Welfare for Freed Gitmo Detainees? (Update)
5:38 PM, Mar 26, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Here, from the Associated Press, is a partial account of DNI Dennis Blair's first press conference today (emphasis mine):
Four short questions/comments:
(1) Does this mean that the Obama administration is planning on giving some freed Guantanamo detainees a stipend? It sure appears that way. So, not only is the Obama administration planning on freeing some detainees on U.S. soil, it is also going to pay them to live here. Amazing. Who would have thought that we would see the day when detainees who were once labeled enemy combatants would be receiving welfare?
(2) The Uighur detainees are cited, over and over again, as the types of detainees who can be safely released into the U.S. This conclusion has been reached through a combination of specious reasoning and ignorance.
None of the 17 Uighurs are master terrorists on par with the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They were mostly new recruits at the time of their capture. However, as I have argued before, they are all affiliated with and/or members of a designated terrorist organization, received training at a training camp in the al Qaeda/Taliban stronghold of Tora Bora, and have admitted that they were trained by two known terrorists. And, on top of that, the group that trained them threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China last year.
Even if you don't think that we should lock them up and throw away the key, do we really want to pay them to live on U.S. soil?
(3) The AP says the United States can't find a country to take the Uighurs, other than China, which may treat them harshly. But that really remains to be seen. Ireland, for example, has apparently offered to take some Guantanamo detainees. Other European nations have been somewhat more reticent.
(4) Is the Obama administration considering paying other Guantanamo detainees to live in the U.S. as well?
Update: AFP has Blair's full quote:
In other words, the DNI's principal concern seems to be the well being of the Gitmo detainees on American soil, and not the security of the American people.