The question of what to do with those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay came up again this morning. The Obama administration has asked our European allies to take some of them. EU anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove says it will take some time for the Europeans to decide how to respond:
“President Obama said he will need a year to close Guantanamo, it shows how difficult it is,” EU anti-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told reporters.
“So we should not ask the EU to answer in 15 days, that would not be serious … the ministers will discuss it again,” he said after the bloc’s foreign minister were split on this issue when they first discussed it at a meeting on Monday.
So the problem is that President Bush, that unilateralist cowboy, never got around to asking the EU for help with the detainees? Well, no, not exactly:
He recalled that under the Bush administration, Washington tried in vain, for years, to persuade its allies in the 27-nation EU to take in detainees who cannot go back to their home country and whom the United States does not want either.
No doubt our new President will be far more persuasive. But, then again, the issue is awfully complicated:
“We are not at a point where we can say this country takes in three (inmates) and that one five, we are not there yet … it is a very complex issue, it is not yes or no, black or white,” de Kerchove said, pointing to complex legal and security implications.
It’s funny how problems start getting more complicated once there’s a Democrat in the White House.
Meanwhile, Tom Joscelyn profiles one of those being held at Gitmo, whom the Associated Press tried to whitewash as a mere “assistant cook for the Taliban.” Someone should get the word to the AP: this terrorist detention thing is turning out to be a little tougher than Obama thought.
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