Opinion Brief

Is it wrong to pay off former Guantanamo terrorism suspects?

The U.K. faces a backlash after deciding to settle a lawsuit filed by former detainees who accuse British agents of being complicit in their torture

The British government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to 16 former terrorism suspects who were held at Guantanamo Bay, to avert a potentially damaging lawsuit. Several of the former detainees sued the country, claiming British agents were complicit in their torture, either at the U.S. detention center or on the way there. The British government is not admitting it did anything wrong, but Ken Clarke, the U.K.'s Secretary of State for Justice, says a court fight would cost the country far more than the settlement, and could force the government to disclose information that could threaten national security. Is the settlement a mistake? (Watch an ITN News report about the payments)

Of course — this is a win for al Qaeda: How “depressing,” says John Hinderaker at Power Line. “Al Qaeda directs its terrorists to make claims of 'torture' whenever they are caught,” even though “such claims are nearly always false.” This settlement just proves the British government's “lawyers and bean-counters” are utterly unprepared to hold the line in the war against “dedicated, mass-murdering terrorists.” Al Qaeda's “lawfare” strategy is paying off “handsomely.”
"Terrorist lawfare works again

Britain is paying to keep its secrets: The U.K. really had no choice but to settle once a judge ruled the evidence would be openly available, says Jeralyn Merritt at Talk Left. “No way does Britain want public disclosures of the dirty deeds.” For its money, the U.K. is buying something quite valuable — the assurance that the world doesn't get a closer look at how British spies, and their American colleagues, handle suspects in the war on terror.Great Britain's payout to Guantanamo detainees

The pay-off is smart, but it is still an outrage: Yes, this lets the British government avoid divulging secrets, a move that would harm “our crucial intelligence relationship with the United States,” say the editors of Britain's Telegraph. But these men, some of whom had been given asylum by the U.K., were “detained in Afghanistan or Pakistan while allegedly providing support to our enemies, and now are to be given large sums of taxpayers' money.” The pragmatism behind the decision doesn't make it any easier to swallow.Terror suspects: Pragmatic payouts

Recommended

Biden, Putin express openness to cybercriminal exchange
Joe Biden.
depends on what you mean

Biden, Putin express openness to cybercriminal exchange

Netanyahu goes 'scorched earth'
Benjamin Netanyahu.
loose cannon

Netanyahu goes 'scorched earth'

Biden says he's 'satisfied' with G7's final stance on China
G7 summit.
that'll do for now

Biden says he's 'satisfied' with G7's final stance on China

10 things you need to know today: June 13, 2021
G7 summit in Cornwall.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 13, 2021

Most Popular

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

10 things you need to know today: June 11, 2021
Biden and Boris at G7
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 11, 2021