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Monday, April 7, 2008

Guantanamo Detainees

Representative Bill Delahunt is absolutely right; we should admit the innocents of Guantanamo into the United States (At Hub hearing, lawyers press case of Guantanamo detainees, Boston Globe, March 27, 2008: A13). At the very least, they should live in the same conditions as civilians on the base rather than being confined to isolated cells.

We should have been doing this for a long time. Does anyone remember the case of the five Chinese Uighurs. They were captured in Afghanistan in 2001. They had all been cleared of terrorist connections by a military tribunal but were kept, as innocent people, at Guantanamo because they could not be returned to their native China which they were fleeing. Instead they were sent to Albania where they live in misery in a refugee camp.

Why could the United States not have generously have resettled these people here in the United States? Instead they kept them at Guantanamo until February 2006 when the courts were about to hear their appeal to be released; they were then shipped to Albania where they are living in a Refugee Center in that impoverished country. One would think that after disrupting their lives, the United States would be eager to make amends by resettling these people in safety in the United States.

Why not? What has happened to American values?

Sent to Boston Globe

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