[I was startled to hear on npr this morning that we are holding some 25,000 Iraqis’ in preventive detention without charges.  The worry is that they (along with their family members estimated to be 2.5 million or some such) will be radicalized by this mindless form of incarceration.

Israel follows a similar pattern with some 10,000 Palestinians also held in desert locations.

I recall the subject of preventive detention coming up at a Columbia University faculty human rights seminar several decades back.  An Israeli scholar defended it in Israel on the basis that only a handful would ever be held and that their cases would be reviewed each six months.  The rest of us in the seminar were appalled at this fundamental violation of human rights.

Post 9/11 the U.S. played the same game here in the U.S. with an indeterminate number of Muslims being held — largely in county jails scattered around the country which welcomed per diem compensation.  Brooklyn had what came to be known as a gulag for the brutality to which such “material witnesses” were being subjected by guards — one of whom who graduated to Abu Ghraib where he emulated his treatment here and for which he was prosecuted and convicted.

http://www.bloggernews.net/2006/01/brooklyn-gulag-vicims-return-to-sue.html

http://www.bloggernews.net/2006/09/thousands-of-immigrants-held-by.html

We first learned of this horror when one of our CUNY student families was suddenly arrested and divided into different jails — father, mother, oldest child (our student at CCNY)  and younger ones who were American citizens left to fend for themselves.  We protested and they were released.  But many others simply disappeared.

The article below shows the other side of the coin.  An outfit run by a Bush friend will apparently be let off prosecution for manifest mass murders in Iraq.  And so it goes under Bush justice.  Ed Kent]

……………………………..

Blackwater Case Faces Obstacles, Justice Dept. Says
By JAMES RISEN  and DAVID JOHNSTON
Legal gaps and immunity may prevent Blackwater guards
involved in a shooting in Iraq from being tried.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/washington/16blackwater.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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