March 28, 2007

Now They Complain Of Overcrowding

You can never win. First critics said the surge would never work. Now that US and Iraqi forces have started rounding up terror suspects by the hundreds as a result of the improved security plan, the critics now complain that we've captured too many:

Hundreds of Iraqis detained in the Baghdad security crackdown have been crammed into two detention centers run by the Defense Ministry that were designed to hold only dozens of people, a government monitoring group said Tuesday.

The numbers suggested that the security plan’s emphasis on aggressive block-by-block sweeps of troubled neighborhoods in the capital had flooded Iraq’s frail detention system, and appeared to confirm the fears of some human rights advocates who have been predicting that the new plan would aggravate already poor conditions. ...

In one of the detention centers, in the town of Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, 705 people were packed into an area built for 75, according to Maan Zeki Khadum, an official with the monitoring group. The other center, on Muthana Air Base, held 272 people in a space designed to hold about 50, he said, and included two women and four boys who were being held in violation of regulations that require juveniles to be separated from adults and males from females.

In an interview, Mr. Khadum said a majority of the detainees at the two detention centers had been picked up while the security plan, which began in mid-February, was being put into effect.

He said the detention system had been suffering from a problem of “fast detention and very slow release, especially for those who are not guilty.” His group includes 17 lawyers and is working under a government committee run by the Shiite politician Ahmad Chalabi.

"Especially for those not guilty"? Of course we do not want to detain the innocent, but we don't need to release real terrorists at all. Slow release, grinding down to none at all, should suit everyone just fine for the latter. That's why the US and Iraqis need to work on a competent process to review the data for those seized, but a lack of speed in that process is hardly an excuse for not capturing terrorists at all.

For a security plan that wouldn't work, it didn't take long for complaints of overcrowding to get made publicly. We need to find room for more detainees, because if the surge continues to fail in this fashion, we're going to have many more terrorists to house very soon.


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Comments (2)

Posted by Always right [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 28, 2007 4:35 PM

Cpt, they haven't actually acknoledged that surge was a success yet, have they? All of the rounded up people are of course innocent. Even when proven they are terrorists, there are always the excuses that they had a bad childhood, abusive parent(s), 2nd hand smoke, the evil Americans and joooos stole their food and medicine money,...Give them a little time, no doubt they could have actually tied it to Global Warming.

In the meantime, complain as loud as possible the captured were tortured, and humiliated, no copies of koran provided (not wearing gloves), sleeping on cold stone floor, etc.

Posted by [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 28, 2007 11:55 PM

America, as a nation, can scarcely be bothered to build sufficient jails for its own citizens - just part of the 'be tough, but don't make us pay for it' ethos of what is called conservatism nowadays by its practitioners.

I won't hold my breath waiting for a coherent strategy in which all the likely consequences have been considered.