You know, I've wracked my memory and have largely been unable to come up with one significant example of MSNBC's dayside coverage devoting any real depth of discussion to the saga of the Uighurs -- those seventeen Chinese Muslims who have been imprisoned at GITMO despite having done nothing wrong -- besides maybe the typical talking head battles over the politics of the matter. Yes, these men had found themselves in a Kafkaesque plight -- cleared of wrongdoing, but with no welcome haven other than prison -- but even so, LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY!
Well, finally, the island nations of Palau and Bermuda have agreed to take the Uighurs off of our hands (What's with terrorist suspects and islands? Does the NSA think they cannot travel over water, like ghosts in Noel Coward plays?), and suddenly, MSNBC's on-air talent have all sorts of pointed opinions about the matter! Tamron Hall set up a segment on the Uighurs like so:
HALL: But first from Gitmo to Bermuda, should former detainees, the ones you're looking at there, be living what seems to be a pretty good life on one of the most beautiful islands some say in the world?
What? Are we seriously asking these questions now? They are former detainees, right? Are we begrudging people who are no longer detainees the chance to live "pretty good lives" on "beautiful islands," now?
The segment that followed also bizarre, with Hall asking some strange questions about why the images of the newly released Uighurs enjoying themselves in Bermuda weren't "controlled better, even if they have the rights to start their lives anew?" Well, why weren't there adequate controls to ensure that their previous life was not interrupted?
Hall goes on to worry about the jobs that these four Uighurs will take away from four people from Bermuda. Really? Is that a pressing consideration? I don't understand the newsgathering priorities here!
Earlier in the afternoon, Andrea Mitchell, while speaking with Jane Harman, seemed to be similarly confused by the whole concept of people no longer being in jail:
MITCHELL: Let me talk about Guantanamo: you raised the point about the murky legal situation, one upshot of that is that we've got four Uighurs who are Muslim minority from China who are now basically getting ice cream and lolling about on the white sand beaches of Bermuda. It's sort of incongruous! To see these four men in their polo shirts, from Guantanamo, eating ice cream in Bermuda...I mean, look at that picture! I'm not sure you can see it, but one of the Uighurs is swimming in the ocean. The first time, we're told, that they had ever been to the ocean. Is this a good outcome?
I mean, LOOK AT THOSE GUYS IN THEIR POLO SHIRTS! SWIMMING? GETTING ICE CREAM? How can they straight up loll around on the sand like that? Can anyone explain this?
Hey, you know what else is "sort of incongruous?" A detainee policy that in no way, shape, or form resembles the principles enshrined in the Constitution of the United States!