Present Day Detention Camps: North Korea Vs. The United States

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Present Day Detention Camps: North Korea Vs. The United States

The purpose of this research was to determine how similar detention facilities run by the
U.S. government are to the gulags of North Korea. The research spanned many different media
sources from online news articles to reports in scholarly journals to an anthology of memoirs
and articles concerning the treatment of prisoners in U.S. detention facilities. Although some
of the specific details of the camps were inconsistent across sources, this can be attributed to
the secret nature of the prison system. However, despite those inconsistencies, an overall
theme present in all the sources was the secret nature of the camps as well as U.S. lack of
cooperation with
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government. In the end, the sources of interest on U.S. detention camps
revealed frightening similarities in the structure and nature of the camps to those of North Korean
There were some inconsistencies among the research sources. Although the existence of a
secret prison system operated by the U.S. throughout the world was acknowledged by most sources
(Grooms; Margolis; Meeropol; Priest; Reuters), the number and locations of these detention centers
varied. ABC’s online news article “US has secret prisons: rights groups” claims, according to a
Human Rights First report, that the U.S. is holding prisoners in more than two dozen facilities spread
throughout the world (Reuters 1). Among these the locations mentioned in the article were Pakistan,
Diego Garcia, and Jordan along with the more famous centers of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.
However, in another similar report on the secret prison system, the Washington Post article “CIA
Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons” claims an undetermined amount of “black sites,” as the
White House refers to the secret prisons, to have been spread out among eight countries including
Thailand, Afghanistan and some democracies in Eastern Europe (Priest 3). Although one might
question the reliability of these sources, the nature of the inconsistency between these two articles has
less to do with the reliability of the articles than it does with the simple fact that the prison system is…