I’m thinking of creating a Gitmo-to-Guam meter indicating the continuing odds that detainees on Guantanamo will end up on Guam. After reading this story, Budget bill does not bar detainees from U.S. territories, in the Saipan Tribune, the odds seem to be improving.
This story by reporter Haidee Eugenio tells of a provision in the Supplemental War Appropriation bill (H.R. 2346) that “bars the hosting of Guantanamo Bay detainees in any U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but not in CNMI and other U.S. territories.”
Congressional delegates of CNMI, Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico, sent a letter to President Obama protesting this provision.
The letter to President Obama is diplomatic. The delegates aren’t accusing their fellow members of Congress of overt colonialism or the president of any intent. It says in part: “Although we have no reason to believe that your Administration intends to release or transfer any detainees to the U.S. territories, we write to express our concern about any decision in this context that may treat the territories differently than the 50 states or the District of Columbia.”
The Pacific News Center has a photocopy of the letter.
This exclusion is no minor oversight. Kevin Kerrigan, who reported the story for the Pacific News Center, points out that by excluding U.S. Territories it “leaves the door open for un-encumbered transfers of Gitmo detainees to Guam, the CNMI, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.”
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