Friday, January 02, 2009

Um... No, I don't fucking think so, sunshine

It seems that our lords and masters are getting ready to open the doors to Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Britain is preparing to receive foreign terror suspects from Guantánamo Bay so that Barack Obama can shut it down, The Times has learnt.

Government sources say that Britain now supports moves to rehouse the detainees, despite previous refusals to help President Bush.

A Downing Street official said that a process to deal with the detainees was being put in place and that decisions “would be for the Home Secretary to decide on a case-by-case basis”.

The issue is the subject of intense negotiations within Whitehall. The Foreign Office appears much keener on the idea than other departments, which will have to deal with the suspects’ immigration status and whether they will need special housing and cash benefits. Having foreign terror suspects with no links to the UK housed here inevitably will provoke controversy.

Um. Well, let's say that I agree with Lord Goldsmith when he says that...
... the continued existence of the prison camp, established by the Bush Administration after the September 11 attacks, was damaging the West...

... and it would therefore be a good thing to shut down Guantanamo Bay, because that would be pretty much my opinion.

But I do not accept that we should simply let these people into the country and set about lobbing benefits at them. Whether rightly or wrongly, these people are being held as terror suspects: they are being held because it is alleged that they fought against our troops and did their very best to kill British military personal (and civilians of any nation).

So, might I suggest, instead, that we push the US actually to put them on trial as soon as possible, and also offer to try a number of them ourselves? Let us find out the rights and wrongs of these cases. If they are found guilty, then they can rot in Guantanamo for years to come, as far as I am concerned. If they are not guilty, then they should be set free and compensated.

What is not acceptable is to leave all of these people in legal limbo: it is, quite simply, illegal imprisonment and Goldsmith is right: the situation shames us all.

However, if we are to consider letting these people into Britain, might I appeal to Lord Goldsmith to advocate that the Iraqi interpreters—who have actually helped us and are even now living their lives in terror of being tortured to death—are actually granted asylum in this country first?

That the interpreters have not already been granted this right is one of this shower of NuLabour cunts' most fucking grubby and shameful omissions...

18 comments:

DavidNcl said...

Illegal combatants -> summary executions.

Trials are for criminals.

JPT said...

Fucking hell!
Terrorist suspects come on in and here's your house.
Interpreters who have laid your lives on the line for us - fuck off!
Nothing NuLabour does shocks me normally - but this does.

Katabasis said...

Given their shoddy record of picking up actual terrorists (whatever the word means in their context), or even actual combatants (i.e. not simply handed over by the ruling authorities in order to rid themselves of a few people they don't like), I see this as a damn sight more odious than simply "legal limbo".

Take for example, the case of poor Bisher Al-Wari, who was helping MI5 prior to his arrest. Not to mention his friend Jamil el-Banna.

Kay Tie said...

We were complicit in the system of rounding up the usual suspects (many of whom were victims of paid-for denunciations, which are worthless of course). The people left in Gitmo will be a mix of real terrorists and merely those that can't be proved to be terrorists. They can't be deported to Algeria, Syria etc. for fear of being tortured (much worse than in Gitmo, anyway).

It would have been better not to have taken them to Gitmo in the first place, but since Tony Blair on our behalf helped make this fucking mess, his mate Gordon can help clear it up. In practical terms, it won't cost more than Gordon spunks up the wall every 5 minutes anyway, and it's unlikely to materially deepen the cess pit of British-hating-British-resident Islamicists we already have to keep tabs on.

And to you, JPT: I suspect you of racism and extremism. Can I pop round to your house, kick the shit out of you, drag you on to a plane and dump you in a prison in Cuba. I mean, guilty until you've proved you're innocent, right? Go on: prove you're not a racist planning an atrocity. If you can't prove it, I'll send you to Uzbekistan for a bit of out-sourced boiling-alive, OK? You'll confess to being a racist terrorist then.

Bouquet of barbed wire said...

Okay, close Gitmo. No problem here; you simply send the would-be warriors (and all those innocent 'wedding guests' that Afghanistan was strangely infested with about that time) back to where they came from.

I am sure all their families and friends (and all those happy couples, of course) will welcome them back.

There, problem solved. Next!

Trixy said...

strictly speaking, if you agree with international law (and Blair and Bush both tried to say the war was legal so they can't have it both ways) Guantanamo Bay isn't actually a Prisoner of War camp because the war against the Taliban isn't an international conflict. There are conventions for PoWs but prisoners in what is defined as a civil war aren't really accounted for.

I'd rather not bring them to the UK, though, because given our fucking useless legal system they'd end up on benefits with houses in Chelsea when, chances are, they were actually trying to kill British soldiers. And I prefer British soldiers to Terry Taliban.

I prefer British soldiers to most people, actually.

Trixy said...

And just to play devil's advocate, Iraqi interpreters are paid fucking huge amounts as a risk factor. A friend of mine who was in Afghan asked one why he did it given the risk and he replied with how much he earned.

(I am actually in favour of giving them asylum, mind. I'd rather have an immigration system where we can have some kind of meritocracy rather than this racist blanket policy we now have thanks to the EU)

Rob said...

New Labour, politics above national interest, all the time.

Rob said...

"it won't cost more than Gordon spunks up the wall every 5 minutes anyway"

Unless they kill people, of course. I don't think it is outrageous that people who fought for terrorist organisations in Afghanistan, and were then imprisoned by the USA for 5+ years, are going to want to kill as many infidels as they can once they get a nice cushy no-deportation number in a generous western country, e.g. the UK.

Tomrat said...

I dont think thats the issue at hand, after reading said article yesterday.

The issue here is that it has become abundantly clear that the Bush administration rounded up teworwists by paying their flavour-of-the-month warlords in Afganistan to put down their machine guns and leave their heroin plantations to go round up "suspects"; putting money into the equation basically turned a bad miscarraige of justice into slavery, cept without all the forced labour and the costs of it have hit the americans a little earlier than last time.

The other problem is that the warlords picked up a lot of their enemies who objected to all the illegal goings on, you know, like heroin cultivation, so sending them back whilst the heroin business is booming and the various occupying forces backs are turned will almost certainly see many of them face down with a bullet to the back of the head behind a sand dune or something. (BTW if you read on did you read the excellent bit about Chinese muslims? Talk about being evasive about the communists; they could mention that it was unsafe for them to return to China, but refrained from mentioning why. Ho hum.)

Truth is they should be tried, and, if found innocent, offered repatriation into the united states with a state war pension and tickets for their immediate family; they were combatants after all. I dont think anyone would hold this against Obama - it wouldn't even dent the Goodwill he's been getting to offer this and might lessen the hit taken for these poster boys of extremism that they most certainly will become.

But WE shouldn't take them; I'm not interested in currying the favour of the americans - this is their mess, not ours.

Trixy said...

"paying their flavour-of-the-month warlords in Afganistan to put down their machine guns and leave their heroin plantations to go round up "suspects"
Much the same as the Taliban do, then?

Or how they bribe afghan police on check points so they can take their lorries into Kabul unchecked and make IEDs to kill British and American troops?

The Penguin said...

'Stan is a pit of corruption, always was always will be, the farce of democracy will not survive for long because none of the warlords / tribal chiefs /local governors are willing for one fucking nano-second to give up their own power to a central government. Send all the "suspects" back to their country of origin, what happens to them next is of little interest to the bloke on the Clapham Omnibus.

Get all the troops out of 'Stan and negotiate to buy all the opium crop every year, save a fortune in making morphine as well as sorting out the "illegal" drug trade.

The Penguin

DARWEN REPORTER said...

Nothing this lot does surprises me anymore.

Will the last one leaving the country please switch the lights off. Thank you very much.

Katabasis said...

Trixy (and a couple of others), I don't understand why you're so quick to give the anglo-american authorities a free pass when it comes to these prisoners.

You wrote on your blog (rightly IMHO) about the horror you felt for a British citizen being extradited to Greece. About the fact that he went with no resistance by Her Majesty's Government. That the "evidence" against him did not even have to pass muster in the British legal system, despite his family claiming that they had evidence that could exonerate him.

Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other wonderful examples of "exported" anglo-american freedom and democracy(tm) follow a very similar pattern, and are indeed part of the same phenomenon whereby many, if not most of the people rounded up are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hersh gives a thorough accounting of this in his "Chain of Command", which I'd recommend reading.

I expected, as Libertarian types, some of you might be a touch more horrified by this.

I don't understand the apparent selective willingness to distrust / trust the government and "official sources" amongst somelibertarian leaning people. The government talks about the economy and it's talking shit (I agree). Yet the government line on prisoners taken in TWAT is not to be subject to the same level of scrutiny and scepticism. Why?

beachhutman in Beijing said...

I'm sure you're aware Sir, that due to the UK government's Nasal-Rectal position with respect to the nEU Reich in Brussels, they HAVE to bung benefits at anyone they now let in.

MrDavies said...

DavidNcl said..."
Illegal combatants -> summary executions. Trials are for criminals."

It has not been established whether each individual was an "Illegal Combatant", whatever the fuck that is supposed to be, or just some bloke who had the wrong colour skin in his own country and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Put them on trial and let the innocent go free and the guilty despatched.

Then put Bush, Chaney and Rumsfeld on trial for torture.

Trixy said...

I just think they should go back to Afghanistan rather than come to the UK. Yes, Afghanistan is a fucking mess, but I really don't see how they are going to be in any more danger than the people already living there when the front line takes place in people's houses.

I was as much against the Bush administration as I was the Iraq war, however as someone who studied international law I simply put across the view that Guantanamo Bay is not a PoW camp.

And wrt Andrew Symeou, I campaigned that he should be subject to the UK legal system, not the Greek.

Kim du Toit said...

Better yet, stop taking ANY prisoners in the wars against terrorists. If they're caught during combat against our armed forces, execute them on the spot, as "non-wearers of enemy uniform", as the various conventions allow.

Terrorism is not a crime, it's an act of war.