Monday, April 28, 2008

The US Re-education Camp in Iraq

Nothing draconian going on here...

The United States military runs a re-education prison in Iraq... yes, a re-education camp with 21,000 suspected militant sympathizers. It has been awhile since I last heard of a re-education camp but when I do it mostly pertains to Chinese "re-education facilities" where people disappear or draconian facilites run by the Soviet Union, Nazi German, or some other despotic dictatorship. The "Land of the Free"run by Rule of Law not barbarism runs a re-education camp... What would Dwight D. Eisenhower say if we told him? What would Thomas Jefferson say? Have we lost our common decency and national character in trying to stay secure from terror? The sad answer seems to be, Yes.

The re-education camp of 21,000 people or so is run mostly by the Marines in Camp Bucca, Iraq. The camp has been repeatedly reported for "incidents of detainee abuse", being undermanned, under resourced, and overpopulated. Some of Camp Bucca's inmates have been held for over three years without the benefit of a hearing. The inmates are generally those picked up from the Southern Iraq and the Basra region on suspicion of sympathizing with Al-Qaeda. Thousands get rounded up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or associating with the wrong people and are sent to this prison camp (the American taxpayer just spent 2.3 million dollars building a brick factory to provide hard labor for the inmates). The inmates are then held until a hearing board hears their cases and with little or no evidence to go on either extend their detentions or let them go.

If you remember, the military operation to conquer Iraq and depose Saddam was called Operation Iraqi Freedom, Freedom being the operative word there. So, instead of freedom we go over there and detain people who probably haven't done anything (of the 3,000 people who have been released from the prison only 9 have returned to jail.) Just in case you think this is some run of the mill Abu-Ghrarib, it isn't - it also has extensive "reeducation facilities".

On first thought, the idea of inmates being taught math, civics, and other skill seems like a very good idea.. however, they also have a religious reeducation course, which make me wonder... Obviously, for the 2,000 inmates that are put aside as possibly involved with Al Qaeda religious (re)education could be helpful in teaching them the Truth of peace in Islam but the thought of mandatory religious education classes seems a bit contrary. First of all these inmates should have access to lawyers, a guarantee of speedy trials, and protection of indefinite detention. Next, the inmates should have the option of whether to go to these classes or not. If they do perhaps it would lead to some sort of earlier release so they can serve as a testament to others as reformed terrorists. If they do not attend then they do the time for the crime for which they were convicted.

Don't like the idea? Love it? Please Comment!

CNN Story: Here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just ran across this article while re searching re education camps. And I feel the need to refute about 90% of this article. I was stationed at camp bucca southern Iraq 2003/04. First, it's NOT under US marine control, it's under US army control. It was a prison FOB taken over by US forces from the British troops in 03. Second's not a re education camp, it was a prison facility that housed saddams former republican guard and loyalist forces before civilians were placed in this camp. 3rd ...there was NO "re education or labor" going on a matter of fact the prisoners were treated better than we were as US soldiers. 4th...the "JIF" that was there did in fact house several suspected "terrorists" that we're responsible for killing US troops. Get your facts right before you post mis information about a place I spent 2 years in while you comfortably spewed this BS from your couch.