"Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs, detained for more than six years and counting at the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, are firing back at Newt Gingrich, who has accused them of terrorist ties and says that releasing them into the United States would endanger the country.
"The seventeen Uighurs told their translator, Rushan Abbas, how they felt when they heard Gingrich's remarks. Abbas has been working with them in Guantanamo since 2002, initially contracted by the Department of Defense. The Uighurs' rejoinder to Gingrich is the first quasi-interview with detainees still imprisoned in Guantanamo."
The Uighurs undoubtedly do not want to be released to China because they would certainly be tortured or executed as terrorists. They certainly see the benefits of being released onto American soil so image rehabilitation through the media is their best shot. Now, all of a sudden, we're supposed to believe they are not terrorists at all but just misunderstood choirboys picked up by bounty hunters for no good reason.In a recent column, Newt Gingrich claimed that" '[b]y their own admission, Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay are members of or associated with the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an al Qaeda-affiliated group designated as a terrorist organization under U.S law.
"No, they have never admitted that, says Abbas, adding that the Uighurs call the claim 'baseless, factless slander against them.' Abbas returned from Guantanamo Monday. She now works with the Uighurs' defense attorneys, but said that her comments to the Huffington Post were not intended as advocacy on their behalf.
"The Uighurs call relatives in the United States and Europe often, she says, so stay up on the news. They were surprised to hear the accusation from the former Speaker of the House.
"Why does he hate us so much and say those kinds of things? He doesn't know us. He should talk to our attorneys if he's curious about our background," Abbas relates. "How could he speak in such major media with nothing based in fact? They were very disappointed how Newt Gingrich was linking them to ETIM which they never even heard of the name ETIM until they came to Guantanamo Bay."
Factless slander? As I've posted before, Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu made many trips to Gitmo in the course of researching and writing his book, Inside Gitmo. His research included interviews with prison officials and review of legal documents, among other sources.
Cucullu writes, "Just to be clear, these men are not choirboys who strayed on the path home from church services. They were captured in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, in which they were by their own admission undergoing training so that they could return to China to be terrorists supporting an independent uighur Islamic nation" (140).
But now, according to HuffPo, this is all a fallacy. They never admitted this.
Just what exactly does the media think goes on in an al Qaeda training camp? What exactly does the media think these people are training for? To be cashiers at Wal Mart? They train people to be terrorists in al Qaeda training camps.
This idiotic assertion was also made in the case of John Walker Lindh who put himself in an al Qaeda training camp but then wants to claim the victim role and pretend like he was just there to study religion or some such nonsense.
Based on the HuffPo article, and on Cucullu's book, the Uighurs actually have it pretty good at Gitmo, relatively speaking. Not as good as a free ride in the United States, but better than they had it in Afghanistan. They have big screen TV, a personal diet plan, better medical care than some American citizens, an ocean view and "they call relatives in the United States and Europe often."
But they do have that nasty Newt Gingrich picking on them. "Why does he hate us so much?" they asked. Maybe because most Americans have a low tolerance for terrorists. We don't need to give them an engraved invitation, an escort into the country, and wait for them to attack us to know that they are terrorists.
Meanwhile, HuffPo is handling their PR.