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NYT: 100 Countries Refused to Take the Uighurs

10:57 AM, Jun 10, 2009 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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The New York Times account of the Obama administration's deal with Palau, which has agreed to take some or all of the 17 Uighurs detained at Gitmo, contains one interesting observation and one significant oversight.

The interesting observation is this: "But the United States had not been able to persuade any country to take them, despite contacting about 100 governments."

About 100 governments rejected the Obama administration's request to take the Uighurs? We knew the administration was shopping the Uighurs around, but the administration contacted around 100 foreign governments? That tells you how ineffectual the administration's diplomatic efforts have been thus far. It also indicates how little foreign governments (including the European nations that repeatedly clamored for Gitmo to be closed) are really willing to help. Only one nation, out of about 100, has agreed to assist the administration in this regard -- the tiny island resort nation of Palau, which is heavily dependent on U.S. aid. Other outlets have reported that Palau is receiving $200 million in aid as part of the deal. The Times says "a senior State Department official flatly denied it was a quid pro quo for the detainee deal."

Right. I'm sure the $200 million aid package did not influence Palau's decision-making at all.

This leads us to the significant oversight: "The Chinese government accuses some Uighurs of leading an Islamic separatist movement in far western China, and Beijing has pressed many countries not to accept the detainees."

The Times blames the reticence of other foreign governments on pressure from Beijing. But, the Times does not mention that all 17 Uighur detainees are either members or associates of the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement (also known as the Turkestan Islamic Party), a U.S. and UN-designated al Qaeda affiliate. Most of the Uighur detainees have admitted they were trained at ETIM/TIP training camps. And at least eight of them have admitted that Abdul Haq, a member of al Qaeda's elite Shura council, ran the training camps where they learned to wage jihad.

Ironically, the documents that back up these claims can be found on the Times's own website. But for some reason, no Times reporter could take the time to investigate who the Uighur detainees really are. Instead, the newspaper of record refers to their organization as merely "an Islamic separatist movement."