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Friday, June 12, 2009
Blackmailed? Palau reportedly to take 17 Guantanamo detainees
By Andrew Walden @ 10:57 AM :: 8259 Views :: Environment, National News, Ethics, World News, Family

by Andrew Walden

With Obama’s White House counsel Greg Craig and GTMO Shutdown Czar Daniel Fried riding shotgun—plus the detainees two personal attorneys--a US plane landed Thursday in Bermuda to offload four Chinese Muslim Uighurs who allegedly trained with al-Qaeda and were captured in Afghanistan on the field of combat at Tora Borah in December, 2001.

Palau is the Obama’s administration’s next stop. Seventeen more Uighurs from Tora Bora are to be dumped there. That will total 21 jihadi head-choppers who have been granted residence at US taxpayer expense on beautiful tropical islands after facing American soldiers in combat alongside al-Qaeda at Tora Borah.  Palauans have the right to travel and work in the United States under the terms of the Compact of Free Association.  The Obama administration has refused to rule out paying to settle the Uighur jihadis in the USA.  Up for renewal October 1, negotiations on extending the Compact--which provides jobs in the US for hundreds of Palau's 20,000 people and provides most of the funding for Palau's government--apparently hinged on acceptance of the detainees. 

RELATED: Obama won't rule out releasing Guantanamo detainees in USA...

The jihadis have been defended by a gaggle of leftist lawyers from the US organized by the mis-named “Center for Constitutional Rights.” After decades of academic leftist monopoly on American universities, there are literally hundreds of such lawyers falling all over each other to “serve the caged prisoners”.

Under the Geneva Conventions illegal combatants have absolutely no rights whatsoever—including the right to life. These rules were put in place to create the type of incentives necessary to ensure that war fighters obey the laws of warfare laid down in the conventions.

They have been deemed eligible for release since 2006—largely because their jihad was against China. But only Albania has previously agreed to accept any of the detainees known as Uighurs. Presaging events to come in Bermuda and Palau--one of the detainees released to Albania has since relocated to Sweden.

The move to Bermuda came with the agreement only of the local governor--without the authorization of Britain which handles Bermuda’s security, defense, and foreign affairs. Bermudans have easy travel to both the US and the UK. This is the latest in a growing list of insults directed by the Obama administration at America’s most important ally.

According to White House sources, after a recent visit to Palau from Fried, the Obama administration won approval from President Johnson Toribiong to accept 17 detainees.  Under conditions of the Compact of Free Association first signed in 1994, a naturalized Palauan citizen may travel without visa or passport to the United States after five years residence in Palau.  Palauans are not required to show a visa or use a passport to travel to the US.  Palauan government ID such as a driver's license is sufficient to gain entry.

According to China Daily:

“Two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the US was prepared to give Palau up to $200 million in development, budget support and other assistance in return for accepting the Uygurs and as part of a mutual defense and cooperation treaty that is due to be renegotiated this year.”

The current Compact of Free Association expires October 1, 2009. Most Palauan government revenue comes under the terms of the Compact—creating a great need for Palau to win a renewal.

Palau has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, not China. Although Palauan politics has been peaceful recently there were a series of political assassinations in the small nation throughout the 1980s as the Compact was first negotiated.

The LA Times reports:

Beverly Skilang, who runs a guesthouse on the (Palauan) island of Koror, said she had heard rumors about the resettlement program, but she didn't quite believe them. After all, how could Palau, a place Skilang said was "suspicious of outsiders," possibly integrate Chinese Muslims who once were accused of being terrorists?
"People are scared, and they don't understand," Skilang said Wednesday. "I don't think Palau will accept them."
Skilang, however, said she would welcome the Uighurs to Palau, home to about 20,000 people. As a Christian, she said, she believes "everyone deserves a second chance."
"I believe that people can change," she said. "But not all the Palauans believe that."

AP reports:

Palau President Johnson Toribiong explained his decision to grant the Uighurs entry as traditional hospitality, but public opinion has appeared overwhelmingly negative. Some complained Friday that the government failed to consult the people.

"I totally disagree" with allowing the Uighurs onto Palau, Natalia Baulis, a 30-year-old mother of two, told The Associated Press by telephone.

"It's good to be humanitarian and all, but still these people ... to me are scary," she said.

Fermin Nariang, editor of the Palau newspaper Island Times, said he had been stopped in the streets of the capital, Koror, by residents venting their anger.

"This is a very small country ... and some are saying if the whole world doesn't want these folks, why are we taking them?" Nariang said.

The newspaper quoted islander Debedebk Mongami as saying, "I'm also afraid this news is going to scare the tourists who plan to come to Palau."

Regarding Bermuda, AFP reports:

Bermuda's Premier Ewart Brown said the United States would pay for their resettlement. He said the men eventually would be eligible for citizenship, which would allow them to travel elsewhere.

But Britain chided Bermuda, a self-governing British overseas territory, saying that it should have first consulted London about whether it was safe to accept the men.

Britain's Bermuda Governor Sir Richard Gozney told the territory's Royal Gazette newspaper that the Uighur transfer "was done without permission."

"The government of Bermuda should have consulted with us because it carries with it foreign policy ground areas and security issues," Gozney was quoted as saying, adding he was only informed about the move earlier Thursday.

In Washington, a State Department official acknowledged on condition of anonymity that the British were livid. He said the United States consulted Britain about the case, although possibly not long before the men boarded the plane.

 

RELATED:

http://www.visit-palau.com

http://www.islandtimes.us

  1. ^ "Palau to take Guantanamo Uighurs". BBC News. 2009-06-10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8092502.stm. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  2. ^ Matthew Lee, Devlin Barrett (2009-06-09). "US eyes Pacific to resettle Uighur detainees". WTOP. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwtop.com%2F%3Fnid%3D116%26sid%3D1692515&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  3. ^ Ray Lilley (2009-06-10). "Island nation of Palau to take Gitmo's Uighurs". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestar.com%2Fnews%2Fworld%2Farticle%2F648438&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  4. ^ "Pacific state Palau to take Uighur detainees". CTV News. 2009-06-10. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ctv.ca%2Fservlet%2FArticleNews%2Fstory%2FCTVNews%2F20090610%2FPalau_Uighur_090610%2F20090610%3Fhub%3DWorld&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved 09-06-11.
  5. ^ "Palau to take 17 Uygur Guantanamo inmates". China Daily. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chinadaily.com.cn%2Fworld%2F2009-06%2F11%2Fcontent_8272318.htm&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  6. ^ Mike Levine (2009-06-09). "Palau Agrees to Take Uighur Gitmo Detainees". Fox News. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2009%2F06%2F09%2Freport-obama-administration-talks-palau-resettle-uighur-detainees%2F&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  7. ^ "Palau to take Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay". Yahoo News. 2009-06-10. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.yahoo.com%2Fs%2Fap%2F20090610%2Fap_on_re_au_an%2Fas_us_guantanamo_palau&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  8. ^ "Four Uyghur Detainees Released". Radio Free Asia. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rfa.org%2Fenglish%2Fnews%2Fuyghur%2Frelease-06112009074832.html&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  9. ^ a b "Breaking News: Premier's statement on Guantanamo Bay". The Royal Gazette. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalgazette.com%2Fsiftology.royalgazette%2FArticle%2Farticle.jsp%3FarticleId%3D7d965ba30030000%26sectionId%3D60&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  10. ^ Devlin Barrett (2009-06-11). "4 Chinese Muslims released from Guantanamo". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fhostednews%2Fap%2Farticle%2FALeqM5hXh3uNX3sav1yJUl6k1XFvjZaycgD98OG1R01&date=2009-06-11.
  11. ^ "Breaking News update: Guantanamo decision taken "without permission" Governor to assess implications". The Royal Gazette. 2009-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.royalgazette.com%2Fsiftology.royalgazette%2FArticle%2Farticle.jsp%3FarticleId%3D7d965be30030000%26sectionId%3D60&date=2009-06-11. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
  12. ^ Breaking News: Premier's statement on Guantanamo Bay
  13. ^ Andy Worthington (2009-06-11). "Who Are the Four Guantanamo Uighurs Sent to Bermuda?". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-worthington/who-are-the-four-guantana_b_214606.html. Retrieved on 2009-06-11.
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