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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Brit "terror" suspects head home

posted by Jazz at 1/25/2005 09:15:00 AM

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I found this story originally in the BBC, but after some digging found it buried quite a ways down in the "liberal" New York Times. It seems that the last four British citizens who have been held without trial or access to legal advice in Gitmo for nearly three years are on their way home.

The men, one from Birmingham and three from London, were held after the US accused them of having al-Qaeda links.

Moazzam Begg, Martin Mubanga, Richard Belmar and Feroz Abbasi are expected to be questioned under UK anti-terror laws after their return to RAF Northolt.

The US agreed the men could be released after "complex" talks with the UK.

Britain has provided "security guarantees" to Washington in relation to the men, who were held without trial, but has not said what they include.

This isn't the first release of British subjects from our little fun camp in Cuba.

Five other British detainees were freed from Guantanamo last year and were released without charge after questioning by police in the UK.

Some later said they had been hooded, shackled to the floor in painful stress positions and witnessed beatings and other abuse during their time at Guantanamo.

Good job, Rummy. We are allegedly the model of human rights for the rest of the world. So we shackle these guys up for three years, beat the hell out of them, and then send them back to their homes where the Brits "release them after questioning." Small wonder that certain international human rights watchdogs aren't exactly singing our praises these days.

Tony Blair runs a country where their leaders are subject to a bit more examination and questioning that present day America. He's apparently a bit nervous about this joyous piece of news.

Their release closes an embarrassing chapter for Tony Blair, Washington's closest ally in the war in Iraq, but leaves open the key question of why it has taken so long.

Political discomfort for Blair over the release of the men after three years without charge in the U.S.-run prison camp on Cuba is likely to be rapidly overtaken, though, by the chaotic Iraqi elections next Sunday, analysts said.

"There is an element of potential embarrassment there to the government. But it is dwarfed in significance by the issue of whether there can be any kind of effective government in Iraq,'' said Wyn Grant, politics professor at Warwick University.

Also difficult for Blair is the continued imprisonment without trial of 11 foreign nationals under post-Sept. 11 anti-terror laws -- detentions that the country's highest court last month declared illegal.

How is it that Tony is still in charge in England today? Almost his entire nation knew that this war was wrong and protested violently. The man is nearly as culpable in this fiasco as Bush. How does he still have a job?