Casino capitalists in the brainwash-Iraqis biz

I have long maintained (e.g. here, PDF) that two of the major goals of all oppressive powers that undertake campaigns of mass incarceration is to use that incarceration both as a means of active political blackmail against the families and communities of those detained (= quite illegal hostage-taking) and to use the control over detainees to brainwash them directly into some form of subservience, or otherwise to break their will.
‘Twas ever thus. Including in all imperial-style campaigns of “counter-insurgency” from the beginnings of imperial/colonial history until today. As in the occupied Palestinian territories (more than 7,000 men detained without trial by Israel) and in Iraq (around 17,000 held without trial by the US, plus thousands more by the Iraqi government), and Afghanistan.
Now, Nick Mottern of Consumers for Peace and Bill Rau have done some excellent spadework investigating the corporate structure of some of the “contractors” (i.e. mercenaries) doing the brainwashing work in the massive US-run detention system in Iraq. They report that the detention system inside Iraq that’s run by the US military’s “Task Force 134” operates a religious brainwashing program that employs 60 claimed “imams”– and that these imams are hired and supervised by a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Innovation (GI) Partners LLP, a California- and London-based private equity firm.
Among those investing in GI Partners are the pension systems run for employees of both the State of California (CALPERS) and Oregon, they report.
The “imams in the detention centers” program looks eerily similar to the way the British in Kenya used Anglican indoctrination in a long-sustained campaign to break the nationalist wills of the Kenyan independence activists known as the Mau-Mau, back in the 1950s. In the horrendous network of detention camps that the British ran then, detainees were humiliated and very seriously– often lethally– mistreated; meanwhile, they were promised better treatment or perhaps even “release” if only they’d abandon their “primitive” indigenous religions and take oaths of conversion into the Anglican faith.
Of course, all such forms of coercive brainwashing is completely illegal under international law, which guarantees the freedom of religion, religious understanding and practice, and conscience, to all persons. (It was illegal in the 1950, too. But that didn’t stop the British from practicing it.)
So now, Mottern and Rau have connected the dots of the story of how the restless forces of casino capitalism that are ever circling the globe in search of the next generator of the hyper-profits they seek, regardless of at whose expense, have met up with the world of mercenary brainwashing, in an allegedly “Islamic” religious context.
Investors, including those running state-employee pension funds, should dissociate themselves from companies that make profits in such a disreputable way.
(One final note: Human Rights Watch, and reportedly also Amnesty International, recently called on the US government not to hand control over its Iraqi detainees over to the Iraqi government under any of the bilateral security agreements it concludes. HRW had previously documented some serious abuses being committed inside the Iraqi-run detention centers. But HRW has done pitifully little to challenge the US’s own extensive– and extremely coercive– use of detention without trial in Iraq. In its latest press release, it calls on the US government only to “ensure that detainees are not in danger of being tortured [by Iraqi jailers] by establishing a mechanism that would provide each detainee with a genuine opportunity to contest a transfer to Iraqi custody, and by verifying the conditions of Iraqi detention facilities to which they could be transferred, through inspections whose results are made public.” Why on earth don’t they call more directly on the US to release all those detainees against whom it is unable to bring any credible charges of malfeasance? Why do they seem to concur so much with the US military’s view that sometimes it’s kinda necessary to detain large numbers of people without trial?)

7 thoughts on “Casino capitalists in the brainwash-Iraqis biz”

  1. The imprisonment of foreign nationals in their own countries, or other countries, is merely an extension of US domestic policies. The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, about two million people. Most of these unfortunates were imprisoned with no trial or a tainted trial.
    The imprisonment of foreign nationals without due process is a violation of international law. The Geneva Conventions call for the protection of civilians in a war zone.
    The US Supreme Court has found that such practice is illegal regarding a couple hundred confined people in Cuba but there has been no similar finding regarding the tens of thousands of people that the US military and the CIA confines in other countries, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan.
    In Iraq of course the Prime Minister won’t call for the release of US prisoners, many incarcerated as a part of the ethnic-cleansing surge, because most (if not all) of them are Sunnis and Sadrists, enemies of the US (and Iran)-allied fundamentalist Shi’ite government. Maliki probably wants those people in his prisons.
    America is known as the land of the free and a beacon of hope. Why has no US politician spoken up about the wrongness of these illegal, despicable practices? Well, one did. “These regimes cannot hold back freedom forever — and, one day, from prison camps and prison cells, and from exile, the leaders of new democracies will arrive.” –George Bush
    The US will eventually pay for these crimes, or do we foolishly expect that these wronged people and their relatives will just forgive and forget?

  2. Helena,
    and in Iraq (around 17,000 held without trial by the US, plus thousands more by the Iraqi government)
    How this number reflect the truth?
    We keeping fed by numbers of Iraqi detainees from occupier there are no independent agencies or report telling real numbers of Iraqis in US custody.
    Just to make more clear here recently (tow weeks or so) US refused Red Cross agency granted them visited permits to US detainees centres and US camps.
    So 17,000.0 looks to me not reflect the real number of Iraqi Helena.
    Can we trust the liars what comes from their mouths?

  3. it calls on the US government only to “ensure that detainees are not in danger of being tortured [by Iraqi jailers]
    What a jock Helena…Haahaaaaa…
    Who was training for six years those Iraqi jailers?
    The reflecting the masters in their behaviours Helena just bring Abu Graib…it was very clear example for US torturing practices and course learning for future Iraqi jailers.
    What hypocrisy here.

  4. from The Washington Independent, 11/14/08:
    At a call-in “town hall” meeting tonight, the American Civil Liberties Union reiterated its call for the new Obama administration to close the Guantanamo Bay prison on the president’s first day in office. With the help of the filmmaker Robert Greenwald, the ACLU is even distributing a short film to persuade people to join in the campaign.
    Closing Guantanamo Bay and even ending the military commissions (also part of the campaign) is all well and good, but that alone doesn’t solve the problem the ACLU and others are trying to address.
    Since 2001, Washington has been indefinitely detaining people around the world without charge, and in many cases without access to lawyers or even the right to communicate with family members. Some of those men were swept up by bounty hunters; many were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many have been abused or tortured in custody.
    As I wrote in a story for The American Lawyer, more than 600 prisoners are imprisoned indefinitely and without charge in what’s become a black hole at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Unlike Guantanamo, the Supreme Court has never ruled (or had a chance to rule) that they have any due process rights. . .

  5. Since 2001, Washington has been indefinitely detaining people around the world without charge,
    Let be very clear here when presenting the case of detaining people around the world without charge, Iraq and Iraqi were not terrorists they did not support Bin Laden they did not finance his terrorists ideology, they did not have any linked either by people of Iraq neither their tyrant government.
    people of Iraq are in big prison they have detained in their homes for the last six years because of illegal occupation by foreign forces that they saying the brought democracy and freedom to Iraqis which never been seen since ….
    So do not mingling and twisting facts here about Iraq and Iraqis its different case and different story.

  6. To those who have short memory about training “Iraqi jailers”
    Read these stories by proud US forces and hero who trained the “Iraqi jailers” and count how much your tax money was spent on that training ( don’t know where Iraqi Oil and other resources going for the last six years)

    American commanders are assigning more than 2,000 Army military police advisers to work side by side with Iraq police officers in one of the most extensive efforts yet to team Americans with uniformed Iraqis.

    2,000 More M.P.‘s Will Help Train the Iraqi Police

    Getting the police force up and running has been a key goal of the Bush administration. The U.S. has invested billions of dollars in training the new police force, and the president recently said the program is yielding results.


    The Pentagon has budgeted more than $1 billion this year to train, field and equip Interior Ministry forces, of which the police are by far the largest single component, said Ann Bertucci, a military spokeswoman. Senior American officers say their goal is to train Iraqi police so they can take over law enforcement duties in the coming months from Iraqi army units who are now relieving American troops.

    “We’re trying to develop the police capability to the point where by the end of 2006 we can begin the transfer to civil security,” said Major General Joseph Peterson, the top American police trainer in Iraq, in a recent interview at his headquarters in Baghdad.

    U.S. Army ramps up training of Iraqi police

    Nevertheless, Westhusing’s first few weeks in Iraq were, he wrote to a friend, “high adventure.” His formal title was director, counterterrorism/special operations, Civilian Police Assistance Training Team, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. He liked working closely with his Iraqi counterparts and seemed to get along well with the contractors from Virginia-based USIS, a private security company, which had contracts worth $79 million to help train Iraqi police units that were conducting special operations. (The owners of USIS include the Carlyle Group, the powerful private equity firm whose investors formerly included George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.) In another message to a friend back home, he said that “if you are not of strong character and know right from wrong, you will leave this place devastated in personal esteem and priceless human beings will be harmed.”

    High Adventure

    Iraq has demobilised an entire police brigade suspected of links to sectarian death squads, and moved it to a US military base for retraining.The announcement follows two recent mass abductions by death squads in Baghdad.General Caldwell says problems with the unit were discovered after a routine review of the Iraqi forces.

    Iraq police brigade suspended over suspicions of sectarian violence

  7. الاعتقالات : بلغت الاعتقالات بما يقارب ( 1672 ) معتقل حيث اعتقلت القوات العراقية مايقارب (1485) بينما اعتقلت القوات الامريكيه (169) اما القوة المشتركة من (القوات العراقية والامريكيه ) فقد اعتقلت مايقارب (18) وتركزت هذه الاعتقالات في كل من المحافظات الاتيه :
    محافظة الانبار 35
    محافظة أربيل 3
    محافظة الديوانية 10
    محافظة البصرة 195
    محافظة النجف 3
    محافظة المثنى 11
    محافظة ديالى 397
    محافظة بغداد 347
    محافظة كربلاء 1
    محافظة صلاح الدين 5
    محافظة ذي قار 42
    محافظة نينوى 474
    محافظة ميسان 89
    محافظة كركوك 36
    محافظة واسط 16
    محافظة بابل 8
    في حين اعتقلت القوات الامريكيه (12) معتقل من وسط وشمال العراق خلال هذا الشهر .
    In ONE Month= 1672 Iraqi detained

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