Friday, March 03, 2006

Mutiny Fallout

The fallout from the prison mutiny has led to some immediate results, most notably the reassignment of the director of prisoners to a post called the "temporary list" (getting paid to wait for his superiors to find a job for him), and replacing him with another officer. Clearly, he was blamed for getting himself taken hostage by the prisoners. Clearly, this is not something that he should put on his CV, but is the issue deeper? Treatment of the situation at the time was humane and reasonable, but why did this mutiny happen in the first place?

Questions raised by this episode are numerous, and span from between policy and implementation. First, policy.

It is quite obvious that these prisoners are being treated with kid gloves. The prisoners got a chance to take the guards and the director of prisons hostage because they were unarmed. It seems that this is prison policy, which is clearly candy assed. I mean, do they think they are dealing with mischievous boy scouts? One of them murdered an American diplomat. I wonder what these people need to do to be treated as DANGEROUS. The job of prisons is to protect society, not please Human Right Watch. Frankly, I don't give a rat's ass about these guys' human rights. I am sure that if they had their way, their opponents wouldn't enjoy the treatment that they are receiving.

They are also mixed with regular prisoners, rather than kept in their own sections. This mixing allows for common criminals to be indoctrinated into the Islamist ideology. This is the same system that transformed Zarqawi from a common street thug to the world class terrorist he is today.

As for implementation, questions about how these guys had cell phones by which they could coordinate with prisoners in different facilities and to call our friends at Al Jazeera, to complain about how badly they are being treated. Boo Hoo. Prisoners at Suwaqa rioted a couple of months ago, but the lessons from that incident were not internalized. There seems to be a common thread here.

Honestly, if we have too much trouble warehousing these terrorists, we should simplify our job by giving them quick trials and swift executions. That way they can meet their virgins post haste.

UPDATES: Deputy Abduljalil Ma'aitah has some pointed questions for the minister of interior. He questions why prison officials went into the cells (unarmed) rather than speaking with a representative of the prisoners outside. He also questions dragging out the negotiations, which he said lowers the credibility of the police (I would argue with that), and why another prisoner was asked to intervene on behalf of the prison officials (I wouldn't argue with that).

Columist Sultan Hattab says today that he had known before during visits to prison officials that the prisoners were making weapons in their cells. I am pulling my hair right now.


At 5:47 AM, Blogger Rami said...

"we should simplify our job by giving the[m] quick trials and swift executions."

This line it sill ringing in my ears. Are you implying the courts in Jordan are Kangaroo courts?

Those people are innocent until proven guilty, how come you passed the verdict of execution so hastily and without a fair and open trial?

This is an extreme stance for you to take. I hope not many people think this way, otherwise its like "Saddam and his swift trials of Dujail".

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Rami: Swift is different from unfair. The Libyan who killed Foley was tried in court and convicted. Why do we still have to deal with him.

As for swift trials, this was the demand of the prisoners themselves. We should give them what they want in this instance.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Khalaf, I agree with Rami. The lack of security within the prison system is a securiy problem and not a judicial one. These are two separate issues and as much as I am personally concerned on Jordan national security, I still strongly believe that every human is entitled to be treated right and to recieve a fair trial. We do not defeat terrorists by becoming like them!

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Issam: Sure, I agree. I also agree with the prisoners who complain that their trials are taking too long. If there is no evidence against them, they should be released.

On the other hand, we shouldn't squirm at the idea of execution for terrorists and murderers. I know it's out of fasion in Europe, but in Jordan common criminals are executed, but we still haven't shown the guts needed to execute any of these thugs. I would guess that the government doesn't want to make martyrs out of them. On the other hand, this has clearly led to an attitude that if they get caught, they will eventually be released.


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