Where the tortures at Abu Gharib came from
From Democracy Now
One man ran a prison system in Utah where a 29-year-old schizophrenic died after he was stripped naked and strapped to a restraining chair for 16 hours.
Another man ran the system in Arizona where 14 women were raped, sodomized or assaulted by prison guards.
Another ran Connecticut’s prison system where at least two people died after being severely beaten.
All of the men who ran these prison systems were forced out by lawsuits or political controversy. But rather than being sent to prison themselves, these men were sent to Iraq by the US government to set up the prisons there. Actually, one prison – Abu Ghraib.
Veteran activist Tom Hayden has a new book, Street Wars: Gangs and the Future of Violence, which deals in part with how the US is exporting gang violence to El Salvador and Honduras via deportations and by using thuggish tactics inspired by Rudy Guiliani.
In first-ever interviews, representatives of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang in Honduras this week described how security forces were to blame for the May 17 prison fire that killed 105 of those they call their homeboys. In addition to starting the fire, police and prison guards allegedly kept the facility’s gates locked for over an hour while trapped inmates were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation.
Human rights observers, children’s advocates, and MS members say the tragedy is a direct consequence of Honduras’ mano dura (strong fist) policies. These policies employ suppression tactics based on New York City’s “zero tolerance” police strategies of the ’90s, and were instituted on the advice of the Manhattan Institute think-tank and the Giuliani Group, which have exported the New York model to Latin America.