9 years, 9 months ago
A consistent theme presents itself in Multinational Force press releases when raids and other kinetic operations are discussed. Many insurgents choose to die rather than surrender, and when they make this choice, they die. When they surrender, the Multinational Forces have captured “high value targets and remanded them for prosecution” through whatever judicial process Iraq can claim to have. Or perhaps not.
Azzaman is routinely propagandistic, contextually biasing the facts on the ground in Iraq by their coverage. But when the reader can see through the propaganda, the facts are useful. I began monitoring the prison situation in Iraq some months ago, and this interest peaked when I read the March 17, 2007, account by Azzaman of the current situation of the prisons.
The population of prisons in Iraq has soared in recent months with tens of thousands of Iraqis currently in U.S. custody without trial.
U.S. troops and Iraqi government are investing heavily in the construction of prisons in the country with more than 100,000 Iraqis currently behind bars.
A parliamentary investigation commission has found that U.S. troops alone now detain more than 61,000 Iraqis and the figure is expected to swell as the Americans press ahead with their military operations.
More than 50,000 Iraqis were reported to have been arrested in the past four weeks as part of the joint U.S.-Iraqi military campaign to subdue Baghdad.
U.S. troops detain Iraqis merely on suspicion. Once detained, Iraqis may stay indefinitely as they are denied access to lawyers and Iraqi courts and government have no right to question U.S. troops’ actions.
Even Iraqi troops operations and activities now fall beyond the Iraqi judicial system as the country has been placed under emergency rule under which the courts have no power to question what the security forces do.
The last two paragraphs are false. On June 15, 2007, Owen and Bing West had an insightful and hard hitting commentary in the New York Times on these issues. They began by criticizing the strategy.
WHILE waiting to see if the Iraq surge strategy pays off, President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have shown Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the door and brought in Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute as the new White House “war czar.