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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pacific island of Palau

A diplomatic spat has broken out over Bermuda's acceptance of four Chinese Muslim Uighurs released from the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

The UK has told Bermuda, which is one of its overseas territories, that it should have consulted London before agreeing to resettle the Uighurs.

The four were among a group handed over to US forces in Afghanistan, but later found not to be "enemy combatants".

Beijing has demanded the return of all Uighurs held by the US forces to China.

The four who were sent to Bermuda were part of a group of 17 Uighurs still at Guantanamo.

Earlier in the week the Pacific island of Palau had also agreed to take the detainees.

We did talk to them before the Uighurs got on the plane
State department official on communication between the US and the UK

US officials said Washington would consult the government of Bermuda regularly on the status of the men, who would not be allowed to enter the US without prior permission.

But the Foreign Office in London expressed its concern at Bermuda's decision to accept the Uighurs.

"The Bermuda government consider this to be a matter regarding their day-to-day responsibility for immigration," a statement said.

"We have underlined to the Bermuda government that it should have consulted the UK on whether this falls within their competence or is a foreign affairs or security issue for which the Bermuda Government do not have delegated responsibility."

Britain is now helping Bermuda conduct a security assessment of the men. The Foreign Office noted that the four did not have travel documents and so would not be able to fly to the UK.

'Let freedom ring'

A state department official in Washington said the US had dealt directly with Bermuda over the issue, on the basis that it was talking to the island's British-appointed governor.

Pressed on whether the US had told the British government, the unnamed official was quoted as saying: "We did talk to them before the Uighurs got on the plane."

Ethnically Turkic Muslims, mainly in Xinjiang
Made bid for independent state in 1940s
Sporadic violence in Xinjiang since 1991
Uighurs worried about Chinese immigration and erosion of traditional culture

The four arrived on a charter flight early on Thursday in Bermuda, a chain of islands lying off America's eastern seaboard.

One them, Abdul Nasser, thanked Bermuda in a statement released through his lawyer: "Today you have let freedom ring."

Five Uighurs who were transferred to Albania in 2006 have not been engaged in criminal or terrorist activities since, the US government said.

China repeated its demand for the return of all Chinese detainees hours before Bermuda accepted the Uighurs.

America should "stop handing over terrorist suspects to any third country", foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

Palau, a former US trust territory, grants diplomatic recognition to Taiwan, not China.

On Thursday, the president of Palau told the Associated Press news agency that the island had agreed to take in the Uighers because of its tradition of hospitality - and not because of a reported offer of $200m (£121m) in aid and other assistance from the US.

"We did agree to accept them due to the fact that they have become basically homeless and need to find a place of refuge and freedom," said President Johnson Toribiong.

The US has been reluctant to send the Uighurs back to China for fear they will be tortured or executed.

More than eight million mainly Muslim Uighurs live in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, a vast area of western China that borders Central Asia.

Beijing says Uighur insurgents are leading an Islamist separatist movement, recognised as a terrorist group by the UN.

US President Barack Obama has ordered the Guantanamo detention centre closed by early next year.

Correspondents say officials are having difficulty finding governments willing to accept the remaining detainees, while at home they face stiff resistance to the idea of Guantanamo detainees on being transferred to US soil.

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