Friday, September 25, 2009

Uighurs and Nukes


That's right. Kiyemba is back baby... well for a short time at least. If you'll remember the Supreme Court put their decision on whether to hear the case on hold over the summer. I believed the reason for this was to give the government more time to resettle the Uighur detainees and therefore avoid hearing the case, and it looks like I was right... mostly. SCOTUSblog reported yesterday that the Pacific island of Palau has agreed to accept 12 of the 13 Uighur detainees that remain at Gitmo. Six of the twelve have already agreed to the transfer and discussions are ongoing with the other six. It's important to note that three of the potential transferees are not technically petitioners in the case, but have expressed an interest to be included. The remaining detainee that has not been offered transfer is a petitioner in the case. This means that if a suitable country for resettlement of this detainee is not found the Court could still hear the case without the entire matter being moot.

I can't for the life of me figure out why Palau will only agree to 12 of the 13. You figure that if you can negotiate to get 12 transferred to Palau then you could convince them to take the 13th and just be done with the matter. I'm not sure if the 13th (Arkin Mahmud) is more dangerous than the others or what, but keeping this potentially huge case alive because of one person is not something that the government could possibly want. Time is running out to get these transfers completed because the Court will hold a private conference next Tuesday to decide whether or not it will hear the matter. I think that they will agree to hear it unless there is some way they can delay that decision again. If the Court can't delay any longer the government is under the gun to get this matter resolved before it will have to engage in a very serious battle before the Court.

Nukes in Iran

Mahmoud is really stirring things up again. In a not entirely surprising story it was revealed that Iran has been constructing yet another uranium enrichment facility this time around the city of Qom. This is yet another big step in Iran's journey toward possessing nuclear weapons. The U.S., Britain, and France have known about the facility for years but just recently alerted teh IAEA. All three called for stiff sanctions against Iran if it did not back off of its accelerating journey towards nuclear weapons. Iran, of course, claims that its nuclear ambitions are purely for civilian purposes.

This news dampens the mood following the historic U.N. agreement to scale back nuclear weapons around the world in an effort to stem the threat of nuclear terrorism.

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