The First Draft: From Gitmo to paradise
The Chinese Gitmo detainees are heading to paradise.
No, they’re not winging to heaven to enjoy the company of 72 virgins. The Uighurs, as they’re known, are being resettled in various beachy, tropical locales as the Obama administration seeks to empty the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.
The United States has struggled for months to find a home for the Chinese Muslims, who were scooped up in 2001 during the invasion of Afghanistan. The Uighurs had no beef with the U.S., their lawyers say, but were instead part of an independence movement in China’s far west.
China wanted them to face the music back home, but it sounds like they’ll be facing the music of Jimmy Buffett instead. The Pacific Island nation of Palau agreed to take on all 17 detainees yesterday; today the Justice Department said four have already been resettled in Bermuda.
Six other Uighurs were sent to Albania in 2006, a former Communist state better known for pyramid schemes and bunkers than beaches. Evidently, good things come to those who wait.
photo credit: REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (footprints on an Australian beach — not where the Uighurs are going, but possibly what they’ll be experiencing).
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