Gitmo “Recidivism”

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"Gitmo “Recidivism”"

One thing that I don’t think gets discussed enough in the context of former Gitmo detainees doing radical stuff post-release is that being unjustly imprisoned in a legal netherworld for years is exactly the kind of thing that would radicalize someone.

Like imagine a story about Soviet errors in their effort to pacify Afghanistan. The story goes that shortly after the invasion, Soviet forces in some city came under attack unexpectedly. After the attack, they engaged in a somewhat hasty roundup of people who they thought might have been involved. Many of the people rounded up were quickly released after a few days when it became clear they had nothing to do with anything. But one guy in the roundup had stolen this other dude’s girlfriend six months earlier, and so the other dude told Soviet authorities that the one guy was involved in fanatical Islam. Plus there’s the innocent guy who just had a really bad attitude about having been unfairly imprisoned and spat at Soviet soldiers a lot. Those two guys wind up in jail for three years in poor conditions. Eventually, the Soviets let a bunch of people go for one reason or another. Then those two guys end up joining a mujahedeen group and fighting against the Soviets.

Would you call that “recidivism”? And if you were to say that someone had made a policy error here, what would you say the error was?

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