Dutch Rub… Netherlands Asked to Take Gitmo Detainees
The Dutch are asked to man up.
Last week Dutch officials called for the closing of Gitmo.
On Friday the US asked the Dutch to take the terrorist detainees.
A line of protesters dressed as prisoners from Gitmo march past the U.S. Capitol during a demonstration in Washington, January 11, 2007. (Reuters)
Things got a little testy in Washington this week when Rep. Lantos told Dutch officials that, “Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay.”
The AP reported:
WASHINGTON – Dutch lawmakers who recently visited the Guantanamo Bay military prison said they were offended by a testy exchange in Washington with a senior congressional Democrat.
The lawmakers said that Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told them that “Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay.”
Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, was responding to arguments that the United States should shut down the prison, located on a U.S. naval base in Cuba, the lawmakers said. Mariko Peters, a member of the Dutch Green Party, who began the exchange with Lantos, said she took notes of the remarks.
A Lantos aide said the lawmaker realizes the Guantanamo facility does harm to the reputation of the United States and has praised judges who ruled in favor of extending legal rights to prisoners. Lantos has not suggested that the prison be closed.
Before the Guantanamo exchange, the lawmakers had discussed a debate in the Netherlands about whether the country should maintain its 1,600 troops serving in NATO’s Afghanistan operations…
Most of the delegation called for the closing of Guantanamo.
“We have to close Guantanamo because it symbolizes for me everything that is wrong with this war on terror,” Peters said.
Now… Here is the latest Dutch rub…
The US asked the friendly Dutch to take the Gitmo detainees.
Dutch News reported:
The US foreign affairs department has asked the Netherlands to take over a number of prisoners from its Guantanamo Bay camp on the island of Cuba, the Parool reports on Friday.
Some 800 people have been through Guantanamo Bay since its opening in 2002. The camp currently houses some 400 prisoners, 85 of whom are waiting to be released because the US no longer considers them to be a danger.
The Dutch foreign affairs ministry has told the Parool that it has not received a request from the US to take over prisoners. Until it does, the Dutch position is that the US must look after prisoners on its own territory.
The right-wing Liberal (VVD) and anti-immigration PVV parties both welcome the idea of taking over prisoners from Guantanamo. ‘It will be a great day when the Netherlands has such a detention centre of its own,’ PVV leader Geert Wilders tells the paper.
The Christian Democrats are less keen on the idea, the paper says.