Free The Uighurs

Yesterday, a federal appeals court ruled (pdf) that it cannot order the release of the seventeen Uighurs who remain at Guantanamo, and that no court has the power to do so. The case will presumably be appealed to the Supreme Court. But there is absolutely no reason for President Obama to wait on the courts’ rulings.

The Uighurs have been cleared of all charges. Uighur communities in this country are prepared to help them out if they are released. The Uighurs are not, and never were, enemy combatants. Some of them are starting their eighth year of captivity. During much of that time, their families did not know whether they were alive or dead. Some of them have children they have never met.

President Obama does not need the court’s permission to order their release. He could do it today, and he should.

Seven years of wrongful captivity is more than enough.

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