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Opinion | Jan 15, 2016

Hanna Tetteh Is Incoherent On Gitmo – Part 2

Hanna Tetteh Is Incoherent On Gitmo – Part 2

In the wake of her childish spat on her Facebook page/wall with the most recently departed U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, I vividly recall commenting in one of my columns that leaders, such as those of the Mahama cabinet, who spend a remarkable chunk of their taxpayer underwritten working hours on Facebook and Twitter very likely did not deserve their fat paychecks.

The fracas, as I vividly recall, was about President Mahama’s disingenuous decision to slash 10-percent off his official salary by cynically calling this cheap political-points-scoring gimmickry his yeomanly contribution towards the practice of fiscal discipline in government.

He had also invited members of his cabinet to follow suit. Somebody using a twitter account traced to the U.S. Embassy in Accra had promptly riposted that such callous and unconscionable gimmickry had not taken into account the legion freebies – such as free housing and travel expenses – enjoyed by government officials that were far out of the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian citizen.

A quite convincing denial by the American Chief Diplomat that, indeed, the Embassy’s twitter account had been used by somebody other than the Ambassador himself had not stopped Ghana’s Foreign Minister from intemperately lighting into the American Ambassador, on gross of the gross interference of Washington in Ghana’s internal affairs.

Even babies with rotten sharp teeth like Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the notorious scofflaw and Deputy Education Minister, then Deputy Information Minister, would join the fray, obviously as a means of ingratiating himself with his bosses.

As I hinted then, it was only a matter of time before these unctuous pretenders to patriotism boxed themselves into a corner from which they were highly unlikely to fully recover. And now, predictably, Ms. Tetteh would have Ghanaians believe that 2007 leaked U.S. Defense Department document clearly stating that the two Saudi-born Yemeni terrorists recently resettled in Ghana posed a high-security risk to the interests of the United States and its allies had not been presented to the Mahama government as part of the details of the negotiations that facilitated the resettlement of Messrs. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby in Ghana.

You would have thought that information, military and intelligence attachés regularly posted to our embassies and diplomatic missions would be clipping up and filing such highly sensitive and significant pieces of intelligence in the archives of our various embassies and diplomatic missions for the benefit of successive governments. And so precisely what were these operatives posted abroad at taxpayer’s expense doing at these posts? Merely roaming the streets of these Western capitals and window-shopping?

Now we are told that Ms. Tetteh is also bitterly complaining that she only came across the aforesaid document on Facebook, and that she had referred the same to the U.S. Embassy officials in Accra for their response. I know she is not diplomatically savvy, not by any objective measure.

But how stupid could Ghana’s Foreign Minister be to suppose that the U.S. Embassy operatives in Accra would come up with some sort of mea culpa exonerating these Mahama chipmunks from being so clearly and scandalously too obtuse to have conducted a remarkable modicum of due diligence before arriving at an informed decision over whether or not to take in these so-called Al-Qaeda and Taliban footsoldiers, thereby so unwisely presuming to put the lives of millions of Ghanaians at risk.

Already, published reports have quoted U.S. Embassy officials in Accra as alleging that President Mahama and his security deputies knew precisely what they were getting themselves and their fellow Ghanaian citizens into when they consented to playing host to Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby for at least the next 24 months. And we have not even began to ask and answer the question of what if after two years of proverbial Ghanaian hospitality, Messrs. Bin Atef and Al-Dhuby decide to make Ghana their permanent home? And if these two men were of such low risk to Ghanaians, why were they reported to have been refused re-admittance by the very country, Saudi Arabia, in which they were both born and whose citizenship they ought to be legal holders of?

The two men have also tellingly and deviously made it quite clear that they have absolutely no qualms about the bloody operations of terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, even while also quizzically claiming not to be members of the same. I know President really believes in such malarkey. And that is the tragedy here.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2016

This author has authored 4354 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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