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Obama Progressing On Gitmo Detainees

From an unquestioning Washington Post:

Administration Makes Progress on Resettling Detainees

By Peter Finn
Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Obama administration has secured commitments from nearly a dozen countries willing to accept detainees from Guantanamo Bay and is increasingly confident about its ability to transfer a large majority of the prisoners who have been cleared for release, according to U.S. and foreign officials.

Six European Union countries — Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain — have accepted or publicly agreed to take detainees. Four E.U. countries have privately told the administration that they are committed to resettling detainees, and five other E.U. nations are considering taking some, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Two E.U. countries will soon send delegations to the U.S. military prison in Cuba to assess detainees held there.

The administration’s progress in resettling the approximately 80 detainees cleared for release so far could ease the politics and logistics of moving terrorism suspects to American soil. Some lawmakers fiercely oppose bringing any detainees to the United States, but a substantially reduced detainee population could bolster the administration’s effort to secure a prison location in this country…

Of the detainees cleared for release so far, 11 have been transferred home or to third countries, including Bermuda, which accepted four Chinese Uighurs. The Pacific island of Palau has agreed to resettle the 13 remaining Chinese Uighur detainees, and more than half of them are willing to go or are seriously considering the offer.

In addition, the administration has held positive talks with Australia and Georgia, and it has formally approached or is planning to hold talks with countries in South America, the Persian Gulf region, the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the administration officials said.

Congress has blocked the administration from resettling any detainees in the United States, a move that administration and some European officials feared would lead other countries, particularly in the European Union, to refuse to help close the military prison. But the issue has proved relatively unproblematic, officials said.

"Obama has a lot of political capital. Countries want to do something for him, and that allows us to say, ‘This is it, this is what we want you to do,’ " said a senior administration official. "This is going a lot better than we might have thought."

What wonderful news.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Obama Progressing On Gitmo Detainees”

  1. Right of the People says:

    I’d be interested in seeing if Greenland would care to take a few of these “detainees” off of Barry’s hands.

    • beautyofreason says:

      I’d vouch for China, which tried to accept the original three Uighurs. At least we know they would not be licking ice cream or swimming in the surf for NYT photo ops…

    • neocon mom says:

      Just waiting for the new ex-detainee reality show, “I’m a Uighur…Get Me Out of Here!”

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    “Obama has a lot of political capital.”

    … and a LOT of our money!!!

    “Countries want to do something for him, and that allows us to say, ‘This is it, this is what we want you to do,’ ” said a senior administration official.”

    … and look at what we’ll pay you for doing it!!!

    Chicago politics … (with our money)

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