In a “stinging rebuke to the Bush administration,” said James Oliphant in The Swamp, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered 17 Uighurs, or Chinese Muslims, released from Guantánamo Bay and allowed into the U.S. Urbina said it was “unlawful” for Bush to keep the Uighurs even though they were deemed safe for release in 2004.
It was wrong to keep the innocent “Gitmo Uighurs” in prison, said Gordon Chang in Commentary, but “to its credit,” the Bush administration had the sense not to return them to China, “which wants them back so it can imprison and torture them.” And Bush might have released them sooner if any other country had stepped up to take them.
Urbina’s ruling is an “outrage,” said Debbie Schlussel in her blog. Releasing members of a group affiliated with al Qaida into “our nation’s capital” is a “preposterous decision” that could come back and haunt him, and us.
Actually, I’ve never come across a people “more pro-American than the Uighurs,” said John Pomfret in The Washington Post online. The U.S. didn’t list the Uighurs as “terrorists,” despite Chinese pressure, until 2002, when Bush, in what looks like a “pay-off,” sought to “make sure that China did not block U.N. Security Council resolutions” on Iraq.