The marquee inmates — including Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker; “shoe bomber” Richard Reid; Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; FBI agent turned traitor Robert Hanssen; and Terry Nichols, convicted of the Oklahoma City bombing — wait out their days in cellblocks the warden leads reporters quickly past on the first media tour since the Florence “supermax” opened 13 years ago.
“You say Moussaoui. You say Kaczynski. That's the smallest part of my population,” said warden Ron Wiley, holding his thumb a quarter-inch from his forefinger. “That is like a premier big man in the NBA. He comes along every 10 years.
“My major mission is inmates who were disrupting the population in other federal prisons.”
Yet extremes define the Florence supermax. Conceived after two guards were murdered in a single day at the federal prison in Marion, Ill., the original successor to Alcatraz, the administrative maximum security institution, or ADX, does double duty as a punishment of in its own right. Its 475 inmates account for just one fourth of 1 percent of the 200,000 inmates in the federal prison system, but they are confined to single cells for at least 23 hours a day in sterile isolation and permanent lockdown.
“To paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, you will die with a whimper,” U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema told convicted Sept. 11 plotter Moussaoui last year, as she dispatched him directly to this prison in the high desert 45 miles south of Colorado Springs.
The entire prison is aboveground, except for a subterranean corridor that links cellblocks to the lobby, an airy space with a trophy case, souvenirs for sale by the employees association (an “Alcatraz of the Rockies” watch cap is $8) and corporate teamwork posters. One near the conference room reads: “Sharpen the Saw.”
But down a flight of stairs the feeling of being hermetically sealed sets in. Fastened to the wall of the first “sally port,” the space between a green steel gate that must slide shut before the gate in front opens, are two items: a fingerprint scanner and a digital clock that reports the weather outside the windowless maze that lies ahead.
“I still get lost,” said Michael Nalley, Bureau of Prisons regional director.
G-Unit is one of four “general population” units. Each has 64 inmates.
Each cell contains a bunk, desk, stool and shelf, all concrete. The stainless steel sink and toilet evoke an airliner bathroom. The black-and-white television has a clear plastic housing to leave its electronics visible. All inmates get closed-circuit programming on education and mental health; most also see cable news and entertainment channels.
Through the food port of the steel doors, a low murmur is audible in the hallway between cells. In one, a heavy white man with a shaved head exercised by stepping onto his bed, then stepping off. In the next, a middle-aged black man looked up from a book and said: “Me, personally, I like the solitude. I'm at peace with myself.”
Not everyone is. Critics argue that, with their enforced isolation, supermax prisons, “like the sensory deprivation environments that were studied in the '60s, tend to induce psychosis,” said Terry Kupers, a psychiatrist at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, Calif., who has examined scores of prisoners in state supermaxes.
Those inmates “are, on average, the most severely psychotic people I have seen in my entire 25 years of psychiatric practice,” Kuppers once testified.
At Florence, 65 inmates take medication to control mental illness, said Paul Zohn, one of two resident psychologists. The medicine is prescribed by a Bureau of Prisons psychiatrist in Springfield, Mo., who examines the inmates by video link.
Personal assessments are conducted at the cell door by Zohn and fellow psychologist Marie Bailey. One of the counselors holds a riot baton. Zohn says if everyone speaks softly, the inmate may not be overheard by his neighbors.
“Is “claustrophobic' a psychological term?” Wiley asked, cutting short the interview after two or three minutes. “Well, I'm getting claustrophobic. Let's move along.”
Medical care is also problematic. Only two of five physician slots are filled at Florence, to serve an inmate population that, with the three other prisons in the Florence complex, totals 3,200 inmates.
There is a law library and a lending library: “What we find is that most of them read Westerns and romances,” the librarian said.
Zohn says many inmates practice yoga. “They love it,” he said.
The board games, including “Fact or Crap,” are checked out by inmates who are “earning” their way out of the ADX through docile behavior. Those on the cusp of transition to the nearby maximum-security prison live in K-Unit. It includes an exercise yard with basketball hoops, a sweat lodge, and steel cables overhead to deter escape by helicopter.
Inside, Rudolf Rivera Rios loitered with fellow inmates at tables anchored to the floor between two stories of cells in what looked like a traditional prison.
“I hijacked a plane,” said Rios, a native of Puerto Rico who diverted a Pan American flight to Havana in 1970. Now 65, he said he had “had trouble” in other prisons, including a bad fight in a Beaumont, Texas, facility. But the supermax, he said, was under control.
“It's locked down, eh? No problem.”
Alabama: Students, Iraq Vet Arrested During Mock Raid
By Chapin Gray
Tuscaloosa, AL - Four protesters from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) were arrested here, Feb. 29, at the University of Alabama for performing a mock raid meant to demonstrate the effects of the U.S. occupation on Iraqi civilians.
No one was harmed during the protest that lasted only a couple minutes, and employees were notified of the performance 30 minutes beforehand. After protesters dressed as Iraqi civilians were ‘arrested’ by protesters in military costume and hauled away, Jason Hurd, president of the Asheville, North Carolina chapter of IVAW - who was invited by the Tuscaloosa SDS chapter to speak on his experiences in Iraq, gave an impromptu speech, explaining that the purpose of the action was to demonstrate what life in Iraq is like under the occupation. Hurd also invited stunned and curious onlookers to his talk scheduled for that evening. However, the talk had to be cancelled, because as four of the protesters - Hurd, Alyse Deller and Christine Jackson from Tuscaloosa SDS, and Jeremy Miller of UNC-Asheville SDS - were approached by campus police, then taken into a building on campus, where they were detained for over four hours before finally being charged with disorderly conduct. The were then hauled away in handcuffs to the Tuscaloosa City Jail. Bail was set for a total of $2,500. Hurd and Miller were also charged with trespassing and banned from campus property.
Gang Stalking = COINTELPRO = STASI decomposition
The FBI and all law enforcement agencies are currently using a psychological warfare protocol like "COINTELPRO" which is almost identical to the STASI "decomposition". This is what people are referring to as Gang Stalking.
The earliest forms of this that I know of are from Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each of these societies had pervasive spy/informant networks that were spying on each other as well as looking for spies inside of their own empires. Anyone who did not feel that their own respective empire was the most perfect society could be considered a traitor. In other words they were looking for anyone who had thoughts beliefs and attitudes that were not approved of by the state that could instigate revolt or subversive activity or otherwise make them a danger to the empire. This obviously created a snitch culture and there were bound to be abuses. If a person was not liked by another then it was easy to persuade others to make a complaint and get that person killed or exiled. No one dare say or do anything that was politically incorrect and thus the rulers were able to maintain power and control over the people. Blatant execution or exile is common in an empire but in a democracy it is not as easy to accomplish these punishments so modern psychological operations were developed to accomplish these goals and in this way an empire can masquerade as a democracy.
The STASI decomposition protocol is an excellent example of how these modern psychological operations work. The STASI decomposition is almost identical to the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Here is a link to a document that shows an overview of the STASI decomposition.
Law enforcement agencies in concert with government and corporations are using bribery, deception, coercion & blackmail to create an informant & saboteur network out of criminals of all kinds, extremist groups, cults, patriotic zealots, the poor, the homeless, friends, family, neighbors, repair men, fire men, police, military personnel and agents to target individuals and groups that have beliefs and attitudes (such as civil rights and animal rights.) that may cause them to commit acts of terrorism at some future time or motivate others to commit terrorist acts or incite revolt. This pre-crime approach has existed numerous times throughout American history but has reared its ugly head again due to 9/11.
Unfortunately, according to former FBI agent Mike German, many post 9/11 targeted individuals are nothing more than a training exercise.
Here is a lecture by Noam Chomsky that uncovers the root mindset in America that predicates the targeting of groups and individuals.
The real power behind gang stalking and many other terrible things is the minority of the opulent but the front group making all the policy changes these days is the neoconservatives. Neoconservatisim is a cult ideology that has been bankrolled and nurtured by the opulent just like all of the other cult ideologies created or co-opted by the opulent for their machinations.
Stalin and Hitler were fanatical leaders inspired by a gang mentality and by the concept of "historic mission." They believed that intolerance and large scale brutality were necessary ingredients of social order. Each of them was also supported by the “cult of personality.” The neocons are strikingly similar.
What are the components of gang mentality?
· Extreme concern with reputation both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.
· Extreme concern with respect both inside and outside of the ideology. Neocons are this way.
· No challenge will go unanswered. It is so with the neocons as well.
What is the concept of “historic mission”?
In a well documented conversation, Adolf Hitler berated the Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and stated…
"That is what you say!...But I am telling you that I am going to solve the so-called Austrian problem one way or the other...I have a historic mission, and this mission I will fulfill because Providence has destined me to do so...I have only to give an order and all your ridiculous defense mechanisms will be blown to bits. You don't seriously believe you can stop me or even delay me for half an hour, do you?"
Prominent neocon Michael Ledeen stated…
“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
What is the cult of personality?
The cult of personality is explained pretty well here…
The Straussian philosophy is a cult of personality and the neocons follow the Straussian philosophy
If you select 1 percent of a population (Whistle blowers, dissidents, artists, those that look funny, and act or dress funny) and punish them severely for little or nothing, then you will gain the compliance of the other 99 percent either through fear or because they’ve been conned by the COINTELPRO/STASI type propaganda in to believing that the TI’s must be removed from society for the common good. Then you can implement the social, political and financial changes you want on a grand scale in a relatively short period of time. I.E. advance your historic mission. This has been done enumerable times throughout history.
When the average person considers what the Nazis or Stalin did, they are naturally horrified. When a banker considers what the Nazis or Stalin did they have dollar signs in their eyes. MONEY is the real reason this is happening!!! The bankers know that a one world government is not possible. Empire building has been going on for centuries and a global empire has never been realized. But if you understand finance, history, politics and the military industrial complex, then it is clear to see that it is the EXERCISE of building empires and large scale wars that redistributes the wealth of nations into the hands of the banking elite and keeps the masses under control.
Unfortunately most human beings don't understand how their own minds work nor are they well educated in multiple disciplines. Most of the people that perpetrate these crimes against humanity aren't fully aware that there is such a big conspiracy going on. It’s just that most human beings have so many inherent psychological weaknesses and such a deep lack of education that if you alter the socioeconomic landscape in just the right way, you get what you see here in America today.
Here are a few very credible documentaries that will help you to understand what’s really going on and hopefully survive…
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they become TI’s is to attempt to create a counter spy network against those that are surveilling them. This is something that the neocons and the banking elite are OK with. A global spy counter spy network is much like the cold war and the cold war was extremely profitable for the banking elite not to mention a powerful pretext to control people. The global war on terror needs a global terrorist network and since there really is not one, many targets will be manipulated into acting out in ways that can classify them as terrorists thus creating the impetus for law enforcement agencies to demand more tax payer money to fight the war on terror. Targets are all better off contacting a civil rights group and explaining that they have reason to believe they have been placed on the terrorist watch list.
Do yourself a favor and learn as much about economics and finance as possible. It will help you survive. This is all the info you will need to be an educated investor. It’s not a get rich quick thing, just a solid economics and investing education.
Also, listen to as many lectures by Professor Noam Chomsky as possible. They are all over the internet. He is brilliant and has been exposing the machinations of the opulent (Rothschild, Rockefeller etc) for decades. His research is very credible and will help you to separate the facts from the propaganda and give you a measure of mental clarity and peace. Utilizing his research will also help you gain some of your credibility back with others.
Try to explain all of this to your friends and family. Usually when people see the mission statement of the neocons from their websites (PNAC & FPI) they start listening.
According to anti-communist author Ludwik Kowalski
“Mass murder occurs when brutal and sadistic criminals, to be found in every society, are promoted to positions of dominance, when propaganda is used to dehumanize the targeted population and when children are inoculated with intolerance and hatred. It occurs when victims ("inferior races" or "class enemies") are excluded from the norms of morality, when ideological totalitarianism is imposed and when freedom is suspended. Fear and violence, the preconditions of genocide, are likely to be found in societies with large numbers of thieves and informants.”
Here is some info on how to take care of your physical health.
Visit this YouTube channel and watch everything on it. You will gain a clear understanding of what’s really going on.
APRIL 2--A California lawyer has successfully petitioned a judge to strike his penis from the public record.
A photo of attorney Dwayne Beck’s genitalia was included as an exhibit to a lawsuit filed March 13 by a woman identified only as “Jane Sa Doe.” According to the complaint, Beck made a series of unwanted sexual advances toward “Doe,” who contends she has suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the 51-year-old lawyer’s actions.
Authorities are trying to determine who sent an Arizona sheriff explosives in the mail.
CNN reports that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known for his unusual treatment of inmates, was sent a package that turned out to be a bomb.
The first time "Danny" (far right) officially ran as a CAM medic: March 18, 2012 at a protest to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war.On March 27, Chicago teachers and their supporters - including parents, students and community residents - rallied against the largest mass public school closure in US history. News of the mobilization sparked huge public interest before the demonstration - including from an undercover police officer calling himself "Danny Edwards."
The day before the big rally, "Danny" reached out in individual emails to fellow volunteer street medics he had met a year earlier after he took a 20-hour training with Chicago's local street medic collective, Chicago Action Medical (CAM). CAM's volunteer emergency medical technicians (EMTs), nurses, doctors and trained street medics provide emergency medical treatment at local protests.
His aim in reaching out: to learn more about the next day's plans.
"Danny" - who admitted to us on May 6 that he is, in fact, a Chicago police officer - could have saved himself the trouble and his department the expense. After all, organizers had already coordinated directly with top CPD brass about their plans for the next day and widely promoted their intent to stage nonviolent civil disobedience.
After the CTU rally, "Danny" also tried to recruit at least one CAM volunteer street medic via email on April 30, the day before a May 1, 2013, immigrants' rights march, to pair up with him as a partner. There were no takers, so he showed up alone at the rally sporting marked medic regalia.
His latest undercover sortie as a fake volunteer street medic bookends a hectic year for him.
The Paper Trail
"Danny" was a fixture at CAM events beginning in early March 2012, when he participated in a 20-hour introductory training for new street medics - a training he described in an email to CAM volunteer street medic Scott Mechanic as "great."
May 1, 2012: "Danny Edwards" - posing with fellow Chicago Action Medical volunteers at their health care booth in Union Park, where street medics were volunteering to provide first aid and emergency health care for participants at the annual May Day rally and march. "Danny" - the only medic not smiling - is standing in front of the CAM banner.
The email address "Danny" used in that correspondence, which he did not sign by name, was pegged to the name of a Chicago police officer cited months later in court documents involved in undercover work around the NATO protests.
Less than half an hour after sending that initial email, "Danny" sent the first in a flurry of emails to Mechanic from a different email address, writing "let me know what going on so i can get involved (sic)."
"Danny's" March 2012 foray into spying on CAM aligns with the date prosecutors say the Chicago Police Department (CPD) posted two other undercover agents who went by the street names "Mo" and "Nadia" on a 90-day temporary duty undercover assignment to Field Intelligence Team 7150. That team was tasked with infiltrating Occupy and anarchist groups in the run-up to the NATO Summit, according to court documents filed by Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez in April 2013.
Those two officers, "Mo" and "Nadia," are also purported linchpins in the criminal cases against five activists known as the "NATO 5," three of whom are scheduled to go to trial on NATO-related domestic terrorism charges this September.
The NATO prosecutors' October 2012 Answer to Discovery lists this same police officer among the CPD officers, detectives and other police officials who may be called to testify in this fall's upcoming trial. He is also mentioned in the NATO defendants' February 25, 2013, Motion to Compel Discovery as "a CPD undercover officer related to this investigation."
Busy Year for "Danny" - and Early Red Flags
Five days after he inadvertently emailed Scott Mechanic under his given name and scrambled to cover his tracks, "Danny" acted for the first time as a CAM street medic at a small permitted peace march on Chicago's north side. The March 18, 2012 event was organized to mark the anniversary of the launch of the Iraq War in March 2003.
May 1, 2013: "Danny Edwards," undercover Chicago police officer, at a May Day rally for immigrant rights in Chicago's Union Park."Danny" ran again as a marked CAM street medic on April 7, 2012 at Occupy Chicago's "Occupy Spring" event, also emailing Mechanic on April 26, 2012 about bringing a "friend" to an upcoming health workshop. On May 1, 2012, he volunteered as a marked CAM street medic at a May Day rally and march, where his refusal to follow CAM operational guidelines - reportedly abandoning his street medic partner to make a b-line for a group of young protesters wearing black clothes - began to raise real alarms with fellow street medics.
After "Danny's" behavior on May Day, a number of veteran CAM volunteers - including Mechanic - moved immediately to isolate him from new and less experienced street medics, to monitor his behavior closely and to broadly urge the practice of good security culture.
But without a smoking gun, they were unwilling to expose him publicly. The chill from veteran street medics didn't discourage "Danny" from continuing to reach out and show up to actions.
On May 11, a week and a half later and as local organizers were scrambling to find housing for out-of-town protesters traveling in for the demonstrations, he emailed Mechanic directly for information about housing that other groups or collectives might be offering. "I have a group of friends in need and I wanted some direction," he wrote.
On May 20, 2012, at a large protest against the NATO Summit, CAM street medics demanded that he remove his medic markings after he again ignored CAM street operations protocols by deserting his partner to sprint after a group of protesters clad in black clothes.
"Danny" sent emails to individual members of CAM's listserv - but almost never to the larger listserv - strategically for the next year, seeking information about upcoming demonstrations and meetings. The off-list queries continued to raise red flags with CAM members he contacted, some of whom had never met him and did not know who he was.
When we asked "Danny" at the 2013 May Day rally to confirm his name and identity as a CPD officer, he insisted he was "Danny Edwards" and claimed to be a friend of a local activist.
That's not how the activist described "Danny" to CAM volunteers at a street medic training before the NATO protests last spring. At that training, he told CAM members that "Danny" had recently befriended him, and he raised concerns there about "Danny's" interest in topics ranging from Molotov cocktails to property damage.
"NATO 5" Connection
According to court documents released in the months after the NATO Summit protests, "Danny"is one of the undercover officers at the heart of the "NATO 5" criminal cases. He's mentioned in the pre-NATO Summit pre-emptive raid search warrant documents as "Undercover Officer C," and is also cited by his given name in court documents for one of the NATO defendants, Sebastian "Sabi" Senakiewicz, as a potential trial witness.
We tried to question "Danny" about his undercover activities on May 6 at a house that had a sheet of paper with his given name and phone number taped to the front door. While he admitted he was, in fact, the named police officer he'd denied being just five days earlier, he declined to answer our questions.
"Danny's" post-NATO activities raise a key question: Why keep an undercover officer in play as a volunteer street medic in a nonviolent health-care project almost a year after the NATO protests that ostensibly put him into motion as a police spy in the first place?
It's virtually impossible to say from the official record. That's because the CPD and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez have fought tooth and nail in court for almost a year to prevent defense attorneys in the remaining NATO cases from learning more about the scope and character of police spying on political activity leading up to last year's NATO Summit.
At a "NATO 3" status hearing on May 14, 2013, prosecutors again opposed disclosing information about the wider scope of police spying on Chicago's activist groups (as they have before in official court filings) in the months leading up to the NATO Summit. Defense attorneys rebutted in open court - as they did in writing earlier in their April 30, 2013, "Reply to the State's Response to Defendants' Motion to Compel" - that this information remains directly relevant to the NATO cases because it would broaden the context of the arrests of the NATO 3 and the CPD's pre-NATO spying efforts targeting the activist community.
Police spying in recent years has targeted peace groups, environmentalists and the Occupy movement, a focus on protest as a potential flashpoint of "terrorism" that sometimes has disastrous consequences. By way of example, in Boston, local police focused their attention on the political activism of local residents at the same time they missed the threat posed by the Boston Marathon bombers.
And law enforcement has also demonstrated a disturbing pattern of working undercover to create crime to prosecute crime. Notable cases like the "Cleveland 4" fit into a pattern that journalist Arun Gupta has described as law enforcement's "war of entrapment against the Occupy movement."
Law enforcement infiltration in Chicago in the run-up to the 2012 NATO Summit unfolded most publicly with the use of at least two undercover cops who went by the names "Mo" and "Nadia."
Both were regular fixtures at a spring 2012 encampment to try to prevent the closure of the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic on Chicago's south side, one of six public mental health clinics slated for closure by city officials and hardly a flashpoint of "potential terrorist activity." They also showed up at one point at an independent media center organized to cover the NATO protests and at numerous other documented locales in the two and a half months before the NATO Summit.
"Red Squad" 2.0 Rolling Back into Town?
Ongoing police spying a year after the NATO meeting by "Danny" - and potentially others - raises a real alarm among activists, including CAM street medics, whose national community traces its origins to the Medical Presence Project of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR).
MCHR was first formed in 1964 to provide medical assistance to the civil rights movement. Its Chicago-based volunteers, who also provided medical aid at protests organized by peace projects and student groups opposed to the Vietnam War, were among thousands of civilians spied on by the CPD's notorious Red Squad.
"The CPD's decision to plant an undercover police spy in Chicago Action Medical is outrageous, but sadly, comes as no surprise," said CAM street medic Dick Reilly in an interview. "The CPD has a long and sordid history of surveillance and infiltration of labor, peace and social justice groups dating back to the 1886 railroading of the Haymarket defendants - efforts that led to the creation of Chicago's infamous Red Squad. Over a hundred years later, the cops are clearly still at it."
For Reilly, CAM's ongoing infiltration threatens core freedoms that range from the privacy rights of the people they treat to police officials' ongoing assault on dissent in the city.
"When the CPD targets a volunteer medical project like CAM - which seeks to provide basic first aid to people exercising their democratic rights and whose primary principle is to 'do no harm' - it underscores the lengths to which they'll go to criminalize dissent, suppress resistance and pander to the agenda of the political and economic elites they actually serve and protect," Reilly said.
The Chicago Red Squad's abuses of basic constitutional rights were so egregious - targets included the Parent-Teachers' Association and the League of Women Voters - that a federal court slapped the city with a consent decree in 1982 that expressly barred politically motivated police spying unless police could show at least some evidence of criminal intent on the part of the targets of their spying.
The city was finally able to win relief from the consent decree in January 2001, after arguing for years constitutional protections thwarted its ability to investigate gangs and "terrorism."
The consent decree's demise hasn't kept the CPD out of hot water for spying on political projects, either, beginning as early as 2002. Were the old consent decree still in place, CAM members believe "Danny's" undercover spying on their work over the past year would have been illegal.
McCarthy's Spy-Ops Background at NYPD, Newark PD
Just before he was sworn in as Chicago's new mayor in May of 2011, Rahm Emanuel - a former US Congressman and chief of staff for President Obama - announced the appointment of new police superintendent Garry McCarthy. Three months later, McCarthy created an intelligence-gathering unit tasked to perform "counter-terrorism" work in preparation for the May 2012 NATO meetings.
A career New York cop, McCarthy is no stranger to the use of systematic police spying.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has a contentious track record in this arena, prompting the implementation of New York's own version of Chicago's Red Squad consent decree - the Handschu Decree - while McCarthy was climbing up the NYPD's ranks to a senior command position.
It wasn't long after he formally assumed the mantle of CPD superintendent in 2011 that McCarthy drew fire for allowing the latest iteration of New York's police spy ring to operate in Newark, NJ, where he had served as police chief before taking the position as CPD's top dog.
McCarthy also served as an NYPD commander when the police set up spy rings before the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City and during "CIA on the Hudson," the joint NYPD/CIA project that was set up and run by former CIA Deputy Director for Operations David Cohen to "map the human terrain" of New York City's Islamic community.
Targeting Street Medics
Volunteer street medics have historically been an attractive target for undercovers.
CAM street medic Scott Mechanic met "Anna," before she was outed as a police infiltrator, an FBI informant who used her position as a street medic to befriend and entrap environmental activists. One of those activists, Eric McDavid, is serving a 20-year sentence in a case built around Anna's testimony and her reported entrapment activities.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Mechanic was also a street medic volunteer at New Orleans' Common Ground Collective, where he and dozens of other volunteer health-care providers ran into Brandon Darby, an agent provocateur and FBI informant at the heart of another entrapment case, this one against David McKay and Bradley Crowder.
"These kinds of informants and undercover police represent a real threat to activists, in no small part because they're committed to manufacturing crime where none exists to terrorize the public and justify their abuses of our right to dissent," said Mechanic. "This Chicago cop's infiltration of our group raises real questions about police intrusion into protesters' medical histories - and it's a truly despicable example of exploiting people's caregivers as part of the national campaign to criminalize dissent."
Convergence of the War on Drugs, War on Terrorism
As a Chicago cop, the CPD officer who infiltrated CAM has worked on narcotics and gang cases, including as an undercover officer.
Given the growing conflation of the "War on Drugs" with the "War on Terrorism," which is increasingly married to a War on Dissent, it's not surprising that the Chicago police officer who infiltrated CAM would segue into COINTELPRO-style undercover work. By the 1990's, the CPD was listing dissidents by alleged political affiliation in their gang database, in tandem with then-Mayor Richard M. Daley's claim that the Red Squad Consent Decree shackled cops' ability to investigate both gangs and "terrorism."
Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, points to the delayed notice search warrants enabled by Section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act - presented to the public as a counter-terrorism tool - as a key example of the War on Drugs' convergence with the War on Terrorism.
"Both the War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism have long represented cash cows for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, from the FBI all the way down to local police departments," Buttar said in an interview. "Beyond the serial corruption of agencies pimping public fears to inflate their budgets, many particular powers claimed as necessary for one ‘war' are actually used more in the other."
The Chicago Police Department did not respond to our phone calls or emails about this story.
REPORT FROM DICK GREGORY AND LOUIS WOLF ON THE ONGOING VIGIL AT THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS HEADQUARTERS, WASHINGTON, DC, SEEKING COMPASSIONATE RELEASE FOR LYNNE STEWART
On Monday, June 17, as activists stood before the BOP headquarters on Monday, a guard emerged to ask why they were there. Upon hearing that Dick Gregory would be present at the vigil the following day, he responded enthusiastically: "My man, Dick Gregory!"
On Tuesday, June 18, shortly after noon, fifteen people with banners and signs assembled outside the doors of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC. for the historic vigil, the first in support of a federal prisoner at the Bureau headquarters.
Dick Gregory spoke about the urgent need for FBOP Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. to sign Lynne Stewart's fully vetted Compassionate Release application and to authorize the federal attorney to file the motion for Compassionate Release with Judge John Koetl. Lynne cannot be freed without the completion of these steps. At this moment, the unconscionable holdup rests with the absence of Director Samuels signature as the completed file remains "on his desk."
As Dick Gregory spoke, workers at the Federal Bureau of Prisons gathered at FBOP windows. The ground floor lobby was filled with FBOP employees, listening and watching.
At 1:15 p.m. two Homeland Security cars pulled up. One of the men who exited one of the cars was in full combat dress. They stopped, watched as Dick Gregory spoke, noted the rapt attention Dick Gregory was receiving from both inside the FBOP and outside it, looked at each other and entered the building without speaking.
Askia Muhammad, News Director of WPFW, was there throughout the two hour vigil and recorded all that was said. Free Speech Radio News filmed and recorded. Code Pink and We Will Not Be Silent were present along with David Schwartzman, a noted DC activist.
Fernando Velasquez of Pacifica's KPFA interviewed Dick Gregory and Lou Wolf on the international campaign to free Lynne Stewart and the vigils at the FBOP and the White House. Fernando broadcasts across Latin America.
The vigil at the Bureau of Prisons headquarters continues all week. If you are in Washington, DC, please come at noon tomorrow and Friday to Federal Bureau of Prisons Headquarters, 320 1st St NW, Washington, DC (corner 1st Street and Indiana Avenue, NW) to demand compassionate release for Lynne.
Simultaneously, Lynne Stewart's husband Ralph Poynter and activists continue a vigil at the White House, mobilizing support for Lynne's release.
If you cannot be in DC, telephone BOP Director Samuels at 202-307-3250. Urge him to act now to move forward compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. There is no time to lose.
—By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella
"If you can't do the time, don't do the crime." So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment.
Read the complete introduction to our 10 Worst Prisons project.
Doing time is not supposed to include being raped by fellow prisoners or staff, beaten by guards for the slightest provocation, driven mad by long-term solitary confinement, or killed off by medical neglect. These, however, are the fates of thousands of prisoners every year—men, women, and children housed in lockups that give Gitmo and Abu Ghraib a run for their money.
The United States boasts the world's highest incarceration rate, with close to 2.3 million people locked away in some 1,800 prisons and 3,000 jails. Most are nasty places by design, aimed at punishment and exclusion rather than rehabilitation; while reliable numbers are hard to come by, at last count 81,622 prisoners were being held in some form of isolation in state and federal prisons.
(CN) - A man who says cheering at his brother's graduation got him assaulted by a cop and arrested may have a case for excessive force, a federal judge ruled. Christopher Mazzella says the confrontation occurred at a high school graduation ceremony in Jim Thorpe, Pa., on June 10, 2011. Soon after his little brother's name was called, Mazzella cheered and Officer Lee Marzen escorted him out of the building, without a warrant or probable cause, according to the complaint. Mazella says Marzen physically assaulted him on the way out and then formally arrested him for resisting arrest and persistent disorderly conduct. After making bail and seeking medical care for his injuries, Mazella allegedly paid lawyers more than $8,000 to defend him against the charges, and was fully acquitted after a jury trial. Mazella says Marzen reacted to the acquittal by entering a house Mazzella's family had rented out to one of his witnesses. The officer allegedly kicked in a door and rifled through various dressers and other containers, damaging the family's property. In a federal complaint, Mazzella alleged violations of his Fourth Amendment rights and state-law claims for assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, and harassment and intentional destruction of property. Marzen moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, arguing that Mazzella failed to comply with the six-month notice requirement of the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, and that the officer is immune from suit under state law. U.S. District Judge James Munley denied the motion Wednesday, holding that the requirement does not apply to section 1983 claims, and that Marzen did have notice of the incident connected to the state-law claims. "In the present matter, when the facts alleged in the complaint are taken as true, it is not only highly unlikely, but impossible for defendant to have been unaware of the incident involving plaintiff that gave rise to the instant claims," Munley wrote. "Defendant personally detained and arrested plaintiff. Defendant attended and testified at both plaintiff's preliminary hearing and jury trial. Additionally, after plaintiff's acquittal, defendant personally entered a rental property, which he knew was owned by plaintiff or plaintiff's family, and proceeded to kick in a door and rifle through plaintiff's personal property, allegedly in retaliation for plaintiff's acquittal. It is these instances, specifically the manner and process of defendant's detainment and arrest of plaintiff as well as defendant's invasion of plaintiff's real and personal property, that gave rise to the instant claims." Marzen is furthermore not immune from suit as Mazzella alleged that the officer acted with malice and committed willful misconduct, the ruling states.
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