Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Prison School

Prisons in Iraq serve as recruiting stations and schools for learning how to be a suicide bomber, it seems:

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.

Incompetence (as in not segregating the other prisoners from the obvious ringleaders) can look exactly like competence, only competence in the service of the enemy. I sometimes imagine how the current geopolitical situation might look had the U.S. administration decided to follow the policy of treating the terrorists as criminals in the first place instead of promoting them to the status of some worldwide secret and uber-powerful enemy worthy of war.