This sort of internal contradiction suggests that you aren't really cognizant of what you are trying to say, and really don't have much to bring to the table. This is not to say that other people are free of self-contradiction, but when it surfaces in logical give and take, you've got a bit of a problem.

You are careful to note that
when it comes to the terrorists she almost always gives them the benefit of the doubt

so you are a least aware that a blanket accusation is not going to get you far, at least here, so you do have some self awareness. However, that seems to be as fa

Clearly, you don't agree with Hilzoy's take, which is your right, but I would suggest that you step back and try again on another thread. Given what I know of Hilzoy's writing, I think that she will keep to the same course, and given what I have seen from this administration, I am sure she will be given more opportunities to express herself concerning this.

whoops, pressed the wrong button
---
so you are a least aware that a blanket accusation is not going to get you far, at least here, so you do have some self awareness. However, that seems to be as far as it extends.

Your information was false -- see http://www.mfa.gov.al/english/lajm.asp?id=4200:

"Press Release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs


In view of the statements made at domestic and international press by an official of the Office for Refugees, that Albania is considering the possibility of sending away the five citizens of Wighur origin, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarifies that such statements are totally untrue and do not constitute the official line of the Albanian Government on this issue.
The Albanian Government has provided these citizens with all the necessary living conditions, based on the national laws and international conventions and is determined to help them get integrated to the country’s life; Likewise, it continues to deal with the normal procedures of processing their application for political asylum in the Republic of Albania.

All other stances related to this issue are speculations. The Government provides the assurances that the five Wighur citizens remain welcomed in Albania and it has clarified its position with the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

15/6/2006"

Back in the Seventies and Eighties, I used to be a big fan of Albanian pronouncements, which were essentially as Enver Hoxha-oriented as North Korean ones currently remain about Kim Jong Il.

Albania, of course, was the only Maoist country in Europe, and an extremely peculiar place.

For years after the collapse of the Soviet Union it remained as it was (it had furiously opposed Moscow ever since 1960, and the Sino-Soviet split).

My non-serious proposal when things finally started to change in Albania was that it be preserved as a sort of Disneyfied crazed version of Hoxha-ism/Maoism.

But that page shows they've, as I've otherwise noted here in the past, got a Info For Foreigners:

HOW CAN THE FOREIGNERS ENTER ALBANIA?
The Minister has a "Speach Archive."

Notes from their Mission:

The Albanian foreign policy will continue, with high intensity and full rights, the active participation at several major international organizations and coalitions [...]

The Albanian foreign policy will support all potentials offered by international relations, and cultivate an active cultural diplomacy, designed to serve the affirmation of our national identity to other peoples and truly unfolding the values which the image of our country needs more than ever today. The cultural diplomacy will be a special instrument to attract tourists and to involve our country with dignity, and on a wider-scale, into the global process of the dissemination of cultural values in the current world.

The Albanian foreign policy will also rely on the fair and very good bilateral relations with all the countries of the democratic world.

It's still kinda cute. It's almost as if Latka Gravas were the minister.

Besides, you gotta love a country whose most recent king was King Zog.

Current photos from North Korea, by the way.

Slight HTML error swallowed "still got a ways to go."

A troll comes by and a whole bunch plumpet him or her with rocks. Doesn't really seem worth the trouble. This sort of thing, shades of a certain blonde, might even encourage this sort of thing.

Greenone: President; troops, troops, troops, troops (there are more where those came from; for some reason, I seem to be the one here who writes about our support for our troops.)

That you think I never write in support of my country surprises me. I do so a lot. Here's an example. There are, again, a lot more.

"Plumpet?"

Yea, howdy, Joe!

It ain't a real word but by God it oughter be.

And your:

"This sort of thing, shades of a certain blonde, might even encourage this sort of thing."

Certain blonde? Ann Coulter? Jayne Mansfield?

Strong contender for WTF of the week. Well done!

"Strong contender for WTF of the week."

I thought it was a quite obvious "shades of Ann Coulter," myself. Of course, I could be wrong. But she's gotten a heck of a lot of debate and attention in the past week again. (Which is what she wants; it sells books and her other endeavors, which is all she's about.)

But why not Canada? Surely if Bush applied just a teeny bit of pressure on our neighbors to the north, they could make room somewhere for five more people.

The PR backlash in Canada would be disproportionate. "Canada--the refuse pile for Bush's Gitmo castoffs," or something like that. Canada has a lively anti-immigrant movement as it stands ....

I think it's a perfectly fine word. Creative spellings used to be a sign of greatness, no?

Yeah, the blonde is question was rightly stated. AC. He learnt after awhile, but a troubling example imho was Al Franken. The major concern should have not been that she was out there spitting her vitriol (what else is new?), but as certain bloggers noted, that "respectable" sorts did not only fail to criticize (even if asked), but suggest "she had a point."

Going on and on about how nasty she is, basically required to repeat and call attention to what she said each time, really is self-defeating.

This is not completely the point with our troll, but since she came up again, I guess it might be a useful moment to toss in my .02 on the matter.

I'd add, that yes, even criticizing her enablers would give her attention, but at least be also used against some individuals who actually deserve some degree of respect and/or are more worth our time.

NYT also had an interesting bit on the Leno appearance, which also apparently had George Carlin of all people on.

"NYT also had an interesting bit on the Leno appearance, which also apparently had George Carlin of all people on."

There are crusades against NBC by various bloggers to get them to declare a line that shouldn't be crossed, as regards despicable language attacks (rather than, you know, sexual innuendo, which the Congress just drastically raised the broadcast fines on). Fine by me.

There's a sense that the NBC Tonight Show bookers (I didn't bother watching, myself) may have felt that somehow Carlin would go after Coulter, but when you consider that he's made a career of saying there shouldn't be taboos about what one can say, that seems a pretty dopey presumption.

But, yeah, I don't see why she should be welcomed on the Tonight Show, or Matt Lauer should be saying "always fun to have you here," unless they're also going to do that for David Duke, and not to mention some radical leftists, just for the heck of it.

I don't think any of these people shouldn't be heard on tv; but I don't see why they should be treated with the same kiss-kiss hug-hug as celebs.

But, then, I don't see why celebs should be treated that way, either. Let them be mocked and sneered at as idiots, when they are (unlike, say, a George Cloony), a la Colbert. Wouldn't a Colbert for entertainment celebs be a better idea than an Entertainment Tonight/Inside/, et.?

Wouldn't a Colbert for entertainment celebs be a better idea than an Entertainment Tonight/Inside/, et.?

David Spade ostensibly fulfills this role on Comedy Central's "Showbiz Show".

I wonder how they would stack up for Canadian acceptance compared to American servicemen disillusioned with Iraq ?

I am getting pretty freaking sick of European countries and Canada being pure and full of moral outrage on these subjects right up to the moment when they can actually do anything about it--whereupon they're no better than anyone else.

The Americans who oppose this sort of thing could use some damn backup.

I am getting pretty freaking sick of European countries and Canada being pure and full of moral outrage on these subjects right up to the moment when they can actually do anything about it--whereupon they're no better than anyone else.

Me too.

The Amnesty International report analyses Europe's role in rendition flights and attempts to put the British government's fingerprints on the case of two men. Bisher al-Rawi, 38, and Jamil el-Banna, 44, were arrested after flying to Gambia in November 2002.

After questioning, they were handed over to American security officers and transferred to Guantanamo Bay via a US airbase in Afghanistan.

The report said Mr Rawi was an Iraqi who had been living in the UK for 19 years, while Mr Banna was a refugee with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The report claimed that their travel arrangements were passed on to the US and, as a result, the government was "instrumental" in their detention. Both men failed last month in a High Court attempt to force the government to intervene on their behalf. cite

This is ugly stuff - Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna are extreme instances of UK cooperation with US kidnapping of innocent victims, but there's no doubt that my government has been a partner in crime of the US government's "rendition flights" - certainly not moving to prevent them, and in some cases (as above) actively cooperating. (Two British citizens were almost kidnapped along with Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna, but the UK embassy in Gambia did move to save them - which means that, had they cared to, they could have saved Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna, and didn't.)

"Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna are extreme instances of UK cooperation with US kidnapping of innocent victims,"

Possibly "presumed innocent, given that there were no legal proceedings," might be better phrasing than an absolute assertion, unless you have a different cite that demonstrates actual innocence.

Needless to say, "presumed innocent" is strong enough grounds to object on. But it's a different state than actual innocence.

I am getting pretty freaking sick of European countries and Canada being pure and full of moral outrage on these subjects right up to the moment when they can actually do anything about it--whereupon they're no better than anyone else.

I'm afraid that if Blair is a poodle, we are a chihuahua :( . I voted differently too...

Gary: can you be presumed innocent if you do not know what you are accused of?

Marbel: Can you be presumed innocent if you do not know what you are accused of?

Quite to the point: what they were accused of was having "a suspect device in their luggage". (The "suspect device" was a phone charger, available from Argos.) No other charge has been brought against them, and the two British citizens arrested with them, Abdullah Eljanoudi and Wahab al-Rawi, have long since been released.

The actual accusations against Bisher al-Rawi appear to be these:

The allegations against Al Rawi were:

a The detainee is associated with al Qaida:

1. The detainee provided harbor in London, United Kingdom to a known al Qaida fugitive named Abu Qatada.
2. The detainee assisted Abu Qatada by locating an apartment where Abu Qatada hid from British authorities.
3. Abu Qatada has strong links to senior al Qaida operatives and facilitated the travel of individuals to an al Qaida guesthouse located in Pakistan.
4. Abu Qatada is a known al Qaida operative who was arrested in the United Kingdom as a danger to national security.
5. In addition to helping Abu Qatada evade British authorities, the detainee transferred funds between branches of the Arab Bank at Abu Qatada’s direction in 1999 or 2000.
6. In November 2002, the detainee was arrested in Gambia after arriving from the United Kingdom and was later transferred to U.S. custody in Bagram, Afghanistan.

[...]

ties to Abu Qatada

Many of the questions Bisher faced at his Tribunal concerned his friendship with Abu Qatada, a Muslim cleric. Bisher claimed that Abu Qatada had asked him to help him look for an apartment in the UK, to help with some small home repairs and to help send money to Abu Qatada's father in Jordan. The Tribunal countered these claims by contending that Bisher was helping Abu Qatada to hide from British authorities when he was supposedly house hunting. When Bisher was asked if he knew that Abu Qatada's name had been linked with al-Qaeda, he replied that he only found that out later, after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

[...]

Following the partial compliance of the Department of Defense with Justice Jed Rakoff's court order to release documents from detainees' Combatant Status Review Tribunals many newspapers repeated that Al-Rawi was an informant for Britain's counter-intelligence agency, MI5. [5][6]

Re Jamil al-Banna:
Allegations against Jamil al-Banna

Like his friend Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal. The allegations against him recorded in the documents were:

a. The detainee is a member of al-Qaida:

1. Abu Qutada is a known al-Qaida operative arrested in the United Kingdom as a danger to national security.
2. Detainee visited Abu Qatada while Qatada was in hiding from the British police.
3. Detainee has been indicted by a Spanish National High Court Judge for membership in a terrorist organization.
4. Detainee was arrested in Gambia, while attempting to board an airplane with equipment that resembled a homemade electronic device.

The Tribunal President struck from the record an allegation that Jamil had helped transmit some money to a charity. The record is not clear why the Tribunal President struck this allegation.

Jamil al-Banna's visit to Abu Qatada while he was in hiding

Jamil admitted driving Abu Qatada's wife and children to visit him, after British authorities had announced he was going to be arrested. He did so at the request of his friend Basher al-Rawi.
[edit]

Jamil al-Banna's Spanish indictment

Jamil, was indicted by Spanish "superjudge" Baltasar Garzón. But he claimed that he had no idea why.

So, good job of presenting the relevant details, Jes.

This is a cool precedent - there's a lot of hard case barbarians in the Balkans; can the governments of those countries sneak them into the US and dump them on America?

"This is a cool precedent - there's a lot of hard case barbarians in the Balkans; can the governments of those countries sneak them into the US and dump them on America?"

Y'know, there are a million legitimate things to object to here, but the notion that America "snuck" the Uighurs into Albania is something you're simply making up.

That's not helpful.

"I am getting pretty freaking sick of European countries and Canada being pure and full of moral outrage on these subjects right up to the moment when they can actually do anything about it--whereupon they're no better than anyone else.

The Americans who oppose this sort of thing could use some damn backup."

Yikes Katherine, don't channel me I don't have enough energy as it is. :)

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