Terrorism: March 1, 2002


The US is holding hundreds of Taliban and al Qaeda "detainees" at Bagram and Kandahar in hastily-built prison camps. These are the locations where new prisoners are taken for their initial screenings. New prisoners are still being brought into both camps every day as special forces teams continue to patrol the countryside. After screening and interrogation, some are sent to Guantanamo and some to other holding facilities in the region. The situation is unique in warfare. Traditionally (at least for the last few centuries), prisoners are released at the end of hostilities. This release, however, was based on the theory that once the war is over, the prisoners are no longer a threat. The problem is that in the "War on Terror" the war is not over when a given host nation government is overthrown. At least in theory, the terrorists will never quit trying to launch attacks on the US and as such captured terrorists could never be released without posing a threat. --Stephen V Cole


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