As you may be aware of, I do the Carnival of Latin America weekly. The easiest way to do the Carnival is to go through my news and blog feeds, and save up the stories throughout the week.
Today’s headline caught my attention, of course, since I have been posting on the Mexican drug wars for a while:
Official: Mexico not in danger of collapse
The Mexican government is not on the verge of collapse, the top U.S. intelligence official said Thursday, seeking to tamp down increasing alarm over the powerful and violent drug cartels operating in the country that is the United States’ southern neighbor.
“Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state,” said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair at his first news conference Thursday.
Echoing the assessment of Mexico’s leaders, Blair said the dramatic increase in killings in Mexico is a result of that government’s crackdown on drug cartels.
A U.S. military planning report issued in January warned that the escalating violence is dangerously destabilizing Mexico and warned its government could collapse. But Blair said there is no danger of that.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will dispatch nearly 500 more federal agents to the border, along with X-ray machines and drug-sniffing dogs, to stop the spillover of violence into the U.S. from Mexican drug smugglers and immigrant smugglers. National Guardsmen might also be sent.
Alright. This is not exactly ground-breaking news. It’s been in the works for a while.
The real story is this:
During his news conference, Blair also said the Obama administration is still wrestling with what to do with the remaining 240 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which the president has ordered closed.
Some of the detainees, deemed non-threatening, may be released into the United States as free men, Blair confirmed.
That would happen when they can’t be returned to their home countries, because the governments either won’t take them or the U.S. fears they will be abused or tortured. That is the case with 17 Uighers (WEE’-gurz), Chinese Muslim separatists who were cleared for release from the jail long ago. The U.S. can’t find a country willing to take them, and it will not turn them over to China.
Blair said the former prisoners would have get some sort of assistance to start their new lives in the United States.
Gitmo alumni may be released in the US as free men? And then get welfare?
Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard has a number of questions:
(1) Does this mean that the Obama administration is planning on giving some freed Guantanamo detainees a stipend? It sure appears that way. So, not only is the Obama administration planning on freeing some detainees on U.S. soil, it is also going to pay them to live here. Amazing. Who would have thought that we would see the day when detainees who were once labeled enemy combatants would be receiving welfare?
(2) The Uighur detainees are cited, over and over again, as the types of detainees who can be safely released into the U.S. This conclusion has been reached through a combination of specious reasoning and ignorance.
None of the 17 Uighurs are master terrorists on par with the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They were mostly new recruits at the time of their capture. However, as I have argued before, they are all affiliated with and/or members of a designated terrorist organization, received training at a training camp in the al Qaeda/Taliban stronghold of Tora Bora, and have admitted that they were trained by two known terrorists. And, on top of that, the group that trained them threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China last year.
Even if you don’t think that we should lock them up and throw away the key, do we really want to pay them to live on U.S. soil?
(3) The AP says the United States can’t find a country to take the Uighurs, other than China, which may treat them harshly. But that really remains to be seen. Ireland, for example, has apparently offered to take some Guantanamo detainees. Other European nations have been somewhat more reticent.
(4) Is the Obama administration considering paying other Guantanamo detainees to live in the U.S. as well?
What next? Granting Raul Castro asylum in Palm Beach when his regime finally collapses?
Or will Raul have to settle for West Palm?
That aside, it’s interesting how AP chooses to hide one story under a headline involving a less immediately important story.