Land of the Free? Not anymore...


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Sindawe
January 10, 2006, 02:25 AM
Presumed Guilty: Caught in the American Gulag
by Thomas Andrew Olson
taocfi@gmail.com

In Building D of the Control Detention Facility in Washington, DC, a man sits alone in a cold, "total segregation" cell. His room has been categorized as "filthy", with a plain cot, no pillow, and a single thin blanket. When first placed there he was denied basic toiletries, clean linens, or even toilet paper itself. The guards sneeringly suggested he "make a shopping list".

As winter is now here, keeping warm is a challenge in the aging building. As there is no heat, the temperature can drop to near freezing at night, yet the prisoner is not allowed a heavier garment, jacket, or even an extra blanket. All the guards wear warm jackets and long heavy pants. By contrast, the prisoner's clothes are synthetic, loose fitting, and provide little protection from the cold. He keeps warm as best he can by stuffing newspapers under his clothes. Visitors describe him as "shivering all the time".

His health has deteriorated. Over this last summer, when the air conditioning failed, and temperatures soared as high as 130 degrees, he contracted a severe respiratory infection that went untreated for weeks—until he was virtually in need of hospitalization. His dietary needs, prescribed by a physician for a heart ailment, are not being met. A handwritten spreadsheet detailing his nutritional requirements was returned to him because—get this—there were numbers on it, and therefore, his keepers claimed, he was writing in code. He has lost weight, and he wasn't a large man to begin with.

He has nothing on which to write, other than the back of a page of an outdated legal document. He's not allowed to keep personal items such as photos of loved ones taped to his wall. Legal and personal mail is often lost or delayed. Outgoing mail often disappears or is very late in arriving. While the commissary sells stamps, his orders would be blocked, sometimes for weeks. When a friend tried to send some stamps in a personal letter, they were confiscated, and he was warned that this action could be logged as an "escape attempt".

Documents pertaining to his legal case were taken away and stored, for "safe keeping". Books that friends attempted to send him were returned to Amazon.com, unopened, on an average of five out of six times, even though according to facility rules, books can be sent to prisoners so long as they are shipped directly from the seller, which they were. There are frequent random searches of his room, and letters or articles he had been in the process of writing are sometimes confiscated.

Mail addressed to him either disappears, or arrives two months late. He can't be certain that legal papers he sends out will be received in a timely fashion, if at all. He cannot use the telephone on any regular schedule, and the rare call he can make is limited to ten minutes duration and is monitored.

Continues at: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2006/tle349-20060108-02.html

His supposed "crime"? Tax evasion. :fire:

Enough to drive a man to drink.

Or follow the lead so called tax evaders of years past...

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PCGS65
January 10, 2006, 03:59 AM
I've never had much sympathy for "CEO's" that get "caught".
However I think this shows(even though biased)the government can, will and do what they want when they want to whom they want!!! Legal or not!!! :cuss:

The Libertarian Enterprise??

whm1974
January 10, 2006, 04:49 AM
Murders and child rapists don't get treated this bad.

The tax code is so bad that the IRS can come after anyone for evasion.

I remember reading a few years that people who work for DotComs that went belly up now owe millions of dollars due to some rule about stock options, notwithstanding that they are now pennyless.

-Bill

JohnBT
January 10, 2006, 08:40 AM
"The judge also cited "the implausibility of an innocent explanation" for Anderson having a phony passport, falsified identification..."

- from a Washington Post article

captain obvious
January 10, 2006, 09:12 AM
Murders and child rapists don't get treated this bad.

Murders and child rapists don't harm Uncle Sam.

.gov looks after its own.

hammer4nc
January 10, 2006, 09:13 AM
"Diesel therapy", as inflicted on George Hansen:

Link: http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?read=22130

Members invited (esp. our esteemed .gov employees) to point out how this could never happen, or some small detail that implies the prisoner deserves the punishment.;)

Edit: Alternate citation, as link posted above appears to have gone down...
Link: http://www.constitution.org/ghansen/conghansen.htm

Lobotomy Boy
January 10, 2006, 09:21 AM
The link above doesn't seem to work.

Preacherman
January 10, 2006, 10:51 AM
Two points:

1. Both of the articles cited here, about Anderson and Hansen, come from highly partisan sources, and are not backed up by citations from authoritative sources. In fact, the article about Anderson was written by someone who runs a Web site in his support.

2. Both of the articles cited are full of polemics, emotional appeals, etc. As a chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I know for a fact that the details given about transporting prisoners in the Hansen article are not true - I've been trained in these procedures (as are all BOP employees) and witnessed transportation many times.

I'd take both articles with several very large helpings of salt unless and until they can be corroborated by authoritative sources, and/or reviewed by courts. It's never wise to believe blatant propaganda without some rigorous fact-checking. Gun-owners complain whenever anti-gunners do this: why should we fall into the same trap?

Justin
January 10, 2006, 11:49 AM
His supposed "crime"? Tax evasion.

Enough to drive a man to drink.

Or follow the lead so called tax evaders of years past...

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."

-R.A. Heinlein

Manedwolf
January 10, 2006, 12:17 PM
Murders and child rapists don't get treated this bad.

The tax code is so bad that the IRS can come after anyone for evasion.

I remember reading a few years that people who work for DotComs that went belly up now owe millions of dollars due to some rule about stock options, notwithstanding that they are now pennyless.

-Bill

Yes. I do feel sorry for a lot of those, since a lot are the same age as me. I'd been jealous at the time, since I only got in on the tail end of the dotcom before the implosion, and my options never vested before the company went down, but...I'm glad they didn't, now.

The gist was, get options, options vest, they're worth millions on paper because the (overvalued) stock is at $100+ per share and you have 10,000, 50,000 shares or more. Then stock falls to less than $1 per share. Company implodes, stock becomes worthless. You can't see any of that money.

But...you still owe capital gains and such to the IRS. I know of people who just got started in their careers in 98-99 or such, out of college...and now they owe the IRS over a million, two million dollars, and all they can find for work is in the $40k-$50k range, IF that. A lot are just freelancing in a scrabble-to-find-work market regardless of degrees, because there's just so much out-of-work tech talent out there due to outsourcing overseas. They're screwed for life.

armoredman
January 10, 2006, 12:18 PM
Ok, you wanted a true prison emplyee to counter this stuff? Absolutely. BS in AZ.
I read both articles, but will keep direct refutation to the portion posted here of the first. I will counter the "Deisel Therapy" by stating in my four years of prison work, I have never heard of any inmate being treated in this fashion EVER, and I drove a prison BUS for some time. Inmates on AZ transports are NOT kept moving for 20 hours at a time, for weeks - 20 hours would get you across the state! We move inmates for various reasons, NONE of which include TORTURE. I don't give a rats patoot what anyone says - unless you have been here, doing this job, YOU DON'T KNOW. Period. I thought I knew about prison from newspapers, articles, etc, before I went to work in one. Nope, wrong.
Here we go...
In Building D of the Control Detention Facility in Washington, DC, a man sits alone in a cold, "total segregation" cell. His room has been categorized as "filthy", with a plain cot, no pillow, and a single thin blanket. When first placed there he was denied basic toiletries, clean linens, or even toilet paper itself. The guards sneeringly suggested he "make a shopping list".
BS in AZ. We issue TP, two rolls a week. Inmates on suicide watch in a holding cell may get it issued when needed, to prevent suicide - don't joke, I know one who did just that recently, by stuffing TP down his throat. We issue a bedding roll per inmate, which contains one sheet, two blankets, and a pillow case. Mattress and pillow are in the cell. If not, we are REQUIRED to provide them before shift end. We also keep indigent bags of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and shaving gear, (once again, if he is NOT a suicide risk) which we will give, until he is able to shop the store, or apply for indigent status, wherupon we give him toiletries up to a certain amount each month.
Holding cells are for suicide watches, temporary transfers, etc, and if not in use as a suicide cell, are limited to 4 hour use. they include running water, toilet, and a bunk. Suicide watch inmates are usually stripped out, and given two suicide blankets, which are tear resistant.

As winter is now here, keeping warm is a challenge in the aging building. As there is no heat, the temperature can drop to near freezing at night, yet the prisoner is not allowed a heavier garment, jacket, or even an extra blanket. All the guards wear warm jackets and long heavy pants. By contrast, the prisoner's clothes are synthetic, loose fitting, and provide little protection from the cold. He keeps warm as best he can by stuffing newspapers under his clothes. Visitors describe him as "shivering all the time".
OK, first, the prisons I have worked in are always cold in winter/hot in summer due to what's known as concrete and steel...but we have both heaters and AC, which are piped directly into the cells. During the hot months, lockdown employees are far more uncomfortable than inmates!
Heaver garments? Nope, prison clothes come one style, for simplicity and cost. In winter time in AZ, all inmates are issued at least one extra blanket, regardless of where they are, and winter in AZ is pretty mild.

His health has deteriorated. Over this last summer, when the air conditioning failed, and temperatures soared as high as 130 degrees, he contracted a severe respiratory infection that went untreated for weeks—until he was virtually in need of hospitalization. His dietary needs, prescribed by a physician for a heart ailment, are not being met. A handwritten spreadsheet detailing his nutritional requirements was returned to him because—get this—there were numbers on it, and therefore, his keepers claimed, he was writing in code. He has lost weight, and he wasn't a large man to begin with.
This writer's incredible bias against corrections officers is getting even heavier.
AC failed? Yep - IT HAPPENS IN YOUR HOME, TOO! We fix it as soon as possble - we work under the same blower, after all!
Inmates who need medical treament submit a health Needs request, avaialble in any control room, from any staff. Nursing staff triage these requests, and schedule doctor vistss, nurse visits, dental, whatever, depending on availability of specialists. Emergency needs are met as well, up to and regularly inlcuding both ambulance or air evec to local prepared hospitals. A diet note writtne by an outside specialist needs to be confrimed by the insitution doctor to be valid, and then a diet card is issued to the inmate, and detailed orders go to the kitchen. What they refer to as a handwritten spreadsheet of requirements, I have no idea. It would not be accepted by us either, without being seen by the doctor, and filled on a vaild diet sheet - or would you like us to be serving diet cards written by inmates ordering steak and caviar every night? Yes, that would happen, if you let them run it. Remember, your tax dollars at work - do you want to buy Dominos Pizza for 900 guys every night? What a champ!

He has nothing on which to write, other than the back of a page of an outdated legal document. He's not allowed to keep personal items such as photos of loved ones taped to his wall. Legal and personal mail is often lost or delayed. Outgoing mail often disappears or is very late in arriving. While the commissary sells stamps, his orders would be blocked, sometimes for weeks. When a friend tried to send some stamps in a personal letter, they were confiscated, and he was warned that this action could be logged as an "escape attempt".

Writing materials are provided through indigent supplies, or ordered through the inmate store. Most officer writing materials are not provided to inmates, due to ink pens being turned into blow guns, stabbing weapons, or suicide implements. I have seen inmates request a pen, have it handed over, then self shoved it up thier rear, removed, and offered back with a big grin. Sometimes we had extra paper and golf pencils, (lockdown inmates are allowed golf pencils and pen fillers only, for the above reasons.), and will give them away.
Nope, no photos taped to the walls. Bullitin boards are provided in some units, lockdown does not. Photos and other personal papaers/letters are stored in legal boxes under the bed. We'll provide two boxes, and they can purchase more. Stamps are currency in prison, as real money is forbidden. If someone was sending stamps in the mail, they would be confiscated, a seized property reciept issued, and the stamps placed in his permanant property in the warehouse. Then, the inmate could request stamps up to the allowable amount out of that property to use for mail.
I will agree the prison mail system is very slow, and sometimes wildly inaccurate, that's no joke. We are supposed to forward mail within 72 hours...good luck. A moved inmate can wait up to a week. We hand deliver mail every night but Sunday.
Documents pertaining to his legal case were taken away and stored, for "safe keeping". Books that friends attempted to send him were returned to Amazon.com, unopened, on an average of five out of six times, even though according to facility rules, books can be sent to prisoners so long as they are shipped directly from the seller, which they were. There are frequent random searches of his room, and letters or articles he had been in the process of writing are sometimes confiscated. Look up the "Blum Decision" for a complete explanation of how inmate property works. They may have so many books in their possession, and so many instorage. If that number is exceeded, they need to send out, donate, or destroy whatever is extra. That is a court decision. Over the number is contraband, and may be returned to the sender. If you want a library in your room, don't come to prison.

Mail addressed to him either disappears, or arrives two months late. He can't be certain that legal papers he sends out will be received in a timely fashion, if at all. He cannot use the telephone on any regular schedule, and the rare call he can make is limited to ten minutes duration and is monitored.
As for phone calls we have a rotational system in place for phone calls, and one shift will take the list around to sign up inmates the day before, then hand out the cordless phone, (in lockdown), or allow out to the "payphones" on open yards, at the time they selected, withing reason, ie no distrubances, etc.
Frequent and random searches are the best way to prevent prison contraband. If you think that means harmless letters, you're wrong. I have personally seen two handmade spears confiscated out of a maximum security lockdown in the last two days.

Hope this clears things up, except for those who automatically say any prison official is lying. Arrange to tour a local prison, and see for yourself.

WillBrayJr
January 10, 2006, 12:52 PM
He's more lucky than I was. I had to wear a paper gown, no personal belongings, no pillow, no blanket, no mattress, and no @$$wipe. The tempature was around 40 degrees plus central air was running in my cell which probably dropped the tempature to 30 degrees. The slab of steel was ice cold and I still have scars from handcuffs and shackels.

armoredman
January 10, 2006, 01:17 PM
Where were you incarcerated, for what, and were you on a suicide watch status, or in isolation/holding cell? How did you get scars from standard handcuffs and leg irons? I have seen many inmates violently resist restraints, and never get a single scratch from the restraints, not to mention scars. Not to mention, we ALWAYS escort inmates forcibly restrained to the Health Unit for evaluation by medical staff. No force neccesary cuffing does not require a medical visit.
If you were in a paper gown, with no other covering, in a cell below freezing, why are you alive? I have never seen any paper clothing issued to any inmate for any reason in this state, unless it's in Baker Ward, the mental health maximum security area, and they're more likely to be in boxers with suicide blankets.
I am not calling you a liar, just explain how it happened.

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