Simply Appalling

by Joshua Foust on 5/29/2009 · 6 comments

“Petitioners would like the federal courts to order that they be brought to the United States, because they are unwilling to return to their home country. But they have no entitlement to that form of relief,” the brief submitted by Solicitor General Elena Kagan said. “As this Court has recognized repeatedly, the decision whether to allow an alied abroad to enter the United States, and if so, under what terms, rests exclusively in the political Branches.”

The above paragraph comes from a Politico story about the fate of the Guantanamo Uighurs. It is a gross mischaracterization of the reasons why their continued imprisonment is such an issue: the U.S. is, if I have read the case correctly, legally prohibited from repatriating them into China, since they face torture and summary execution.

In fact, since they have been ruled to have no connection to terrorism—Newt Gingrich’s ignorant rantings aside—it would be immoral in the extreme for the U.S. government to send them back to their homes knowing they would be submitted to such treatment. In fact, given the deeply political nature of their dispute with the Chinese government, it should make them eligible for asylum.

Why the Obama Justice Department is choosing to distort their case like this is unclear, but it is disgusting.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1849 posts on Registan.net.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 6 comments }

Admiral May 29, 2009 at 10:58 pm

It’s okay, it’s oooookay. The argument is just that there isn’t a *right* for the Uighurs and that the decision is up to the political branches. They are still, as you so deeply desire, *eligible* for asylum. Hopefully the Obama administration will act accordingly.

Angry Texan May 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Sorry lefties, but we don’t owe them a damn thing. The Uighurs can either return to China and take their chances, or stay as our guests at Gitmo. They’re getting three hots, a bed, and free medical care. For those of us who are unemployed (thanks for the hordes of illegals swamping our economy), that looks pretty damn good.

Joshua Foust May 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Angry Texan, I assume you’d feel otherwise if your family members were held in jail for over seven years not only without charges, but with multiple levels of court rulings in favor of their innocence. Yep, being unjustly held in prison is a fucking picnic.

Transitionland May 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm

“that looks pretty damn good.”

Oh really? Would you actually be ok with living like that? Hmmm?

Michael Hancock May 31, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Writing us off as Lefties isn’t just insulting, it’s inaccurate. Fuck the Left, and Fuck the Right, and especially Fuck people who think the Uyghurs owe us anything. It’s us that have misused and abused them – the reason we’re letting them out of Gitmo is that they shouldn’t have been there in the first place! And no thanks to W., China knows it can burn them in oil when they get back with little or no outcry from the West, since we agreed to add bullshit East Turkestan groups to our terrorist watch list.

I think you see this issue differently, and that’s understandable – the Uyghur situation is not something you can walk up to and get. There’s a history, a long, twisted history, and thinking of them as part of some mythical al-Qaeda or Taliban fundamentalist super organization like Cobra from GI Joe is more comical than it is accurate.

Vengeance7 June 1, 2009 at 4:39 am

and there it is…

Angry Texan.

I believe there is much more of this type of thinking by most of the policy makers than anything close to reality lest we wouldn’t be charging ahead with.

1.opium eradication, or as I call it “our great big never ending Taliban recruitment drive”

2. A surge… “more big FOB isolates”

3. force protection. …conflict evassion and host national demonization

2+3= guarantee that coin/counter-insurgency “WIN” won’t happen.

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