Monday, February 02, 2009

Closing Gitmo

Closing Gitmo will be interesting to watch. Like so many things that liberals think of, it sounds nice on paper, but reality is much more difficult.

We just discover that Obama is retaining renditions, no doubt hoping to drain some of the Gitmo detainees off to countries that will take them.

But that too will prove a little more difficult than one hopes. This week the EU foreign ministers met to discuss a Portuguese proposal that Europe show some goodwill toward Obama by taking some of the Gitmo detainees. After a discussion of the complex legal problems, not to mention security problems, they only agreed to continue to "work" on finding a solution.

They weren't even discussing any of the more dangerous detainees either. They were only discussing the 60 detainees that the U.S has declared as "non-threatening" but who can't return to their home countries because of the risk of torture or death.

Europeans seem to be asking, "Why can't the United States just accept them if they are "non threatening?" Jochim Stoltenberg said in Germany's Berliner Morgenpost, "If they are dangerous, why should Europeans risk their own safety to clean up American's mess?"

"Wait just a minute" says Britain's Daily Telegraph. German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier points out that it was the Europeans that demanded and howled about the closing of Gitmo, so they are obligated to help do that by accepting these prisoners.

But it looks like everyone is sort of looking down and shuffling their feet in the dirt on this one.

Portugal and France said the would "consider" taking prisoners on a case by case basis. Britain says it is only willing to take the two who were previously residents there. Spain has a "I'll call you back" attitude on this.

In defense of these countries, it is a complicated legal problem, which they have not dealt with before.

It may be one of those cases of "be careful what you wish for, you might just get it."

*source: The Week