Bermuda Now Showing More Moral Courage Than America

| Fri Jun. 12, 2009 10:15 AM EDT

Ben Smith relays that Bermuda, which is taking four Uighurs off our hands, is getting nothing in return:

A spokesman for Bermuda Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, Glenn Jones, emails that Bermuda got "nothing" from the negotiations with the United States, which he said began last month.

The country "believes this was the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective," he said.

The Bush administration eventually determined the 17 Uighurs it held in Guantanamo Bay for nearly a decade were innocent (i.e., not terrorists). But it couldn't release them because they would face arrest and possible execution if returned to China. America often offers asylum to people who face persecution in their own countries. It would be nice if we could let the Uighur detainees live in the US, near the pre-existing Uighur community near Washington, DC. Unfortunately, our politics are too screwed up to allow us to try to even begin to make up for the years that the Uighurs have spent wrongfully imprisoned.

No one in government—including President Obama—has the political and moral courage to do right by these people. So we're relying on Bermuda and Palau to clean up our mess—and leaving the Uighurs to start new lives on remote islands where they will have very little, if any, contact with their culture and traditions.

Update: Oh, how I overestimated politics. Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown didn't consult the British or other Bermudan politicians before deciding to accept the Uighurs. They're all throwing a fit. Well, at least Brown has some moral courage on this issue, even if some other Bermudans don't. He's way ahead of Obama on that front.