A detainee is taken to an interrogation area at Guantanamo Bay:

Should U.S. allies like Germany, who consider the prison camp to

be synonymous with the downfall of America, accept these men?



Die Zeit, Germany

Germany Must Accept U.S. Request on Guantanamo Prisoners


"Reason and humanity demand that we comply with the request of the United States. Barack Obama was in office not 48 hours when he ordered the prison camp at Guantánamo closed within a year. For this he is deserving of the highest recognition - and all the help we can give."


By Mattias Nass



Translated By Jonathan Lobsien


May 21, 2009


Germany - Die Zeit - Original Article (German)

Detainees await processing at Guantanamo: Closing the facility is turning out to be a lot harder than opening it, with allies hesitant to accept those who will be released, and U.S. states unwilling to accept them, either - even if deemed 'not dangerous.'


BBC NEWS VIDEO: U.S. Congress blocks funding for closure of Guantanamo Bay, May 21, 00:01:32RealVideo

The names of nine Uyghurs are on the list that Barack Obama’s special envoy, Daniel Fried, recently handed over to the German government. They currently sit along with some 250 other detainees in the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Germany, according to the request of the Obama government, may take in the Uyghurs in order to make the closure of the camp easier. According to a U.S. court, the nine pose no danger, but in their homeland of China, they would be threatened again with imprisonment and torture. Should Germany grant the men asylum? A fierce debate has erupted within the grand [ruling] coalition in Berlin concerning this matter. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Social Democratic Party) is for hosting them, while Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble (Christian Democratic Union), as well as a few SDP insiders, object.


But of course! Reason and humanity demand that we comply with the request of the United States. Barack Obama was in office not 48 hours when he ordered the prison camp at Guantánamo closed within a year. For this he is deserving of the highest recognition - and all the help we can give.


Finally, after Europeans pushed George W. Bush for years, this institutionalized breach of the law will end. Angela Merkel put it this way: “The use of such prisons is incompatible with my understanding of the rule of law.” Now, at last, this shameful chapter is to be concluded.


Therefore, our answer to the request of the Americans can only be: Whoever's innocence is proven; whoever survived torture and understandably doesn't want to make America his new home but cannot return to his original country because they would be threatened with further persecution, they should find acceptance among us.



Now however, hypocritical guardians of domestic and external security have been unleashed, as if the Americans wanted to see our security unhinged! As if they're being crafty to protect themselves from lawsuits seeking compensation (which, by the way, are just as easily conducted from Munich). As if they wanted to deflect the wrath of Beijing, which sees the Uyghurs at Guantánamo as East Turkestan terrorists, toward the naive Germans (who nevertheless renewed good business ties with China even after the chancellor received the Dalai Lama).


U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has stated: “These people are truly innocent. We're ready with all of our power to support them so that they integrate quickly [translated quote].” Naturally, the Chinese are more believable than Biden. One can and should investigate possible connections between the Uyghurs and the East Turkestan Islamic separatist movement.


The only thing one hears above the cries for “more information” is excuses, excuses, excuses! It is the same couldn’t-care-less morality exhibited by head of the Chancellery Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the case of Murat Kurnaz. There may even be something to these allegations! Incidentally: what's it to us?  




Die Zeit, Germany: Germany Must Refuse U.S. on Guantanamo Prisoners

Liberation, France: How Brave Americans Were Turned Into Torturers

NRC Handlesblad, The Netherlands: Torture Has No Place in 'Shining City on a Hill'

Le Temps, Switzerland: Doing Evil in the Name of the Good

Izvestia, Russia: U.S. and Torture: For Mr. Obama, It's 'Hard to Be Gorby'

Publico, Spain: Torture Charges Filed Against Bush Legal Team; Judge Garzon Handles Case

Hurriyet, Turkey: Dick Cheney's Torture Logic is 'Deeply Offensive'

Die Tageszeitung, Germany: America and Torture: 'Just Following Orders'

Financial Times Deutschland, Germany: Obama: Inviting the Next Torture Scandal

Jornal de Noticias, Portugal: Poverty and Torture: Bush Has Company in Europe

Le Monde, France: 'Fussy' Rights Groups 'Wrong' to Be Impatient with Obama

Le Figaro, France: Obama's Moral Crusade: A Few Words of Caution

The Independent, U.K.: America Doesn't Need a Witch-Hunt

BBC News, U.K.: U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Calls CIA Exemption 'Illegal'

Ottawa Citizen, Canada: Torture the 'Chicago Way'

Toronto Star, Canada: Winking at CIA Abuse


But we’re not talking about morals. We’re talking about political prudence. In the Islamic world, Guantánamo Bay has become synonymous with Western double standards. And note: the West - not of America alone. Because European countries were involved; because CIA aircraft made stopovers here; because there is evidence that even in Europe there were prison-torture sites; and because from these places, suspects were transferred to Syria, Pakistan and Egypt, with full knowledge of what awaited them there.


Now along comes Barack Obama, looking to engage Muslims in a conversation, and he wants to transcend the ignorance, the hatred, of the Bush years. And he starts the conversation with just the right gesture: closing Guantánamo. And we don't want to help him with this? If we don't want to gamble away the respect of the world - and our own self-respect, this would be the way. 















































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US May 21, 2:35am]