The Berkeley city council was considering inviting over "one or two" Gitmo detainees for a stay. But, last night, the city council seems to have at least in part come to its senses: By a vote of 4-1, and with 4 members not voting, the city council decided not to bring the detainees to Cindy Sheehan's home city.
So who did those in support of the resolution want to bring to Berkeley? According to Fox News:
The city reportedly had its sights set on a Russian ballet dancer and an Algerian who was a top-rated Italian chef in Austria. They would live with local families and receive help from nonprofits in looking for work and assimilating into easy Bay life.
"Our hearts are with all those people who were never tried, held for years and in some cases tortured," Wendy Kenin, chairwoman of the city's Peace and Justice Commission, which authored the resolution, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "As municipality, this is one thing we can do to right some wrongs of our federal government."
It would be nice if all Gitmo detainees were such peace-loving souls, just looking for a quaint city to settle down in. But then again, if this truly were the case, these detainees probably wouldn't be sitting in Gitmo in the first place. And why those in support of Gitmo detainees don't hold the same good will for those in other federal detention centers is, well, something they'd rather not mention.
On the motives of those supporting the resolution, Fox News reports:
Not everyone was on board with the resolution. Critics blasted the plan, saying it is an empty gesture that distracts from more serious issues facing the city.
"This seems like grandstanding to me," City Councilman Gordon Wozniak told the newspaper. "I'm not sure why the Peace and Justice Commission is taking this up, other than to get on Fox News."
Well, it seems that those council members who wanted to be on Fox News were successful! Negative attention from supposedly right-leaning outlets must play well at home with their constituents.