The Two-Guantanamo Solution
By Karen J. Greenberg
Intro by Tom Engelhardt:
It all began in Afghanistan (the War on Terror, of course). It was there as well that, in late 2001, the Bush administration first “took the gloves off,” a phrase its top officials then loved to use. So the first torture and abuse of prisoners, including the use of dogs to intimidate, took place there and only then migrated to Guantanamo in Cuba and Abu Ghraib in Iraq. By 2004, the U.S. was already operating approximately two dozen off-the-grid prisons in Afghanistan and a report in the British Guardian could speak of the U.S. prison system there as “the hub of a global network of detention centers.” It included a notorious CIA-run secret Afghan prison nicknamed “the Salt Pit.” The first killing of prisoners by Americans occurred at our prison at Bagram Air Base, the huge former Soviet base that became a focus of American military activities. One of the nastier spots on the planet for many years, Bagram was, as Karen Greenberg, author of The Least Worst Place, Guantanamo’s First 100 Days, has termed it, “the missing prison” (at a time when all attention was focused on Guantanamo). It remains George W. Bush’s unmentioned living legacy to Barack Obama.
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