Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The free flow of information is acid to tyranny...

... and in that sense Andy Worthington's complete list of the 774 Gitmo detainees may (hopefully) prove sulphuric indeed.

You can access the itemized listing here; and check out Worthington's final comment:

I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, established a prison in which the overwhelming majority of those held – at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total – were either completely innocent people, seized as a result of dubious intelligence or sold for bounty payments, or Taliban foot soldiers, recruited to fight an inter-Muslim civil war that began long before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, or international terrorism.

Put that together with recent admissions--from both military officials and Congressman Jack Murtha--that success in Afghanistan won't involve the 17,000 additional troops that President Obama is dispatching there (without a plan, by the way), but will require hundreds of thousands:

Rep. John Murtha said Tuesday the situation in Afghanistan is so challenging that he estimated it would take 600,000 troops to fully squelch violence in the country.

The Pennsylvania Democrat, who chairs the powerful subcommittee that funds the military, said his figure was based on the country's history of rigorous fighting and its size.

"That's what I estimate it would take in a country that size to get it under control," Murtha said in an interview.


Huge numbers have been mentioned before, including by the previous NATO commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Dan McNeill. He told a Pentagon press conference last year that if commanders were to go by U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine, for example, and apply the factors of land mass and population, the number needed might be well over 400,000, including international forces and indigenous forces.

The US. The Soviet Union. Great Britain. The Mughals. The Sassanids. Timur. Jhengis Khan. Parthia. The Persian Empire. Alexander the Great.

They don't call it the Graveyard of Empires for nothing.

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