Friday, 31 March 2017

Chilcott where did it go WTF. The memory hole and disappearing narratives.

The Chilcott report WMD´s 2 million dead, Gateway war to the Middle East and North African Mayhem or Article 50 and Brexit, which is most considered in Media Narratives? Is there a pattern here? do inconvenient truth´s for Elites get memory-holed or manipulated into the long grass of oblivion?
Do some searches and look at the viewer stats on Wikipedia History pages.


MONEY CREATION, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN ARTICLE 50. THE NATURE OF POWER (FOLLOW THE MONEY.)

I did some google searches the other day. Article 50 versus the Chilcott Report.
Article 50 had something like 500 million hits and the Chilcott report a mere 6 million or so.
Money Sex and debt did very well literally billions of hits but money creation? a mere 8.5 million hits.
The causes of things, follow the money.




https://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/03/money-creation-much-more-important-than.html

EU Propaganda Red Pill. Tony Benn Speaks, Lazarus post.

Tony Benn – EU Referendum – EU Empire – Democracy – Brexit https://t.co/fVRk5bf4Yc via @YouTube

Tony Benn on the EU "I can think of no body of men outside the Kremlin who have so much power without a shred of accountability for what they do" On Thursday...
YOUTU.BE/NWNPBEMMSNW

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Roger Lewis I tried to share this earlier, I had to go and get it off You Tube and link to it directly. Left or Right, Tony´s arguments against the EU are essentially to do with participation and subsidiarity and accountability of CIvil Servants and politicians to Citizens ( or Subjects if you are British,m Swedish, Dutch . There is another video which I suspect I would have no problem sharing as much as I liked, some chap stood up with Verhofsted at his side at the EU Parliament. I am more than happy to listen to all arguments from all sides of this question but lets get a metric for Democracy and Tony´s are the best I think I have seen.

Tony Benn once said this
“The House will forgive me for quoting five democratic questions that I have developed during my life. If one meets a powerful person–Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler–one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.”
Tony Benn Commons Hansard [16 Nov 1998: Column 685] Volume 319 Debate on: European Parliamentary Elections Bill , from 7.20 pm

So the gentleman in that other video mentions We can not tell people why Europe is ( insert superlative) This is a Blog I did about Geo-Political Real Politik.

Quiggleys words.p.232 tragedy and Hope.
´´but criticism should have been directed rather at the hypocrisy and lack
of realism in the ideals of the wartime propaganda and at the lack of honesty of the chief negotiators in carrying on the pretense that these ideals were still in effect while they violated them daily, and necessarily violated them. The settlements were clearly made by secret negotiations, by the Great Powers exclusively, and by power politics. They had to be. No settlements could ever have been made on any other bases. The failure of the chief negotiators (at least the Anglo-Americans) to admit this is regrettable, but behind their
reluctance to admit it is the even more regrettable fact that the lack of political experience and political education of the American and English electorates made it dangerous for the negotiators to admit the facts of life in international political relationships.”

https://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/.../catch...


Roger Lewis 27 mins  ·  http://www.ecfr.eu/…/the_world_according_to_europes_insurge… This is well worth...
LETTHEMCONFECTSWEETERLIES.BLOGSPOT.COM

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Memory Hole Series, Brought to you by Lazarus Blog.

The Phoenix Program - Douglas Valentine
The Lords of Creation - Frederick Lewis Allen
Blowback - Christopher Simpson
Underground to Palestine - I.F.Stone
Hidden History of the Korean War - I.F.Stone
DuPont Dynasty, Behind the Nylon Curtain - Gerard Colby






Abby Martin speaks with NYU media studies professor, Mark Crispin Miller, about five historical books that have been actively suppressed and hidden from the American public.
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/2338-orwell-rolls-in-his-grave


By Thom HartmannTruthout | Review
As a member in good standing of the media, I watched "Orwell Rolls in His Grave" with a wince and a feeling of intense deja vu.
The essence of this documentary is that our media doesn't tell us the entire story when that story doesn't work to the benefit of the folks in power. And it's true. As Michael Moore points out in the movie, the old Soviet Politburo had more turnover than our Congress does with our bought-and-paid "elections."
I remember back in 1972 or thereabouts






Get the original DVD of this ground-breaking documentary here - http://www.orwellrollsinhisgrave.com/Category News & Politics License Standard YouTube License




Money Creation, Much more important than Article 50. The Nature of Power (follow the money.)

I did some google searches the other day. Article 50 versus the Chilcott Report.
Article 50 had something like 500 million hits and the Chilcott report a mere 6 million or so.
Money Sex and debt did very well literally billions of hits but money creation? a mere 8.5 million hits.
The causes of things, follow the money.


APHORISM, n. Predigested wisdom.
    The flabby wine-skin of his brain
    Yields to some pathologic strain,
    And voids from its unstored abysm
    The driblet of an aphorism.
                                           "The Mad Philosopher," 1697

This definition is from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, published in 1911.






Federal Reserve quotes[edit]

   The Rothschilds
   "The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from its profits or so dependant on its favors, 
   that there will be no opposition from that class." -- Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863
 "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes its laws" -- Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

Senators & Congressmen:
    "Most Americans have no real understanding of the operation of the international money lenders. The accounts of the Federal
    Reserve System have never been audited. It operates outside the control of Congress and manipulates the credit of the United
    States" -- Sen. Barry Goldwater (Rep. AZ)
   "This [Federal Reserve Act] establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President
   [Wilson} signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized....
   the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill." 
   -- Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. , 1913
   "From now on, depressions will be scientifically created." -- Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. , 1913
   "The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board asministers the finance system by authority
   of  a purely profiteering group. The system is Private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits
   from the use of other people's money" -- Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., 1923
   "The Federal Reserve bank buys government bonds without one penny..." 
   -- Congressman Wright Patman, Congressional Record, Sept 30, 1941
"We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it". -- Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932 (Rep. Pa)
   "The Federal Reserve banks are one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever seen.
   There is not a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that this nation is run by the
   International bankers -- Congressman Louis T. McFadden (Rep. Pa)
   "Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are the United States government's institutions.
   They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people
   of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign swindlers" -- Congressional
   Record 12595-12603 -- Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency (12 years) June 10, 1932
"I have never seen more Senators express discontent with their jobs....I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices in doing something terrible and unforgiveable to our wonderful country. Deep down in our heart, we know that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected." -- John Danforth (R-Mo)
"These 12 corporations together cover the whole country and monopolize and use for private gain every dollar of the public currency..." -- Mr. Crozier of Cincinnati, before Senate Banking and Currency Committee - 1913
"The [Federal Reserve Act] as it stands seems to me to open the way to a vast inflation of the currency... I do not like to think that any law can be passed that will make it possible to submerge the gold standard in a flood of irredeemable paper currency." -- Henry Cabot Lodge Sr., 1913

From the Federal Reserves Own Admissions: "When you or I write a check there must be sufficient funds in out account to cover the check, but when the Federal Reserve writes a check there is no bank deposit on which that check is drawn. When the Federal Reserve writes a check, it is creating money." -- Putting it simply, Boston Federal Reserve Bank

"Neither paper currency nor deposits have value as commodities, intrinsically, a 'dollar' bill is just a piece of paper. Deposits are merely book entries." -- Modern Money Mechanics Workbook, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1975
"The Federal Reserve system pays the U.S. Treasury 020.60 per thousand notes --a little over 2 cents each-- without regard to the face value of the note. Federal Reserve Notes, incidently, are the only type of currency now produced for circulation. They are printed exclusively by the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the $20.60 per thousand price reflects the Bureau's full cost of production. Federal Reserve Notes are printed in 01, 02, 05, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollar denominations only; notes of 500, 1000, 5000, and 10,000 denominations were last printed in 1945." --Donald J. Winn, Assistant to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system
"We are completely dependant on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system.... It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon." --Robert H. Hamphill, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank

From General Law: "The entire taxing and monetary systems are hereby placed under the U.C.C. (Uniform Commercial Code)" -- The Federal Tax Lien Act of 1966
"There is a distinction between a 'debt discharged' and a debt 'paid'. When discharged, the debt still exists though divested of it's charter as a legal obligation during the operation of the discharge, something of the original vitality of the debt continues to exist, which may be transferred, even though the transferee takes it subject to it's disability incident to the discharge." --Stanek vs. White, 172 Minn.390, 215 N.W. 784
"The Federal Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities..." -- Lewis vs. United States 9th Circuit 1992
"The regional Federal Reserve banks are not government agencies. ...but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations." -- Lewis vs. United States, 680 F. 2d 1239 9th Circuit 1982

Past Presidents, not including the Founding Fathers

"Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce." -- James A. Garfield, President of the United States
   "A great industrial nation is controlled by it's system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated
   in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely
   controlled and dominated governments in the world--no longer a government of free opinion, no
   longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and
   duress of small groups of dominant men." --President Woodrow Wilson

Founding Father's Quotes on Banking (May contain some repeats from "Founding Father's Quotes" / Information tends to converge)


Thomas Jefferson: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power (of money) should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs."--Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President.

Andrew Jackson:
"If Congress has the right [it doesn't] to issue paper money [currency], it was given to them to be used by...[the government] and not to be delegated to individuals or corporations" -- President Andrew Jackson, Vetoed Bank Bill of 1836

James Madison: "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance". -- James Madison Misc. Sources "Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing" -- Ralph M. Hawtrey, Secretary of the British Treasury

"To expose a 15 Trillion dollar ripoff of the American people by the stockholders of the 1000 largest corporations over the last 100 years will be a tall order of business." -- Buckminster Fuller

"Every Congressman, every Senator knows precisely what causes inflation...but can't, [won't] support the drastic reforms to stop it [repeal of the Federal Reserve Act] because it could cost him his job." -- Robert A. Heinlein, Expanded Universe

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." -- Henry Ford

"[Every circulating FRN] represents a one dollar debt to the Federal Reserve system." -- Money Facts, House Banking and Currency Committee

"...the increase in the assets of the Federal Reserve banks from 143 million dollars in 1913 to 45 billion dollars in 1949 went directly to the private stockholders of the [federal reserve] banks." -- Eustace Mullins

"As soon as Mr. Roosevelt took office, the Federal Reserve began to buy government securities at the rate of ten million dollars a week for 10 weeks, and created one hundred million dollars in new [checkbook] currency, which alleviated the critical famine of money and credit, and the factories started hiring people again." -- Eustace Mullins

"Should government refrain from regulation (taxation), the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent and the fraud can no longer be concealed." -- John Maynard Keynes, "Consequences of Peace."
   "Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from
    them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough
    deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will
    disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you
    wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create
    deposits".- SIR JOSIAH STAMP,(President of the Bank of England in the 1920's, the second richest man in Britain):
    "The modern Banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process
    is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate,
    mint and unmint the modern ledger-entry currency".- MAJOR L .L. B. ANGUS:

 "While boasting of our noble deeds were careful to conceal the ugly fact that by an
    iniquitous money system we have nationalized a system of oppression which, though more refined, is not
    less cruel than the old system of chattel slavery. - Horace Greeley
    "People who will not turn a shovel full of dirt on the project (Muscle Shoals Dam)
    nor contribute a pound of material, will collect more money from the United States than will the People
    who supply all the material and do all the work. This is the terrible thing about interest ...But here is the
    point: If the Nation can issue a dollar bond it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond
    good makes the bill good also. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money
    broker collect twice the amount of the bond and an addi- tional 20%. Whereas the currency, the honest
    sort provided by the Constitution pays nobody but those who contribute in some useful way. It is absurd to
    say our Country can issue bonds and cannot issue currency. Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the
    usurer and the other helps the People. If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds
    would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth,
    must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious value
    of gold. Interest is the invention of Satan". - THOMAS A. EDISON
   
"By this means government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft."--John Maynard Keynes (the father of 'Keynesian Economics' which our nation now endures) in his book "THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE" (1920).

"Capital must protect itself in every way...Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."-- Taken from the Civil Servants' Year Book, "The Organizer" January 1934.
"The Federal Reserve banks, while not part of the government,..." -- United States budget for 1991 and 1992 part 7, page 10
The Money Power! It is the greatest power on earth; and it is arrayed against Labour. No other power that is or ever was can be named with it...it attacks us through the Press - a monster with a thousand lying tongues, a beast surpassing in foulness any conceived by the mythology that invented dragons, were wolves, harpies, ghouls and vampires. It thunders against us from innumerable platforms and pulpits. The mystic machinery of the churches it turns into an engine of wrath for our destruction. Yes, so far as we are concerned, the headquarters of the Money Power is Britain. But the Money Power is not a British institution; it is cosmopolitan. It is of no nationality, but of all nationalities. It dominates the world. The Money Power has corrupted the faculties of the human soul, and tampered with the sanity of the human intellect... Editorial from 1907 edition of The Brisbane Worker (Australia)

...I am convinced that the agreement [Bretton Woods] will enthrone a world dictatorship of private finance more complete and terrible than and Hitlerite dream. It offers no solution of world problems, but quite blatantly sets up controls which will reduce the smaller nations to vassal states and make every government the mouthpiece and tool of International Finance. It will undermine and destroy the democratic institutions of this country - in fact as effectively as ever the Fascist forces could have done - pervert and paganise our Christian ideals; and will undoubtedly present a new menace, endangering world peace. World collaboration of private financial interests can only mean mass unemployment, slavery, misery, degredation and financial destruction. Therefore, as freedom loving Australians we should reject this infamous proposal. -- Labor Minister of Australia, Eddie Ward, during the inception of the World Bank and Bretton Woods, he gave this warning.


For why the whole money question is so important I recommend this Dialogue.

https://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2016/08/neo-liberalism-billy-no-mates-or-just.html



Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Memory Hole, Project Censored, Free Speech. Communication Management Units. Gagging Prisons.



http://projectcensored.org/21-little-guantanamos-secretive-communication-management-units-us/







0:12Father Daniel Berrigan once said that "writing about prisoners is a little like writing about the dead." I think what he meant is that we treat prisoners as ghosts. They're unseen and unheard. It's easy to simply ignore them and it's even easier when the government goes to great lengths to keep them hidden.
0:30As a journalist, I think these stories of what people in power do when no one is watching, are precisely the stories that we need to tell. That's why I began investigating the most secretive and experimental prison units in the United States, for so-called "second-tier" terrorists. The government calls these units Communications Management Units or CMUs. Prisoners and guards call them "Little Guantanamo." They are islands unto themselves. But unlike Gitmo they exist right here, at home, floating within larger federal prisons.
1:08There are 2 CMUs. One was opened inside the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the other is inside this prison, in Marion, Illinois. Neither of them underwent the formal review process that is required by law when they were opened. CMU prisoners have all been convicted of crimes. Some of their cases are questionable and some involve threats and violence. I'm not here to argue the guilt or innocence of any prisoner. I'm here because as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall said, "When the prisons and gates slam shut, prisoners do not lose their human quality."
1:45Every prisoner I've interviewed has said there are three flecks of light in the darkness of prison: phone calls, letters and visits from family. CMUs aren't solitary confinement, but they radically restrict all of theseto levels that meet or exceed the most extreme prisons in the United States. Their phone calls can be limited to 45 minutes a month, compared to the 300 minutes other prisoners receive. Their letters can be limited to six pieces of paper. Their visits can be limited to four hours per month, compared to the 35 hours that people like Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph receive in the supermax. On top of that, CMU visits are non-contact which means prisoners are not allowed to even hug their family. As one CMU prisoner said, "We're not being tortured here, except psychologically."
2:41The government won't say who is imprisoned here. But through court documents, open records requestsand interviews with current and former prisoners, some small windows into the CMUs have opened.
2:55There's an estimated 60 to 70 prisoners here, and they're overwhelmingly Muslim. They include people like Dr. Rafil Dhafir, who violated the economic sanctions on Iraq by sending medical supplies for the children there. They've included people like Yassin Aref. Aref and his family fled to New York from Saddam Hussein's Iraq as refugees. He was arrested in 2004 as part of an FBI sting. Aref is an imam and he was asked to bear witness to a loan, which is a tradition in Islamic culture. It turned out that one of the people involved in the loan was trying to enlist someone else in a fake attack. Aref didn't know. For that, he was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist group.
3:45The CMUs also include some non-Muslim prisoners. The guards call them "balancers," meaning they help balance out the racial numbers, in hopes of deflecting law suits. These balancers include animal rights and environmental activists like Daniel McGowan.
4:02McGowan was convicted of participating in two arsons in the name of defending the environment as part of the Earth Liberation Front. During his sentencing, he was afraid that he would be sent to a rumored secret prison for terrorists. The judge dismissed all those fears, saying that they weren't supported by any facts. But that might be because the government hasn't fully explained why some prisoners end up in a CMU, and who is responsible for these decisions. When McGowan was transferred, he was told it's because he is a "domestic terrorist," a term the FBI uses repeatedly when talking about environmental activists. Now, keep in mind there are about 400 prisoners in US prisons who are classified as terrorists,and only a handful of them are in the CMUs. In McGowan's case, he was previously at a low-security prison and he had no communications violations.
4:58So, why was he moved? Like other CMU prisoners, McGowan repeatedly asked for an answer, a hearing,or some opportunity for an appeal. This example from another prisoner shows how those requests are viewed. "Wants a transfer." "Told him no." At one point, the prison warden himself recommended McGowan's transfer out of the CMU citing his good behavior, but the warden was overruled by the Bureau of Prison's Counterterrorism Unit, working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI.
5:34Later I found out that McGowan was really sent to a CMU not because of what he did, but what he has said. A memo from the Counterterrorism Unit cited McGowan's "anti-government beliefs." While imprisoned, he continued writing about environmental issues, saying that activists must reflect on their mistakes and listen to each other. Now, in fairness, if you've spent any time at all in Washington, DC, you know this is really a radical concept for the government.
6:03(Laughter)
6:05I actually asked to visit McGowan in the CMU. And I was approved. That came as quite a shock. First, because as I've discussed on this stage before, I learned that the FBI has been monitoring my work.Second, because it would make me the first and only journalist to visit a CMU. I had even learnedthrough the Bureau of Prisons Counterterrorism Unit, that they had been monitoring my speeches about CMUs, like this one. So how could I possibly be approved to visit? A few days before I went out to the prison, I got an answer.
6:47I was allowed to visit McGowan as a friend, not a journalist. Journalists are not allowed here. McGowan was told by CMU officials that if I asked any questions or published any story, that he would be punished for my reporting. When I arrived for our visit, the guards reminded me that they knew who I was and knew about my work. And they said that if I attempted to interview McGowan, the visit would be terminated.The Bureau of Prisons describes CMUs as "self-contained housing units." But I think that's an Orwellian way of describing black holes. When you visit a CMU, you go through all the security checkpoints that you would expect. But then the walk to the visitation room is silent. When a CMU prisoner has a visit, the rest of the prison is on lockdown. I was ushered into a small room, so small my outstretched arms could touch each wall. There was a grapefruit-sized orb in the ceiling for the visit to be live-monitored by the Counterterrorism Unit in West Virginia. The unit insists that all the visits have to be in English for CMU prisoners, which is an additional hardship for many of the Muslim families. There is a thick sheet of foggy, bulletproof glass and on the other side was Daniel McGowan. We spoke through these handsets attached to the wall and talked about books and movies. We did our best to find reasons to laugh. To fight boredom and amuse himself while in the CMU, McGowan had been spreading a rumor that I was secretly the president of a Twilight fan club in Washington, DC
8:26(Laughter)
8:28For the record, I'm not.
8:31(Laughter) But I kind of the hope the FBI now thinks that Bella and Edward are terrorist code names.
8:38(Laughter)
8:41During our visit, McGowan spoke most and at length about his niece Lily, his wife Jenny and how torturous it feels to never be able to hug them, to never be able to hold their hands. Three months after our visit, McGowan was transferred out of the CMU and then, without warning, he was sent back again. I had published leaked CMU documents on my website and the Counterterrorism Unit said that McGowan had called his wife and asked her to mail them. He wanted to see what the government was saying about him, and for that he was sent back to the CMU. When he was finally released at the end of his sentence,his story got even more Kafkaesque. He wrote an article for the Huffington Post headlined, "Court Documents Prove I was Sent to a CMU for my Political Speech."
9:33The next day he was thrown back in jail for his political speech. His attorneys quickly secured his release,but the message was very clear: Don't talk about this place.
9:47Today, nine years after they were opened by the Bush administration, the government is codifying how and why CMUs were created. According to the Bureau of Prisons, they are for prisoners with "inspirational significance." I think that is very nice way of saying these are political prisons for political prisoners.
10:09Prisoners are sent to a CMU because of their race, their religion or their political beliefs.
10:15Now, if you think that characterization is too strong, just look at some of the government's own documents. When some of McGowan's mail was rejected by the CMU, the sender was told it's because the letters were intended "for political prisoners." When another prisoner, animal rights activist Andy Stepanian, was sent to a CMU, it was because of his anti-government and anti-corporate views.
10:40Now, I know all of this may be hard to believe, that it's happening right now, and in the United States. But the unknown reality is that the US has a dark history of disproportionately punishing people because of their political beliefs. In the 1960s, before Marion was home to the CMU, it was home to the notorious Control Unit. Prisoners were locked down in solitary for 22 hours a day. The warden said the unit was to "control revolutionary attitudes." In the 1980s, another experiment called the Lexington High Security Unitheld women connected to the Weather Underground, Black Liberation and Puerto Rican independent struggles. The prison radically restricted communication and used sleep deprivation, and constant light for so-called "ideological conversion." Those prisons were eventually shut down, but only through the campaigning of religious groups and human rights advocates, like Amnesty International.
11:47Today, civil rights lawyers with the Center for Constitutional Rights are challenging CMUs in court for depriving prisoners of their due process rights and for retaliating against them for their protected political and religious speech. Many of these documents would have never come to light without this lawsuit.
12:07The message of these groups and my message for you today is that we must bear witness to what is being done to these prisoners. Their treatment is a reflection of the values held beyond prison walls. This story is not just about prisoners. It is about us. It is about our own commitment to human rights. It is about whether we will choose to stop repeating the mistakes of our past. If we don't listen to what Father Berrigan described as the stories of the dead, they will soon become the stories of ourselves.
12:41Thank you.
12:43(Applause)
12:50(Applause ends)
12:52Tom Rielly: I have a couple questions. When I was in high school, I learned about the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, freedom of speech, due process and about 25 other laws and rights that seem to be violated by this. How could this possibly be happening?
13:11Will Potter: I think that's the number one question I get throughout all of my work, and the short answer is that people don't know. I think the solution to any of these types of situations, any rights abuses, are really dependent on two things. They're dependent on knowledge that it's actually happening and then a means and efficacy to actually make a change. And unfortunately with these prisoners, one, people don't know what's happening at all and then they're already disenfranchised populations who don't have access to attorneys, not native English speakers. In some of these cases, they have great representation that I mentioned, but there's just not a public awareness of what's happening.
13:50TR: Isn't it guaranteed in prison that you have right to council or access to council?
13:55WP: There's a tendency in our culture to see when people have been convicted of a crime, no matter if that charge was bogus or legitimate, that whatever happens to them after that is warranted. And I think that's a really damaging and dangerous narrative that we have, that allows these types of things to happen, as the general public just kind of turns a blind eye to it.
14:15TR: All those documents on screen were all real documents, word for word, unchanged at all, right?
14:22WP: Absolutely. I've actually uploaded all of them to my website. It's willpotter.com/CMU and it's a footnoted version of the talk, so you can see the documents for yourself without the little snippets. You can see the full version. I relied overwhelmingly on primary source documents or on primary interviews with former and current prisoners, with people that are dealing with this situation every day. And like I said, I've been there myself, as well.
14:46TR: You're doing courageous work.
14:48WP: Thank you very much. Thank you all.
14:50(Applause)