One of the series of questions surrounding Ghana’s intake of the two Gitmo detainees, who were imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for almost 14 years has been answered.
After it emerged that Ghana has accepted to house two Al-Qaeda linked Gitmo detainees who were once said to be a threat to United States’ national security, Ghanaians have been panicking, with many asking; what did the US pay Ghana’s government to enter into such a seemingly risky deal.
Today, the Head of Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Ghana, Daniel Fennel has disclosed in an exclusive interview on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ that;
“No, not directly…US would help with a small amount to support housing and food…,” he replied to the question of whether Ghana was enticed financially to accept to host the ex-Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
According to Daniel Fennel, Ghana will not be footing the bills from the stay of these two—rather, the United States will take care of that.
Meanwhile, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has asked the government of Ghana to return the detainees arguing, that Ghana lacks the security expertise to host such persons.
The government must “consider immediate recession of the decision and relocate the inmates outside the country,” the CCG said in a statement.
The question of why the Unites States is sending out these detainees to countries like Ghana was answered in a recent article published on GhanaCelebrities.Com.
This issue of closing down Guantanamo Bay has been a big one in the United States, considering it was one of the main promises of the then Senator Obama. So it is something he has been trying to accomplish for a while.
And late last year, both US houses debated the issue, passing a bill prohibiting the government spending money to resettle any of the detainees in the United States. The bill passed through the Senate 91-3, whilst the House of Representatives passed it by 370-58. Note the near unanimity in the voting for the passage of both bills.
According to NBC News, the bill “explicitly prohibits the Obama administration from transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States or using funds to build or modify a prison in the United States to house those detainees.”
So we have the reluctance of the country freeing these detainees to house them, plus their known records, plus the warnings of this intelligence official- and one has to wonder what the hell the government of Ghana officials were smoking when this deal was struck?
Of course, the US is a powerful nation- they have persuaded over twenty other nations to resettle such people- but some of them are advanced nations with proper intelligence services which the citizens of such nations can be sure has their backs in pre-empting any possible attacks. It is difficult to make that same argument for Ghana.
And the country which has the CIA and the NSA and countless other acronymic intelligence agencies explicitly did not want these guys. We know the US has several reactionary elements, and their politics can be insane at times; but being cautious of alleged terrorists just seems, to borrow a phrase from ‘Deadwood’, good ‘f**king’ sense.
Again, the distinction can be made between helping people fleeing war and other problems in their countries, and people who were kept in a prison like Guantanamo Bay for 14 years. If they cannot be resettled in their homeland, but can be released- then the country that created the mess has the responsibility to solve it, and not by pawning it off on others.
But then, our leaders were all too willing participants, I’m sure. It is an election year, after all; and quid pro quo deals with the United States are always worth one’s while.