Congressmen William Delahunt and Dana Rohrabacher with Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer.
Congressmen William Delahunt and Dana Rohrabacher with Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer.
Photo by D. Robinson/Voice of America

To Rohrabacher's Delight, Supreme Court Considers Freedom for Uighurs

Much to the chagrin of the Obama administration and applause of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), the U.S. Supreme Court said today it will consider whether judges have the right to release into the U.S. detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have been determined not to be a terrorist threat.

It's not that the Surfin' Congressman wants former terror suspects flocking to his Surf City district--although the Supremes seem to at least be opening the door to that possibility should they reach the conclusion Rohrabacher desires.

No, Rohrabacher, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee, and Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.), the subcommittee's chairman, are congressional leaders in the call for the release of one particular subset of detainees: Uighurs.

There's no denying the Muslim ethnic group from central Asia and the Xinjiang province in western China have suffered a shitty fate.
Uighurs say they are persecuted in China, where they are considered terrorists by the Red State. And so, after Sept. 11, 2001, when anyone labeled by any government to be a terrorist was picked up in wide-ranging sweeps, 22 Uighurs were arrested in Afghanistan, where they had fled to in protest of Chinese taxes. From there, they wound up in Guantanamo.

The Bush administration determined that the Uighurs pose no security threat to the U.S., but efforts to release them are complicated. Returning them to their native China would set them up for persecution and releasing them anywhere else would set the receiving country up for condemnation from the Chinese government.

Rabid anti-Communist Rohrabacher clings to an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend philosophy (see his involvement with Mujahedin fighters killing Soviets in Afghanistan, before they moved on to killing Americans in Afghanistan). He has no patience with the Obama administration's attempts to relocate the Uighurs.

Normally a darling of conservatives (the fringier, the better), Rohrabacher has also found himself at odds with Newt Gingrich and the Weekly Standard's Thomas Joscelyn when it comes to the Uighurs. Using such unflattering terms as "It is just a wild allegation," "Rohrabacher's 'logic'" and "unhinged," Joscelyn posted "Rep. Rohrabacher is Wrong About the Uighurs at Gitmo" on's The Blog in June. That prompted this response from Rohrabacher, and this response to Dana's response from Joscelyn.


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