In a document released by the United Nations, the United States military has admittedly detained over 200 young Afghan boys, in a military prison next to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, for an average of a year at a time.
In this report, the United States claims "the average age of these individuals has been approximately 16 years old", meaning a good number of these children were under 16 years old. But Tina M. Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, which represents adult and juvenile detainees at this prison says she has represented children as young as 11 and 12! Foster also has believes that the United States may be under-reporting the number of juveniles held at the facility.
Because these teens were never charged with any crime, "a detainee would generally not be provided legal assistance." Foster says that the teens that are seized are not in uniform or even typically taken in combat. In the report, the United States even admits that they were "not aware of the age of the children at the point of capture; in nearly all cases their ages were not finally determined until after capture." The US military can keep these detainees with no charges, or trial, using the excuse "the purpose of detention is not punitive but preventative: to prevent a combatant from returning to the battlefield."
Think about that. If the United States military didn't know the age of these children before capture, what kind of intelligence did they have? Was it enough to warrant the tactic of snatching these children from their homes and families? Can you imagine your child being snatched from the supermarket, and brought to some military prison? It is happening all the time, being done with your tax money. Most people won't care until it happens to them, and we suffer because of our selfishness.
I reported last month about how four men that were tortured at a US military base filed a lawsuit against Canada for not arresting President George Bush on his last visit to Canada. These men were hung from the ceilings and walls, deprived of food and water, and much worse, at the United States' Guantanamo Bay prison. None of the four men were ever charged with a crime, and three of the four have already been released, while the fourth man, only detained when he was sixteen, is still in Guantanamo and has yet to be charged with a crime.