Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Secret CIA Report: We can't even Disrupt Al-Qaeda AT GITMO!

Apparently, if we are bent on disrupting the activities of Al-Qaeda all over the world, we're going to have to start 80 miles off of Key West.  

The Smoking Gun isn't known as a major font of investigative journalism, but today they dropped a doozy.  Featured on their site  is a 12 page Secret CIA report about terrorist organizations in prisons, and specifically how Al-Qaeda has created a highly efficent organization INSIDE CAMP X-RAY ITSELF!

The report, prepared in August 2002 by the CIA Counterterrorist Center's Office of Terrorism Analysis, concluded that while detainees at Guantanamo Bay facilities were organizing and communicating in accordance with al-Qaeda training methods, U.S. officials were hamstrung to counter these moves without the aid of "inside sources."

Little Tip for the fellas at Gitmo? This is going to come as shock to you, but it's awful hard to motivate someone to risk his life to help you when you are hooking electrodes up to his genitalia or "waterboarding" him every day.  People seem to resent that for some reason.  

On the Other hand Al-Qaeda seems to have no trouble at all recruiting:

The CIA report, notes that Guantanamo detainees enforced a code of conduct and sought to shield the identity of leaders through the use of surrogates. Additionally, inmates reportedly sought to "put their training into practice by establishing cellblock leaders and dividing responsibility among deputies for greeting new arrivals, assessing interrogations, monitoring the guard force, and providing moral support to fellow detainees, among other tasks."

Still its not really their fault, I mean, "No one could  have anticipated" that a cellular terrorist network would spring up in a Prison of all places.  After all it isn't like the report says that Al-Qaeda training manuals explicitly includes instruction on how to create prison networks or anything.  Okay, so they do.  But really that's no reason to believe they'd actually work now is it.   I mean its not like there's any history of this sort of thing happening anywhere else in the world ever now is there?.

I mean, when the South African authorities jailed Mandela and all the other members of the ANC on Robben Island, it isn't like an ANC training school later nicknamed "Resistance University" sprung up there,  


 Oh. never mind.  

 Well how about when the British made the decision to confine all suspected IRA and UDL terrorists to a prison called Long Kesh(aka "the Maze)  why that  worked out splendidly, there were absolutely no problems there at now were there?  


Bad example.

This report is pretty devastating to the whole raison d'etre for for this awful stain on our national honor.  Gitmo was supposed to be necessary keep us safe, the excesses of Camp X-ray were supposedly for our protection.   This was to be the  place that Gen Richard Meyers once swore was filled only with " very, very dangerous people...these are the sort of people who would chew through a hydraulics cable to bring a C-17 down."

Yet, despite the incredible and often inhumane security that these men were subjected to; they've  had no trouble at all setting up a complex organization and communications network, literally under the noses of the guards there.  It's become a place that facilitates the activities of the bad guys, not prevents them.

And really, this isn't all that surprising to anyone who has ever worked with inmates or prisons before.  Ask any corrections officer about the criminal gangs that operate with near impunity at most major state and federal facility.  They are an almost inevitable by product of prison life.   Prisoners have all the time in the world to think up ways to screw with their captors, and dominate each other.  And even though they have incredibly limited resources, people  tend to get amazingly resourceful in that situation.   Prisoners  wind up using things in ways their  captors could never imagine until its too late.  

 IF you want a perfect example of this domestically, read  This Story About how the Aryan Brotherhood's leaders sent Orders to chapters nationwide from their cells in a Colorado Supermax prison using cryptographic methods invented by Francis Bacon, library books, and even invisible ink made primarily from their own urine.  

Even the CIA report itself concludes that

 since such activities may be "constrained by countries' need to follow the rule of law and other typical investigative hurdles, it may be possible only to mitigate, not prevent, terrorist use of prisons for their own purposes.

The bottom line then is, all we really did by creating Camp X-ray was to lock up a whole lot of formerly innocent men, with a few dozen Al-Qaeda operatives adept at recruiting, training, and using them for their purposes. Indeed Some of the folks released from Gitmo who weren't militants when they were taken there have returned home and taken up arms against us.  Apparently they were a little miffed at the whole "locked in a cage and tortured 3000 mile from home for no reason" thing.  Go figure. Meanwhile by it's very existence, Gitmo has caused our country to all but abandon any claim we ever had to moral high ground on human rights.

Way to strike a crushing blow against our enemies in the "war on terror " guys.  


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