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June 27, 2005

Growing Abu Ghraib

Just over a year ago, Bush was pledging to tear it down:

“Under the dictator, prisons like Abu Ghraib were symbols of death and torture. That same prison became a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values. America will fund the construction of a modern, maximum security prison. When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Ghraib will be relocated. Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning.”

According to The Guardian (via The Insider), that isn’t going to happen any time soon:

Faced with unremitting violence, the United States is building new detention areas at Iraqi prisons including the notorious Abu Ghraib.
… [T]he continuing insurgency and rising death toll has meant that not only can the US not hand over Abu Ghraib to the new Iraqi government, according to a planned timetable, but other prisons including Camp Bucca in the British-controlled south of the country are being expanded.
The numbers of prisoners being held by the US in Iraq has reached record levels this month, with 10,783 in custody, up from 7,837 in January and 5,435 in June last year. American Iraqi officials agree there is no sign of the resistance or the prisoners it produces abating soon. “It’s been a challenge” said Col James Brown, commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade. “Many of the people we have captured have not given up the struggle.”
… The decision by American commanders to add to the detention facilities instead of their planned decommissioning would be seen as an admission of just how much the situation is out of control more than two years after invasion.
Major-General William Brandenburg, who oversees US-run prisons in Iraq, said US forces would have been out of Abu Ghraib under an original timetable by spring next year. But he now says: “I believed it until mid-December, but the numbers just weren’t going that way. Business is booming.”

Another story that the U.S. mainstream media seem to have missed.

Posted by Stephen at 12:10 AM in War | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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