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Thursday, March 11, 2004
Those for whom alleged evil is not worth considering, so long as it is anti-American evil

The Guantanamo captives held by British authorities, let us be clear, were picked up in very, very dodgy circumstances. None of them have yet been found guilty of a crime, so it is wrong to say for certain that they are terrorists, but the details of their capture given by one Bush Administration official should weigh heavily in all our minds.

[T]hey had all been in the combat zone in Afghanistan. One had been picked up in Pakistan, in a safe house used by Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden's former chief of operations and the most senior al-Qaida leader captured to date. Another one allegedly met Bin Laden three times. All four were described as veterans of al-Qaida training camps, schooled in terrorist skills from bomb-making to assassinations.

It is certainly possible one of them was in that part of the world at that time for entirely innocent reasons. But four? Perhaps a trial will establish that this really is the case. But reading the left-wing press, it seems such questions simply aren't worth asking. To consider the very real possibility that they are traitors who waged war on British soldiers in defence of one of the most wicked regimes and terror groups in the world is just so uncouth. That they might pose a danger to British people if released is dismissed with the wave of a hand.

'The famous five with stories to tell' is the Guardian's comely headline. Those few words really do say it all. Famous five? Stories to tell? It seems that for the liberal elite, because these men are accused of waging war on those ghastly Bush cowboys, they must be earnest Enid Blyton characters, badgered and bullied by George's Golliwog Guards of Guantanamo Bay. It's not what they are or what they are accused of that matters - it's who defending them allows one to blame. I forget who it was noted that the left's preoccupation with defending the Rosenbergs owed far less to an assured belief in their innocence than to an utter indifference to whether they were guilty. It's a mentality alive and well today.

UPDATE: All of them have now been set loose on a legal technicality. Dear Lord.

UPDATE II: Richard Littlejohn has more:

Security chiefs think it is only a matter of time before there is an atrocity here. We know al-Qa'ida cells are beavering away in Britain.

Some soft-headed people still refuse to accept there's a war on. It's not a conventional war, but it's a war nonetheless. And there are different rules in wartime.

To those wittering on about the "human rights" of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, one senior Bush official had this to say: "If the British government had captured Luftwaffe pilots bombing London during the middle of World War Two, they would not have given them lawyers to argue they were innocent and ought to be released."
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