One Hand Giveth- the Other Taketh Away: Release Could Mean Detention, Again

By Seth Freed Wessler Oct 08, 2008

Seventeen men who have spent over 6 years detained, possibly tortured and stripped of any legal recourse in Guantanamo Bay appeared before a federal judge yesterday and were ordered released to the United States. The men have been held in Cuba despite the Bush administration acknowledgment that they pose no threat to the United States. But because the group of 17, who are all Chinese Muslims of Uighur ethnicity, claim that they will be persecuted, even killed, if they are returned to China, the administration has held them, purportedly, as absurd as this may be, for their own protection. While the government challenges the ruling, there is hope that the men will indeed be released to Washington DC where they will be taken in by members of the Uighur community there. Meanwhile, just after the federal judge ruled "to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for detention,” an assistant attorney general threatened that the Department of Homeland Security may detain the men if they are released to the United States. The labyrinthine threats to re-detain people who have been held indefinitely in one of America’s gulags is a cynical display of what Roberto Lovato called the "The Guantanamization of Immigrant Detention." Immigration detention and the detention of people deemed "enemy combatants" have melded together to the point that to the government it matters not where and under what auspices these men are detained so long as they are detained, locked up, stripped of their rights to due process and made less than human.