The Men Behind the Wire

Yesterday The American Spectator published The Men Behind the Wire: Voices From the DC Jail, my latest article about the degrading and sadistic pre-trial detention of the January 6 Capitol Hill protesters by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.

The title is based on The Men Behind the Wire, a song written and composed by Paddy McGuigan of the Barleycorn Irish folk group in the wake of Operation Demetrius, a 1971 British Army operation in Northern Ireland. It involved the mass arrest and imprisonment without trial of individuals suspected of involvement with the Irish Republican Army.

The brutal manner in which the arrests were made and the prolonged abuse of the imprisoned arrestees sparked mass protests and a steep increase in sectarian violence throughout Northern Ireland.

To supporters of Irish nationalism in Northern Ireland and around the world, the suffering internees became martyrs to the cause of freedom. And over time it became apparent that Operation Demetrius had backfired and had hardened opposition to British rule.

You can hear Paddy McGuigan’s ballad by clicking on this picture:

As the pre-trial detention and sadistic treatment of the January 6 Capitol Hill protesters continues, one wonders if those in authority are aware of Operation Demetrius’ disastrously counterproductive outcome.

I’m not saying that we are in a Northern Ireland-style civil war or that the detainees have achieved political martyr status. But we are a bitterly divided country with far too many of our citizens consumed by smoldering rage and resentment. Unless cooler heads prevail, what happened at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 could turn out to be a mere preamble to a far more disastrous and widespread conflict. And the mindless and depraved mistreatment of those pre-trial detainees at the D.C. Jail only exacerbates this precarious situation and risks inciting violent retribution.

In short, the goons at the D.C. Jail and those who have given them the power and license to mistreat the detainees are playing with fire.

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