First on the subject of the Uigyurs obviously Jim Webb contradicts himself. First he says detainees should get their day in court and then we should accept what happens. Then he says he wouldn't want the Uigyurs coming to Virginia. But Uigyurs DID have their day in court and a judge decided they were not guilty and not dangerous. Now coincidentally just the other night hilzoy had two really good posts on who the Uigyurs are and how they got to be conflated with terrorists in the first place. The first one focused on who they are.
Here's a description (pdf, see pp. 211-212) of the Uighurs from an FBI report filed in 2004, and describing a visit in 2002. It follows what seems to be an account of abuse of one of the Uighurs:"The Uighurs are moderate Muslims who occupied East Turkestan, which was taken over by the Chinese and renamed the Xinjiang province of China. The Uighurs were offered land in Afghanistan in order to gather personnel opposing Chinese oppression. They were often inspired by Radio Free Asia, which [redacted] was often a broadcaster for. The Uighurs considered themselves to be fighting for democracy, and they idolized the United States. Although the Uighurs are Muslim their agenda did not appear to include Islamic radicalism. They claimed to have no political connection to Islamic terrorists or the Taliban. However, their camp in Afghanistan was bombed, and they fled to Pakistan. The Uighurs were captured by the Pakistanis, with half being transferred to US custody, and half being remanded directly to Chinese officials. It was alleged that the Uighurs who were transferred directly to the Chinese were immediately executed. At the time of my TDY, US officials were considering whether to return the Uighurs to the Chinese, possibly to gain support for anticipated US action in the Middle East. The Uighur detainees at GTMO were convinced that they would be immediately executed if they were returned to China."
That's not a defense lawyer speaking; it's an FBI agent, interviewing them about a year after their detention. These are not terrorists. These are people we picked up by mistake
And the other focused on who they aren't.
The Uighurs were at a camp, or a village, run by ETIM in 2001. Abdul Haq is supposed to have been a member of al Qaeda's shura since 2005, years after the detainees had anything to do with him. If there is evidence that he or his group were affiliated with al Qaeda in 2001, I do not know of it, and the Uighurs have consistently denied any affiliation with al Qaeda.
So Jim Webb is either ill informed or is willingly fearmongering so as to hold up the closing of GITMO. You know I hate to say it but when Democrats allow themselves to be played like this by Republicans then they actually deserve to get their asses kicked in the next election. There is no need for them to allow the right wing to dominate this issue in the way that it has but its going to take someone with brass balls to stand up to them. I kinda thought it might have been a guy like Jim Webb. Obviously I was wrong.