More Thoughts On Gitmo Detainees

Well, I have had some time to sit and think about the situation with the Gitmo detainees that Bermuda has taken in. My previous writings, both here and on Progressive Minds, were written more in the heat of the moment, and especially in my post here I agree I did let my anger get to me a bit, what with the treason bit and all.

Overall my position remains largely the same:

This is a US problem, and if these detainees are cleared by the US, and the US does not feel confident in repatriating them to the People’s Republic of China, then it is incumbent on the US to take them in. This argument is strengthened by the fact that the US is better able to accomodate these people, and has an existing and extensive witness protection programme which could have easily took care of them.

I think its increasingly clear that there is going to be a huge negative public reaction to this move. The full extent of it at this moment is hard to make out, and whether this will lead to a no-confidence motion in the House of Assembly are just add to a growing sense of resentment and simmering anger towards Dr. Brown I cannot tell.

I was speaking last night to one of my closest advisors on things in general and geopolitics in particular. This person is in particular an expert on the People’s Republic of China, both in its domestic and geopolitical spheres. She had a number of interesting comments, much of which I cannot remember (it was 2am for me and I was half-awake). However, she did make a convincing argument, of which I will try to recall here.

Her main argument was that for all its sabre-rattling, the PRChina is quite content NOT to have these people returned to it, and that they may have even been framed by the authorities there for their own purposes, re creating a phantom of domestic islamic terrorists and thus legitimating its own domestic ‘war on terror’ such as was exploited during the Beijing Olympics last year. The PRChina has no interest in seeing their return – their being outside of the country actually benefits their geopolitical agenda. And yet at the same time they can exploit the situation, through sabre-rattling, for its own ends and domestic consumption.

At the same time she finds its hard to believe that the UK Government were truly in the dark about this decision, but the way its been handled actually suits them quite well. Its no secret that the UK is happy to see us cease being a colony, and this helps to a degree in that regards. Furthermore it helps get them ‘off d hook’ by pleading a diplomatic bungle and as such appeasing the PRChina bluster. No doubt they will recieve some sort of concessions from the US for this, perhaps something in Afghanistan or something. They will have to maintain a facade of outrage with both Bermuda and the USA, but it would be their hope that after a week or two the whole scandal is eclipsed by other news, and they get to move on with their own agenda.

The US benefits by simply washing their hands of the problem which threatened to be an ongoing thorn in their side. No doubt there will be outrage in the US that such detainees are being ‘rewarded’ with new lives in paradise islands, but this is no doubt the more politically expedient option for them. Domestic settlement of them would have caused much more headaches for the US in domestic politics, as well as both opening the Government up to litigation for unfair detention, and setting a precedent for future detainees and refugees.

Bermuda benefits from this too. It is not that hard to speculate that, apart from some monies to ‘assist with the settlement of these people’ we have also recieved various concessions, most likely as regards tax haven legislation (which also benefits the US capitalists if we’re honest about it). Further, it aids both US neo-colonial interests in further bringing Bermuda within the US imperial sphere, assists the UK with its wishes to end its formal colonialism. It also benefits Dr. Brown, both with an engineered spat with the UK and by being an increasingly embarrassing sychophant of the new US President. And, of course, having nice pictures of Bermuda splashed around the world for free by the media may even boost our tourism in the long-term!

Sure, there are risks here. As mentioned there will be US citizens upset with ‘rewarding’ detainees with island paradises. In the UK this move opens the UK Labour Government to an attack from the Opposition Conservatives. In Bermuda the huge negative public reaction to this threatens some serious political repercussions for Dr. Brown, as well as fuelling the growing disillussionment with Westminster ‘five-second’ Democracy, and potentially opens the door open to independence discussions spiralling away from mere formal and cosmetic Independence to a more substantial critique of geopolitics, RealPoliticks and neo-colonialism. There is also a risk of xenophobic and anti-American backlashes.

Under this theory the major players seem to have calculated that the long-term benefits are worth a predictable short-term tempest of sabre-rattling and supreme fury amongst the Bermudian populace.

This is no doubt a more sophisticated argument than my gut reaction of the US coercing us into this situation. Its still neo-colonialism, and still needs to be condemned. But its probably much closer to the mark.

On a final note on this issue I feel its important to stress that public anger over this action should not be vented on the four Uighurs. They are in my opinion mere pawns in a complex geopolitical game of poly-tricks. They are in Bermuda now, and it is the ethically right thing to let them stay, to give them asylum, just as we did almost a century and a half ago to the slaves of (I believe it was called the) Amistad (not the same one as the movie), an event which is commemerated today at Barr’s Park.

Public anger should be vented at Dr. Brown and the US Consul, and even at Government House in as much as it represents the UK. The Uighurs should be offerred our compassion as the pawns they are. Save your anger for those who made the decisions, not those who are victims of it.

34 thoughts on “More Thoughts On Gitmo Detainees

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bermuda, U.S.A.: Guantanamo Controversy

  2. Pingback: Bermuda, U.S.A.: Guantanamo Controversy :: Elites TV

  3. And your point is? I think you may have just fallen off your soapbox, then again you built it. All those words and yet you did’nt get the message thats it all about Dr. Brown. So much for Communism. Man you must be really pissed of at your black brothers at the BIU.

    I imagine you will do great after your graduation in Scotland. What will you do here in Bermuda?

    Your good with words Mr. Starling. What will you do with them once you return. Will you return?

  4. Hi Black Press, I just want to repeat my position that these detainees are mere pawns in a geopolitical game between the US, UK and China. They are no threat to our people, and we should offer them our compassion and sanctuary. We should also resist any attempts by the British to send them back. This position of mine is a separate one altogether concerning my supreme fury at what I see as a neo-colonial hack job. I don’t agree with the decision that was made, or how it was made for that matter. But I do accept that offering them sanctuary is the right thing to do.

  5. I’ve just been reading the BBC news site and saw this “US ‘kept Guantanamo deal from UK'” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8098341.stm

    Which seems to confirm in large part the speculations in this post here.

    I’m in the UK at the moment, and I think I may just make my way to the nearest US Embassy to register my opinion of this deal with me. Any other Bermudians in the UK care to join me? Email me at catchafirebda/gmail.com (replace the ‘/’ with the regular symbol), and perhaps we can go as a group, one to Edinburgh and one in London?

  6. starling…we the poor people who work hard..aka workin poor, pay taxes and are homeless, cannot make headway on the path of forward progression, are not going to stand by and let this proposal stand….this proposal and the other one giving the biu a six million dollar pass have not been accepted by the people of bermuda…and its we who have the power to tell these politicians to fuck off and take their proposals and stick them back up their asses, where they first originated from.

    and no form of sugar coating is not going to allow these new set of 4 to remain here and suck off the titty of bermuda success while we the working class cant get any of what these elitest politicians are planning on giving these lot.

    While I agree they are not to blame…they are the poster children of the parties who are to blame…brown…politcians in general..us council general….usa senate..usa taxpayers, and usa supreme court. They the 4 need to go back to the usa and let the usa suprieme court decide their fate…as it was said on a talk show today…..they…the 4 are the poster children of what being an american refugee admissin applicant looks like….they were fighting communism for democratic freedom.

    this combined with the fact that their status of political limbo is completly the responsibility of the usa…based on them breakin various international laws, and their own constitution, places this bullshit mess squarly at their feeet.

    SEND EM BACK TO USA RIGHT FUCKIN NOW!!…..until poor people in bermuda get some humanitarian aid….then people like the 4 can be admitted…not b4!!!

    This is the usa mess …let em stay with slaton ..he can feed n house em….let em stay with brown in his house…he can employ them in his stem cell practice.

    if these 4 r allowed to stay….IF…then all bermudians who are not having their humaitarian needs, outlined in the constitution, met….IE homeless….politically disenfranchised or denied acess to govt services because of their political opinions etc etc….need to get exactly the same benifits enmass thaat these 4 will be given.

    its not our place to get involved in this bullshit!!! and the people who got us involved need to be FIRED !!!

    If not if the 4 are allowed to stay….dont complain bout the new levels of gangs ..drugs and do whatever it takes mentality to obtain more ends to do more than just survive…..the real backlash is commin…”poor people fed up!”…bounty killer

    what of children of bermudians who cant come to bermuda with out a whole bunch of hoops having to be jumped through…what of children adopted by bermudian parents who have lived in bermuda and have been kicked out cause of some immigration short comming….not much compassion there from the same people who are now telling us to have compassion.

    a good ole riot will clear the air quite nicely…

    we have faith the uk will send them back based on the fact that since we are still a colony and any bermuda citicenz are allowed uk access, and since the uk dont want any 1 involved in gitmo on uk soil…they will be sent back to the usa where they rightly belong…give em a house in alaska…bye bye 4.

    just cause the usa wanna be world poliece dont mean what we …the smallest nation in the world now has to play captin save a maybe, mabye not terroist…fuck da bullshit!!!

  7. Jonathan,

    Would you have felt differently if a Bermudian had met, fallen in love with, and married one of the detainees? Would you still feel that he should not be allowed in Bermuda?

    By the way, I am not at all surprised about any of the responses that I have read here, or on Bermuda Sucks, not even yours, although you have always tried to give the impression that you are a world citizen.

    Tell me how public anger should be vented on Dr. Brown and the U.S. Consul General without venting on the Uigers. What I’ve read and heard is Bermudians don’t want these people here. If you believe that they’re innocent victims, why do you not think Bermuda should give them asylum?

    In my opinion, every migrant worker (blue collar and white collar, married or single) is here because they do not want to live in the country of their birth at this point in time.

  8. LaVerne, you cannot move the goalposts on this one. your argument about marriage is ridiculous beyond imagination.

    Do you agree that the US is obligated to take them in and not pawn them off to us?

    Do you seriously believe we did this solely for ‘humanitarian’ reasons or did we do this for certain ‘consequences’?

    The Uighurs are the pawns in this game, while its not hard to fathom how and why people will vent some anger on them, it is important people realise that the Uighurs are mere pawns. The fault for this mess lands squarely at the feet of Dr. Brown and the US.

    I believe, as stated, that now that they are here we should allow them to stay and not send them back into limbo which would be inhumane. I believe we shouldn’t even be in this position though, as it was a US problem and thus there was a US solution for it.

  9. LMFAO…starling dis is de same woman …aka DE GREAT DEFENDER, (a name given to her by talk show host everst decosta..lol) whos arguments have failed to de point where she tried to bring white blue eyed Jesus to defend her cousins fuckery….r u really suprised she would try to bring another weak position of defence to the table?….since u want em lavern they can stay @ ya house n u can feed em off ya BIU job that u shouldnt even have, cause the biu should b closed now based on de 6 million u lot stole from tha taxpayers!!

    SHIP THEIR ASSES BACK TO THE FUCKIN USA N MAKE THE USA DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MEESS N BERMUDIANS THAT WANT THEM HERE AFTER THE LAWS HAVE BEEN BROKEN VIA THEIR ILEGAL IMMIGRATION SHOULD GO DE FUCK WITH THEM N SHARE THEIR FATE AS TRAITORS TO BERMUDA!!

  10. So people are asking what was given in exchange for this illegal transfer….some say money..some say a certain politicians sons charges will be lowered if he pleads out. the US press will find out and expose it just like they exposed this illegal transfer to the people of bermuda!!!

  11. whats the number for the fox news team thats on island….they need to do an expose on the REAL Bermuda…film the people livin in caves n trees while in so called paradise….to show how the wealth here is being squandered by a certain few elites.

    We were better off voting 4 da “white man”

  12. Ms Furbert

    When it comes down to it, the actual issue of these 4 men are not what ANYONE is really talking about. Had this been done properly and with the agreement of the FCO that’s one thing. To have tabled this idea in the Houses and with the knowledge of even the caucus (!) again would be one thing. This, what actually happened, is another thing altogether. This secrecy, this ABSOLUTE disregard of Bermuda’s constitution and this disregard of even his own partymates and cabinet, Dr Brown has shown that he cares not for anyone’s opinion but his own. And beyond that, he’s shown complete disregard for Bermudians, the same ones who he actually works for. He’s has offered british status to 4 men who meet NONE of the criteria set down in our Constitution and our laws, But you see nothing wrong with this?? In case,you have failed to realize there is only the BDT passport or the EU passport. So effectively, the premier has set forth a deal in which he gives to 4 men something he doesn’t own. Where I come from that’s called stealing (or in real terms the prospect of stealing). Would you like it if I went into your home, took your tv and then gave it to someone else I know as a gift?? Or would you simply think that since they didn’t have a tv of their own, they deserve to have it?

    Come on. Stop trying to obscure the issue by claiming that it all comes down to helping these guys. It unequivocally has NOTHING to do with these men, not in the public’s mind or in Dr. Brown’s mind. You want them to chill here for a while, cool. You want to give them British passports, not so cool, man. We are a british colony. I get that this would be a moot point if we were independent but unlike the premier and various others including yourself, I deal in reality. And the reality is we ARE NOT independent. The reality is the vast majority of Bermudian citizens do not want to be independent, and especially when things like this happen.

    I can’t get why y’all insist on trying to combine the two issues when it obviously comes down to two different things, like so many have said. But, oh wait, only Dr. Brown can see the truth on this right? Us little bermudians who aren’t holding the mantle of the Bermuda government simply “don’t understand”.

  13. Just a point, Obama actually did table the idea of having these men in the US in theie Houses and it was shot down. Nice to know Obama has more respect for his countrymen than Dr. Brown does…

  14. Jonathan,

    You know Ewart Brown better than I do, so you have the answer, not me. So the U.S. didn’t take them, should they then have stayed in Cuba? What’s your solution to the problem? Send them back?

  15. Many people who are not mental slaves to party politics warned this country soon after the 98 election what would happen if the bermudian people didnt learn n grow from the 40yr experience of upb corrupt rule…

    their warning was not heeded

    Now that historic lesson has repeated itself, he have yet again another administration that does not value the input of its citizens…ignores social issues…and basically does what it wants to do.

    We have a PLP that was formed from the grass roots, that has now been infiltrated by eliets, and power / money hungery blacks who care nothing for the issues of the working class, and a plp supporter base that has stood by and allowed the rot of corrution to taint them like it tainted the upb.

    Neither political party deserves to continue the cycle of abuse of the citizens…and none offer the relivent advancements and reforms that are needed to place the power back into the peoples hands totally.

    50 yrs of public servants having delusions of god like status is more than enough

    therefore…….

    The time is now arrived…..either we the people, take the step to place country over and above party politics once n for all by changing on a fundanmental level how this country is governed…or continue to watch the downward spiral.

    To change, to survive as a nation and to grown in unity as a people, party politics must be done away with and replaced with an expansion of what rosevelt brown started via his universal adult sufferage movement. Government fun fully by the people and fully accountable to the people.

    The economic wealth needs to be equally distributed amongst bermudians, so there are no economic classes no poverty lines based on income, and no citicenz who are un able to reach their full potintial.

    If not…….there will be war!

  16. The issue is NOT solely about the Uighurs and I have no ill will towards them. The issue is Dr. Brown, who DID NOT have the authority to bring these 4 men to Bermuda. So when President Obama recently called Dr. Brown in the middle of the night to thank him for his actions in this regard, the President was actually thanking him for circumventing and IGNORING Bermuda’s constitution. This is the REAL issue here and for the Premier to now try to deflect attention from, or excuse his actions, by claiming they were for ‘humanitarian reasons’ is just another example of this Government’s lack of accountability or transparency.

  17. So much for the highest law of the land…the constitution…..if this stands…no one should b complaining about gangs any more cause law and order is out the window….no need to complain about drug trade ..cause law n order is now out the window.

    People responsible for this need to be fired and then charged in court for breaking constitutional law…..in order for law n order to be restored.

    Cant require public 2 follow all laws n politicians follow some laws..the laws they choose 2
    follow.

    All politicians that support this illeagal action should be charged as well!!!

  18. The Former attorney general..phil perienchief has announced via the shirley dill talk show (June 14 09….get a copy of it from VSB…) that the current attorney general should be fired, for giving unsound advice to the premier…or not giving advice at all, and that the public needs to, and CAN take legal action against Birch and Brown for breaking constitutional law.

    Shouldnt the attorney generals office be taking such action?

    Or does a plp elected and controled attorney generals office prevent this breech of constitution legal matter by plp govt, from going to the courts? vis that office?

    This is why thre has to be an politically indipentent attorney generals office!!!!!

    The deck is stacked in bermuda!! …aka corruption!!!! politicians can break the laws and are legally untouchable, while people with weed seeds are barred from travelling to the usa cause of bermuda politicians inhumane laws?

    WTF?…really people WA DE F?!?!??!?!!!!

  19. Brown saves Bermuda!! In my opinion i dont think this has anything to do with humanity- A DEAL WAS MADE!-and thats sad for Bermuda.I now think its time for Dr.Brown to move on and let the U.K.and the PLP clean up this mess.

  20. Blankman, the Guardian printed a later story suggesting that the initial report was mistaken and the agreement will not be rescinded, but how it works will be reviewed for the sake of clarity. For some reason I cannot find the link, but the headline was something like ‘US & UK clash over Guantanamo’ and was in the Politics section.

    LaVerne, no need to be facetious, I am sure you know Dr. Brown much better than I, LOL. The US is obligated under international law to accommodate them and pay reparations for their unlawful detention. Dr. Brown should have reminded them of this. I have no problem with the Uighurs coming here, but the way in which it was done was completely wrong. It was wrong constitutionally, and it was wrong politically – in the sense that this way could not but help create huge public fear and backlash, unfortunately some of which is going to be directed against the Uighurs. Now that they are here, as I have written on these posts, they should stay. It would be unethical and inhumane to return them to Gitmo – should the US decide to accommodate them instead, then that would be okay, but if not, let them stay. Our focus should be on diffusing xenophobia/islamophobia regarding them, as well as reviewing and holding accountable those who put us in this avoidable situation.

  21. Nicely put Johnathan – and my thanks also to Tia also for her (as always) pragmatic and commonsense approach.

    I am actually changing my view as this episode unscrambles and – whilst it will not happen – I really wish the Brits would leave this issue with Dr Brown and let him take the consequences. Perhaps then – and only then – he will mature to the point of understanding why this type of issue should be left to the Brits and the US.

    Bermuda is currently part of a club. Many here do not want to be members of that club. There are, of course, rules that go with that membership. If you don’t like the rules – then get out of the club. Very simple – but of course not realistic as we all know. This type of action does nothing to assist the PLP in it’s quest for Independence. If anything, it makes it more difficult.

  22. It would help if you stuck to one username and not use multiple aliases. I frown on that action, and some posts have been with-held accordingly.

  23. Martin –

    I have an issue with the UK letting Brown ‘take the consequences’… that is the fact that we will all be subjected to the fall-out of this situation. The UK government has had no opportunity to perform security/background checks on these individuals to either support the USA’s contention that these men are innocent and there is clearly some conflicting evidence about who these men are and what role they may or may not have been playing in Afghanistan in 2001. I r4esent that as well as assurances over their ‘mental state’ being left to Senator Burch and Premier Brown…

  24. The Former attorney general..phil perienchief has announced via the shirley dill talk show (June 14 09….get a copy of it from VSB…) that the current attorney general should be fired, for giving unsound advice to the premier…or not giving advice at all, and that the public needs to, and CAN take legal action against Birch and Brown for breaking constitutional law.

    Shouldnt the attorney generals office be taking such action?

    Or does a plp elected and controled attorney generals office prevent this breech of constitution legal matter by plp govt, from going to the courts? vis that office?

    This is why thre has to be an politically indipentent attorney generals office!!!!!

    The deck is stacked in bermuda!! …aka corruption!!!! politicians can break the laws and are legally untouchable, while people with weed seeds are barred from travelling to the usa cause of bermuda politicians inhumane laws?

    WTF?…really people WA DE F***?!?!??!?!!!!

  25. So much for the highest law of the land…the constitution…..if this stands…no one should b complaining about gangs any more cause law and order is out the window….no need to complain about drug trade ..cause law n order is now out the window.

    People responsible for this need to be fired and then charged in court for breaking constitutional law…..in order for law n order to be restored.

    Cant require public 2 follow all laws n politicians follow some laws..the laws they choose 2
    follow.

    All politicians that support this illeagal action should be charged as well!!!

  26. Don’t worry Black Press, your not the only one being censored. That will be the ultimate price of being…well yah know Chinese, Russian, Korean……….

    Jonny…your something else. Propaganda and your very busy at it.

    I know the reasons this transfer took place, believe me I do. I just sit back and watch the ones that know it all think they do. But as you mentioned prior, some come with differant faces and names just to get their point across.

    18 people on local blogs and forum know it all. Amazing. I remember when they said engage brain before opening mouth. Well, that might have applied to me in my jovial comments over the years but that was for fun and feedback.

    And I’ll say it again as I said on Sucks…….what the heck do you guys do all day? Everyday……it’s all about me……….

    Gotta run…………..get some Hagis……

  27. Mr. Starling ( lone bird ) I love you comments on other blogs/forum……In one breath you tell LaVerne not to move the goal posts yet you fence off the entire playing field.

    It good propa as we call here where I live. I guess you know what side your Hagis is buttered. On your site it’s hard to get a word in but other forums/blogs let you do it instantly.

    Are you are Starling or a ‘Starlinest’…….. the way you profer opinions I sometimes wonder what your doing in Scutland. Then again, out of arms reach, right?

    Have a great OMB day……….

  28. Rummy, I’m really not sure what to make of your remark. The nature of your writing style and content seems to be a magnet for my spam filter is all I can say.

  29. Then I suggest you open your bloody mind to other things than your own. Writing style has nothing to do with it. You have no answer.

    Gotta run…off to Red Square………

    Ps. Change your spam filter and a get a “Reality Check”….

    Free speech right?

  30. Pingback: Global Voices in Italiano » Bermuda, USA: controversia sugli ex-detenuti di Guantanamo Bay

  31. Pingback: Global Voices po polsku » Bermudy, Stany Zjednoczone: Kontrowesje wokół Guantanamo

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