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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Administration Official: US Kept Britain In the Dark About the Gitmo/Bermuda Deal Intentionally

The Gitmo/Bermuda story is getting more and more interesting:

A senior US official has told the BBC Washington decided not to tell London ahead of time about a deal to resettle four Guantanamo detainees in Bermuda.

Why would Obama intentionally keep this from England and risk a rift in between the two countries?

Washington was attempting to shield the UK from Chinese anger.

Beijing has demanded the return to China of all 17 Uighurs held by US forces but Washington says they could face persecution in China.

This sounds like spin control to me. If it is true, it shows how little Obama knows about how foreign diplomacy works. You don't keep thing like this from your closest ally when it directly affects their national security. Since Bermuda is under British control and they handle foreign affairs for the island, they should have been the first to be called not left in the dark. They should not be finding out about this for the first time through the press. It's just another example of how the One's actions shows how little he cares about and/or respects our allies.

Now a senior US official has told the BBC it was a deliberate decision not to consult London on the resettlement, after other countries came under pressure from China not to accept the Uighurs.

In a highly unusual move, a senior US official said Washington opted to keep details of the deal from London until the last minute to enable Britain to deny all knowledge of the deal and thus avoid China's anger, says the BBC's Washington correspondent Kim Ghattas.

The official said they expected London to be upset but added he felt the deal was made on solid ground, in direct talks with the Bermuda government, who accepted the men as part of guest worker programme.

"Upset" seems to a bit understated. According to one report, the British were downright "pissed".

That excuse is pathetic. Even if that was the real reason, China probably won't fully believe that Britain had no idea that this deal was going down. They may believe that the British are "playing dumb" and really knew about the deal even if they did not.

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