Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

$11.7 million per detainee

Palau to the Rescue

It's only costing $11.7 million per detainee.

Months of moral grandstanding and intense diplomacy are finally yielding dividends: President Obama has convinced Palau, a Pacific archipelago and long-standing U.S. ally, to resettle a small group of the least dangerous Guantanamo detainees. All it took was $200 million in foreign aid to a country with 20,000 residents and a GDP of about $164 million.

Headed to Palau are the Uighurs, ethnic Chinese Muslims who were picked up in 2002 near Tora Bora. Some of them received weapons training at Afghan camps affiliated with al Qaeda or the Taliban as part of their separatist movement -- the Uighur minority is brutally repressed by the Chinese government -- though they are not considered threats to the U.S. or other Western nations. But they were left in legal limbo because they could not be returned to China, where they would likely be tortured or worse, and no other country would give them sanctuary.

The Uighurs are not America's problem alone -- they were captured during "the good war," after all. Yet for all Europe's excoriations of Gitmo as a blight on America, no one jumped at this easy chance to reduce the prison population. This was true during the Bush Administration and has remained so for its supposedly more enlightened successor. According to news reports, the Obama Administration asked more than 100 allies (i.e., basically everyone) to accept custody.

Those same objections are bedeviling the Administration's efforts to resettle the 250 or so remaining terrorists at Gitmo, nearly all of whom are far more dangerous than the Uighurs. Palau deserves credit for its "humanitarian gesture," as Palau President Johnson Toribiong called it, though the $200 million in aid probably helped. That works out to $11.7 million for each detainee -- or about $10,000 for every Palau citizen. At the going per capita rate, it would only cost $615 billion to move Gitmo to France. No doubt the French would still have to think about it.

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