Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Guantanamo/Sibera, if you really want to prevent terrorism...

There's an interesting parallel there that suggests that long, long detentions and torture do not work. Basically, in the Russian Revolution, every single person who was a leader and came to hold important posts in the Bolshevik government had been a party activist who had been arrested and sent to Siberia for long periods of time. During their time there they were either in labor camps, specially designated professions, or were just exiled, with a common sequence of events being harshest punishment first going out into lighter ones later while having to things like serve in the Army as well. To get to Siberia you didn't take a train. You walked there in a prison convoy. The experience of walking to Siberia, working in labor camps, then receiving lighter punishments and just being exiled before being allowed back didn't break them; instead, it made them more pissed off than ever before and transformed them from just being party activists to people who had the drive to become the leaders of the Party. Within, say, roughly twenty years from the start of the mother party of the Bolsheviks they had not only won but owned the whole country.

This should give one pause. I don't want to compare right wing Islamic terrorists with the people in the Russian Revolution, because I think there were a lot of positive things that came out of it, but you know a person who survived Guantanamo Bay who wasn't completely destroyed forever by the experience may not decide to just go out and become a suicide bomber. He may take it upon himself to organize the suicide bombers.

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