Thursday, May 06, 2004

Prison Brutality

The current American President, his deputy, their henchman, and all of their senior staff are shocked and appalled at the treatment of prisoners in Iraq.

This is disgusting hypocrisy. While governor of Texas, George Bush oversaw the extermination of more American citizens than any other governor in our lifetime. More American citizens were put to death under George Bush's regime than any other elected regime. George Bush is an advocate of killing people: he supports the death penalty and he thinks throwing our children under the wheels of war is an acceptable way to acquire oil profits. There is nothing more brutal than that.

George Bush, his friends, his business partners, his cohorts, his partners-in-crime, whatever you want to call this slime that is currently in charge of the federal government, are the most brutal regime to which our media has access. There is no other 'free' nation that imprisons young men for minor drug offenses and incarcerates them with murderers and rapists who brutalize them from the moment they arrive on the premises.

State prisons in the United States are brutal places, and they house American taxpayers. How can the Bush Regime think the prisons in Iraq, which house enemies, would be any better? The incarceration of American taxpayers in our own prison systems, even for non-violent crimes, is so violent that it cannot be discussed by the media or in polite company.

I know people who have gone to prison in the United States. Most of the people I know who went to prison were convicted of breaking the drug laws. They knew the rules and they got caught, so they went to prison.

One man I know went to prison after being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old. Now the 17-year-old never said they had sex, because the sex never took place; but the local district attorney was up for re-election, knew he was friends with the 17-year-old, and simply pressed charges, because they can do that without the cooperation of the victim, and got great media coverage. If you think this doesn't happen, you should wake-up and smell the coffee (it's delicious)

For years the case went in circles until they convicted him and sentenced him with no witnesses and no victim testimony. And he had a good lawyer. Sadly, the law enforcement personnel are better connected and the case was repeatedly moved from judge to judge until one who would convict was found (you daren't take a jury trial for a case like this).

Now, the details of the trial are neither here nor there. What was so shocking to me and my friends was the brutal treatment he received at the hands of the guards and other prisoners upon his arrival at the prison.

He was separated from the other new prisoners "for his own protection," and placed in a 10x10x10 cage on the ground level of a holding block with cells that rose above him. His cage was open at the top as it was made of bars. Upon his arrival, the guards beat the daylights out of him. He lost two teeth, one eye was swollen shut, his ribs ached. It was so bad that they had to involve the prison doctor, which they don't like to do. Still, they waited until morning for that. All night long, the other prisoners were instructed to urinate and defecate into his cell from above. They dropped their trash and leftover food and their lit cigarette butts on him.

The guards cleaned him up and sent him to the doctor the next morning (less than 24 hours after he arrived). Fortunately, the doctor was so appalled by the situation that she took pictures and sent them to his lawyer, who gave them to us. We brought the pictures to the attention of the governor via his counsel and my friend was moved to a different facility. The governor and his counsel knew it had been an election year conviction for the district attorney who garnered miles of free ink on the case, and the governor did not want my friend getting killed on his watch.

Other friends have told me of being raped in prison, being forced to submit to gangs of men who forced them to serve them in many ways. Fighting back might delay the subjugation, but American prisons are bastions of hierarchical brutalization, just like prisons all over the world. People who are imprisoned for violent crimes generally fare better in prison, because they are familiar with violence. Those convicted of non-violent crimes are always brutalized beyond imagination.

And in the United States, unlike other civilized countries, we actually allow the guards and staff to execute prisoners. They strap them to a table and inject them with chemicals that kill them! There is nothing more barbaric or brutal than that. This is done in Texas more than it is done in any other state.

For George Bush and his henchmen to pretend they didn't know that brutal actions were taken against prisoners in a military prison is so insincere as to border on impeachable. Are we to believe that the man who stole our country doesn't know that prisons are brutal and that the prisons for which he has been directly responsible are the MOST brutal in Western Civilization?

This posturing about Iraqi prison conditions is offensive not because they are pretending it is all a surprise, but because this is the man whose prisons are already the most brutal on the planet!

What the guards at the Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq have done is no different than what prison guards in the United States do, or allow to be done, to American citizens. If George Bush and his henchmen think otherwise, they should spend a few days touring the prisons of America and interviewing those who have gotten out alive.

Stop pretending and lying George, it's offensive.

There is only one solution to the problems in Iraq: get the US military out of there and allow some civilized nations to clean-up the mess the Texans have made.