The brand new Coalition of the Willing is slowly but surely shaping up, it appears.
First, there was Palau, seven weeks ago, agreeing to accept 17 Uighurs as “a small thing we can do to thank our best friend and ally for all it has done for Palau”, and also in grateful thanks for our willingness to offer them “up to $200 million in development, budget support and other assistance in return for accepting the Uighurs”.
Then, we learned that Bermuda had actually pipped Palau at the post, and taken four of those 17 Uighurs.
And now the coalition has expanded beyond tropical island paradises, although we still remain firmly in the island category:
Ireland will take in two detainees from the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba within the next couple of months, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Ireland has previously said it was looking at taking in two Uzbek prisoners identified for resettlement to help facilitate President Barack Obama‘s order that the prison for foreign terrorism suspects be closed by the end of January.
Dick Cheney has always maintained that everyone at Guantanamo was the worst of the worst. (In fairness, we must point out that many people — not all of whom have enjoyed the hospitality of the U.S. government in Guantanamo — regard Dick Cheney as the worst of the worst.)
Presumably, Cheney will have an apoplectic fit at the appropriate time — either in person or through his duly constituted spokesdaughter — about how these dangerous terrorists will “receive permanent residency rights … a legal status that would allow them to work and move freely.”
It seems to me that either you have to concede that many people were transported to Guantanamo and held there for long years for absolutely no reason — no reason, that is, other than Bush and Cheney being adamantly unwilling to ever admit that any mistakes were made in the conduct of The War Against Terror — or you have to actively call on the gods to smite down the Palaus, Bermudas and Irelands of this world for providing safe haven and material support to dangerous terrorists.