Category Archives: Prisons

A Future Stuck in the Pipeline

School-to-Prison-pipeline
By Robert C. Koehler
COTO Report

Are the bad ideas dead yet? You know, the ones that have been hollowing out the country’s soul for the last 30 years.

In Atlanta, they indicted 35 teachers, principals and administrators, including a former superintendent, for routinely altering their students’ standardized test results — and in all likelihood this massive fraud is an aberration only because the cheaters got caught.

Everything is at stake in these tests, so perhaps it’s dawning on us that fraud — by adults — is inevitable, but there’s a bigger issue here that continues to escape public outrage: The tests are stupid. They measure virtually nothing that matters, but monopolize the classroom politically. Teachers, under enormous pressure, are forced to teach to the tests rather than, you know, teach critical thinking or creative expression; and education is reduced to something rote, linear and boring.

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Watch Counter-Intelligence: A 5-Film Series by Scott Noble

counterintelligence nobleWritten and Directed by Scott Noble
Narrated by Mikela Jay
Metanoia Films

From the director of Psywar and Human Resources comes a 5-film series covering the über police state created and developed by America’s secret government. Students of current events get a crash course in the dismantling of what these pathological rulers call quaint: the US Constitution.

Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations includes original interviews with:

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Before there was indefinite detention, there was Conspiracy Theory (video)

By Goodman Green
BrasscheckTV

Over a year before we heard anything about the National Defense Authorization Act having provisions that codify the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial, over a year before we heard anything about the “activation” of FEMA camps nation-wide, Jesse Ventura told us all about it on his TV show, Conspiracy Theory.

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A Theory of Chronic Pain

A social and evolutionary theory of human disease and chronic pain

By Denis G. Rancourt

We like to nurture a species self-image where we are radically different from ants and bees. The idea goes like this. Ants and bees are automatons completely governed by chemical and physical signals and each individual in the colony has its place which determines its physical body characteristics, adapted to the function of its class.
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RT: Indefinite Detention, Bradley Manning and US Constitution

By RTAmerica

On Dec. 15, the US Congress voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The 86 to 13 vote will allow the indefinite detention and torture of American citizens at home and abroad without a trial. The NDAA gives more power to the military and government and President Obama at one point said would veto the bill but he has changed his mind. Jason Leopold, deputy managing editor for TruthOut.Org, joins us to discuss this Act.

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A Dangerous Woman: Indefinite Detention at Carswell

By Susan Lindauer

Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. A bill moving through Congress, authorizing the military to imprison American citizens indefinitely, without a trial or hearing, ranks right at the top of that list.

I know—I lived through it on the Patriot Act. When Congress decided to squelch the truth about the CIA’s advance warnings about 9/11 and the existence of a comprehensive peace option with Iraq, as the CIA’s chief Asset covering Iraq, I became an overnight threat. To protect their cover-up scheme, I got locked in federal prison inside Carswell Air Force Base, while the Justice Department battled to detain me “indefinitely” up to 10 years, without a hearing or guilty plea. Worst yet, they demanded the right to forcibly drug me with Haldol, Ativan and Prozac, in a violent effort to chemically lobotomize the truth about 9/11 and Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence.

Critically, because my legal case was controlled by civilian Courts, my Defense had a forum to fight back. The Judge was an independent arbiter. And that made all the difference. If this law on military detentions had been active, my situation would have been hopeless. The Patriot Act was bad enough. Mercifully, Chief Justice Michael B. Mukasey is a preeminent legal scholar who recognized the greater impact of my case. Even so, he faced a terrible choice —declaring me “incompetent to stand trial,” so my case could be killed—or creating dangerous legal precedents tied to secret charges, secret evidence, secret grand jury testimony and indefinite detention—from the Patriot Act’s arsenal of weapons against truth tellers—that would impact all defendants in the U.S. Courts.

It was a hideous choice—The judicial farce was more ugly because it stamped me a “religious maniac” for believing in God—a ludicrous argument. It lined up beautifully, however, with Congress’ desire to bastardize the “incompetence” of Assets engaged in Pre-War Intelligence. Anything to escape responsibility for their own poor decision making.

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Hemp Warrior: Marijuana Activist Dies, Revives, and Beats Pot Rap

By Anthony Papa
AlterNet

Talk about dying to get your freedom.  Dana Beal, a well-known drug war activist, literally did just that on his way to the slammer.   Beal — one of the founders of the Yippee movement and chief organizer of the Global Marijuana March was busted in Wisconsin for possessing 169 pounds of medical marijuana.  Earlier this year he was sentenced to five years, half to be served in prison and half on probation.

He had served 9 months, but soon after being sentenced and on his way to prison, a strange thing happened to him; he had a heart attack and claims he died.  Miraculously he was revived and treated and then the authorities calculated the consequences of keeping Dana in prison.  He needed heart surgery and they decided it was too costly and voided the remainder of his prison sentence.

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Public Enemy No. 1: Review of Cannabanomics

By Robert C. Koehler

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.

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Jailbirds add life to UK prison famous for torturing suffragists

By Rady Ananda

The British Hen Welfare Trust re-homed 20 commercial hens at HM Prison Holloway on Oct. 3, as part of the staff’s garden program offering educational and therapeutic projects to its women inmates. This is a far cry from the days when Holloway imprisoned women for agitating for the right to vote, and then tortured them.

Volunteer re-homer at the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), Jean Gill, delivered the hens and spoke to prisoners about the work of the charity and advised them on hen care.

“This is a really interesting experiment and a real opportunity from the charity’s point of view,” said Gill in a press release. “It is apt and extraordinary on so many levels that some of the prisoners will be able to take care of something as vulnerable as a battery hen that has had a restricted start in life, that has been kept, literally behind bars in a small cage without access to sunlight or fresh air.”

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John Boncore bio: Jim Fetzer interviews Splitting the Sky

Jim Fetzer Radio

Splitting the Sky, aka John Boncore, talks about the events in his life that led to his activism, including his prison time during the Attica riots, and his research into 9/11 truth.

MP3: Listen here. (55 mins.)

Also see Peter Zaza’s 2008 piece, 9/11 Truth Is “Splitting the Sky” which he wrote after meeting with him.

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Act Now to Help Save This Child: Florida to try 12-yr-old as adult

12-year-Old To Be Jailed For Life?

By Change.org

Cristian Fernandez is only 12 years old. And if Florida prosecutor Angela Corey has her way, he’ll never leave jail again. Sign Petition opposing this.

Cristian hasn’t had an easy life. He’s the same age now as his mother was when he was born. He’s a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In 2010, Cristian watched his stepfather commit suicide to avoid being charged with abusing Cristian.

Last January, Cristian was wrestling with his 2-year-old brother, David, and accidentally broke David’s leg. Despite this, their mother left Cristian with his brother again in March. While the two boys were alone, Cristian allegedly pushed his brother against a bookcase, and David sustained a head injury. After their mother returned home, she waited six hours before taking David to the hospital. David eventually died.

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Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

By New York City General Assembly

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

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Beyond the Nation-State

By Robert C. Koehler

Is there such a thing as a relaxed nation — one that isn’t, you know, obsessed with its borders and sense of identity?

We can easily see how absurd it all is when we read about the hikers recently released from prison in Iran, where they were held in cruelly restricted confinement for more than two years because they had inadvertently strayed across the border, out of U.S.-occupied Iraq. The inhuman nature of Iran’s response — the trumped up charges of espionage against the two young men, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, and their companion, Sarah Shourd, who was imprisoned for over a year — were gleefully obvious to the American media . . . because they were Americans, and Iran is part of the Axis of Evil.

However, the hikers, upon their release last week, strayed across another border as well, and in so doing belied the concept of good nations and bad ones.

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Who is Georgia protecting by killing Troy Davis?

By Rady Ananda

Former Georgia Governor and US President, Jimmy Carter, along with former FBI Director, William S. Sessions, among a cast of thousands, have all demanded clemency for Troy Davis, who was convicted of the 1989 shooting death of Savannah, Georgia police officer, Mark Allen MacPhail, Sr.

Sept. 21 UPDATE: Troy Davis was murdered by the State of Georgia at 11:08 ET.

The Parole Board refuses to budge, despite conflicting evidence, including recanted testimony obtained under coercion, and the accusation by ten different people that Sylvester Coles was the shooter.

Though he maintains his innocence, Davis is set to be executed on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 pm EDT. Georgia state senator Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) has called for a strike by staffers at the prison where the execution is scheduled.

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Former FBI director: Troy Davis should not be executed

Former FBI Director is calling on the state of Georgia to halt the execution of death row inmate Troy Davis.

By William S. Sessions
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

As Troy Davis faces his fourth execution date on Sept. 21, many may assume that lingering doubts about the case have been resolved. This is far from true, and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles — which has several new members since the Davis case last crossed its desks — has the daunting task of reviewing one of the most controversial cases the state has ever seen.

What quickly will become apparent is that serious questions about Davis’ guilt, highlighted by witness recantations, allegations of police coercion and a lack of relevant physical evidence, continue to plague his conviction. Last summer, an extraordinary hearing ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to answer these questions instead left us with more doubt.

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Troy Davis and the Politics of Death

By Amy Goodman
Truth Dig

Death brings cheers these days in America. In the most recent Republican presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked, hypothetically, if a man who chose to carry no medical insurance, then was stricken with a grave illness, should be left to die, cheers of “Yeah!” filled the hall. When, in the prior debate, Gov. Rick Perry was asked about his enthusiastic use of the death penalty in Texas, the crowd erupted into sustained applause and cheers. The reaction from the audience prompted debate moderator Brian Williams of NBC News to follow up with the question, “What do you make of that dynamic that just happened here, the mention of the execution of 234 people drew applause?”

That “dynamic” is why challenging the death sentence to be carried out against Troy Davis by the state of Georgia on Sept. 21 is so important. Davis has been on Georgia’s death row for close to 20 years after being convicted of killing off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Since his conviction, seven of the nine nonpolice witnesses have recanted their testimony, alleging police coercion and intimidation in obtaining the testimony. There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder.

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CIA told NY Times about 9/11 Warnings, Command Negligene: NY Times Lied

By Susan Lindauer, 9/11 Whistleblower
Former U.S. Asset covering Iraq and Libya

9/11 denialists like to swear smugly that the official 9/11 story must be true, because the government could never keep such an important secret without getting caught.

Somebody would spill the beans, right? In fact, a number of us tried. Media watchers should savvy up, as the air waves get blitzed this weekend with 9/11 emorials. If the corporate media had done its job as a watch dog, the world would have got an earful reliable intelligence sources debunking the official 9/11 story.

Unhappily, the corporate media has been a co-conspirator in the 9/11 Cover Up from day one. They have actively abetted the government with its dirty work. Say a truth teller got arrested on the Patriot Act—like me— and locked in prison on a military base, while the public debate raged over 9/11 and Iraq without access to knowledgeable sources. The government could rely on corporate media to squash the story, while the Justice Department fought my demands for a trial, playing every dirty trick in the book to stop a New York jury from hearing testimony about 9/11 and Iraq.

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Lindauer speech in Portland on the Patriot Act and 9/11 (video)

By Portland 911 Truth Alliance

Amazing testimony of CIA Asset Susan Lindauer. 5 years of legal troubles, 1 year in prison for daring to tell the truth. She also covers the NATO invasion of Libya, near the end. The speech starts at about 7 minutes in:

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The Crime of the Patriot Act, 9/11 and a Whistleblower’s Truth

By Rady Ananda

Susan Lindauer’s piece of the 9/11 puzzle adds more evidence to support the charge of criminal negligence at the command level and exposes the utter depravity of the Patriot Act.  Even more, as the primary Intelligence Asset for Iraq, she proves that top officials of the Bush regime were fully aware that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction prior to the invasion, and had, in fact, negotiated a peace treaty in order to end UN sanctions.

To tell this truth cost her her job, her freedom and almost her sanity.

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US contractor can sue Donald Rumsfeld for alleged Iraq torture, judge rules

By Associated Press in Washington
Guardian.co.uk

An American former military contractor who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the US army in Iraq has been allowed by a judge to sue the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages.

The man, an army veteran whose identity has been withheld, worked as a translator for the US marines in the volatile Anbar province when he was detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a US military facility near Baghdad airport dedicated to holding “high-value” detainees.

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