This announcement follows closely on the heels of recent disclosures that the U.S. is constructing at least nineteen military bases in that unfortunate and long-suffering country.
One has to ask why it's necessary to demolish and replace a relatively modern prison the U.S. has just finished spending many millions to completely rebuild, particularly in light of the claim that abuses committed there were the work of only a handful of low-ranking bad apples. Will replacement of this facility make the imprisonment of Iraqis merely suspected of something any more justified or humane? Will it make inhuman mistreatment and abuse any less likely?
For ITS part, the Defense Department has announced (Agence France-Presse, link http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/23/1085250873479.html
) a total ban on cameras, camera-phones, and all other types of digital recording/transmission devices in Iraq's US-run prisons. Won't do much to change the sadistic and systematic gameplan of beatings, humiliation and torture, but it's sure likely to cut down on the potential for future public scandal!
And why is the U.S. building an entire system of state of the art prisons throughout Iraq - by most accounts far in excess of "normal" per capita requirements for prison space - when so far it hasn't even made good on its promises to restore basic infrastructure? Says a lot about U.S. priorities, not to mention mindset and intentions.
In an illegal war most-lately justified on the pretense of securing "freedom" and "democracy" for the Iraqi people, how utterly appropriate that America's greatest and most enduring legacy to Iraqis (apart from an endless panoply of marked and unmarked graves), will be its vast network of supermax prisons and military bases, universal symbols of state oppression and favorite mechanisms of despotic rule.
Hitler and Stalin would have been proud.