I don’t have much time for this post, so forgive any typos or egregious grammar.
Go read Madamab’s post at The Widdershins. She has something to say about the woman challenging Carolyn Maloney. I’d like to focus on a quote that madamab pulled from said challenger’s web site:
My parents, originally of Indian origin, barely escaped the brutal regime of Idi Amin in Uganda. Forced to flee during the government’s violent persecution of foreigners, my family lost everything. But amnesty in America gave them a chance to rebuild.
Compare to this story. There is just so much wrong in this story, that I don’t know where to begin. You’ve read my posts on indefinite detention, so I won’t belabor that point, but there is more to this than “just” indefinite detention. It is a story of our leaders never admitting error, of never righting a wrong.
A federal court on Thursday ordered the Pentagon to set free from Guantáaamo a former Russian Army ballet dancer turned devout Muslim whose plight captured the imagination of a Massachusetts college town.
Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. ordered the Obama administration to take “all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps . . . forthwith” to release Ravil Mingazov, 42, an ethnic Tartar who was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and turned over to U.S. forces.
Thursday’s midday ruling raised to 35 the number of Guantánamo detention cases the U.S. government has lost since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the war-on-terror captives can sue for their freedom in federal courts.
The Justice Department has so far successfully defended the indefinite detention of 13 Guantánamo captives.
Indefinite detention. No trial. Just hold’em. It gets worse. For those who are actually successful in challenging their detention and are set free, we are perfectly willing to send them back home where they are in mortal danger, or to force another country to take them. We don’t want any reminders of our duplicity.
Spaulding was seeking talks with the Obama administration to arrange for his client’s release to a country other than his homeland because of the stigma of nearly a decade in U.S. detention. Seven other Russians, who were released from Guantánamo in 2004, were tortured, beaten, harassed and sent into hiding, according a Human Rights Watch study.
But will we allow this political refugee on our soil? We detained him, found him innocent of all charges, but there is no welcome for him here.
Liberal activists in Massachusetts showcased the tale of Mingazov and an Algerian man named Ahmed Belbacha in a campaign last year that condemned the detention policies of the Bush administration.
On Nov. 4, Amherst’s 240-member Town Meeting voted to offer asylum to two Guantánamo captives cleared of wrongdoing who cannot go home.
Congress has since blocked any resettlement of cleared Guantánamo captives onto U.S. soil. The Obama administration has turned to Europe mostly to take in released captives.
A Democratic-controlled Congress, by the way.
In western Massachusetts, activist Nancy Talanian of a grass-roots group, “No More Guantánamos,” said Pioneer Valley residents were still eager to take in Mingazov for resettlement.
“Guantánamo detainees who cannot safely return home are really no different than other refugees whom western Massachusetts communities have welcomed in the past,” she said.
If the Obama administration can tell Europe that former detainees “would not pose any danger,” she said, “that should be sufficient assurance that we can be safe with some of them living here.”
You would think. But, hell, that would mean we are soft on Terra.