Pax Americana: Catch & Release, Indefinite Detention, and Death from the Sky


The U.S government is "strategically releasing" detainees in Afghanistan to insurgent groups in exchange for the promise of peace, the Washington Post reports. Freed insurgents must promise not to engage in violence against coalition forces, at the risk of further detention. Officials won't say how many insurgents have been released through the program, nor the recidivism rate. "Everyone agrees they are guilty of what they have done and should remain in detention. Everyone agrees that these are bad guys. But the benefits outweigh the risks," one anonymous official told the Post.

The insurgents are released from the Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram Air Force Base. It's the only U.S. military prison in Afghanistan. Originally intended as a temporary facility, it held 600 prisoners at the end of President Bush's term and held 1,700 as of the summer of 2011. About a third were being released to Afghan authorities at the time. All are designated "illegal enemy combatants." An appeals court ruled in May 2010 that detainees at the facility did not have the right to habeas corpus hearings.

The Obama Administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress, of course, codified a formal structure for indefinite detention late last year that applies equally to illegal enemy combatants at Parwan or Guantanamo and illegal enemy combatants like you.

Meanwhile, the just recently not secret drone wars have more recently been expanded to include unnamed terror suspects. Drone strikes in Pakistan nearly tripled under the Obama Administration, and have become more frequent in Yemen and Somalia as well, with plenty of "collateral damage."

All part of a Pax Americana that, by all accounts, Mitt Romney would only ramp up. It once appalled the anti-war left, but doesn't anymore. Meanwhile Ron Paul remains the most prominent voice of opposition to the bipartisan consensus.

Now that he's the Libertarian nominee, I suppose there's always Gary Johnson.