Pentagon to Build Giant Prison in Afghanistan

New Bagram complex marks intention to hold prisoners abroad for years to come
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2008 6:05 AM CDT
Afghan National Army soldiers arrive at the high-security Pul-e-Charkhi prison gate in Kabul. The US has said that existing Afghan facilities lack the capacity to holds its Bagram prisoners.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon is planning to build a huge new detention complex in Afghanistan, reports the New York Times, acknowledging that the US expects to hold prisoners there for many years to come. The 40-acre, $60-million facility at Bagram Air Force Base will replace the existing makeshift prison in a converted aircraft hangar, where more than 600 prisoners are held in wire pens; some have been in the deteriorating facility as long as five years.

 The Bush administration had earlier planned to transfer prisoners from its custody to a new, American-financed but Afghan-run prison outside Kabul, but now admit that the Afghan facility lacks the capacity to handle the detainees, especially with new waves of Taliban prisoners on the way. The new "modern and humane" facility has been planned to afford vocational training, religious discussion, recreation and family visits.