Is the Obama Administration Planning to Use Bagram Like Gitmo?


Jeremy Scahill
Uruknet
June 10, 2010

The Obama administration is reportedly considering a plan to use Bagram prison in Afghanistan as a Guantánamo-style prison to hold and interrogate “terrorism suspects” captured in countries other than Afghanistan, including Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. Citing unnamed US officials, the Los Angeles Times reports that the United States is exploring a plan to “carve out a section of the prison for non-Afghan detainees who would remain under U.S. custody” even after Bagram is officially handed over to Afghan control, which the White House agreed to do last month. “The proposal is still in early stages of development,” according to the LA Times. “It is the subject of quiet discussions among senior officials, and has not been submitted to the National Security Council or to Afghan officials.” Major Tanya Bradsher, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said, “No decision has been made to house international terrorism suspects at Bagram.”

In May, the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed the existence of a secret prison facility within the larger Bagram prison complex in Afghanistan. Abuses at the so-called “black” jail were widely documented by media outlets, including the BBC and the New York Times. The jail is run by US special forces and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Allowing the U.S. to hold detainees at the prison at Bagram, known to the military as the Parwan detention facility, would give American interrogators an ability to question suspected terrorists directly, an approach considered more effective,” reports the LA Times.

SEE ALSO RELATED LA Times story by Julian E. Barnes.

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