My comment on the NYT about the imprisonment of the Uighurs. William Glaberson and Margot Williams have written a news report about the problem, and the NYT contains a discussion about possible solutions.
Why does the US government feel absolutely no sense of urgency in solving this problem?
It’s hard for me to understand why resettlement in the US is not a serious option.
Even if it were not considered as a long term solution, it seems ridiculous not to give them temporary asylum in the US while the government arranges someone to take them. We created the problem; now we need to fix it.
Having these people still in prison when there is no attempt to justify the cause flies in the face of core American values. Gitmo has ruined many people’s lives, and yet the US government feels no pressure to rectify this.
The arguments presented here are academic and legalistic, but they are missing the point. The US government is devastating the lives of each individuals, and has no incentive to take action quickly. The rights of these individuals matter a lot to me, certainly more than a flawed judicial process that the current administration owes no allegiance to.
From a PR perspective, my solution is to pay each Uighur $100,000 for each year they have spent in Gitmo and offer the prisoners and their immediate family full citizenship as well as a written apology personally signed by Obama. If these people were released, aid organizations would step in to provide humanitarian assistance. This could turn into a modest success story. Why do we assume that these people could turn into terrorists/criminals? For all we know, they could contribute a lot to American society (perhaps offering insight into our own democratic system).
The problem is that the American government pays no price for the continued detention of these people. Because of the legal morass, the tendency of the bureaucracy is to do nothing. That is a terrifying statement about our legal system. In the case of wrongful imprisonment, the government needs to be held accountable and needs to be liable for the lives it has helped to ruin.