No Room At The European Inn For Gitmo Torture Victims

According to an article in today’s New York Times, our European friends, after years of moral preening during the Bush administration, are now having second thoughts about Guantanamo and the innocent shepherds unjustly detained therein:

European countries that have offered to help the Obama administration close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have begun raising questions about the security risks and requirements if they accept prisoners described by the Bush administration as “the worst of the worst,” according to diplomats and other officials.

The concerns, and a deep suspicion of whether the American intelligence community will share full information on the prisoners, are likely to complicate the resettlement effort, which is critical to President Obama’s fulfilling his pledge to close Guantánamo within a year of his taking office.

The offers, from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries, have been widely seen as efforts to win favor with the new administration by helping to close the camp, which was a contentious issue during the Bush years.

Still, with a first round of talks on the Guantánamo issues scheduled for Monday in Washington between Obama administration officials and a high-level delegation from the European Union, several European leaders have recently emphasized that they can make no firm commitments until they are given complete details on the prisoners.

“We’d have to study concrete cases,” María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, Spain’s deputy prime minister, said in an interview last week.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently told reporters she was “quite encouraged at the positive, receptive responses we’ve been getting” to requests for help in accepting Guantánamo detainees.

But some European officials said the Obama administration had yet to detail what would be involved in resettling detainees and whether the United States would also open its doors to Guantánamo prisoners, which the Bush administration declined to do.

It is not clear exactly what conditions the Obama administration may wish to impose, what the detainees’ immigration status would be or whether any detainees released to Europe would be eligible for complete freedom. “We understand, you have a big problem,” said one European official who said he would speak only if not identified. “And we appreciate what President Obama has said about closing Guantánamo. But that doesn’t automatically mean putting all the remaining inmates on a plane and sending them to Europe.”…

Advertisements
Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
%d bloggers like this: