'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

13,514 Detainees in Iraq? 

UPDATE (11/16/05): 83,000 Detained in the "War on Terror"

INITIAL POST (11/15/05):RAW STORY has an interesting article today, stating that the US military acknowledges approximately 13,514 detainees currently held in prisons inside Iraq. Very few, less than 2%, have been found quilty of any crimes.

Here's the money quote:

This information supports what sources close to the Defense Department have previously expressed concern about to RAW STORY, namely that detainees held and tortured and then released essentially become the enemy army. According to these sources, who declined to go on the record by name, hundreds of detainees are released each month, having been detained for periods of six to twelve months, during which they are subjected to torture or other abuse.

Along these lines, note that there has been no shortage of Iraqis describing this kind of experience to journalists like Dahr Jamail and Robert Fisk. My belief has always been that the public misunderstands the true purpose of our detainee policy. It is not motivated, despite pronouncements to the contrary, by the urgency to preemptively seize potentially dangerous people and indefinitely incarcerate them. Instead, the purpose is one of general intimidation with the emphasis upon casting a broad net that captures a few possible insurgents along with many unconnected with the conflict in any meaningful respect.

One need only look to Guantanamo Bay, where many Afghani detainees claim that they were sold to US forces by tribal leaders. In other words, we deliberately aspire to catch a lot of dolphins, along with some tuna, expecting the dolphins, upon release, to spread the message that resistance to the Americans is futile. Predictably, the enraged dolphins are communicating quite the opposite.

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