Skip to comments.US To Release 12,000 Prisoners In Iraq
Posted on 04/18/2008 2:45:47 PM PDT by blam
US to release 12,000 prisoners in Iraq
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:03pm BST 18/04/2008
America plans to halve the number of detainees it is holding in Iraq by releasing more than 12,000 under a scheme designed to promote reconciliation with communities formerly sympathetic to the insurgency.
US officers in Iraq told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that more than 50 prisoners per day would gain their freedom through the end of 2008.
Over 12,000 prisoners are to be released from Iraqi prisons
The vast majority of those in American custody are Sunni Muslims, including a hardcore of al-Qa'eda followers.
However, officials estimate as few as 2,500 represent a long-term threat to America. "When they aren't a security risk, it's our obligation to release them," said Brigadier General Mike Nevin. "The trick is: how do you know when they're no longer a threat?"
Hours later America issued a rare alert that al-Qa'eda had advanced plans to carry out suicide attacks in Baghdad, claiming "credible intelligence" indicated a suicide attack squad had entered the capital and was planning to detonate devices using vehicles or pedestrians wearing explosive vests.
Two halfway houses for handling pre-release suspects have been built in Taji and Ramadi, near the Sunni heartland of central Iraq. Those eligible for release under the effort must complete a specially tailored education programme that mixes moderate Islamic teachings with technical skills, such as carpentry. Releases reward communities that backed the Sahwa movement, which saw tens of thousands of former enemies, predominantly Sunnis, join pro-American forces.
The move reverses a jump in American detentions in which the prison population increased from 18,000 to 23,000 in the year to April. Many of those released will have been held when America surged its combat forces by 30,000 troops last year. General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, believes the army is capable of reliably "separating the irreconcilables from the reconcilables."
America splits most of its detainees between two huge facilities, Camp Cropper, near Baghdad and Camp Bucca, near Basra. The expiry of the UN mandate for US and British troops operating in Iraq at the end of the year.
Separately America started work on a security barrier to wall off parts of Sadr City, the vast Shi'ite slum east of Baghdad. By enclosing the area, America hopes to disrupt and reduce rocket attacks on the Green Zone diplomatic compound in Baghdad.
The area is dominated by the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr who is locked in a power struggle with the Baghdad government. Iraqi troops risked a new spiral violence by surrounding Mr Sadr's Madhi Army headquarters in Basra yesterday despite agreeing a non-aggression pact with the movement.
Killing these 12K now would probably save 500K lives in the future. I hope they don’t release the wrong ones.
We’ll see how many leftists acknowledge this, yet another set-back for our side in Iraq. Bwa ha ha ha...
It must suck to be an anti-war lefty and see your whole game plan crumble before your very eyes.
What, violence is sometime required and does work? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...
Hope they don’t do that all at once. I wouldn’t sign off on that. If you are gonna release, do couple of hundred a month or something. That way you know what adverse effect it causes vis-a-vis security, if any.
"Detainees" are not "prisoners." Detainees have not been convicted of anything.
I know where you are coming from, but I think the infrastructure for terrorism has been dealt a severe blow. Even if ‘some’ of these folks wanted to go that route, it would be a lot harder for them to do so today.
This kind of show of faith with the groups involved, could help to build a relationship between factions, something that has been seeming to take plase in other ways over the last few months.
I view it as a good sign. The left who likes to talk about those who are incarcerated are watching another talking point evaporate.
250 a week disbursed to ‘all points’ might not be so bad.
What will happen is the next OBL will be one of the 12,000 released. And despite the fact that all Democrats are 100% behind this action, if one of these becomes a terrorist leader, it will be all the Bush/Republicans fault for letting him go.
Every single ‘al-Qa’eda follower’ should have been intensly interrogated and then executed.
You can be sure that many of these sub-retarded booger eaters will resume attacks on US military personnel.
This will definitely backfie.
That's really not hard.
They are no longer a threat right after they're dead.