Politics Shaker Aamer

Below is the email I had from the Home Office re Shaker Aamer and below that a second email I sent to President Obama. I wonder if it was too sarcastic. I shall change it a bit and try other avenues. It’s frustrating how impossible it is to get anywhere if people high up enough don’t want anything to happen. There really isn’t an answer. It’s frustrating.

Dear Ms Moore,

Thank you for your e-mail of 22/02/2015 regarding Mr.Shaker Aamer.  Your
correspondence sets out that Mr.Aamer has been declared free to leave
Guantanamo Bay and return to Saudi Arabia. It also questions why the UK is
not willing to accept Mr.Aamer back where his immediate family reside. The
correspondence has been passed to me to reply.

The UK government is committed to making best endeavors to secure Mr.Aamer
‘s release from Guantanamo Bay and return to the UK. It is a long standing
policy of successive British governments that we should be seeking the
release and return of long term UK residents, such as Mr.Aamer,and in
doing so, assist the US administration in its efforts to close the
detention facility.

The Prime Minister most recently raised Mr.Aamer’s case with President
Obama on 16th January during his visit to Washington. He reiterated the
importance the UK places on Mr.Aamer’s release, and that we want to
continue to work with the US to see Mr.Aamer released and returned to the
UK as a matter of urgency. At that meeting President Obama committed to
prioritising the case.

Whilst we are confident that the US government understands the seriousness
of the UK’s request for Mr.Aamer’s release, any decision ultimately
remains in the hands of the US government, who have made clear that any
action taken would have to remain consistent with their national security.

I hope that the above reassures you that the government is committed to
securing Mr.Aamer’s release and will continue to work towards this aim
going forward.


Dear President Obama

I know you must be just a bit busy and I’m a British citizen, not US; but surely you have a multitude of minions to reply to genuine queries, probably with standardised replies, but that’s fair enough. Don’t you have one about Shaker Aamer? I wrote to you and Theresa May (British home secretary) asking why Shaker Aamer cannot be returned to his family in Britain if YOU want to close Guantanamo and THEY want him back. I received a full reply from the Home Office making clear their wish for him to be returned to Britain and saying David Cameron raised the issue with you in mid-January.

I see that you are “committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. To send questions, comments, concerns, or well-wishes to the President or his staff, please use the form below.” Well, where’s the answer to MY question? I thought I’d try again.

The Home Office reply (and other comments on Twitter) suggest that although Shaker Aamer has not been and will not be charged with any crime and has been declared ‘free to go’ (?), your national security is at risk if he is released. Is this another way of saying, he’s been treated pretty badly, has seen a lot of other people treated pretty badly (and let’s face it ‘treated pretty badly’ is a bit of a euphemism) and cannot be released even though he turned out not to be guilty, because he probably doesn’t like his captors too much and might cause a bit of bother on the outside.


What would you say if China or Russia or one of those ‘other’ places we’re not best friends with took that stance on their prisoners? They probably do. Would you be on your moral high horse? Of course you would! Sometimes you just have to DO THE RIGHT THING that’s under your nose and stop weighing up every possible risk until you make yourself dizzy and scared. The right thing is to release innocent men especially if they’ve been tortured – sorry, not treated very well. The risks of keeping such people imprisoned are with us every day, but I guess as you’re maintaining a status quo you can feel that it’s not your fault because you’re DOING NOTHING!

I’m depressed and angry about it. How could you? Such a good man who has done many good things! Don’t be besmirched by the sins of your predecessors. Do the right thing that’s under your nose. You are the president, aren’t you? You are in charge??


Christine Moore

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