Thanks for our freedom: The four ex-Guantanamo prisoners meet the man who secured their freedom, Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, who is pictured shaking hands with Salahidin Abdulahat as a smiling Khalil Manut stands in the background. *File photo
Thanks for our freedom: The four ex-Guantanamo prisoners meet the man who secured their freedom, Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, who is pictured shaking hands with Salahidin Abdulahat as a smiling Khalil Manut stands in the background. *File photo
Matters of trust, honesty and integrity have come to the fore on both national and individual levels over the past 12 weeks.

The body of facts connected to Bermuda receiving the four Uyghurs freed from Guantanamo contains a thread of needless deceit, unnecessary ­deception and a ­display of untrustworthiness.

This situation and ­another recent event showed behaviour that displayed a lack of integrity.

Since 2002, 34 countries have accepted and received, agreed to accept and ­receive, or are negotiating to accept and receive ­former detainees from the U.S. detention centre at Guantanamo.

Every country did so - or is doing so - in an open arrangement that lets the country's government and people know exactly what is happening.

Secrecy

Bermuda is the 35th country to accept former detainees.

Premier Brown claimed he had to operate in secrecy.

The facts of the situation confirm that he made a ­personal choice to operate in secrecy.

But the facts do not ­support any need for ­secrecy. The need was for openness.

In this 35th action, ­without a national security reason for secrecy and when the 34 others were handled in the open, I am left to conclude that I - and you - have been lied to. This leaves me grappling with several unanswered questions. 

Did the Premier not tell his fellow Cabinet ­Ministers because he does not trust them? 

Did Dr. Brown think so little of them that he thought it unnecessary to inform them? 

If the Premier ever ­intended to tell his fellow Cabinet Ministers, when did he propose to do so?   

Dr. Brown had 23 days during which he could have trusted and informed his fellow Cabinet Ministers and Bermuda's people.

That he did not do so shows us that he does not trust me or you.

Distrust

It is obvious that he does not trust his Cabinet ­Ministers.

There is distrust by and from the Premier.

In turn, his distrust of me creates in me - and I believe in you - a distrust of him.

So we have a mutual ­distrust ­generated by the Premier and his actions.

Dr. Brown's July 10 ­Parliamentary flip-flop over the cruise ship gambling bill showed, in my view, a lack of integrity. 

It demonstrated that he is prepared to say and ­promise one thing then clearly proceed to do quite the opposite.

This publicly displayed lack of integrity couples with mutual distrust.

The details surrounding the smuggling of the four Uyghurs and the fact that the whole episode was ­concocted by one public­ ­figure who, for a brief ­period, collaborated with one other public figure shows me - and shows you - that this island's laws can be easily circumvented or bypassed. Furthermore, it shows that persons who wish to ­operate in secrecy can ­easily cross into Bermuda's borders.

All it takes is the ­collaboration of one or two Ministers.

This actually happened with the four Uyghurs. Go over the Uyghur events from May 20 onwards and look at everything that ­happened.

Power

Go over the events of ­Friday, July 10, when the Premier did that uncalled-for public switch about.

Both I and the public have to believe in the ­integrity of all Government Ministers and ­agencies.

I also have to believe that people who lawfully and properly possess power will not circumvent Bermuda's laws and systems.

In addition, I have to ­accept some key individuals at face value. But I ­cannot accept some key people at face value.

Some key people lack, or seem to lack, integrity. 

I believe that some key people have abused their power and authority.

Therefore, I can only ­conclude that Bermuda is not in safe hands.