Thursday, January 29, 2009

Europe Loves Gitmo

Indeed they do love it. Without it, how could their politicians keep feigning to have meaningful, strident opinions that they can fill the airtime with and by which try to seem relevant.

Now it’s okay. Now it isn’t. Now they want them, now they don’t.

Barack Obama has signed an executive order to close the GuantánamoBay detention center – among other things, in response to a barrage of “international” criticism of the center and of the Bush administration’s policies toward its inmates. But – believe it or not – in February 2002, the EU Parliament passed a resolution approving of the Bush administration’s policies and explicitly stating that the Guantánamo inmates do not qualify for Geneva Convention protections.
It’s the same old passive-aggressive fear and loathing in Europe. Once upon a time, they were all for Gitmo because it gave them a way of not having to take their “one-time residents” “nationals” and “citizens” who were ready to murder their way to paradise, now after years of publicly telling their populations that they then wanted it to end, they were privately telling Washington that they wouldn’t take the detritus of war on splodey-dopes.

Now the stalling tactic is different: they aver that they want “the innocent ones” whoever they are, and they want the US to declare them the innocent ones, so that they don’t have to put their money where their fat fotzen are and blanketly declare the innocence of Gitmo “alumni” themselves.
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — European Union leaders said Monday they were willing to take in prisoners being released from the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay — but stressed that American authorities must show ex-inmates pose no security threat before they can be resettled.

Foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc discussed the fate of up to 60 Guantanamo inmates who, if freed, cannot be returned to their homelands because they would face abuse, imprisonment or death. The prisoners come from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Afghanistan, Chad, China, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

The EU's foreign and security chief, Javier Solana, said Europeans wanted to help on humanitarian grounds.

But he said no EU state could act until President Barack Obama's administration gets its Guantanamo case files in order and can demonstrate that prisoners do not pose credible security risks.
Let’s face it: those remaining are the ones who either have a much worst fate going to any of the countries that will take them, or they really are a threat.

So, which is it? Apart from the fact that the entire conversation they’re having is with their “imaginary friend in Washington”:

Finland's foreign minister, Alexander Stubb, said Guantanamo inmates would become eligible for resettlement only once they passed through U.S. scrutiny and courts and were granted official status as political refugees.

"Then, we'll have to have a look at that individually," said Stubb, who also is chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. "If there are people who are not tried and are let free, but they can't go back to their own countries, I think we in Europe should take our responsibility."

But Stubb emphasized the widespread view that the U.S. administration was not yet in position to clear any terror suspects.

"We are jumping the gun here a little bit, because the Americans haven't given us an offer or required us to take anyone on board," Stubb said.