American gulag: 83,000 served

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1152AP_Detaining_Thousands.html

The United States has detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the NFL’s largest stadium. The administration defends the practice of holding detainees in prisons from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay as a critical tool to stop the insurgency in Iraq, maintain stability in Afghanistan and get known and suspected terrorists off the streets.

Roughly 14,500 detainees remain in U.S. custody, primarily in Iraq.

The number has steadily grown since the first CIA paramilitary officers touched down in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001, setting up more than 20 facilities including the “Salt Pit,” an abandoned factory outside Kabul used for CIA detention and interrogation.

In Iraq, the number in military custody hit a peak on Nov. 1, according to military figures. Nearly 13,900 suspects were in U.S. custody there that day - partly because U.S. offensives in western Iraq put pressure on insurgents before the October constitutional referendum and December parliamentary elections.

The detentions and interrogations have brought complaints from Congress and human-rights groups about how the detainees - often Arab and male - are treated.

Oh for fuck’s sake.

I’m speechless… and angry.

What’s the big deal here? I realize it doesn’t take much to get Mayer all aquiver with rage, but I’m failing to see how the fact that the U.S. maintains prisons in Iraq is in any way big news. Aren’t we like trying to maintain order in the country currently?

Is that what we’re doing? Hard to know…

And how do you maintain order when you detain people with no reason and give them no rights? Does that effectively create a basis for society?

Nick, it’s the scale of the prisons we’re maintaining. That number is shockingly high to me. It’s yet another example of how we’ve gutted the country’s infrastructure and have to do things we have no business doing.

We’ve invaded a sovereign nation, occupied it with our military without a working strategy for what we’re doing or even why we’re there. And in the process, we’ve imprisoned a significant number of its citizens. What’s more, we’re doing it without oversight, either from our own judicial system or international agencies.

-Tom

Damn… I prefered it when you lot were the good guys. Not so sure I like this empire of evil thing your administration has going.

So true :/

It saddens me that a nation founded on such lofty principles is doing stuff like this … seems to me the terrorists have won in a certain way by undermining some of the democratic principles of the US of A.

It’s only fair that the proportion of incarcerated to citizens in Iraq reflects the proportion of incarcerated to citizens in America. It’s just a shame there aren’t enough black Iraqis for a more authentic re-creation of the American prison experience.

Those detainment numbers aren’t very big though. We are incarcerating a smaller percentage of Iraqis than we incarcerate US citizens in domestic prisons.

Just saying “We have X Iraqis in Iraqi prisons” without explanation for why, what are the average terms of imprisonment, what are most people imprisoned for, etc is not enough reason to get outraged.

I voted a straight Dem ticket last election in the hope that we’d get some opposition to this administration. Needless to say, my efforts proved fruitless. :cry:

I am also interested in the number of humans the US detains that are enemy combatants. And where they are being held. :/

Unfortunately, he’s right.

According to the CIA, Iraq’s population is 26,074,906.

According to the Bureau of Justice Prison Statistics, there are currently 2,135,901 people in US jails. Again, thanks to the CIA, I see the population of the US is 295,734,134.

Total percentage of Iragi citizens in prison: .003183%
Total percentage of USA citizens in prison: .007222%

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

How many of them are put there without a trial or due process? Hrmm?

How many of them are put there without a trial or due process? Hrmm?[/quote]

How many people are in Iraqi jails without a trial or due process? Hmm?

Oh, you win, I can’t give you an exact number so obviously that number is zero, despite everything we’ve all read and heard about US practices on how they choose people to send to their various prisons in the name of terrorism.

Unfortunately, he’s right.

According to the CIA, Iraq’s population is 26,074,906.

According to the Bureau of Justice Prison Statistics, there are currently 2,135,901 people in US jails. Again, thanks to the CIA, I see the population of the US is 295,734,134.

Total percentage of Iragi citizens in prison: .003183%
Total percentage of USA citizens in prison: .007222%

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.[/quote]

You used the wrong numerator for your Iraq calculation - 83000 is the total # of people held over the past 4 years. The highest number ever held at any one time in Iraq is 13900:

(Also, your decimal point is in the wrong place)

Now, figure those numbers to take time into account – how does the rate of incarceration over time compare? We’ve had decades to get our numbers up here at home – they’re almost halfway there in only a couple of years! We must not allow an incarceration gap!

Now, figure those numbers to take time into account – how does the rate of incarceration over time compare? We’ve had decades to get our numbers up here at home – they’re almost halfway there in only a couple of years! We must not allow an incarceration gap![/quote]

True, we shouldn’t allow an incarceration gap! If you look at the stark contrast between domestic situations, unstable Iraq should generate more prisoners per 100,000 people than the relatively sedate U.S. If we don’t start incarcerating more we are going to look positively benevolent!

The actual numbers are:

13900 / 26,074,906 * 100 = .05% of Iraqi population in prison
2,135,901 / 295,734,134 * 100 = .7% of US population in prison

YARRRRRRR making numbers correct

Yeah, but extrapolating general conditions from the worst-case horror stories you’ve read is damn sloppy logic too, and I think that’s what a lot of people are doing.

The article didn’t really say anything except “X people are in prison, Y have been held over time, etc”. Just dry incarceration statistics. The article didn’t make it clear what these prisons are for. Enemy combatants being held for 30 days? People who disturb the peace being held for 90 days? We just don’t know, but I’m not going to assume that a majority of those prisoners are there without due process, without the knowledge of the families, and being subjected to horrible abuse.