Here's an article on this topic (America trying to force its detainees on other countries) in today's Mail..........
This is America's mess. Why should they expect us to sort it out?
By Patrick Mercer
, Tory MP
03rd January 2009
Of all the things that were ingrained in me while fighting terrorists in Northern Ireland, two stand out.
First, everything that the forces of law and order do must be unequivocally legal; and, second, your opponents will immediately capitalise upon it if it isn’t.
That’s why Guantanamo is not just a mess, it’s also the best recruiting sergeant our enemies could have.
Shocking: Guantanamo detainees, January 2002
The first images published of those the U.S. deemed to be ‘illegal combatants’ - in orange jumpsuits and in humiliating poses detained in a military camp in a corner of Cuba where American civil law did not hold sway - rang all sorts of alarm bells, not least in this newspaper.
It was a propaganda coup for Al Qaeda that cost us dear, not just in terms of the £80million a year it takes to run the camp but in the damage it did to America’s prestige and reputation as a just and law-abiding democracy - and, by association, to ours as well.
That Tony Blair’s government - a government populated by leading human rights lawyers - slavishly accepted Guantanamo’s existence is something of which we should all be ashamed.
For it was not just the extremists who saw the powerful and negative message that it sent but also sensible, liberal voices who revolted against such clumsy injustice.
Idea: One solution being considered in the U.S. is to take between 30 and 80 of the most dangerous inmates, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for trial on the mainland
So it is both admirable and understandable that President-elect Obama would wish to close Guantanamo, as he has promised to do within the first two years of his administration.
As America’s first Democrat President in eight years, determined to usher in an era of change, the camp’s closure will become a crucial emblem of his new regime.
It is right that the Allies help Barack Obama to remove - or at least minimise - the stain that remains as a legacy from George Bush’s administration.
But first our Government’s stance needs to be scrutinised.
It’s almost seven years to the day since the first hooded prisoners arrived at Guantanamo, bound, gagged and under the control of heavily armed U.S. troops, taken from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and spirited away under cover of darkness.
By taking the detainees to a military base in Cuba, rather than mainland America, the authorities were able to try the men under martial law as opposed to civil law, in itself a great injustice.
In that time only one prisoner has confessed guilt and none has gone to public trial.
We heard little from Whitehall about the wrongness of Guantanamo until about 2006 when British requests for the return of our citizens held there were brusquely rejected by the then Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and others in the U.S. government.
Since then, the number of detainees has steadily dropped to 255, from its peak of more than 750.
Of the prisoners who remain, 50 have been found ‘not guilty’ by U.S. court martial.
The Pentagon has conceded that it has no evidence to charge the majority of the detainees with terrorism.
The UK has already taken nine British citizens and four with residential status.
Of those still in Guantanamo, only two - Binyam Mohamed and Shaker Aamer - were once resident in the UK.
Now Mr Obama is faced with an uncomfortable dilemma. He has admitted it is wrong to hold these men.
Yet he is said to be convinced it would be political suicide to allow them into the U.S.
Their presence on the mainland could, it is argued, also provoke retaliation from Al Qaeda.
And yet many of them cannot be returned to their native countries under international law because of fears of torture or execution.
So the Americans believe there is only one solution, and it is to ask approximately 100 nations to accept detainees who are not their citizens.
Last week, Albania and Portugal agreed to help, while the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark have said they will not.
Spain says such a move would impose ‘serious legal problems’, while yesterday Australia made it clear it will not be accepting any of Guantanamo’s former inmates.
Our Government - which has been more heavily involved than any other country - appears to have conflicting views.
The Home Office has indicated that any requests from the U.S. will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, while a Foreign Office spokeswoman has said ‘we recognise the legal, technical and other difficulties and that the U.S. will require assistance from allies and partners to make this happen’ - and yet ‘the Foreign Office is not pushing for a deal to allow other Guantanamo terror suspects into the UK’.
Tony Blair’s former chief legal adviser Lord Goldsmith has argued that Britain should accept Guantanamo detainees.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme that we should close the camp. Is it too much to ask that our leaders speak with one voice?
I agree that Guantanamo does not stop terrorism but has instead become a lightning rod for extremists everywhere and the problems of accepting any more former detainees are insuperable.
They cannot be held in this country without charge, yet charging them and bringing them to trial based on evidence from the battlefield that is mainly circumstantial or material that has been gained - some would say - under duress in Guantanamo is fraught with difficulty.
Admitting Al Qaeda suspects and then having to set them free in this country is precisely what our overstretched police and security services do not want.
Bringing former detainees into this country would require them to jump the immigration queue. The expense is enormous.
William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, is right to ask Foreign Secretary David Miliband how many might there be and what assurances would be given about their behaviour.
When the matter is discussed by EU members in Prague this week it is vital that every nation can support a common line.
One idea being mooted in Washington is that between 30 and 80 of the detainees considered most dangerous should be taken to the U.S. mainland for trial.
These include people such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused of being at the heart of the September 11 attacks.
They would face criminal law courts overseen by judges with special knowledge of terrorism and intelligence matters.
These would be very different from the military commissions being suggested in the dying days of the Bush regime and, I hope, viewed much more favourably by the rest of the world.
And surely, if they have been cleared by a properly recognised civilian court, the American government, which created this problem in the first place, could persuade public opinion that it was reasonable to allow those who could not return to their homelands to settle in the land of the free.
Guantanamo has been a catastrophic mistake and a mistake whose message has spawned immeasurable violence and evil.
While it makes political, social and military sense to help America and her new President in presenting a new face to the world in the struggle against terrorism, the chaos and injustice of Guantanamo is a problem of that nation’s making.
America will gain much-needed credit if she is seen to be dealing, belatedly but even-handedly, with the injustices that she herself has caused.
* Patrick Mercer is Tory MP for Newark, Nottinghamshire, a former soldier and chairman of the House of Commons’ counter-terrorism sub-committee.