With the troubles caused here by the former Ba'th party members dumped here who now have become a new criminal class in Australia
you want to send us the Guantanimo lowlives
only if they leave there in boxes, sealed and feet first ( sans pulse )
THE United States has again asked Australia to take inmates from Guantanamo Bay - a request the Federal Government will come under pressure to accept because Washington agreed to resettle 28 asylum seekers from the Oceanic Viking.
The Government has admitted it consulted other countries to ''co-ordinate'' the resettlement of 78 Tamils who had refused to leave the Australian Customs ship Oceanic Viking, moored in Indonesian waters, but has repeatedly denied any deals were made. Asked this week if inducements were offered, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephen Smith, said: ''No, the conversations we had were conversations which were about resettlement.''
Australia has refused several US requests to take people held at Guantanamo Bay, including a group of Uighurs who had been cleared for release. But the latest request comes amid a display of goodwill from the US, which took some of the boat people and helped to ease pressure on the Government.
Yesterday the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that late last year the US asked Australia take ''a small number of detainees from Guantanamo Bay''. A spokeswoman said the request was being considered and that it had not been made during discussions on the Oceanic Viking.
''The Australian Government will consider requests on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the Government's strict immigration and national security requirements,'' she said.
The US President, Barack Obama, urgently sought to fulfil his promise to close Guantanamo Bay within a year - a deadline that expired yesterday. Almost 200 people remain at the military prison on Cuba used by the Bush administration to hold people captured in the ''war on terror''.
The US has consulted other countries to resettle about 110 prisoners. Australia rejected previous requests, saying the inmates did not meet ''national security and immigration criteria''.
The US embassy in Canberra would not comment yesterday on the latest request. The stand-off over resettling the Oceanic Viking boat people lasted several months and was a headache for the Government. It ended this week after New Zealand agreed to take 13. Canada has accepted 13, Norway took three and the US and Australia took the rest.
The Government has been reluctant to discuss details of its efforts to assist the resettlement of the asylum seekers, but ministers have been busily drawing on personal contacts to try to resolve the problem.
The office of New Zealand's Immigration Minister said this week that the change of heart followed discussions between the prime ministers Kevin Rudd and John Key.
Mr Smith said this week that he had spoken to his counterparts in countries that have assisted with resettlements. The office of the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, denied deals were made.