Why do Gitmo detainees matter to taxpayers?

November 16, 2010 5:01 PM

Kenneth Clarke has announced that the government will make payments to former detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The justice secretary said this was to avoid costly high court actions.


The seven named men are in line to receive potentially massive payouts; one suspect, Binyam Mohamed could receive as much as £1m pounds, but we will never know the exact amount because Kenneth Clarke has said the final figure will remain confidential.


The detainees, many of whom were asylum seekers living in Britain, claimed that MI5 and MI6 were complicit in their inhumane treatment whilst they were being held at Guantanamo. However, the UK government has been adamant that they don’t condone torture of any kind.  PM David Cameron  facilitated talks in July trying to reach an out of court settlement, and government sources insist that this saved money in the long term instead of expensive trials that would cost millions of pounds and go  on for years.


However, the government isn’t focusing on the enormous expenditure that these inmates have already cost the taxpayer millions in regards to their food, housing, and extradition back to the UK. TaxPayers’ Alliance Director, Matthew Sinclair, spelled it out more clearly "The Government need to do everything they can to limit compensation payments, particularly to those Guantanamo inmates who have been picked up fighting British troops and our allies.  With money tight, this isn't the way taxpayers want to see money spent that they expect to be used to fund public services."


 While the point of this particular post isn’t to debate torture or comment on the UK’s foreign policy choices, the central tenet remains that these proceedings have cost the taxpayer substantial amounts of money and will continue to do so.


 Many taxpayers wouldn’t object paying for protection and security concerns, but security has been breached because MI5 and MI6 have had to hire various lawyers,  in addition to taking officers off front-line duties to read over 250,000 documents “page by page.”


 This is not only wasteful and shameful; it’s irresponsible and dangerous for security personnel to be taken off their main duties of protecting the British people by providing important intelligence, after all we pay security services to protect us.


 

Kenneth Clarke has announced that the government will make payments to former detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The justice secretary said this was to avoid costly high court actions.


The seven named men are in line to receive potentially massive payouts; one suspect, Binyam Mohamed could receive as much as £1m pounds, but we will never know the exact amount because Kenneth Clarke has said the final figure will remain confidential.


The detainees, many of whom were asylum seekers living in Britain, claimed that MI5 and MI6 were complicit in their inhumane treatment whilst they were being held at Guantanamo. However, the UK government has been adamant that they don’t condone torture of any kind.  PM David Cameron  facilitated talks in July trying to reach an out of court settlement, and government sources insist that this saved money in the long term instead of expensive trials that would cost millions of pounds and go  on for years.


However, the government isn’t focusing on the enormous expenditure that these inmates have already cost the taxpayer millions in regards to their food, housing, and extradition back to the UK. TaxPayers’ Alliance Director, Matthew Sinclair, spelled it out more clearly "The Government need to do everything they can to limit compensation payments, particularly to those Guantanamo inmates who have been picked up fighting British troops and our allies.  With money tight, this isn't the way taxpayers want to see money spent that they expect to be used to fund public services."


 While the point of this particular post isn’t to debate torture or comment on the UK’s foreign policy choices, the central tenet remains that these proceedings have cost the taxpayer substantial amounts of money and will continue to do so.


 Many taxpayers wouldn’t object paying for protection and security concerns, but security has been breached because MI5 and MI6 have had to hire various lawyers,  in addition to taking officers off front-line duties to read over 250,000 documents “page by page.”


 This is not only wasteful and shameful; it’s irresponsible and dangerous for security personnel to be taken off their main duties of protecting the British people by providing important intelligence, after all we pay security services to protect us.


 

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