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From the Editor

This month's cover story reports on
the U.S. government's clandestine network of prisons around the world. The story was written before the news about the torture and murder of Iraqi prisoners appeared. The only thing that would have been unusual would have been the news that prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan were not being tortured, abused and mistreated since that has been standard treatment for prisoners in all U.S. sponsored counter insurgency wars in the post World War II era.

For PLN readers, the mistreatment, torture and abuse of prisoners is nothing new. Every issue of PLN contains plenty of news and stories of proven, verified accounts of prisoner abuse occurring right here in the US. This issue of PLN contains the article on the Inspector General's report confirming the abuse of people detained in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. Given the treatment of American prisoners, the poor treatment of Iraqi and Afghan prisoners should come as no surprise.

Long before they went to Iraq to inflict misery and mayhem on prisoners in that country, PLN had reported on the myriad human rights abuses of Lane McCotter, Terry Stewart and John Armstrong when they headed prison systems here in the United States. That their human rights abuses in this country were both well known and well documented appears to have served as a job prerequisite.

The prison abuses in Iraq have focused some degree of mainstream media attention on the abuse faced by American prisoners on a daily basis. PLN will be reporting on the Iraq prison story in an upcoming issue. That some of the low level perpetrators have been identified as civilian prison guards in state prisons in Pennsylvania and Virginia illustrates the globalization of the American way of prisons. One of PLN's objectives is raising the issue of human rights for those imprisoned in American prisons and jails to create public awareness of the problems that exist and, hopefully, change them for the better.

As always, PLN depends on our readers' support to continue publishing. If you can make a donation to support our work please do so. g

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