Gitmo, Big O, and Lil’ B. (source and source)
Just as detailed in the now-infamous Wikileaks cable, Slovene PM Borut Pahor and US President Barack Obama discussed the possibility of Slovenia taking in a Gitmo detainee. The discussion apparently bore fruit as the government is mulling changes to the Aliens Act, expanding the possibilities of allowing temporary settlement of individuals for “political, cultural, economic and other reasons”. Political being the operative word, obviously.
Just as obviously, the possibility of a Gitmo detainee in Slovenia raised hair on the backs of defenders of all things Slovenian. Things like “al-Qaida in Slovenia” were being said with some people practically expecting a pair of 757s being parked into the Twin Towers of Nova Ljubljanska Banka across the street from the parliament and similar bullshit.
That resettlement of a Gitmo detainee is closely connected to the general state of Slovenia- US relations is no secret. At first glance it can be considered as a good-will/kiss-up gesture by Prime Minister Borut Pahor to President Barack Obama. After all, the US manhandled Croatia into signing the Arbitration Agreement with Slovenia and is the one player which decides how much clout Slovenia can have in the Balkans. Not to mention the fact that Slovenia is wooing US investors big time.
The fact that recent exploits of Slovenian economic diplomacy in the Arab and North African world have, for the time being at least, turned into desert dust since dictatorships of the area are being revolutionised, only adds to the necessity of being chums with people who still have money.
But I digress. The point is that both Slovenian government and the US Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomelli are bending over backwards to point out how this is a humanitarian gesture on Slovenian part and how we are helping out our American buddies to clean up this big pile of human rights abuse they’ve accumulated on their door step and with which they would have nothing to do any more, thank you very much.
If this really were the case, then Slovenia would be quite right to flip the bird to Washington, tell the Americans to fuck off and sort Gitmo out for themselves. I mean, why is it that US allies all over the world must now take in people who were denied fair trial, presumption of innocence and every other goodie of Habeas Corpus, whereas the US is now playing dumb and continues to promote democracy and human righst al over the world?
However, the case for Slovenia taking in a Gitmo detainee(s) is quite simple. Courtesy of the once-eternal Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel Slovenia signed the Vilinius Letter, effectivelly joining the Coalition of the Willing and supported the illegal and unjustified US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Slovenia later sent military and police instructors to that country, further involving itself in the mess of George W. Bush‘s making. It is only fair we contribute in resolving the mess too.
We helped fuck it up. We should also help clean it up.