Palau, with a population of about 20,000, is an archipelago of eight main islands plus more than 250 islets that is best known for diving and tourism and is located some 500 miles east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean.
"We have spoken with the Palauans, but neither they nor we have made any decisions," said one senior official. That official and two others spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the talks.
Two of the officials said the U.S. was prepared to give Palau up to $200 million in development, budget support and other assistance in return for accepting the Uighurs.
The third official did not deny that a significant amount of money would be involved. But the official denied it would be a direct transfer to the Palau government.
Oh, well in that case, what am I bitching about?
It is not possible to overstate how absurd and ridiculous this is. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers would have you believe that the Uighurs-who, by the way, were fighting the CHINESE before they were locked up in Gitmo-are hard-core terrorists who swore at an early age to seek nothing in life but to kill Americans. And thanks to their fear-mongering and pandering, they have somehow persuaded a nation of pearl-clutching hyperventilators that it's a good idea to PAY a small island in the South Pacific $200 million so we can avoid having "terrorists" (who will never live free of the watchful eye of local law enforcement and every right-wing wacko in their neighborhood) living in our country. Last time I checked, weren't we a little short on funds over here? But I guess helping weak-minded Americans to not be a little scared is a good investment of government funds these days.
UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald also blogs about this supreme idiocy, and links to this piece of bed-wetting from Ed Morissey over at Hot Air:
Of course, with a recidivism rate for released Gitmo detainees of around 14%, odds are that a couple of the Uighurs might not be quite as cuddly as Obama promises. Hopefully it will work out all right for Palau and its tourists, but if I were making decisions on expensive South Pacific vacations, I’d start looking elsewhere.
No, he's not being sarcastic. He earnestly believes that the first thing the Uighurs are going to do when they get to Palau is immediately begin plotting how to kill Americans (presumably Americans who visit the island, as I don't imagine they'll be going anywhere.) This is so stupid as to defy all logic and reason, and it's primarily trembling right-wingers like Ed Morrissey and pandering Democratic and Republican politicians who are forcing the government to pay a tiny island nation $200 million for the privilege of profiting from our idiocy.