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May 19, 2009


"At Guantanamo Bay, the Uighurs are known for picking up television sets on which women with bared arms appear and hurling them across the room."

Not to make light of the situation, but there is something about this description of the Uighurs that I find really appealing.

I kind of want to party with these guys. In a halal way, naturally.

I mean, there are lots of things I see on the TV that make hurling the damned thing across the room seem quite reasonable. And that's without being locked up for 6 or 7 years without charge or legal recourse.

These guys have some sap to them.

And yeah, all of that's kind of a wise@ss thing to say, but in another way, not so much, really.

Just wanted to say thanks for the yeoman's work on this.

Moral: do not piss off someone who does research for a living.

"Just wanted to say thanks for the yeoman's work on this."

Seconded, with bells on.

"The goal of the Uighurs is to establish a separate sharia state."

Is Newt trying to criminalize policy differences?

Seems to me there is no functional difference between refusing to allow the innocent yet persecuted Uighur detainees to immigrate, and the refusal to allow immigration of the Jewish refugees who traveled on the German ship St Louis in 1939.


The same baseless hysterical bigoted fearmongering justified establishment of the internment camps for innocent Japanese American citizens.

When folks expressed hope Obama would follow in FDR's footsteps, I don't think they were referring to the most appalling and despicable missteps of FDR's presidency.

“… thanks for the yeoman's work on this”

Thirded. I only know about this situation due to your efforts.

Excellent work.

I too have read all the Guantanamo documents the DoD has published on the Uyghurs. I'd like to add something I noticed you didn't mention. In the several dozen documents the DoD has published the name of the "ETIM" is translated half a dozen different ways. My impression is that the Guantanamo intelligence team neither knew or cared whether the Uyghur refugee organization some of the Uyghur captives acknowledged having contact with was the same as the dangerous ETIM China warned them about.

Here in Canada, four decades ago, we had a small separatist group that employed terrorist tactics, starting with bombings (of deserted infrastructure), but eventually engaging in two high-profile kidnappings, and murdering one of the victims. It was a very small group. We have also have two very large groups lobbying for the secession of Quebec, that only use democratic methods, like speeches and publications. That is completely legal here. But, in China, mere speech about Tibetan or Uyghur secession is considered a crime. And they group those sympathetic to Uyghur secession together with those who would employ terrorist tactics to secure secession.

It is a mistake to take the Chinese assertion that the men are "terrorists" at face value.

Pretty much, bz.

Why doesn't Olbermann publicly offer these people jobs? He could use some fact-checkers.

A fifth thanks, hilzoy.

"The judges did not decide on the reliability of these allegations, since they found that the government's case was inadequate on other grounds: it did not establish that ETIM was associated with al Qaeda or the Taliban, or that it engaged in hostilities against the US or its coalition partners. Which brings us to:"

Sorry to be the voice of (partial) dissent, but in skimming the opinion it appears the judges had a problem with potentially exculpatory evidence not being presented at the CSRT, said evidence being statements of other detainees. Also, the court could not assess the reliability of hearsay statements forwarded by the government because the source was redacted, among other things. Nothing surprising there, as I assume the gov't wants to release the minimum confidential info possible to prove its case.

I see nothing inherently credible in the statements linked here. I simply don't know. I cannot see the government's classified documents. The court found it impossible to determine the reliability of the govt's evidence as presented and considered releasing Parhat immediately but did NOT because it noted that the gov't may indeed have more to show. That is different than a finding that Parhat was unassociated with the Taliban or ETIM.

And arguing that "sure, the camp was run by a key Al Queda member, but he wasn't signed up back then (or if he was, we simply don't know about it)" seems an incredibly weak argument that there was no association with Al Queda.

I haven't read all Hilzoy's posts on the subject, but from this I simply don't see the Uyghurs as the cause celebre they are being made out to be.

I see many of the same questions raised here:


"That is different than a finding that Parhat was unassociated with the Taliban or ETIM."

Do you have a court finding that you aren't associated with the Taliban? Why should we believe you aren't, without such a finding? Do you have evidence proving you're not a member of the Taliban?


I a) haven't ever been in Tora Bora; b) an inter-agency panel doesn't consider me a danger if released into the U.S. Population; c) I never associated with Abdul Haq . . . need I go on?

My point was that Hilzoy implies that a court actually found something exculpatory when it really did not. It's one thing to say the Uighurs were exonerated and entirely another to say that the gov't held back information that prevents the court from assessing the reliability of hearsay statements. Had the court found the hearsay assertions insufficient as a matter of law even if reliable, they would not have allowed the gov't to go to another CSRT, right? By implication, the assertions themselves, if true, show the Uighurs to be dangerous. It's just that the court couldn't determine veracity.

And what did you think about the CSRT transcripts?

"...that prevents the court from assessing the reliability of hearsay statements. Had the court found...."

Sorry, what court are you referring to?

"And what did you think about the CSRT transcripts?"

The U.S. has an incredibly rich history of creating, paying, training, equipping, and supporting, anti-Communist Chinese guerrilas and military opponents of the Communist Chinese government. When did we become supporters of the Chicoms?

I suspect the Uighurs real crime, the unforgivable one, is being "other."

>> "The goal of the Uighurs is to establish a separate sharia state."

Uyghurs, for the most part, want to establish a separate state in the same way the Tibetans do. They live in a far-off mountainous part of China (Xinjiang) that's culturally under some heavy attack by Han Chinese immigration and construction, origininating out of Beijing. Similarly to the Tibetans, they don't care if they have their own country or not - they want to be left alone to do their own thing. In the case of the Uygurs, this would probably end up being some a state using some form of Sharia; that's what you get when you're a nascent majority-Muslim state.

So while these guys in particular may or may not be super-active in the Uygur independence movement, they probably do support an independent sharia state, in the same way that Tibetans and Quebecois wouldn't mind their own states, but would prefer just to be left alone.

If the parts of the documentation that proves all of Gingrich's bullshit are secret, isn't Gingrich committing a crime by revealing it?


the Parhat decision Hilzoy linked. USCA DC.

Hilzoy has done great work in compiling this information and pointing out the injustice of the Uighurs' case. However, by making Newt the sole villain in this case, she ignores the fact that Obama has so far done nothing to rectify the situation, which is consistent with his continuation of many of the worst policies of the Bush years. For further analysis of Hilzoy's post and Obama's record on civil rights, see this post.

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