Why are inmates left largely to run their blocks? Why are Sunnis scrupulously kept apart from Shia, but no one cares to keep seasoned jihadists away from people picked up in security sweeps? Is this a fallout from Abu Ghraib, with the Americans so careful not to appaer to be brutal that we end up being played — yet again — for a fool by our enemies?
“Insurgents transform US military jails into “˜terror training camps,– by James Hider for the Times, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
America’s high-security prisons in Iraq have become “terrorist academies” for the most dangerous militant groups, according to former inmates and Iraqi government officials.
Inmates are left largely to run their blocks, which are segregated on sectarian lines. The policy has created a closed world run by Iraq’s worst terrorists and militias, into which detainees with no links to insurgent groups are often thrown.
Inmates from Camp Cropper, the US prison at Baghdad airport, described to The Times seeing al-Qaeda terrorists club to death a man suspected of being an informer. Others dished out retribution with razor wire stolen from the fences.
Captain Phillip Valenti, a US officer responsible for prisons, said he knew of at least three cases of prisoners being murdered by inmates. “We are very concerned about insurgent efforts to recruit and convert detainees,” he said.
US officials said yesterday that they were investigating the suspicious death of another Camp Cropper inmate.
Saad Sultan, the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry”s official for prisons, said: “It looks like a terrorist academy. There’s a huge number of these “˜students”; they study how they can kill. And we protect them, feed them, give them medical care. The Americans have no solution to this problem.”
Vying factions often feed fake tips about their enemies to US forces, meaning just about anyone can end up in jail. While the US military is scrupulous about separating Sunnis from Shia, they pay less attention to keeping seasoned terrorists apart from people picked up in security sweeps.
Read it all.