In the opening life of an article that appeared last week in the Bermuda Sun, Senator Walton wrote: 'The Bermuda Government's decision to take in Four Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity was a bold humanitarian gesture that I hope all residents will come to embrace.' That sentence's first four words are simply untrue.

The decision wasn't made by the Bermuda Government. The decision was made by Ewart Brown and perhaps David Burch (there are conflicting reports). Those two do not constitute the Bermuda Government, separately or together.

The Cabinet, the backbenchers who should at least have been apprised, the senior civil servants who would have advised about the sanity of the decision and made sure the appropriate steps had been taken (for example, full security checks) collectively form "the government". They should have shared in the decision. But they could take no part in the decision because they were kept in the dark.

The article goes on to say, "These men ... have committed no crime..." Senator Brown can't possibly know that unless he accepts as gospel the word of the same officials who demanded secrecy so they could deceive the English or the Chinese, or both. Because of the call for secrecy, there was no chance for the limited local security forces or the U.K's security chiefs to delve into what the four Uighurs had done or not done in their lives before Guantanamo. Even now, more than a week after they were smuggled across our border, we are mostly in the dark about the roles they played in their home communities before being apprehended - we don't know anything about them beyond the cute and cuddly image being portrayed by the same people who were involved in their transfer to Bermuda. Let's not forget, Dr. Brown gave an inaccurate statement to parliament and the public about the security risk, and only 'fessed up' publicly when prompted by probing questions days after he was informed of his "error".

Reasons for secrecy

Of course U.S. officials would want us to keep the Uighurs' transfer to Bermuda a secret. Their own Congress had already debated and decided to ban the detainees from landing in the US. They blocked transparency for the same reason most do: to hide what they were doing from the authorities.

Think about it. If a trusted "uncle" admonishes a mature but underage teenager not to tell her parents or guardians about some gift or action, does that make it right? Uncle or teen could claim it was innocent or consensual, but both know the deed is being kept secret because the parents wouldn't approve. While the teen may declare there was no risk, parents know differently. Their worldly experience and responsibility prepares them to more accurately assess the risks and consequences.

And should the teen be absolved because she wanted to place herself "in the best light possible" with her uncle and all the future gifts he might deliver? Absolutely not.

Dishonourable conduct does not become honourable just because it satisfies expediency.

I know Senator Brown to be a man of intellect, capable of searching analyses. Could he possibly be so blinded by loyalties to party or person that he cannot see that this kind of autocratic action, as unnecessary as it was for Bermuda's interest, mirrors the worst of colonial behaviour? And is there any point of pushing for independence if we are only trading foreign colonials for local ones?

Senator Brown has joined with the Premier's other followers in attempts to present a distorted truth for public consumption. And in the process, another good man has been damaged by the negative influence of Dr. Brown's government.