Bad Omen

Key Insurgents Escape Iraqi Prison

Last week marked the official transfer of Camp Cropper, the last American-controlled prison in Iraq, to the Iraqi government. Its problems, however, are far from over: Five days later, at least four prisoners—three of whom are said to be high-ranking members of Iraq’s most violent insurgent group—escaped. Compounding the situation, the prison’s warden and several guards have now disappeared. This news offers little hope for the country’s long-troubled prison system, especially after the Abu Ghraib scandal, in which detainees were tortured and abused by Americans. Today, experts say the system remains abusive, with high-level suspects disappearing frequently. Iraqi officials didn’t reveal the prison break until Thursday, two days after it happened.