Don’t Look at Us!

Wall Street Best of the Web James Taranto October 17, 2006

“British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett last week issued the latest European demand to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” The Washington Post reports. “The existence of the prison is ‘unacceptable’ and fuels Islamic radicalism around the world, she said, echoing a recent chorus of complaints from Europe about U.S. counterterrorism policy.”

OK, so the Europeans want us to shut down Guantanamo. And what do they propose we do with the detainees?

Behind the scenes . . . the British government has repeatedly blocked efforts to let some prisoners leave Guantanamo and return home.

According to documents made public this month in London, officials there recently rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents from Guantanamo to the United Kingdom, arguing that it would be too expensive to keep them under surveillance. Britain has also staved off a legal challenge by the relatives of some prisoners who sued to require the British government to seek their release.

Other European governments, which have been equally vocal in assailing Guantanamo as a human rights liability, have also balked at accepting prisoner transfers. A Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Germany was finally permitted to return from Guantanamo in August, four years after the German government turned down a U.S. proposal to release him.

In addition, virtually every country in Europe refused to grant asylum to several Guantanamo prisoners from China who were not being sent home because of fears they could face political harassment there. The Balkan nation of Albania agreed to take in five of the Chinese in May, but only after more than 100 other nations rebuffed U.S. pleas to accept them on humanitarian grounds, State Department officials said.

There you have our moral betters in Europe, whose mottos is Hey, not our problem!
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Washington Post Foreign Service Craig Whitlock October 17, 2006

Allies Block Returns From Guantanamo

BERLIN — British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett last week issued the latest European demand to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The existence of the prison is “unacceptable” and fuels Islamic radicalism around the world, she said, echoing a recent chorus of complaints from Europe about U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Behind the scenes, however, the British government has repeatedly blocked efforts to let some prisoners leave Guantanamo and return home.

According to documents made public this month in London, officials there recently rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents from Guantanamo to the United Kingdom, arguing that it would be too expensive to keep them under surveillance. Britain has also staved off a legal challenge by the relatives of some prisoners who sued to require the British government to seek their release.

Other European governments, which have been equally vocal in assailing Guantanamo as a human rights liability, have also balked at accepting prisoner transfers. A Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Germany was finally permitted to return from Guantanamo in August, four years after the German government turned down a U.S. proposal to release him.

. . . more