Help for Guantánamo

Here’s something you’ll be glad to hear: the Netherlands stands ready to assist with the mooted closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay that the Obama transition team is reported to be working on. As reported in the Dutch Christian newspaper Nederlands Dagblad (“Help US close cell on Cuba”), Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen stated “I hope that the closing of Guantánamo Bay will be one of Obama’s first deeds. We want to actively support him with that.”

Great! So does that mean, for example, that the Netherlands will be willing to take in some of the 250-or-so prisoners who remain? You know, probably some of them are actually terroristic nasties, but nasties whom US authorities will nonetheless have problems ever prosecuting because of how some of the evidence against them was gained (i.e. by torture). So while it’s conceivable that about the only thing that can eventually be done is to set them free, quite often their native countries don’t really want to have them back.

Well . . . not so fast. The good Foreign Minister will first need to consult with his colleague, the Justice Minister: “I want to take a look with Hirsch Balin [that’s the Dutch Justice Minister] how they can get a trial in accord with our norms and values.”

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