‘Brute Force’ Meets ‘Great Escape,’ Iraq Style

A great read in the Washington Post on Wednesday about one of the major detention centers for suspected insurgents in Iraq. The tale is complete with a “Great Escape”-style tunnel, a breakout foiled partly by satellite surveillance, and a prisoner insurrection of surprising scale and skill:

“On the fourth day of the riots, the Americans called in a Black Hawk helicopter, the video showed. The helicopter descended over the camp, the force of its rotor flattening the tents that hadn’t already been burned down by the detainees. Bulldozers and 200 heavily armed soldiers encircled the compound. The Shiite prisoners finally gave up, complying with a list of demands that included handing over their weapons: the remaining floorboards and cinderblock rubble.

“Little was left of the camp; it smoldered, smoke mixing with the stench of overturned portable toilets the detainees had used to barricade the entrance. Heaps of garbage, rocks and used tear gas canisters littered the yard.

“It was the end to what had been a sobering period for the Americans, coming just days after the tunnel was discovered in Compound 5.”

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