Sunday, December 21, 2014

Inmates Have Rights

I'll start this week's post by returning to the Scapular story. I do this even though the situation is far from resolved. The retaliation continues, another piece of legal mail was opened, read and given to me via regular mail. Like I have said before I have an open appeal and my legal mail should be privileged. This means opened in my presence, the contents visually screened for contraband, then handed over to me. Again, they did not do this. Although it looks like all of the documents contained in this envelope were there, how could I be sure? I am tired of being put at a legal disadvantage by these bullies. Another much more minor annoyance is my regular mail has been showing up at different housing units all over the compound causing a few days delay of my holiday greetings from my family and friends. Not earth shattering but annoying and very very petty.

So far the staff at Butner Low has seized my IPod classic that was given to me by judge's order to review hundreds of hours of evidence. It has hundreds of hours of recordings made by Tommy (Hiccups) McLaughlin and other paid rats of the FBI. And although they took it before last fourth of July I have not been given any indication of what their course of action might be. If any of the recorded conversations could have helped in my appeal it is not too late to be used. Next, as you know, they put me in the SHU for wearing my scapular. Then they took my telephone away for six months for imaginary dust bunnies. They also took my legal mail right out of the envelope. Follow so far?

Then (and this is new) the warden, the captain and my case manager ransacked my room and plundered more of my confidential legal work in the form of CDs and DVDs given to me by the US Attorney's Office as part of my discovery in preparation for my trial and appeals. Now we know that wasting taxpayer money is what our government excels at but to see this--over half a million dollars worth of annual salary crawling around my cube looking for dirt and legal work is simply ridiculous. Why do we have corrections officers? Four days later when I asked the case manager for my legal work or a voucher for said legal work she stated that she was supposed to give the legal work back to me on Friday but she just got too busy. She then lead me to a shared conference room where my important legal work was strewn all over. Again, I had no way to tell what if anything was missing. I gathered my discovery and left.

When the same people are in charge of your legal rights, religion, how and where you can pray, food, healthcare, good-time, halfway house, family visits, outside communication, how far away from your home they hold you, and inspect parts of your body that you won't even reveal to your spouse… when men have that total control over other men the bush for abuse is ripe even for the best among them. Many of those practices are necessary but many are pure mistreatment and with no independent agency to oversee this conduct the abuse becomes common, natural, normal especially for the administrators whose infinite power goes unchallenged by their subordinates as well as the inmates who just take the abuse in silence. This treatment of ones captors is barbaric by any standard but the fact that it is so commonplace in the UNITED STATES Federal Prison System makes it all the more repulsive.

Precautions must be taken to ensure that every prisoner's constitutional, religious, legal and institutional rights are protected; that control of the inmates is dispersed among multiple agencies to guarantee an agenda benefitting the public and inmates, not the egos and pensions of the BOP hierarchy. The time for change and to keep prisoners and the public safe from the injustice of tyrants, or the most dangerous offenders is upon us. We must see that the mentally ill are placed in their own secure settings where there is hope that they may regain their mental capabilities; not in general population where they are left to get sicker and sicker. We again must step forward when the system is corrupt and badly broken like a festering wound. It must be cleaned, rehabilitated and displayed as an example of the true justice and compassion that a great nation like ours can establish. The answer to justice, religion, race and sexism is true equality for all.

I'll get back to my own tale as soon as something new develops. I should be getting the answer to my phone appeal soon. Check out the John Marzulli post coming soon.

Stay tuned to As the Tyrants Roll.

Stronger today than yesterday.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Free and Fair Press

Today's post is in answer to a one-sided, factually inaccurate story by a government controlled scribe who works for the shoddiest paper in town (Selim Algar's November 25th New York Post article "Mafia Hoodlum Takes the Fall, Files $10M Suit Over Jailhouse Slip). The Daily News is the biggest rag in New York but the NY Post stinks to far greater depths if that's even possible. I once knew a homeless man who refused to wipe his dirty ass with the pages of the NY Post. That is why these two tabloids resort to naked pictures of women on every fifth page to increase their circulation. One of the main reasons for their inferior rankings in the literary world are their third rate, lazy reporters.

In Selim Algar's recent story about my lawsuit he got not one of the easily verifiable facts correct. First, Mr. Selim Dung, I will tell you that I was never convicted of any so-called "murder raps." So I was never sentenced for something that never occurred, no matter what bullshit you wish to feed your readers (if there are any). Next I was sentenced to 224 months which equals to 18 years 8 months, not the flat 18 years you stated in the article.

The next inaccuracy solidifies exactly how lazy and incompetent you are. I have never been physically hurt at the Butner Low Correctional Facility. Although there is an abundance of leaky pipes that have never been repaired, I have not fallen because of any of them. I have been at only two federal prisons in my lifetime, so just how hard can it be to find out where my accident occurred? I mean you had a 50/50 shot with a guess and you still got it wrong! Radio host Frank Morano discussed my injury and on his show on AM970 The Answer. Even the world's grandest imbecile Curtis (Sleazy) Sliwa talked about my shattered knee on air of his radio show also on AM970 The Answer. It was common knowledge. So how did you get it wrong?

If you are content to be inadequate at your job so be it. What I do take particular issue with is the bold faced government propaganda that you have been cramming into my fellow New Yorkers for years. When one of your clan executes an act of terrorism and a frightened society comes down hard on innocent Middle Easterners with targeted laws, massive surveillance, and sham indictments they balk and fight for fairness and their constitutional rights. They are not whining or braying. They are crusading! So why is it when an Italian American complains about an injustice by his captors or government it is whining?? Are we to always bear our persecutions in silence? Are we to be scolded whenever we speak up for justice?

You know I met a confidential informant who has been deemed by our government and other confidential informants to be true and accurate. He told me that you, in secret, support of ISIS in your beliefs and that you financially supported Al Qaeda. How do you like seeing that in print? How would you feel about seeing that in an indictment? Then seeing the CI terrorist go home after bombing and killing many innocent people? Well, that is what Italians go through each time our government screams organized crime. So until you change your work ethics, your attitude towards Italian Americans and do your reporting with fairness and dignity, I wipe the bottom of my shoes with your tongue.

Because I do believe in fairness and truth I offer this disclaimer: I know of no connection between Selim Algar and ISIS, Al Qaeda, or any other terrorist group. I have never had a conversation with a confidential informant or anyone else about Selim Algar. I do know Selim (Camel Dung) Algar to be a lazy, inaccurate and deceitful reporter. I look forward to free and fair press.

Stronger today than yesterday.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Scapular Part 3: As the Tyrants Roll

On the day before I am to receive the sanction for my dustier dust, I receive legal mail via regular mail call. It had already been opened (not in my presence which is against BOP rules regarding legal mail) and more importantly the contents except for a cover letter were missing. That's right... at this very critical time when my appeal was being submitted were people stealing my sensitive legal documents and strategies? So I go to the correction officer in charge and ask for help in locating, or at least logging-in the incident book that my legal mail is missing. He spins me to the case manager who spins me to nowhere with no results and no record of my missing legal mail. The case manager does this by saying she will be right back and just disappears to never return that night.

So the next morning I go to a counselor. Not my counselor because she is not in (she is never in except for a few days a week when she feels the urge to abuse a few select inmates). But I was probably better off without her. The counselor I go to knows the job and does not shirk his responsibilities. I give him the empty envelope and cover letter and explain that the rest of the contents were missing when I received the sliced open but reclosed with staples legal mail. He calls the mail room for answers. He states that he envelope is clearly marked Legal Mail in three spots. Then when the mail room disputes that fact I move him past that argument and on to the more important missing contents. He tells me that they said the envelope arrived empty and hangs up the phone. At that point I show him the paid postmark for $5.84 and explain that it does not cost that amount to send an empty envelope with a cover letter. With that he shrugs his shoulders in bewilderment and bids me to see the assistant warden. So I pursue my quest for my legal documents.

Upon my approach to the assistant warden I run into my unit manager who until that point I had known to be a fair man with a fair amount of power. In appearance I can only describe him as such: if the United States had given Idi Amin amnesty and refuge for his crimes against humanity (as they did so many Nazis) this unit manager could have been one of his sons. Now I don't mean to imply that he was in any way a ruthless dictator as Idi Amin had been. He just happens to look like him and he just happens to have a mean streak. So anyway back to the story... I again explain my entire story of missing legal mail to Idi. After examining the envelope and declaring it legal mail he then says that he can give my lawyers permission to fax over the documents. I respectfully decline his offer and continued to look for the assistant warden.

When I approach the assistant warden and yet again relay the story of my missing legal mail he beckons the captain to join in on the problem. The captain declines so the assistant warden then calls for Idi to join in after Idi states that it is clearly labeled as legal mail. I explain that my main priority is the missing legal papers and whether it is legal mail or not is secondary. The assistant warden states that maybe the papers were never sent by my lawyer and I again refer to the postal amount that was on the envelope $5.84.

At that point the assistant warden states that they should involve of all people Alpha Bitch (Remember her? The one who demanded I remove my scapular?) who I then learn was in the not too distant past in charge of the mail room! Aw shit! Now look at how the world revolved at Butner! I had to ask help of the Alpha Bitch? I couldn't bring myself to look at her let alone again put myself at her mercy so I retreated a step or two into the background and listened from a distance all the while my wheels were spinning: What would they do? What would she say? Would they ever find my missing legal work? Could Alpha bitch be behind all of my trouble with the mail room? The late return of my personal property, my mail at other units, and my missing legal mail? Was she still mad that I would not cave in to her illegal order to remove my scapular? I just didn't know. So after a few minutes of discussion with the Alpha Bitch stating that the envelope was in fact marked legal mail, Idi came over to where I was standing and asked if he could hold the envelope while he further checked into my missing legal mail. I said yes and left. Then I walked up the hill to my unit as it was almost time to receive my sentence for the dust and I saw the crowd of my administrators joined by the Warden.

I washed up and got ready to argue my dust case one more time. As I took my place in line I noticed that myself and the four other Italians, the white guy, and the mixed guy were all there but the two Latinos were gone. Now I for one felt that no one should have gotten a shot for such nonsense so when the two Latinos turned up missing from our line I was happy that they would not get an unjust punishment. I mean I'm sure the decision to excuse them was fair and impartial based on some strong facts like Italian olive oil vs Spanish olive oil, or blood oranges vs mangoes. It certainly can't be based on our ancestral origins. Right? I know that our counselor would be equal and fair and not bias in any way. Well I would hope so. Yeah right!

So the time has come and I enter the inner office and I am greeted by my case manger and Idi my unit manager. Before I sit down Idi asks if I am the same person that just gave him the empty legal mail. I state that I am and think to myself: this guy is my unit manager for six months, we have had a fair amount of interaction, not a half hour ago I spent twenty minutes with him going over a serious problem and he still wasn't sure if it was me. So I further think to myself that it must be true like my counselor told me on many occasions, "All Eyetalians (Italians) look alike." But then I decide that I do not look like Bobby DeNiro (his loss) and I was correct to consider her comment a slur.

So I explain my story about the dust and I am excused for a brief moment. When I am brought back into the room I am told that I was not going to like the punishment and that because the warden had been riding the counselor about the unit's cleanliness he was going to make an example of me and the rest. She screwed up and we are going to be the example. Nice, real nice. So he gave me and all of us six months of no telephone privileges. That's right. During Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year we would not be able to talk to our families. More religious bias? Never in almost seven years of being in prison have I seen such severe punishment for such a weak offense.

Inmates who make phone threats or are caught using other inmates' phone accounts to get more minutes rarely got their phone privileges suspended for more than three months. Here we got an entire six months for unidentifiable dust. Crazy, right? Well naturally I appealed the phone punishment. At my last team meeting with my counselor and my case manager they baited me by stating that they wanted me to stay in touch with my family. I bit my lip and left. Now everyone of us has an important reason to reach their loved ones: young children, old parents, sickness, lonely sweethearts. In my case it is all one of the above coupled with the fact that my elderly mother is nearly blind so she can't read or write a letter, or read an email if she was computer savvy and when I hear she wonders why I haven't called it's troubling to say the least.

In the meantime a friend of mine from New York comes to visit and they do not let him in because he can't make it through the metal detector. He made it through the metal detectors in two airports but not the one at Butner. Please! Just more petty bullshit from the Alpha Bitch and her cronies here at BOP Butner.

Now back to the missing legal mail. After the long weekend with my legal envelope Idi puts me in touch with the new boss at the R&D (The Mail Room) who after another few days gives me no answers and has none. I ask if I can have their version of what happened in writing and I am told absolutely not.

So stay tuned for the updates. There are so many questions: Will I find my legal mail or will the Post Master General get involved in finding my United States Legal Mail? Should the American Civil Liberties Union sue the BOP for Religious persecution of its inmates? Will I win my dust appeal and be able to talk to my family for what is left of the holidays? Are these independent acts or is Alpha Bitch joined with the mail room, Wicked and Idi to make my life hell? Will the Alpha Bitch continue to retaliate against me for what I don't know? Will Wicked and Idi continue to harass me? Will the BOP retaliate for me blowing up their spot by sending me further from my home region, or by sending me for diesel therapy on a bus that no one can find for a few months so that I have no contact with the outside world, no family, no friends, press or lawyers?

They took my religious freedom, my legal safeguards, and now will they try to take my right to free speech? Will the BOP fix their own problems and protect the constitutional and religious rights of their inmates or will they wait for an outside agency to set things straight? All of these questions remain unanswered for now but will be resolved soon. So stay tuned to As the Tyrants Roll and you'll know the answers when I do. As the Tyrants Roll is Sponsored by the American Constitution.

Stronger today than Yesterday.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Scapular Part II

After wearing my scapular exposed for the next two or so weeks, I attended a Catholic service where the inmate Priest who wrote to the Carmelite nuns about my scapular informed me that the Sisters prefer that I wear my scapular tucked inside of my shirt. I thanked the priest for his follow through and promptly complied with the Carmelite Sisters preference. As far as I was concerned the Sisters had just resolved the impasse.

So life at America's Sodom and Gomorrah, Butner returned to as normal a pace as insanity can have. The bumps frolicked in the showers and the walking dead inmates shuffled about endlessly in search of the rare medical staff in hopes that one could prolong their lives long enough to make it home and die in the arms of loved ones.

In the midst of this monotony I noticed that I was not receiving my magazines. Next I was told that I had mail at another housing unit in another building. Then, in a couple of more days I was called upstairs to retrieve yet more of my mail that had been delivered to a housing unit not my own. I just figured no big deal a new CO is working the mail room.

Meanwhile in the days and then weeks that my mail was being delivered in all the wrong places I started taking more unwarranted heat from (of all places) my counselor who can only be described as the living clone as the Wicked Witch of the West. She is just a little bit shorter and much much dumber. I once heard a story that the military bounced her because she couldn't spell I.Q. And yet she is now a trusted employee of the new Federal Bureaucracy that has become the lifeline of so many rejects and political flunkies.

Anyways after my return from the SHU, Wicked goes into a near breakdown rant screaming threats and obscenities at the top of her lungs. This behavior is nothing new to lunatics, reality TV stars, or my counselor. She has screamed, raged and foamed at the mouth at least bi-weekly for the last six months that I have been here. So the next day she comes into work and writes thirty shots. Most for petty things like dust, too many books and food products stored illegally in the cube. My shot was for dust on items stored below my bed. I sleep on the bottom bed of a set of bunk beds. Myself and my bunky share the floor space beneath my bed so with neither of the two of us present how could she identify my belongings from his? So how was it that she only gave me the shot? My other cubie (there are three of us in the cube) also received a shot for dust-related nonsense. We are both Italian while the third shot-less inmate is not. In the cube next to mine, the one Italian inmate received a shot for a dirty common floor while the two Latinos that live with him did not. Five cubes down one Italian: shot, two non-Italians: no shot. The pattern is just too obvious.

Later my counselor decides she is going to throw out most of the shots and leave only the worst. I guess my dust and the dust of the three other Italians was dustier than anyone else's dust and more severe than all of the other infractions that she found. So, at the next step which is a formal interview with a lieutenant we were left with nine men: five Italians, one white guy, one guy of mixed lineage and two Latinos. We were told that in a few days a panel would meet with us and decide our punishment, if any. No one was worried because of the minor offenses that we were charged with and there were postings on the community bulletin board that clearly stated, "Failure to maintain a tidy room will result in a zero on our living skills classification."

Pretty boring bullshit but watch you'll see it all come together and the hate filled antics of our BOP employees here at Butner Low. Stayed tuned to see how these tyrants at Butner roll.

Stronger today than yesterday.