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15 July 2003

Because Our Tone is going over to the US today to (among other things) address the Congress, the Guantanamo detainees story is really hot. CNN reports "Brits Stand Up To Bush", although that is not quite the way it is reported over here. James Ross, in the Observer, wrote "What Tony Blair Must Say in Washington" but I don't think anyone now, just two days later, expects him to say it. In fact, the Guardian comes right out and says that the UK is giving up on the Guantanamo prisoners.

On the BBC Radio Four, I heard some listeners' responses. A lot of them really bothered me, I have to say. I have grown used to American bloggers, debaters and commentators (including, horrifyingly, Ivy League law students) arguing entirely from the presumption of the guilt of all the men in Camp Delta, apparently unaware that presumption of innocence, even in war crimes and treason, is the cornerstone of the Western enlightenment we are supposedly defending. But apparently that logical slip is common enough amongst Brits as well. And I can't believe that the people putting forth this belief know, for example, that one of the British detainees was picked up in Pakistan where he was working in an Islamic school.

But the worst argument was that the two men facing trial are "not really British". Right. I think that kind of thing speaks for itself.

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