Date: Tue Jan 23, 1996 4:21 am CST From: Moderator of conference justice.polabuse EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: firstname.lastname@example.org TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win Posted: Bob Witanek
As reported below, over 1/2 of US prisoners are serving time for drug related crimes. This means that more than half of the duties of police in this nation is related to enforcing drug laws. The emphasis on law and order, the pro-cop stature of the politicians, the enactment of laws requiring mandatory sentencing, longer sentences, the construction of more prisons, the private security industry, the public police industry and the prison industry are all dependent on the ever fanning of the flames of the war on drugs. This article, which will be serialized over the next several days, demonstrates clearly that this war is a myth, a sham, a war that no one has any intention of winning, least of all the national, state and local governments of this nation. After all, if the war were won, what we do with all of those prisons, cops, police brutality laws, etc. ? Where would all that hard cash that provides a life line to US financial institutions come from? Where would EASTMAN-KODAK sell all those chemicals used in cocaine manufacturing? How would the international lending institutions fare if their client third world debtors did not have cash flow generated by the drug trade? What would become of capitalism? - Bob Witanek, Moderator, email@example.com ZZZZZ ZZ M A G A Z I N E ZZ ZZZZZ === An Independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, culturalm social and economic life in the US. It sees the racial, sexual, class and political dimensions of personal life as fundamentals to understanding and improving constemporary circumstances; and aims to assist activist efforts for a better furure. Puvlished monthly by (except July/August) by the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. To subscribe, send your address with check for the below described amount to Z MAGAZINE, 18 Millfield St., Woods Hole, MA 02543; (508) 548-9063. E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: 1 year $26; 2 years $45, 3 years $60 Canada & Mexico, 1 year US $40 International, 1 year US $50 US Libraries and Institutions, 1 year $35 US Student / Low Income $18 ==================================================== THE WAR NO ONE WANTS TO WIN by W. E. Gutman A Connecticut-based journalist W E. Gutman is currently on assignment in Latin Amefica. PART 1 OF 3 The United States boasts the world's largest and fastest growing prison population. Over 50 percent of the inmates-their ranks have doubled in the past 10 years-are serving time for drugrelated crimes, which account for better than onethird of all crimes committed in the U.S. Smuggled in hollowed concrete posts, frozen broccoli packs, sacks of coffee and crates brimming with exotic woods and aromatic spices, enough drugs reach the streets to keep every one of the estimated three million U.S. addicts bombed out of their heads for two months straight. If the new lords of terror and high finance-among them corporate leaders, high-ranking military officers and political bigwigs whose dominions stretch from the jungles of Colombia to Sicily and the U.S.-have their way, the richest and most drug-dependent society on earth may never awaken from its psychedelic stupor. Juggling deals that exceed the combined assets of Boeing, Texaco, and Pepsi, funding political campaigns and controlling vast communications networks, the "narcocracy" has the Power to turn the mighty and the Well-connected into obedient co-conspirators. The incorruptible, those few whose influence or silence cannot be bought at any price, are disposed of less kindly but with persuasive finality. Intimidation by death is the rhetoric of choice in the drug traffickers' lexicon. In 1989, following the assassination of Colombia's leading presidential contender by the Medellin drug cartel, western nations, led by the U.S., declared allout "war" against drug traffickers and money launderers. Six years later, world drug production has doubled-with coca and marijuana cultivation in Colombia exploding from 32,000 acres to 150,000 acres. Colombian pretenders to their nation's high posts have since learned that brokering deals with thugs is not only profitable but salutary as well. Tapes of bugged conversations aired recently on U.S. television reveal that the Cali cartel influenced Colombia's elections by contributing to then-president-elect Ernesto Samper's campaign. Colombian intelligence agents also recently uncovered a plot by imprisoned drug traffickers to eliminate "uncooperative" senior government officials, including high-ranking officials of the Justice Ministry, national police and prosecutor general's office. "We have evidence," said Deputy Prosecutor General Adolfo Salamanca in a radio interview, "that drug traffickers and paramilitary groups are conspiring to destabilize some of our institutions." In a related operation, police in Cali confiscated documents and communications equipment used by alleged drug lords, and raided bunkers said to belong to ringleader Jose Santacruz Londono. Some of the documents include lists of politicians and military officers on the trafficker's payroll. The Colombian government has offered a reward of $1.25 million for the arrest of brothers Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, and $625,000 for second-echelon figures such as Santacruz. There have been no takers to date. Counter-bids are said to have been offered in high places to ensure the traffickers' freedom. Highly contagious, this blend of greed and savvy has infected politicians, bankers, and the military from London's stately Whitehall and the rococo chambers of Paris's Elysee Palace to the banana republics where drug money-laundering machines are fully loaded and set on automatic cycle. This race for quick, ill-gotten profits is fast changing the world's political landscape and further eroding both the resolve and ability of nations to fight back. Grown in the fertile Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan), opium, from which heroin is distilled, flooded world markets to the tune of 800 tons in 1989. Today, the well-tended poppy fields are yielding in excess of 3,000 tons. A DEA intelligence analysis made available by Time magazine reports that the amount of land devoted to opium poppy cultivation grew from about 2,400 hectares in 1991 to over 20,000 hectares in 1993. The DEA rates Colombia as the fourth largest opium producer in the world, after Burma, Laos, and Afghanistan. Raw opium production is expected to triple in the next two years, according to the DEA. CONTINUED TOMORROW Posted in email@example.com To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse To this addresss: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed Jan 24, 1996 1:55 am CST From: Moderator of conference justice.polabuse EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: email@example.com TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Re: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win Posted: Bob Witanek ZZZZZ ZZ M A G A Z I N E ZZ ZZZZZ === An Independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, culturalm social and economic life in the US. It sees the racial, sexual, class and political dimensions of personal life as fundamentals to understanding and improving constemporary circumstances; and aims to assist activist efforts for a better furure. Puvlished monthly by (except July/August) by the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. To subscribe, send your address with check for the below described amount to Z MAGAZINE, 18 Millfield St., Woods Hole, MA 02543; (508) 548-9063. E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: 1 year $26; 2 years $45, 3 years $60 Canada & Mexico, 1 year US $40 International, 1 year US $50 US Libraries and Institutions, 1 year $35 US Student / Low Income $18 ==================================================== THE WAR NO ONE WANTS TO WIN by W. E. Gutman A Connecticut-based journalist W E. Gutman is currently on assignment in Latin Amefica. PART 2 OF 3 Cocaine production, a virtual monopoly of Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru in 1989, grew from 800 tons in 1989 to 2,000 tons in 1994. Today, all countries south of the Rio Grande are lusting after drug profits. Nor are nations of the former Soviet Union immune. Having succumbed to political and economic gangrene, they too compete for their share of a thriving international market. The hottest new market for cocaine is Russia, a country where the white powder has become a nouveau riche status symbol. According to Joe Parker, a U.S. Customs agent assigned to Interpol headquarters in France, "much of the traffic is also going through Eastern Europe and traveling into the West by rail." Despite the lofty rhetoric and a number of high profile operations which helped net several drug king;pins and large quantities of contraband, there appears to be no political will to bring the drug war to a victorious end. Powerful economic and geostrategic interests get in the way. In Western Europe, for example, the principal purveyor of heroin (70 percent of the market) is Pakistan. When former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited France in 1992, then French President Francois Mitterrand clamored against Pakistan's human rights record; but he said nothing about the heroin flooding the streets of Paris. French drug enforcement agents have known all along that a number of Pakistani cabinet members moonlighted as narcotraffickers. Why then stand mute? Simple. Islamabad had ordered three French submarines-a contract worth $470 million. France is also selling Pakistan nuclear technology for "civilian use." Burma, the nation that savagely quelled student protests in 1988, is the world's most powerful narcodictatorship and a main supplier- via France-of opium and heroin destined for U.S. markets. Did France boycott Burma? No. Instead, a French public company named Total signed an oil contract with the Burmese. Morocco is France's main supplier of hashish (60 percent of the market). The French government has yet to issue a formal complaint, even though King Hassan admitted two years ago that cannabis fields in Morocco exceed 124,000 acres. France is not alone. When it comes to fighting drugs with words, the U.S. is the undisputed champion of double talk. To help Nicaragua's Contras, the CIA and Col. Oliver North not only covered the tracks of their drug-running proteges, they also laid the drug pipeline from Colombia to the U.S. The Kerry Commission has since disclosed that Florida's Homestead Air Force Base had been used as a transit point in the shipment of large quantities of marijuana. Last fall, Richard Horn, a DEA agent, filed suit against top former State Dept. and CIA officers based in Burma, contending that they acted to thwart his antidrug mission in the Southeast Asian nation. Horn alleges that he was lied to, electronically surveilled, and finally kicked out of Burma-not by the Burmese traffickers he was trying to nab but by U.S. officials who thought his antidrug campaign should be played down in favor of other diplomatic objectives, namely discrediting the brutal and repressive regime in Burma. It is not the first time the priorities of America.n agencies abroad have been at loggerheads. Support for a ragtag group of Afghan freedom fighters also justified any means. After all, at the time the Soviet Union was still our arch enemy. So the CIA secretly funneled weapons to the Afghan rebels through the intermediary of Pakistan's military. on their return trips, supply trucks were brimming with opium which was promptly processed into heroin in 200 "flying kitchens"- clandestine labs hastily erected along the Pakistani-Afghan border. The CIA reportedly knew but looked the other way. Result? In 1979, just before the war, Afghanistan had produced 200 tons of opium. A year later, according to UN figures, production had exceeded 3,000 tons. According to a confidential memo, the U.S Justice Dept. has been probing widespread drug trafficking among the now-deposed and "exiled" Haitian military. Prosecutors have evidence that top officers protected cocaine flights from Colombia and outgoing U.S.- bound freighter shipments. Obtained from the Associated Press, the memo also discloses serious concerns that U.S. intelligence agencies may have cooperated with Haitian smugglers, among them 14 high-ranking military officers, including the chief of police of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's superintendent of ports, and several agents of Haiti's National Intelligence Service-all said to be closely involved with Colombian traffickers. U.S. benevolence-not to say sycophancy-toward Haiti's drugsmeared (and blood-stained) former military elite casts doubt on the motives and the seriousness of last year's "invasion. " Western nations also turn a blind eye to drug money laundering. No wonder: The harvest is bountiful. Ninety percent of the estimated $300 billion drug market is reinvested in industrialized nations; the remainder goes to drug-producing countries. Many large western banks have branches in these fiscal paradises, notoriously fed by narcodollars. These Edens, many of them in the West Indies, owe their survival to their richer patrons. The Cayman Islands, the ideal repository of dirty money, is a British colony. If it really wanted to, the London government could easily put an end to this operation, not to mention other lucrative markets in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Jersey Islands, and Gibraltar, which are also controlled by London. Narcodollars are also routinely laundered in the quaint Dutch half of the tiny island of St. Martin and in Curacao-a fishnet's throw away from the Venezuela coast-while Amsterdam looks the other way. Posted in email@example.com To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse To this addresss: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed Jan 24, 1996 1:55 am CST From: Moderator of conference justice.polabuse EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: email@example.com TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Re: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win From: Bob Witanek Subject: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win Thanks for clarification (see below). What I should have said is that the fact that over 1/2 of the prisoners incarcerated in the US are there for drug related crimes indicates that a VERY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME is spent by police, and much of police staffing requirements, is on account of the so-called war on drugs. - Bob Witanek ======================= Posted firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Jan 23 19:20:30 1996 From: Davis Oldham Subject: Re: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win Hey, Bob-- A minor point, but worth noting--just because 1/2 the prisoners are in prison on drug-related crimes doesn't mean those laws take 1/2 of cops' time to enforce. Drug laws might well take _more_ than half the cops' resources--it all depends on how much work it takes to make a drug bust vs., say, a murder investigation or a corporate pollution bust (yeah, right!). There's no necessary connection between # of busts and time/ energy/resources per bust. I mention this because this kind of logical fallacy makes us look bad when we're trying to convince people of our views. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal more info: http://www.calyx.net/~refuse/mumia/index.html http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/spg-l/sigaction.htm Davis Oldham (email@example.com) On Mon, 22 Jan 1996, Bob Witanek wrote: > Posted: Bob Witanek > > As reported below, over 1/2 of US prisoners are serving time for > drug related crimes. This means that more than half of the duties > of police in this nation is related to enforcing drug laws. The Date: Thu Jan 25, 1996 9:45 pm CST From: Moderator of conference justice.polabuse EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: firstname.lastname@example.org TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Re: Z: War On Drugs - Nobody Wants to Win Posted: Bob Witanek ZZZZZ ZZ M A G A Z I N E ZZ ZZZZZ === An Independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, culturalm social and economic life in the US. It sees the racial, sexual, class and political dimensions of personal life as fundamentals to understanding and improving constemporary circumstances; and aims to assist activist efforts for a better furure. Puvlished monthly by (except July/August) by the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. To subscribe, send your address with check for the below described amount to Z MAGAZINE, 18 Millfield St., Woods Hole, MA 02543; (508) 548-9063. E-MAIL: email@example.com Subscriptions: 1 year $26; 2 years $45, 3 years $60 Canada & Mexico, 1 year US $40 International, 1 year US $50 US Libraries and Institutions, 1 year $35 US Student / Low Income $18 ==================================================== THE WAR NO ONE WANTS TO WIN by W. E. Gutman A Connecticut-based journalist W E. Gutman is currently on assignment in Latin America. PART 3 OF 3 Tax-free money, even $100 billion worth, can be a headache when it is generated by drug deals, bundled in small denominations, laced with microscopic traces of cocaine and stashed away in travel-worn suitcases. Every year, the world's top drug cartels generate that amount in $5, $10, and $20 transactions around the world. Most of these deals take place in the streets of America's major cities. U.S. law enforcement experts estimate the annual revenues from cocaine trafficking alone to exceed $35 billion. This money is the plasma of the cartels, necessary for the operation and growth of the vast black market. It subsidizes their vast armies and ensures the silence, if not active complicity, of the nations that shelter them. With illicit profits, politicians, judges, police, and journalists are regularly bought-or "neutralized" by hired assassins. Nor are the major international financial institutions particularly vigilant about drug money laundering. Developing countries are ruinously in debt. Those that produce narcotics (or serve as willing conduits) use narcodollars to pay off creditors who don't care where the money comes from. Peru is a case in point. Every week, until recently, runners for Amazonian traffickers passed $8 million in cash through the Ocona Street black market emporia of Lima. This is where agents of the Peruvian Central Bank procure the hard currency they need to pay off their debts. Narcodollars are then deposited directly into banks. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) places upon developing countries drastic politico-economic restrictions which not only encourage money laundering but also favor drug trafficking. In 1991, Peru's President Fujimori signed an accord with Washington: In exchange for $100 million, Peru pledged to put in place the IMF's "structural adjustment" clause, opening Peruvian markets to U.S. corn. The result of this blackjack therapy is that, after four years, cultivation of corn in Peru fell tenfold, whereas coca production grew by 50 percent. Why, then, with 70 percent of the cocaine consumed in the U.S. originating in Peru, did the Clinton ac ministration slash drug czar Lee Brown's budget, approved bloodletting cuts in the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics, jettison large numbers of DEA personnel and reduce the Defense Deptartment's drug budget? Why is the Administration phasing out a key drug interdiction program that has succeeded in preventing tons of cocaine from reaching America's streets? Recycling drug money in privatized institutions of the former Soviet empire seems to cause no concern for the West. In Russia, the choices are simple: industrialized nations either control these often unprofitable businesses by investing in them, or they let a rich and mushrooming Russian underworld take over. The latter- letting Russian narcotraffickers and their Italian subcontractors launder the profits-suits the West just fine. It's easier and less risky. Chemicals play a vital role in the manufacture of narcotics. Cocaine and heroin production, for example, requires "precursor" materials such as acetone, anhydrides, and hydrochloric acid. U.S., German, and French chemical companies, despite a convention which obliges them to select their clientele with utmost care, are happy to supply drug lords with tons of chemicals. Evidence suggests that the Germans have fewer scruples than the others. Raids on clandestine labs from Latin America to the lush fields of the Golden Triangle routinely uncover large caches of German-made chemicals. Drug enforcement agencies also agree that German authorities, buckling under pressure of the drug lobby, doggedly resist and evade scrutiny. In response to urgent appeals by the Inter-American Port and Harbor Conference to intensify port security training among members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS) recently sponsored the first regional seminar on the control of drugs, chemicals, and hazardous materials. Held in Barbados and conducted by the DEA, the Port of Miami, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the U.S. Customs Service, the event brought together 45 port managers and security officials from both the private and public sectors in CARICOM member nations of the OAS and Suriname. Maritime security, port access and control, theft preventive measures, container inspection, and standard vessel boarding techniques were among the topics covered at the seminar. Participants also familiarized themselves with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and with the packaging, stowing, and segregation requirements for hazardous materials. Meanwhile, drug use continues to grow, though somewhat less rapidly than drug production, a phenomenon which illustrates the cartels' resolve to submerge the world with drugs. In the West, consumption is rising at an annual rate of 10 percent. However, whereas "recreational" use of cannabis and cocaine appears to be declining among students and yuppies, addiction to heroin, particularly in the ghettos of America and Europe, is growing at an alarming rate. Unsold narcotics are auctioned off, first in the producer's backyard (drug use in Pakistan was insignificant in 1980; there are now over three million addicts), then in neighboring markets-India, Nepal, Thailand, and East Africa. West Africa has not been spared. In the Ivory Coast, a gram of heroin costs less that $30-better than half its street value in Europe and the U.S. Unthinkable a decade ago, large numbers of children in Togo are now addicted to crack cocaine. Ronald Goldstock, director of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, recently suggested that "law enforcement is spending too much money on [blocking] supply and not enough on [curbing] demand. People must be stopped from wanting drugs," he urged. A lofty, if somewhat Quixotic crusade in a world where greed, deception, the mathematics of death, and the politics of silence prevail. z A Connecticut-based journalist W E. Gutman is currently on assignment in Latin America. =================================== Posted in firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse To this addresss: email@example.com Date: Tue Feb 13, 1996 12:10 am CST From: snet l EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: firstname.lastname@example.org TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Z: Crime & Capitalism (fwd) <---- ---- FORWARDED MESSAGE BEGIN> Date: Mon, 05 Feb 1996 19:42:50 -0800 (PST) Reply-To: Moderator of conference "justice.polabuse" From: Bob Witanek Subject: Z: Crime & Capitalism To: Recipients of pol-abuse ZZZZZZ ZZ M A G A Z I N E ZZ ZZZZZZ =========================== Z MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1995 ========================== An Independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, culturalm social and economic life in the US. It sees the racial, sexual, class and political dimensions of personal life as fundamentals to understanding and improving constemporary circumstances; and aims to assist activist efforts for a better furure. Puvlished monthly by (except July/August) by the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. To subscribe, send your address with check for the below described amount to Z MAGAZINE, 18 Millfield St., Woods Hole, MA 02543; (508) 548-9063. E-MAIL: email@example.com Subscriptions: 1 year $26; 2 years $45, 3 years $60 Canada & Mexico, 1 year US $40 International, 1 year US $50 US Libraries and Institutions, 1 year $35 US Student / Low Income $18 ==================================================== AMERICA'S BIGGEST WALL STREET MERGER: CRIME AND CAPITALISM by C. Stone Brown, a Black history/political writer who lives in Philadelphia PART 1 OF 2 Make the connection .... enjoy the surge corrections is facing an explosion.... why shouldn't your company profit from this incredible growth? -1994 promotional brochure, American Correctional Association The United States of America has quietly become one of the world's leaders in the rate of incarcerating its citizens. Federal and state prisons have reached the dubious milestone of having a million or more imnates in prison. That number does not even count America's jail population, which according to the U.S Justice Department is a record 490,442, double the jail population a decade ago. The custodians of America'g penal systems have abandoned the idea of rehabilitating convicts. No doubt, the custodians are acting on orders from an impatient mainstream America, who regard criminals (with exception to white collar criminals) to be innately corrupt, natural born predators of society. What is America's collective sociological need that drives its approach to dealing with crime? Statistically, violent crime disproportionately affects the underprivileged of our society. However, solutions are not often the ideas of the underprivileged, frequently they are paternally administered by the privileged class. If the solution to America's crime problem is left to the actions of the privileged class, we should expect the solution to augment their status, while further alienating the underprivileged. This explains the presence of America's growing "Prison Industry." According to The National Prison Project Journal, some of America's largest Wall Street brokerage firms, such as Goldman Sachs & Co, Prudential Insurance Co., Smith Barney Shearson Inc., and Merrill Lynch & Co., are underwriting prison construction with private tax- exempt bonds. Indeed, America has found its anecdote to crime, it is Wall Street's biggest merger to date-Crime & Capitalism. Crime & Capitalism is a very suggestive expression, it immediately discloses an American trend -that crime does pay, and if justice does not prevail, profits surely will. The increasing number of private prison firms are the latest societal indicator that "street" crime is permissible, under the tacit prescription that it is contained, managed and operated like a business enterprise. Private prison firms are very attractive to many states whose budgets have been depleted by mandatory sentencing guidelines and the latest "three strikes your out" craze. These private firms offer their services on a per item charge to house the state's convicts. This relieves state governments of the burdensome cost of constructing new prisons, paying guard wages, insurance, pensions, and other associated maintenance security cost. There are approximately 50,000 private prison beds in the United States; experts believe this number will rise considerably in the next decade. According to an article in the Toronto Star, the largest private prison company is (CCA) Corrections Corporation of America. CCA was founded in 1983 by Doctor Crants, a graduate of West Point and Harvard Business School. CCA is listed on the prestigious New York Stock Exchange, it answers to shareholders and has board meetings like all publicly traded companies. What does distinguish CCA from other listed companies is how crime affects stockholder profits. Indeed, the annual FBI and Justice Department national crime data, are excellent leading indicators of future dividends. For companies like CCA, the local Metro sections of American newspapers are no less important than the business section. CCA has grown considerably since its debut in 1983. It is now a $100-million company with 21 prisons spread over America, Australia, and the United Kingdom. CCA has already come under scrutiny in two states. Tennessee's $60 million contract with CCA is currently under review by the state legislature, and at two of their private facilities in Texas, a 1990 report revealed that "inexperienced" prison employees had used excessive force on inmates. Additionally, inmates were not extended services which were required under the state contract to assist imnates return to society. Few would argue, it is in the interest of CCA profits, that prisoners return to their facility and not back into society. Surprisingly, some of America's icon companies are diversifying their investments in private prison construction. For instance, American Express has invested millions in private prison construction in Oklahoma. And (GE) General Electric has invested in "life" sentences by financing private prison construction in Tennessee. As America's system of justice sanctions the profits and privatization of prisons, convicted criminals are no longer viewed as pariahs of society. Comparable to slaves during America's colonial period, convicts have become a very desirable commodity across the nation. Perhaps the convicts are not as seductive as the profits they yield to many communities. For example, the state of North Carolina sends its convicts to a private prison in Oklahoma, and recently the state of Virginia chartered 150 inmates to a county-owned, for profit detention center in east Texas. In 31 days, those 150 Virginia prisoners earned the Texas county more than $200,000. The owner of the east Texas detention center, Bobby Ross remarked: "Its kind of like a factory in a sense. " CONTINUED TOMORROW ========================== Posted in firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse To this address: email@example.com <---- ---- FORWARDED MESSAGE END> ;-) ======================================================================= He's a man of great common sense and good taste -- meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage. -- George Bernard Shaw ======================================================================= Donna J. Logan firstname.lastname@example.org ======================================================================= Date: Mon Feb 12, 1996 8:22 pm CST From: Moderator of conference justice.polabuse EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414 MBX: email@example.com TO: * David Beiter / MCI ID: 635-1762 Subject: Re: Z: Crime & Capitalism Posted: Bob Witanek ZZZZZZ ZZ M A G A Z I N E ZZ ZZZZZZ =========================== Z MAGAZINE OCTOBER 1995 ========================== An Independent political magazine of critical thinking on political, culturalm social and economic life in the US. It sees the racial, sexual, class and political dimensions of personal life as fundamentals to understanding and improving constemporary circumstances; and aims to assist activist efforts for a better furure. Puvlished monthly by (except July/August) by the Institute for Social and Cultural Communications. To subscribe, send your address with check for the below described amount to Z MAGAZINE, 18 Millfield St., Woods Hole, MA 02543; (508) 548-9063. E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: 1 year $26; 2 years $45, 3 years $60 Canada & Mexico, 1 year US $40 International, 1 year US $50 US Libraries and Institutions, 1 year $35 US Student / Low Income $18 ==================================================== AMERICA'S BIGGEST WALL STREET MERGER: CRIME AND CAPITALISM by C. Stone Brown, a Black History/political writer residing in Philadelphia PART 2 OF 2 For many involved in the industry of crime, it's no surprise that a county in Texas would be one of the first to recognize the profitable merging of Crime & Capitalism. It is projected that in just a few months, Texas will have the largest penal system in the country, larger than the even the federal government. At a projected figure of 155,000 inmates, Texas knows convicts like Idaho knows potatoes. Although Texas may be the Lone Star State, they have plenty of company when it comes to taking advantage of America's swelling prison population. In California, crime is a synonym for job security- Just ask the state correctional officers whose average salary is $45,000 annually. It was a small investment for the prison guard union to contribute nearly a half million dollars ($425,000) to Gov. Pete Wilson's gubernatorial campaign. This was the largest single contribution ever reported by a candidate for governor. If the old adage "money talks," has any legitimacy, one can only deduce that Gov. Pete Wilson was being advised in unequivocal terms that "crime" is the commerce of California',s future. In the East, New York city crime is a "cash cow" for one particular Republican county in New York state. According to the state's corrections committee chair, in 1992, the 110th district received $124 million in salaries, local purchases of food and supplies, maintenance contracts and other operating expenses. Suburban counties similar to the 110th district in New York state have a financial interest in watching urban crime flourish across the nation. For instance, in New York state, 71 percent of prison imnates are from New York city. However, nearly 99 percent of those prisoners are transported up-state to New York's affluent white middle class suburbs, where urban crime is converted to good paying jobs. In Pennsylvania, privatization of prisons is being challenged in court by Prison Employees Union. According to an August 22, 1995 Philadelphia Inquirer article: "Prison Union Sues Over Loss of Jobs," caught between a bitter law suit is the second largest private prison company, Wackenhut Corrections Corp. The lawsuit was filed by the Delaware County prison employees union, asserting the county's decision to privatize was illegal under the state constitution. With 250 union employees, the union has no assurances of being rehired by Wackenhut Corp. With only one labor union in its 23 U.S locations, Wackenhut Corp. isn't exactly a haven for union activity. In other areas of the state, draconian measures are being employed to help defray the cost of incarcerating inmates. For instance, counties such as Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Lehigh charge inmates for health care and in some instances rent, says Angus Love, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, a legal service agency. When inmates are unable to pay, collection agencies are hired to pursue payment. Critics see such measures as an unnecessary roadblock to financially handicap a convict's chance to integrate back into society. Along with warehousing criminals, state penal systems have located another method of exploiting its prison population. State governments are instituting a slave-like work force within its prison walls. With cooperative agreements with small manufacturing companies, states are merging in creating a semi-factory prison work force. The prison work force is paid minimum wage, at least where labor unions have forced their hand. Inmates net approximately $1 an hour after deductions. Thirty states have legalized privately run operations. Here are just a few of the states, companies and products/services involved: California: logos for Lexus automobile Hawaii: packing Spaulding golf balls Maryland: modular houses, processed hot dogs New Mexico: hotel chain reservations Oregon: designer blue jeans, called "prison blues" South Carolina: electronic cables Washington: Eddie Bauer garments There is also a boom in companies vending their product or services to the "prison industry." How many industries can boast the rate of its target market (prison population) is growing 8.5 percent annually? The scope of vendors at the 1995 (ACA)American Correctional Association Convention, range from a "Dial soap" representative, to QueTel Corp, who impress prison wardens with technology to bar code imnates. Should Americans be legitimately fearful that Wall Street has recognized that crime not only pays, but it pays billions? Ask Arthur McDonald, former owner of California's largest private prison firm, Eclectic Communications Inc. McDonald, now retired from the $10 million dollar sale of Eclectic, told the Los Angeles Times, "Crime pays. I hate saying that, but it really does." Since that sale in 1988, Eclectic has received contracts exceeding $50 million. Have we reached that critical stage in America where the alienated and disenfranchised of our society are valued only for their eventual imprisonment? Although these are questions for all Americans to answer, how they are answered, will disproportionately affect the future of African Americans. The American prison and jail population is over 1.5 million. While African Americans are 13 percent of the general population, they are nearly half of the 1.5 million incarcerated population. Experts believe that the prison population has swelled due to the socalled "War on Drugs." Drug related convictions are certainly one of the reasons African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated, but one has to question why? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 2.4 million (64.4 percent) of crack users are White, compared to I million Blacks (26.6 percent). Yet, in a 1992 study by the U.S Sentencing Commission, 91.3 percent of those sentenced for federal crack offenses were Black, while 3 percent were White. Such stark numbers reveal that African Americans are the flesh that maintains a profitable prison industry. When the privileged of society take aim to profit from the misery of crime, they become accomplice to social disorder, complicit in creating a criminal class. Their quality of life becomes tied to a misery/revenue index where profits are merely a function of the misery of others. America's symbol of justice is unfolding before our eyes. It is no longer a blind-folded woman, it is now an accountant, not balancing the scales of justice, but debits and credits on a balance sheet. Posted in email@example.com To subscribe, send this message: subscribe pol-abuse To this address: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Z Magazine Message-ID: <199604221101.NAA23816@ZEUS.MONACO.MC> Letters to: Lydia_Sargent@lbbs.org Z Magazine 18 Millfield St. Woods Hole, MA 02543 LSD, Deadheads, and the Law Psychedelic POWs By Thea Kelley and Dennis Bernstein Z Magazine, April 1996 copyright 1996 Z Magazine After three decades, the traveling village that was the Grateful Dead scene has dispersed. Where will the Deadheads go? For some, it may be a hard choice. Others aren't free to choose. About 2,000 of them are in prison, most for LSD. Most of them are young, nonviolent, first offenders, yet many are doing 5, 10, frequently 20 years---longer sentences than they would have gotten for attempted murder, rape, arson, embezzlement, kidnapping, or child molesting. Captives from one of the strangest battlefields of the Drug War, many call themselves "psychedelic POWs." The Dead scene meant a lot of things to a lot of people. To drug enforcement it was the best place to find LSD sellers. The law scooped them up, sometimes dozens at one show. It was an abundant source of easy arrests leading to plenty of prison years. Dose for dose, there are few drugs that carry more federal prison time than LSD. Few bystanders know this; nor did most of the "hippies" who are now behind bars. The U.S. Sentencing Commission has concluded that LSD is less dangerous than cocaine, heroin, or PCP. Yet only one dose of LSD on a sugar cube, or 125 doses on blotter paper, carries the same 5- year federal sentence as several thousand doses of heroin or cocaine. Yes, you read that right. It matters whether it was on sugar or blotter. Under current law, LSD sentences are computed by weighing the drug along with its "carrier medium," which generally weighs far more than the drug. Hence, many of these 2,000 people are serving sentences based largely on possession and distribution of paper, sugar, gelatin, or water. While the unfairness of crack-versus-powder cocaine sentencing has gained media notoriety, the disparities around LSD aren't as sexy: fewer people are involved, and there's no violence to splatter across the news page. Unnoticed by the general public, the "carrier weight" law was challenged in the Supreme Court this December, in Neal v. U.S. On January 22, the Court unanimously reaffirmed the law. "There may be little logic to defend the statute's treatment of LSD," the Court admitted. "It results in a significant disparity of punishment meted out to LSD offenders relative to other narcotics traffickers." Nevertheless, the Court stated, "It is the responsibility of Congress, not this Court, to change statutes that are thought to be unwise or unfair." In rare federal cases where the carrier medium has not been included, the drug has been calculated at eight times its actual weight to allow for the statute's intended application to a "mixture or substance containing LSD." Heather Silverstein Jordan turned 30 in December in the Federal Prison Camp at Dublin, California. She is a self- described "psychedelic POW." Heather had finally found a "family" in the Grateful Dead scene, she says, after running away from a broken home and spending the latter half of her teenage years in an orphanage. "So when I turned 18," she says, "I didn't have a whole lot to fall back on." After some time in a commune, she discovered "Deadland," the never-never-land to which so many lost kids have found their way. "I needed a community to grow up in....There's a lot of family there. It was a healing experience." But the Dead scene was not the only medicine. Even before that, she had experimented with LSD at the age of 15 during a time of "suicidal depression" and reckless use of pills, pot, and alcohol. "With the LSD, I did a lot of inner exploring and thinking about my life," she says, which led to a renewed commitment to living and a big cut in her drug use. Odd as it may appear, testimonials about decreased overall drug use after LSD are commonplace in the psychedelic community. In fact, the most well-known research on therapeutic use of the drug has centered around treatment of substance abuse. By the time of her arrest Silverstein Jordan was 25-years- old and well established, with a motorhome, close friends, and a business license under which she made and sold hats. And she had a soulmate. Heather Silverstein and Pat Jordan fell in love at a Dead show in 1990. The whirlwind romance that followed was brought to an abrupt halt when Pat was busted for selling "a few hits" of LSD. Desperate to bail him out, Heather started scrambling for money in the fastest way she knew, selling LSD. When he got out five months later, he became involved in the deals. Not long after, their main customer snitched on them and they were both arrested. "They make movies about hippies being arrested by Bubba out in the middle of the southern states," Heather says, "and it wasn't that far from the movies." In the first jail I was infected with scabies. The second wouldn't give me medical attention for it. The third place, people kept escaping, so they moved me from there. The fourth place, somebody died because they wouldn't give them their insulin." At another jail she was beaten by a "huge football player" of a guard, she said. "One officer held me down and the other punched me in the face." The one holding her had not known the other officer was going to hit her, and later tried to testify on her behalf. He was immediately fired, she said. "They pressed assault charges against me to cover for them. It was dropped." Heather and Pat were married in a county jail, with glass between them, in red prison jumpsuits. The only people in attendance were a Unitarian minister, their lawyers, and the guards. "They would not let us have any contact," said Heather. "I had flowers. I cried the whole time. And that was pretty much it. They took us back to our cells." Pat and Heather were sentenced to eight and ten years, respectively, with release dates in 1998 and 1999. Heather and Pat are active networkers, and both are frequent columnists for the Midnight Special, a Deadhead prisoner newsletter. Heather was one its earliest editors, pasting it together with toothpaste in a county jail cell. The Special is soon to be a World Wide Web page. Community has always been the name of the game among Deadheads. Among the prisoners, the camaraderie springs not only from love of the music, but also from a shared sense of persecution. Deadheads have been pulled over and searched because of their bumper stickers, had their stickers and tie- dyes used as evidence against them in court, and classified in prisons as a member of a "gang." Drug Enforcement Agency officials have repeatedly insisted that they do not specifically target Deadheads, while admitting that "We go where the drugs happen to be---at the concerts," said Michael Heald, spokesperson for the DEA in San Francisco. Why is law enforcement so keen on busting acid-heads? Michael Levine, a highly decorated 25-year veteran of the DEA, regularly testifies as an expert witness for both defense and prosecution at drug trials. "You have a bureaucracy that has to prove itself constantly, year by year, to an electorate, to taxpayers," he says. "They do that by numbers of arrests," he said, "and by racking up the extraordinarily long sentences common with LSD." "It's just like a predator," says Ed Rosenthal, an expert witness at numerous drug trials. "A predator goes for the vulnerable. That's exactly who gets picked off in these Dead concert raids: naive, often troubled young kids who are trusting." Mark Kahley was 23 when he was first busted at a 1992 Dead show at Nassau Coliseum. "I had 47 doses in my pocket. Their sole reason for searching me was because I was a white man with dreadlocks," Kahley asserts. Kahley was given five year's probation, and went to live with his parents in Kentucky where, according to his mother Doreen Kahley-Bradshaw, he was doing well and even had a 4.0 average in college. "Part of the probation was that I had to go to narcotics anonymous meetings, Kahley says. "There I meet this guy who, like, befriends me and is the only person I know there." His "friend," it turns out, was an informant who was attending meetings specifically to set him up. Kahley says the snitch sold him marijuana to gain his trust (a maneuver known as a "reverse sting"), then lured him into selling 800 doses of LSD to an undercover state trooper. His lawyer and stepfather, Les Bradshaw, feels that there was "a form of entrapment" in the sting. "He was trying, and they targeted him the moment he got here. A New York DEA agent called and told the local officers to try and get him, and they did." For his second offense, Kahley was sentenced to ten years in prison, plus eight years supervised release. The state trooper who had arrested him, Mark Lopez, was later indicted on charges of forgery and implicated in an array of felonious behavior including stealing official evidence and drug trafficking. While Kahley sits in jail, Lopez has yet to come to trial. Broken families, snitching, and excessive sentences are among the damage done by the Drug War's most potent weapon: mandatory minimums. The federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 created minimum sentences for drug crimes, based solely on the weight of the drug---or in the case of LSD, the "mixture or substance" containing the drug. One gram gets five years, ten grams gets ten years; double it for a second offense. Other than the standard 15 percent reduction for good behavior, the law forbids parole. There is no consideration of character or circumstances. The judge may not even consider the defendant's role in the crime---mastermind or messenger, if a gram was involved, everybody gets five years. The only way around the minimum is to give "substantial assistance," i.e. to snitch. Since the passage of mandatory minimums the number of drug convicts in the U.S. has more than tripled. A breathtaking list of organizations have come out in opposition to mandatory minimums, including the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the Federal Courts Study Committee, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Veteran Police Officers, and the American Civil Liberties Union. "There is no single issue affecting the work of the federal courts with respect to which there is such unanimity," According to Judge Vincent Broderick, chair of the Criminal law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. "Most federal judges ... believe ... that mandatory minimums are the major obstacle to the development of a fair, rational, honest and proportional federal criminal justice sentencing system." At least one federal judge has resigned in protest. Reagan appointee J. Lawrence Irving left the bench in 1991 because he felt that the drug sentences he was forced to impose were often "Draconian." "The sentences are too long; there is no logic to them," he told us. "I just hope that sometime Congress comes to their senses and changes the laws." Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens has written that the law's consequences for LSD defendants are "so bizarre that I cannot believe they were intended by Congress." Eric Sterling, former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, helped write the law. He now calls it "frighteningly unjust" and says Congress's primary aim when it rushed to pass the legislation was "to vaccinate the Democrats against soft-on-crime charges after Reagan had pounded them on the issue in 1984." Today he is president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation in Washington, DC. LSD was more or less an afterthought during the four-week period in which Congress held a series of show hearings, according to Sterling, leaving repre sentatives to "just willy- nilly pick numbers out of the air" in determining mandatory sentences. There was virtually no debate on the LSD carrier weight issue or expert testimony about the drug. Leigh A. Henderson, co-editor with William J. Glass of LSD: Still With Us After All These Years, agrees that legislators have appeared uninterested in the facts. Hardly a wild-eyed radical, Henderson is a consultant to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. The book concludes that adverse health effects of LSD, whether physical or psychiatric, are rare. Despite compelling research findings, the DEA insists LSD is "a very dangerous drug." Other news sources have quoted administrator Robert Bonner saying, "It once was referred to as 'do-it-yourself brain surgery' ." Meanwhile, taxpayers pay dearly to fight this "very dangerous drug." At more than $20,000 a year, a 20year sentence will run up more than a quarter of a million dollars in basic prison costs. Add to this the costs of law enforcement, courts, and social services to inmates' dependents. Roberta Goodman, 32, is currently serving a staggering 72 years, according to news reports, for several counts of LSD. Locked up in the maximum-security Tennessee Prison for Women, she says, "There are women in here who have killed people, and they're not in for as long as I am. One woman has 57 counts of child abuse---burning a child with cigarettes, curling irons. She got 15 years." Goodman has served that much time already and will not be eligible for parole until 2007. "You know, we're having a civil war here," says Goodman. War destroys families and pits people against their own friends and relatives. Drug prosecutors use children as a wedge to force parents to become informants, according to Virginia Resner, FAMM's San Francisco coordinator. "They pressure women by saying, 'We'll take your children and put them in foster care,' that women will even make up information about people." Conspiracy laws originally intended for use against racketeers have found greatly expanded use in the drug war, Resner says. "In this drug war, you never have to touch any drugs to become culpable." Nicole Richardson was 20-years-old and living with her boyfriend Jeff, a small-time LSD dealer. An informant called their home and asked where he could find Jeff. She knew the caller wished to buy LSD and she answered his question. This was her entire involvement in the conspiracy. Nevertheless, Nicole was sentenced to 10 years based on the quantity of her boyfriend's subsequent drug deal. He, meanwhile, helped the prosecutor with other drug busts, and got off with five years. "Acid has been demonized," says Dennis McNally, the Grateful Dead's publicist. "The government doesn't have communism to kick around any more; they had to choose something," so drug users were scapegoated. He is appalled by the "McCarthyite" suppression of dialogue on drug issues. The band members have not been immune to this climate of fear, and have been noticeably quiet on the subject, limiting their actions to private lobbying, contributions to FAMM, and exhortations to fans not to sell drugs at shows. "We made a conscious decision," says Dennis McNally, "that to lead a political struggle, which we could not win, would only serve to bring more heat on the Deadheads." The tragedy of the psychedelic prisoners is a cause for which it is hard to find a champion. Pat Jordan feels that a lot of apathy comes from the fact that "the casual user...does not see the Draconian sentencing practices as being their problem...You know---'Gee, that guy with 25,000 hits of acid, well, he asked for it!' The moral issue, though, is that casual use causes the market, which in turn creates the dealer." Inmate Tim Clark wrote to Deadhead magazine Relix, which publishes a list of prisoners in every issue. "To me the worst part of the country's stand on drugs is not the unfair laws like the mandatory minimum and the carrier weight issue, or even what it does to people's families, [but] what is happening to our society as a whole. Neighbors telling on their neighbors. Friends telling on friends. And law enforcement doing whatever is needed, legally and illegally. I think we as a country should declare war on the 'War on Drugs,"' wrote Clark. FAMM has been doing just that, through projects such as its participation as a "friend of the court" in the Neal case. Neal's defeat, according to president Julie Stewart, means that "we have to take our fight to Congress. Unfortunately, the timing is bad. Rumor has it that the Republicans plan to use drugs as their primary platform during this election year, citing how little President Clinton has done to 'solve the drug problem' ." The psychedelic POWs are scapegoats, distractions from society's real ills, says Sterling. Calling their persecution a "culture war," he has gone so far as to suggest that a war crimes tribunal may be in order and that he himself has wrongs to atone for. The psychedelic prisoners should all be freed, he said, "because you may not like their lifestyle, but it is their lifestyle. The choices they've made about drug use do not warrant prison---not in a free society." Z Magazine ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 08 May 1996 15:02:33 +0000 From: Peter Webster To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: POLICE DIRTY DEEDS Message-ID: <199605081301.PAA00199@ZEUS.MONACO.MC> Police Crime By Christian Parenti Z Magazine March 1996 Lydia_Sargent@lbbs.org After the videotaped beating of African American motorist Rodney King, and the toxic ranting of Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman, mainstream America has finally begun to address the question of police racism and brutality. But at the same time, there is mounting evidence of a nationwide plague of police criminality. From San Francisco to New Orleans to Cleveland to Philadelphia to New York City, police are being indicted on charges of extortion, robbery, perjury, and weapons and narcotics trafficking. In city after city the old maxim that "the cops are the biggest gang in town" is truer than ever. It is clear from the patterns of police crime---which usually hits impoverished neighborhoods of color---that the inherent racism of the war on crime has paved the way for police gangsters. The 1980s war on drugs and today's more generalized war on crime have imbued many American's, regardless of their skin color, with intense fear and frustration. People want results---even if cops have to bend the rules. The crime wars have also intensified racist notions that communities of color are naturally or entirely criminal. This has allowed police to act with relative impunity to brutalize, rob, and frame innocent residents of high crime neighborhoods. In the past police corruption generally consisted of cops taking pay-offs. Today's criminal police are actively generating crimes of their own. Rotten Apples In New York City three years ago, in the Bronx's 48th precinct, a racially-mixed working class area, the police used to began their night shift at the local bars---not rousting "perps" (perpetrators) and restoring order but getting drunk, taking drugs, and plotting their next eight hours of robbery, graft, and brutality. That was until May 3, 1995, when most of the night shift---16 officers in all---were arrested and indicted on charges ranging from falsifying evidence to stealing weapons and money from illegally-raided apartments. According to Internal Affairs investigators the 48th's night shift was run not by the sergeant in charge but by the notoriously brutal officer Richard Rivera. "He did a lot, got away with a lot, [and] did it in front of his supervisors," said an internal affairs investigator who worked on the 18-month long investigation. " And in a real, sad sense he was the leadership." In early 1994---stung by criticism from community activists and the recently convened Mollen Commission which investigated police corruption---Internal Affairs, the police unit which investigates police wrong-doing, busted Rivera. Contrary to the officer's tough street persona, Rivera, after only three hours of interrogation, agreed to turn states evidence and spy on his colleagues. His services revealed a pathological brood of drug addicted sadistic cops who did whatever they wanted to whom ever they wanted. The most mind-blowing charge of all was that one officer, Michael T. Kalanz, kept $1 million dollars cash in his police locker as part of, what federal investigators said was, a Cali drug cartel money laundering operation. Most of the other indicted officers were charged with "booming doors," i.e., raiding apartments and robbing the occupants and beating innocent residents with their radios, clubs, and flash lights. The busts in the 48th precinct are only the latest in a string of police criminality cases. The most recent revelations began surfacing in May 1992 when Michael Dowd and five other members of a police gang from the 75th precinct in Brooklyn were arrested for cocaine trafficking in Suffolk County Long Island. It was only due to the intervention of Suffolk County Police that New York City's police corruption became a public issue. Before Dowd's bust on Long Island there had been 16 complaints alleging that he dealt cocaine and robbed street dealers. None of these complaints were investigated, despite the fact that Dowd drove a new, bright red Corvette and frequently had limousines pick him up at the station house and chauffeur him to Atlantic City for gambling trips. The arrests of Dowd and his six colleagues led to the creation of the Mollen Commission to investigate allegations of widespread police crime. By the end of the summer of 1992, Dowd and his cronies had been charged with wholesale narcotics trafficking, extorting drug dealers and even robbing drug affiliated grocery stores. Dowd, who snorted cocaine off the dash board of his cruiser, received payments of between $4,000 and $8,000 a week from dealers. In exchange, he tipped off his clients to police raids. In March 1994 the Mollen Commission, having heard testimony from Dowd and an anonymous, hooded former officer from Manhattan's Lower East Side 9th Precinct, produced its first indictments. A police gang known as the "Morgue Boys" was uncovered operating in Brownsville's 73rd precinct. Three young cops were charged with dealing drugs while on duty, extorting dealers, and robbing civilians. Later investigation by the Mollen Commission showed that the "Morgue Boys" had dropped even the pretense of law enforcement, spending much of their onduty time in a secluded part of the precinct drinking, snorting cocaine, meeting their girlfriends or prostitutes, and shooting their guns. Shortly after this first show of force by the Mollen Commission, which many feared would also be its last, three officers in Harlem's 30th Precinct were videotaped beating neighborhood residents and stealing drugs and cash. The epicenter of the scandal was a gang of cops called "Nannery's Raiders," after the leader Kevin Nannery, who used to place fake 911 calls to justify raiding drug dealers apartments. Eventually 29 officers from the "Dirty 30" were charged with crimes including perjury, assault, extortion, and wholesale drug trafficking. In one case an office was accused of shooting a dealer who could not make extortion payments. Along with Dowd's gang, the "Morgue Boys" in the 73rd, the madness in the "Dirty 30," and the misadventures of the 48th's night shift, numerous other precincts, including the 109th in Queens and the 9th in Greenwich Village, were hit by revelations of police criminality. Yet the New York City's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association spokesperson, Joseph Mancini, insists that: "The New York City Police department is the most closely monitored organization in the world" and that corruption is relatively rare. However, the Mollen Commission's 1994 final report found that corruption was widespread, well organized, and permitted by the "willful blindness" of Internal Affairs investigators and high level police officials. The Commission's report found that virtually all corruption" . . . involved groups of officers---called 'crews' that protect and assist each other's criminal activities." The "crews" averaged 812 officers, with set rules, group names, and worked in flexible networks, planning and coordinating their criminal raids with the help of department intelligence, communications, and special equipment. Cocaine & Brotherly Love A similar pattern of police gangs and brutal armed robbery by cops has emerged in Philadelphia's 39th police district and among an elite highway patrol unit. In the 39th district officers behaved much like their colleagues in New York. Federal prosecutors charge that the officers---some of whom where known to North Philadelphians as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse---used their police powers to locate crack houses and drug distribution hubs which could then be raided for cash, cocaine, and weapons. The cocaine was then used to pay informants, setup suspects, bribe witnesses, and buy sexual favors. So far six officers have been indicted, five have plead guilty and more indictments are expected soon. Over 50 drug convictions have been overturned due to perjured testimony or police-planted evidence. A grand jury is investigating over 100,000 other arrests. "What's most disturbing about the Philly corruption," says Lynn Washington, legal scholar and editor of the Philadelphiapard New Observer, " is that the DA knew what the cops were up to, but tolerated their use of planted evidence because it boosted conviction rates." Like many other observers, Washington blames much of the current police criminality on the anti- crime and anti-drug frenzy of the 1980s and 1990s. "No one from the judges on down wants to look soft on crime, so everybody has turned a blind eye to police misconduct...", says Washington. The war on drugs and the proliferation of the narcotics trade has also provided police with nationwide opportunities for more lucrative forms of criminality. Today corruption is large scale, proactive, and intimately involved with the narcotics trade. While much police robbery may focus on cocaine and heroine dealers, their terrorism can be quite inclusive. In Philadelphia the police even managed to frame Betty Patterson, a 54-year-old, church-going grandmother, who was recently acquitted. Same Thing: Different City Police criminality is not limited to large northeastern metropolitan departments. Throughout the country there is growing evidence of widespread police gangsterism. The following is just a partial survey: Los Angeles 1990 --- seven sheriff's deputies, members of an elite narcotics squad, are found guilty of stealing $1.4 in confiscated cash. Cleveland 1991 ---30 police of ficers are among forty seven individuals indicted for extortion, obstruction of justice, narcotics dealing, and gambling. Gary, Indiana 1991, the entire vice squad is indicted on charges of extortion, dealing narcotics and robbing drug dealers during phony drug raids, as well as one count of murder. Detroit 1991 --- the former police chief, William Hart, and his deputy chief, Kenneth Weiner, are found guilty of embezzling $2.6 million from a special fund for undercover investigations. Camden, New Jersey, 1991 --- Detective Allen R. Schott is arrested and charged with robbing two banks . In 1995 of ficers in Jersey City, New Jersey are charged with selling themselves 113 impounded cars at discount prices. Newark's chief of police is suspended while under investigation. New Orleans 1994 --- ten officers, from what is ranked as the most brutal police department in the country, are indicted for dealing drugs and guns. One officer is charged with arranging the murder of a woman who filed brutality charges against him. The next year, officer Antoinette Frank is found guilty of robbing a restaurant and murdering three people in the process, one of whom is her own off-duty partner. Greenpoint, New York--- 1994, the entire police department (nine officers in all) is disbanded due to corruption, ineptitude, and widespread drug and alcohol abuse by on-duty officers. San Diego 1995---an officer is caught on video and convicted for breaking into and robbing a software firm. These are just a few abridged examples of police criminality. Civil libertarians and police accountability activist's think these cases are just the tip of the iceberg. "Police corruption and criminality is notoriously hard to prove," say Jon Crew of the San Francisco American Civil Liberty's Union. But Crew does point out that, "It is, in fact, quite routine, to see clients who have lost cash and property to the police. Whether things are stolen or just unaccounted for is hard to prove." Despite the difficulties in proving police criminality, three San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) narcotics officers were recently indicted by a Grand Jury on charges of perjury, soliciting perjury, wrongful arrest, and stealing from suspects, many of whom were not charged with any crime. The pattern is familiar: doors are kicked in and alleged dealers are relieved of their valuables. The Grand Jury indictments do not seem to be isolated incidents. In another case that has not gone to court, a white professional whose home was raided for methamphetamnine and mescaline, lost $3,000 dollars worth of video and computer equipment to a SFPD narcotics squad. A 1995 New Years Eve raid on an AIDS benefit in San Francisco's SOMA district reveals a similar pattern of missing cash, computers, and video equipment. The victims of that raid---mostly white political activists---are suing and the 21 cops who conducted the raid are being investigated. But as criminal defense attorney Rose Braz points out, "most people are too scared and too poor to press charges when the police rip them off. And most juries and judges think the cops are the only thing between them and chaos." Z Christian Parenti is a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics.
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