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Propaganda Disconnect

9:24 PM, May 27, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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The Huffington Post banner headline reads:

Dem Senators Open To Allowing Innocent Chinese Detainees To Live In U.S.

But read Ryan Grim's (very fair) piece and you'll see that these Dem Senators say nothing of the sort. Asked whether he'd be open to letting the Uighurs "live" in the U.S., Dick Durbin demurs: "I don't know. We may be in a position where that will be considered, but I leave that up to the administration. I just don't know." Likewise, the best Byron Dorgan can muster is saying no one has ever escaped from a Supermax -- the correct answer to a very different question. Ben Cardin tells Grim that there are other options beside settling them in the United States, though he goes further than any other senator in the story when he grudgingly concedes he "would not exclude the United States." And finally there's Harry Reid, who Grim notes has undergone a dramatic reversal on the issue after the president held a fundraiser for him this week. But Reid is hardly rolling out the welcome wagon. "We can't send them back to China. Should they go into a maximum-security prison? Probably not," Reid told the Las Vegas Sun.

Perhaps these senators are aware that the Uighurs, though innocent in the eyes of the law, are actually pretty dangerous in addition to being a pretty serious political liability. The Huffington Post glosses over that fact lest reality interfere with their faith-based detainee policy -- or their headlines.