American Samizdat

Tuesday, December 12, 2006. *

Prisons are more important than schools because, in the USA, it represents a much larger market share. With 1 out of every 32 Americans tied up (heh) in the US criminal justice system, there's heaps big money to be made. Finally, as someone else recently stated, "...prisoners are needed for the next stage of the USA's economic development." Who's going to take the manufacturing jobs from the Chinese? Prisoners.

The USA is clearly headed for a two-tier society: one in which there are prisoner-slaves, and free-wealthy." Which one are you?

Also see, Nazi-like brutality of U.S. criminal justice system and prisons.

Of course, what we are seeing is here at home merely a microcosm of what we do abroad:

The Bush Administration as Global Jailor
11/03/06 "TomDispatch" -- -- Today, the United States presides over a burgeoning empire -- not only the "empire of bases" first described by Chalmers Johnson, but a far-flung new network of maximum security penitentiaries, detention centers, jail cells, cages, and razor wire-topped pens. From supermax-type isolation prisons in 40 of the 50 states to shadowy ghost jails at remote sites across the globe, this new network of detention facilities is quite unlike the gulags, concentration-camps, or prison nations of the past.

Even with a couple million prisoners under its control, the U.S. prison network lacks the infrastructure or manpower of the Soviet gulag or the orderly planning of the Nazi concentration-camp system. However, where it bests both, and breaks new incarceration ground, is in its planet-ranging scope, with sites scattered the world over -- from Europe to Asia, the Middle East to the Caribbean. Unlike colonial prison systems of the past, the new U.S. prison network seems to have floated almost free of surrounding colonies. Right now, it has only four major centers -- the "homeland," Afghanistan, Iraq, and a postage-stamp-sized parcel of Cuba. As such, it already hovers at the edge of its own imperial existence, bringing to mind the unprecedented possibility of a prison planet. In a remarkably few years, the Bush administration has been able to construct a global detention system, already of near epic proportions, both on the fly and on the cheap.

Sizing Up a Prison Planet

Soon after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the U.S. began the process of creating what has been termed "an offshore archipelago of injustice." In addition to using "the Charleston Navy Brig" and locking up "one prisoner of war in Miami, Florida," according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Bush administration detained people from around the world in sweeps, imprisoned them without charges and kept them incommunicado at U.S. detention facilities at a CIA prison outside Kabul, Afghanistan (code-named the "Salt Pit"), at Bagram military airbase in Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba, among other sites.

Since it was set up in 2002, the detainment complex at Guantanamo Bay has been the public face of the Bush administration's semi-secret foreign prison network -- a collection of camps, cells, and cages that today holds 437 prisoners. But "Gitmo" has always been the tiny showpiece, the jewel in a very dark crown, for a much larger, less visible foreign network of military detention facilities, CIA "black" sites, and outsourced foreign prisons. It is a prison camp that rightly attracts opprobrium, but it also serves to focus attention away from shadowy ghost jails, borrowed third-nation facilities, much larger prisons holding thousands in Iraq, and a full-scale network of detention centers and prisons in Afghanistan.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:50 AM
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