Thursday, April 22, 2004
Stepping into Saddam Hussein's Place
Aaron Glantz reports that "[t]he U.S. military is currently holding more than 20,000 Iraqis behind bars -- most of them taken during house to house searches by the U.S. military" ("Think of Those the U.S. Has Detained," April 21, 2004). 15,000 of them are imprisoned in Baghdad's notorious Abu Grahb prison, some of them held in "3-foot by 4-foot cell[s] used to keep political prisoners during the reign of Saddam Hussein" ("Think of Those the U.S. Has Detained"). According to Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, "This prison has the capacity to hold up to 15,000 prisoners, and we [coalition special operation forces] found it empty" upon entering Baghdad ("CENTCOM Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefing," April 11, 2003). Just as Washington installed its proconsul Paul Bremer III into the marble Republican Palace that Saddam Hussein vacated, it has already filled up the dark prison that Hussein emptied.