Dear Sir,

As I draft this letter, the recent news about Government's decision to grant Bermuda status to four former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay is still very much a developing story.

The situation requires us to separate our understandable animosity towards Government's unilateral decision-making on this issue (and our perhaps personal dislike of Dr. Brown's autocratic style of leadership) from how we treat the men who have been re-located here.  

Those four obviously had no say in where they would go or what their rights would be and as such, I do not think they deserve to bear the brunt of our hostility on that count.  

As former occupants of the Guantanamo camp, they have no doubt had a very difficult life for the past few years, especially if they were not in fact, involved in any terrorist activity.  

No threat to us

Nothing was ever proven against them (to my knowledge at time of writing) and whilst that does not mean that they are totally innocent, even my partisan lack of support for the Obama Administration in general does not permit me to believe that Obama would release prisoners that he thinks are a threat to us or the United States.

It would be catastrophic for Obama's administration if these men were to commit crimes here in Bermuda on his watch. Therefore, I have serious doubts that they pose any threat to the people of Bermuda.  

It may be the case that as further facts come to light, a balanced consideration of the political issues at stake may result in their staying in Bermuda only temporarily.

But whether or not such political considerations do result in their eventual departure, my personal opinion is that on an individual level, we ought to exercise our Bermudian spirit of altruism and welcome these men as refugees in need of our good will and assistance.

Stephen Notman