The World Is Taking Notice of Congress's Cowardice
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It appears that our European allies have noticed the rhetoric -- and recent bipartisan votes -- from Congress on Gitmo.
The Obama administration's push to resettle at least 50 Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Europe is meeting fresh resistance as European officials demand that the United States first give asylum to some inmates before they will do the same.
Rising opposition in the U.S. Congress to allowing Guantanamo prisoners on American soil has not gone over well in Europe. Officials from countries that previously indicated they were willing to accept inmates now say it may be politically impossible for them to do so if the United States does not reciprocate.
"If the U.S. refuses to take these people, why should we?" said Thomas Silberhorn, a member of the German Parliament from Bavaria, where the White House wants to relocate nine Chinese Uighur prisoners. "If all 50 states in America say, 'Sorry, we can't take them,' this is not very convincing."
Imagine that. These European governments were largely inclined to help out when they assumed a wide variety of nations would share the detention burden. But now that these foreign officials have heard U.S. lawmakers -- from both parties -- suddenly come to believe that Guantanamo detainees are far too dangerous for U.S. soil, their willingness to cooperate is waning.
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."