RANGER AGAINST WAR: Devil's Island <

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Devil's Island


--I'm gonna escape and come back
--Escape and
come back . . . ?
--Ah, yes--escape, come back,

wipe this place off the face of the earth,

obliterate it . . . and you with it

--The Prisoner
(1967)

It is not necessary to accept everything as true,

one must only accept it as necessary

--The Trial
, Franz Kafka
________________

It is good news that the U.S. is handing over to the Iraqis Camp Cropper, the last prison under its control (US hands over last Iraqi prison under its Control). Good, because the U.S. military should not be in the prison business. But there's bad with the good:

"The US transferred the last detention camp under its control in Iraq today as it continues to wind down its military presence in the country.

"Iraqi authorities are to rename Camp Cropper Karkh prison.

"Major General Jerry Cannon, the head of US detention facilities in Iraq, said the US would continue holding 200 detainees – out of 1,500 prisoners – including eight former regime members. They will be held in a separate area of the prison known as compound five."


"Major General Jerry Cannon, the head of US detention facilities in Iraq, said the US would continue holding 200 detainees – out of 1,500 prisoners – including eight former regime members. They will be held in a separate area of the prison known as compound five."

Why will the U.S. keep 200 prisoners, and where is "Compound Five"? Upon what legal authority does the U.S. imprison anyone at the behest of the Iraqi government? This is not the way justice is served in a democracy -- trials and Geneva Conventions are the order of that day. We are becoming what we ostensibly set out to destroy: An arbitrary dictatorial power.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are gone, but their policies live on: We still throw people in jail without trials or end dates. Callousness is not the sole domain of the Republican party.

Reuters reported, "Neither [Major General Jerry] Cannon [deputy U.S. commander of detainee operations in Iraq] nor Iraqi Justice Minister Dara Nur Addin provided an explanation for why the 200 had been singled out."


"Those who stayed with the U.S. forces might be handed over to us. Maybe they want to see the
formation of a new government, maybe they will be handed over within days," Addin said at the handover ceremony. "The issue is not clear yet."

If the issue is not clear after seven years, when will it be?

No prisoner is so dangerous or important that we should suborn our values to slap them away in unending incarceration.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Grant said...

"We are becoming what we ostensibly set out to destroy: An arbitrary dictatorial power."

Becoming? While the power in this country is not concentrated in one man, it's certainly concentrated in the hands of a few, and "arbitrary" is the order of the day.

Here, and abroad.

The dangers of abandoning the rule of law (due process, constitutional constraints, etc) are not readily apparent to most, which is terrifying.

Friday, July 23, 2010 at 7:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

"This is not the way justice is served in a democracy"

Well no. BUT it is apparently the way justice is served in the 'free market'.

As long as the contractor running 'compound five' is getting paid ridiculous amounts by Iraqi taxpayers and paying bribes to Iraqi judges to send them detainees it's all as American as apple pie.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10747919

Prosecutors in a federal court in Scranton, Pennsylvania, said Conahan had closed a county-owned juvenile detention centre in 2002, just before signing an agreement to use a for-profit centre.

Prosecutors say Mr Ciavarella, a former juvenile court judge, then allegedly worked with Mr Conahan to ensure a constant flow of detainees.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 6:46:00 AM GMT-5  

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