Which Is Worse: The U.S. Torturing British Residents or Britain Not Taking Them Back?

| Mon Oct. 2, 2006 9:40 PM EDT

You know the War on Terror is a joke when the U.S. and Britain are reduced to bizarre bickering over what to do with Britain's share of the Gitmo detainees. It seems cooperation on the matter extends only so far as championing the cause of moral depravity. The London Guardian revealed today that the U.S. has been holding at least nine former British residents at Guantanamo, but the U.K. only wants to take back one of them. That might sound kind of understandable, in a callous, self-interested way, if the UK wasn't arguing in the same breath that the men pose very little threat to anyone. These are, after all, people who have never been convicted on terrorism charges. The Brits pointed out as much in response to a demand by our government that any of the men it releases to the UK be essentially spied on 24/7. The Brits said that would be too expensive and noted that the men "do not pose a sufficient threat." So why do they only want back one guy out of nine? Only they know. Perhaps they're worried that men who have been tortured four years running might not be very socially well adjusted. Even though the men are scheduled for release, their lawyers say they are still being exposed to inhuman treatment, such as extremes of cold and heat--all too literally making for a depraved game of hot potato.

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