America's Worst Export

America's Worst Export
Posted by CN Staff on May 16, 2004 at 09:07:07 PT
Source: Berkshire Eagle
The atrocious abuse and humiliation of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison appears to have roots at least in part in a barbaric prison culture several soldiers carried with them from the United States. One of the named ringleaders at Abu Ghraib, Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr., and some of his Army Reservist accomplices work as prison guards in their Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania hometowns. One of the prisons was the site of a 1998 scandal involving beatings and the sadistic humiliation of inmates.
And, shockingly but somehow not surprisingly, private prison company executive Lane McCotter, the man Attorney General John Ashcroft sent to Baghdad to reopen Abu Ghraib and help establish in Iraq "an equitable criminal justice system based on the rule of law and standards of basic human rights," has himself led U.S. prison systems that officials have judged corrupt and brutal. While U.S. prisons overall can hardly compare in degradation with those run by Saddam Hussein -- or by any number of other Arab leaders -- most American lockups are dreadful places. The Sentencing Project and other prisoner-advocacy organizations cite case after case where the same types of physical abuse and psychological torture exposed in Iraq are shown to be common in U.S. prisons. Over the past 25 years, over 40 state prison systems have been placed under court order to eliminate overcrowding and violent treatment. During George W. Bush's tenure as governor of Texas, the state's prisons operated under a federal consent decree because of widespread and systematic sexual slavery and other forms of brutality. Asked about this, a White House spokesman told The New York Times there could be no comparison between Abu Ghraib and U.S. prisons. Mr. Bush, famously inattentive, may yet again be the last to grasp that the opposite of what he believes is true.The case of Mr. McCotter is especially galling. The man hired to train guards and get the post-Saddam Abu Ghraib up and running was forced to resign as head of the Utah Department of Corrections in 1997 after a schizophrenic inmate was tied naked to a chair for 16 hours and died. Investigators found that the mentally ill inmate's treatment was not unusual. Mr. McCotter also hired a prison psychiatrist whose medical license was on probation for Medicaid fraud. Even when Mr. Ashcroft appointed him to his Baghdad position, Mr. McCotter's company, Management and Training Corporation, was under investigation by the Justice Department for safety and medical-treatment violations at one of the company's New Mexico prisons.American prisons are rotten places because of overcrowding -- inmate populations have quadrupled to 2.1 million in 25 years -- and because salaries are low and training often poor. And there are two prison cultures, one of statutes and rules, and a savage law-of-the-jungle culture that often predominates because of leadership at the top that is indifferent or worse. It's the jungle of U.S. prison culture that apparently infected Abu Ghraib.One of the most horrifying points made in a report on Abu Ghraib by the International Committee of the Red Cross is the estimate by some coalition military intelligence officers that "between 70 percent and 90 percent" of the Iraqi detainees "have been arrested by mistake." If that's even close to being true, the American campaign to win over the Iraqi people and rescue them from tyranny may be doomed, and perhaps ought to be.Source: Berkshire Eagle, The (MA)Published: Sunday, May 16, 2004Copyright: 2004 New England Newspapers, Inc.Contact: letters berkshireeagle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:ACLU Who Rebuilt Prison Are in Hot Seat Other Prison Outrage: On The Home Front Ugly Prison Record of Prisoners Is Called Routine in US
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 17, 2004 at 10:02:52 PT
That's cool about the autographs.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on May 17, 2004 at 09:39:20 PT
I wanted to say that I turned on I believe it was the History Channel late last night and Manson was on that channel too but it was interesting. The murders and the insanity weren't what made me pay attention but it talked about the hippie culture of that time. Manson hurt the hippie culture and I didn't put it together until I saw this documentary last night. It was late so I didn't watch the whole thing but this all happened right around the time of Woodstock. 
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on May 17, 2004 at 09:13:57 PT
Helter Skelter: and the Prophet of Doom
I couldn't watch much of it either, and I found it bizarre. It did trigger a thought about the brutalizing effects of prison in creating such a manipulative monster as Charles Manson. I agree that LSD was not the cause of the murders. Manson's followers were little lost sheep, confused by empty religion and susceptible to Charlie's ravings about being Jesus and Satan and to all his reflective mind tricks. LSD got caught in the crossfire, which gave the antis horrible visceral images to use to demonize all psychedelics. Nixon's anti-Semitic distaste for psychiatrists was a driving force behind the adoption of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) [Oct 27, 1970] and its scheduling system for "drugs". Soon after this politically-motivated law was passed, the US bullied the UN to pass the first of the UN treaties that prohibitionist politicians hide behind, International Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971). Even a mild psychedelic, like cannabis, is fought tooth, nail, and claw, even for millennia-old medical uses. The timing of this drama is questionable: could it be a distraction from Abu Ghraib? Spin? If so, it failed for me. It showed how long dubious prisoner treatment has been happening and the effects on society of releasing prisoners without sufficient "corrections." Don't forget the Attica prison riots that John Lennon also sang about.Without the lives and legacies of Bob Marley and John Lennon (prophets of love and joy), this world would be a grimmer place. They gave and give us hope that individual efforts toward improving society can be successful, hand in hand. "Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is the flower, you gotta let it, you gotta let it grow." --Mind Games by John Lennon "If you get down and you quarrel everyday,
You're saying prayers to the devil, I say. Wo-oh-ooh!
Why not help one another on the way?
Make it much easier. (Just a little bit easier)"Say you just can't live that negative way,
If you know what I mean;
Make way for the positive day,
'Cause it's news (new day) - news and days -
New time (new time), and if it's a new feelin' (new feelin'), yeah! -
Said it's a new sign (new sign):
Oh, what a new day!"Pickin' up?
Are you pickin' up now?
Jah love - Jah love (protect us);
Jah love - Jah love (protect us);
Jah love - Jah love (protect us)." --Positive vibration by Bob Marley
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Comment #19 posted by Truth on May 17, 2004 at 08:25:56 PT
the list
Martha and I have collected autographs from two of the folks on afterburners list. Owsley's and Dr. Hoffman's.
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Comment #18 posted by westnyc on May 17, 2004 at 06:16:30 PT
Lennon and Marley
Yes! The world could use another Lennon; or, my personal favorite - the late great Mr. Bob Marley! However, I think the "mold" was broken after they were born.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 23:31:33 PT
John Lennon's music is good for what ails us. I'm glad you liked the link. John Lennon and Bob Marley's music is so soothing in times like these.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 23:11:30 PT
Charles Manson
I really tried to watch the movie about Manson tonight but I had to keep changing the channel. It was too intense for me. I don't believe LSD or drugs were the cause of what happened. The little bit I saw of the movie was too bizarre and I thought it was odd to show a movie like that while everyone is on edge because of the war. Very bad timing to say the least. We need movies like Mary Poppins. Not really but we could use some lighter movies these days.
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on May 16, 2004 at 23:07:11 PT
Thanks, FoM, I Bookmarked It
I listened to Imagine, Power to the People, and Mind Games, so far. They're not quite complete, but good to hear again. Mine are on vinyl and I don't have a working turntable at present.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 22:33:30 PT
afterburner Imagine
You have to click on the song from the link. I think it's the complete song. If it isn't it's enough to get the message. I thought you'd appreciate it.
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on May 16, 2004 at 20:48:29 PT
Charlie Manson, LSD, Murder, & Schedule One Lie
Original scare story and junk science refuted:LSD and Chromosomes - 
an excerpt from The Natural Mind
by Andrew Weil TIMELINE
by Erowid 1950 First article about LSD appears in the American Psychiatric Journal. 2 [No medical use?!]  1951 CIA becomes aware of and begins experimenting with LSD.   1951 Al Hubbard first tries LSD. 2   1952 Charles Savage publishes the first study on the use of LSD to treat depression. [No medical use!]  1953 First LSD clinic opened to the public in England under Ronald Sandison. [No medical use!] Separately, unwitting subjects in the United States were given LSD in the CIA funded Project MK-Ultra to test the effects of the drug.   1953 Dr. Humphrey Osmond begins treating alcoholics with LSD. 2 [No medical use!]  1955 First conferences focusing on LSD and mescaline take place in Atlantic City and Princeton, N.J.   1955 Aldous Huxley first takes LSD. The publication of Huxley's 'Heaven and Hell'. 2   1959 Josiah Macy Foundation sponsors major scientific congress on LSD. 2   1959 Allen Ginsberg tries LSD for the first time. 2   1960 Harvard University's Timothy Leary establishes the Psychedelic Research Project.   1962 Congress passes new drug safety regulations and the FDA designates LSD an experimental drug and restricts research. The first LSD related arrests are made by the FDA. 2   1963 LSD first appears on the streets (liquid on sugar cubes). Articles about LSD first appear in mainstream media (Look, Saturday Evening Post). 2   May 1963 Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert are fired from Harvard. 2   Feb 1965 Owsley "Bear" Stanley first succeeded in synthesizing crystalline LSD. Earliest distribution was March 1965. 3   1966 Leary founds the League of Spiritual Development, with LSD as the sacrement. 4   Mar 25, 1966 Life publishes cover article on LSD. "LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug that Got Out of Control".   Apr 1966 Sandoz Pharmaceutical recalled the LSD it had previously distributed and withdrew its sponsorship for work with LSD. 4   Oct 6, 1966 LSD becomes illegal in California. 5   1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco. First human be-in.   1967 LSD banned federally in the U.S.   Summer 1969 Orange sunshine acid first appears. 2  [ August 9, 1969. Sharon Tate (Polanski), Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, the coffee heiress and her boyfriend Voytek Frykowski, and an internationally known hair stylist Jay Sebring killed by Charles Manson followers (runaways). ] *added to timeline* 1970 An estimated 1-2 million Americans have used LSD.   Oct 27, 1970 The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is passed. Part II of this is the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) which defines a scheduling system for drugs. It places most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis, & MDA) in Schedule I. It places coca, cocaine and injectable methamphetamine in Schedule II. Other amphetamines and stimulants, including non-injectable methamphetamine are placed in Schedule III. [ *origin of Schedule One Lie* ]  References1. Hofmann A. LSD: My Problem Child. J.P. Tarcher, 1979.2. Lee MA, Shlain B. Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion. Grove, 1985.3. Eisner B. Interview with an Alchemist: Bear: Owsley, LSD Chemist Extraordinaire. BruceEisner.com4. Ray, Oakley and Charles Ksir. Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior.5. 'Getting High: The History of LSD', The History Channel, 1999.6. Stafford P. Psychedelics Encyclopedia. Ronin, 1992.Note: Charles Manson was a product of the US prison system, where he studied black magic and mind control. (--The Family by E. Sanders, Clarke, Irwin & Company, 1971)Bugliosi, Vincent, with Curt Gentry, Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. Bantam Books, 1974, 1995. This book was made into a movie. The remake of the movie, Helter Skelter was released this year, 2004, and just broadcast on CBS. 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 15:16:41 PT
It's good to see you and I hope you are hanging in there ok. Things sure are crazy down here because of the war mostly. 
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Comment #11 posted by Jose Melendez on May 16, 2004 at 15:09:11 PT
Right on, Steve Tuck!
Welcome back, friend. If you have any nonpsychoactive flavonoids or other hemp related products to ship me, I'm ready to sell and having a demonstration on July 4: as they might, they cannot crucify us all, or run us all off: - - -from did more than just imagine world peace, he was also quite active in the movement for world peace. For example, he initiated a billboard campaign all across the nation calling for the end of the Vietnam War. He also participated in and financed peace rallies and concerts to protest the war.In 1969 he said, "We're all Christ and we're all Hitler. We are trying to make Christ's message contemporary. We want Christ to win. What would he have done if he had advertisements, T.V., records, films and newspapers? The miracle today is communication. So let's use it." Lennon, who once bragged that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, would use his popularity, fame and his ability to reach millions through the media, to fight for his vision of world peace.In so doing, however, he would incur the wrath of a powerful enemy, the President of the United States. Prior to the presidential election in 1972, Lennon planned a national concert tour to protest the war in Vietnam, which meant he would be protesting the reelection of Richard Nixon as well. This first came to the attention of the White House through a memo passed on from the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, addressed to Bill Timmons, Assistant to the President, and Copied to Attorney General John Mitchell: February 4, 1972 Honorable William Timmons
The White HouseWashington, D.C. Dear Bill: Find attached a memorandum to me from the staff of the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee. I am a member of the subcommittee as well as the full Judiciary Committee. This appears to me to be an important matter, and I think it would be well for it to be considered at the highest level. As I can see, many headaches might be avoided if appropriate action be taken in time. With kindest regards and best wished, Very truly, Strom Thurmond The memo attached to Thurmondís letter claimed Lennon was connected with; Radical New Left leaders Rennie Davis, Jerry Rubin, Leslie Bacon, Stud Albert, Jay Craven, and others [who] have recently gone to the New York City areas. This group has been strong advocates of the program to "dump Nixon." They have devised a plan to hold rock concerts in various primary election states for the following purposes: to obtain access to college campuses;- to stimulate 18-year-old registration;- to press for legislation legalizing marihuana;- to finance their activities; and - to recruit persons to come to San Diego during the Republican National Convention in August 1972. These individuals are the same persons who were instrumental in disrupting the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.The amount of attention and intelligence gathered by our government about this group of citizens engaged in legal activities protected by the First Amendment is disturbing, to say the least. The memo concludes with the following suggestion; The source felt that if Lennonís visa terminated is would be a strategy counter-measure. The source also noted the caution which must be taken with regard to the possible alienation of the so-called 18-year-old vote if Lennon is expelled from the country.On March 6, 1972, the following letter was sent to Strom Thurmond; Dear Strom:In connection with your previous inquiry concerning the former member of the Beatles, John Lennon, I thought you would be interested in learning that the Immigration and Naturalization Service has served notice on him that he is to leave this country no later than March 15. You may be assured the information you previously furnished has been appropriately noted. With warm regards, Sincerely, William E. TimmonsAssistant to the PresidentLennon fought deportation and won. But the Government did not end its battle against him. The Nixon administration went on to illegally use the CIA and FBI to deal with Lennon in a covert Nixon reelection campaign. 
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Comment #10 posted by herbdoc215 on May 16, 2004 at 13:42:02 PT
Also look at it as "Illumination" on why ther
so many cannabis refugee's around the world...we all know what goes on in prisons and we all know what these bastards do to try to get us to implicate others in their search for "intelligence" in their McCarthy-style witch hunt of last 4 years! Now put yourself in the shoes of someone who faced this treatment for actually trying to help others under the color of state law. This type of news further elucidates to the Canadians the level of our desperation. Someday the cold light of truth will shine on this pogram the gov't has committed in this 'drug-war' and people will realize just how criminal the so-called "Justice" system is in Amerika today! Hope everybody here is doing well, I've just came down from mountain for a day to rest...things are sure looking good here! Just like in fishing, I took Lucy to the mine day before yesterday and she finds biggest nugget of gold we've found yet in 10 minutes of being there...woman magic I guess, haha. Peace, Steve Tuck
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Comment #9 posted by breeze on May 16, 2004 at 13:37:04 PT
yes- its very depressing
But you do what you have to do. Smiling in the trenches of the battlefield is the hardest thing to do. Many times- a smile is not a smile, but a grimace.Its truly depressing when the majority of people are too busy paying attention to the sunny side of life to realize that there are others who are living in the most torrent atmospheres imaginable."We shall distract the public with sports"- A.Hitler
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 13:05:07 PT
Thanks for understanding. Yes it all is very depressing. There is nothing I love to do more then to post stories of victory for cannabis. Sometimes I don't even want to read what I think I should post. It's always a judgment call for me. I thought that what has happened in the Iraq prisons might help people of America understand how badly people are treated in a US prison. I only want to draw a comparison. We have over 2 million people in prison and many of them are for drug related offenses. 
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Comment #7 posted by Ganda on May 16, 2004 at 12:58:32 PT
fair enough....
thought i was missing something. It's all so depressing.
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Comment #6 posted by Virgil on May 16, 2004 at 10:42:51 PT
There are also two ways at looking at it
You can apply a cannabis perspective to the situation and the situation can define a cannabis perspective. I agree that in this case the cannabis perspective is more important to the story than the story is to a cannabis perspective.
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Comment #5 posted by Virgil on May 16, 2004 at 10:35:37 PT
Thanks Breeze
I lost my comment because I did not fill in the top screen. You said about half of what I said.First, there is relevance by media. Did the media tell us that the US told Saddam that we would not interfere in a territorial dispute when he first occupied Kuwait and that Kuwait was part of Iraq until the west seperated them in 1922. Did they tell us how we violate international law in destroying Iraqi infrastructure in the first Gulf war or how we had killed a half a million Iraqis with US imposed sanctions. Did they tell us that Saddam had adopted the Euro as currency in oil sales. Did they tell us of the new glass building built in Switzerlan to administer a crippling reperations settlement out of the oil for food program and how that money was looted. No.Did anyone ever mention the depleted uranium from the First Gulf War or the illegality of the use in the last Gulf War that will give the Iraqis freedom from health for the next two and half billion years and blow all over Europe. Did they tell how the US would not even let chlorine go in to treat water with a dual use bullshit even when we sold them the most deadly weapons ever made. We ask for a report from Iraq and when they gave it to us we illegally wiped out half of it to hide American involvement and the Iraqis released the full version in Europe. But, secondly how is it that the prisoners get drugs when visitors are screened carefully at taxpayers expense. Do you think that the guards might actually be doing the selling and that it comes from unreported confiscations and the evidence room. There is perspective to be gleaned from holding up cannabis policy to the prison system and the reporting coming or not coming out of Iraq.
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Comment #4 posted by breeze on May 16, 2004 at 10:05:51 PT
what this has to do with cannabis--
Plenty. It demonstrates that the usa is not the land of milk and honey, because it is obvious how our country treats prisoners who are from other nations- try to imagine how it treats prisoners who are from the US.Prisons in the US aren't country clubs. The laws who place people in those prisons aren't there to make life better for the general population, but targets a select group of society and their imprisonment feeds a system that is corrupt and unjust. Think of it like this, people drink and drive and kill others while under the influence. Some people commit violent acts while being intoxicated by alcohol- yet alcohol is still legal. These people go to jail, but not for possesion of alcohol- but instead for their actions. People who are arrested for marijuana possesion have not commited a violent act, they are just in prison for possesing marijuana.The reason they are in prison is because they had something that is illegal, because someone said that it should be illegal. Imagine if suddenly law were in place to make possesion of a hand gun illegal. You haven't shot anyone with it, even though it has the potential to kill, you are in prison because you own a handgun. Now, marijuana has no potential to kill anyone rapidly, but it is illegal- and you are in prison because of it. There are numbers of people in prison for killing,raping, maiming others by their actions- ACTIONS that is. And typically those people are not the kind of people that you would want to fall asleep around. Guards do their job making sure no one escapes- and some times, they mimic the actions of the violent ones they are hired to watch over, and this is where this article demonstrates bias in how the USA's prison system is operated and how it gets no attention from the media, congress, etc.It shows how one sided the mentality of those in power are, and media is a power. 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 16, 2004 at 09:43:39 PT
Nothing but interesting considering what our country is going thru now. I can't find any news about cannabis today but the one story. 
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Comment #2 posted by Ganda on May 16, 2004 at 09:37:38 PT
what has this got to do with cannabis?
???? (just wondering!)
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Comment #1 posted by Truth on May 16, 2004 at 09:24:40 PT
Bush should be ashamed.
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