Yesterday, when the news broke that the British were “pissed” about Barack Obama’s dump of four of the Gitmo Uighurs onto Bermuda, the White House tried to spin it by claiming they thought Bermuda’s premier had included the UK in their end of the discussions. The BBC reports today that their sources inside the White House dispute that. Obama deliberately kept London in the dark until he thought he had a fait accompli -but the White House now claims it was for the UK’s own good:
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. …
The unnamed senior official also told the BBC that Washington was attempting to shield the UK from Chinese anger. …
Pressed on whether the US had told the British government, an unnamed state department official was quoted as saying: “We did talk to them before the Uighurs got on the plane.”
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.
They talked to them “before the Uighurs got on the plane”? Well, that was certainly sweet of them. Did they mention on which flight they’d be coming to Bermuda, or did they make the Brits guess that, too?
It’s a highly unusual move, all right. I don’t recall the last time an ally sent trained terrorists into a territory for which the other ally had responsibility for security without their permission. Why? Because it hasn’t ever happened before now.
So, to our British friends: how does it feel to have Obama make security decisions about your territory without bothering to consult you at all? The liberal press in the UK used to deride Tony Blair as George Bush’s poodle; what does that make Gordon Brown in relation to Barack Obama? It’s a good thing that arrogant Bush isn’t running things in Washington any more, huh?