If North Korean Prisons Constitute Crimes Against Humanity, so too do Amerika’s

Based on its 400 page report on prison conditions in North Korea (NK), a special United Nations (UN) commission created under the auspices of the United States, has condemned (NK) as an evil human rights violator.1) The report claims to draw on the testimonies of victims and witnesses to decades (NK) prison practices. Because of its “findings”, the commission has recommended that (NK) leaders be tried for crimes against humanity before the World Court.

It should be noted that cases tried before the World Court must be referred by the UN Security Council which the U.S. dominates, and people of color have been its primary targets of prosecution. And, since the U.S. was convicted by the Court of war crimes against Nicaragua in the 1980s, Amerika has contended that the World Court lacks jurisdiction to try its officials.

Over the years I’ve written numerous reports chronicling the barbaric conditions and abuses endemic to U.S. prison, which I also based on first-hand accounts of victims and witnesses, including myself. My expose’s, however, have gone even further to rely on the finding of U.S. courts and prison officials’ own documented records, reports, and admissions.

As those reports make clear, U.S. prisons prove no less inhumane and heinous than the accounts given of NK’s. Therefore, if NK officials are human rights violators, so too are U.S. officials. And they know it. Which explains their using the indirect approach of a UN commission to point an accusing finger at an avowed U.S. “enemy”, while diverting attention from their own inhumane prisons.

Indeed, independent of what I’ve written, one need not dig very deeply to find evidence of criminally inhumane U.S. prison practices.

In fact, based on a review of Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) records obtained through an open records search for 2006 through 2012, The Texas Tribune found that the TDCJ’s Clements Unit prison (where I am currently confined) has the TDCJ’s highest rates of “major uses of force” (more than 3,400) and uses of chemical agents (more than 1,500) by guards on prisoners.2 Also the highest rates of guard violence consistently occur at those TDCJ prisons, like Clements Unit, which have the state’s largest populations of prisoners with documented mental illnesses.

The federal courts have found that TDCJ has a deeply entrenched culture of guards using force maliciously and sadistically against prisoners,3 and the U.S. has a generally recognized scandalous practice of using prisons to dispose of and warehouse the mentally ill. So what is apparent is that imprisonment ad sadistic violence is U.S. official’s method of ‘treating’ the mentally ill. The exact same sorts of human rights violations that Amerika presided over prosecuting German Nazi leaders for.

While The Texas Tribune article quoted Michele Deitch, a prison conditions expert at the University of Texas, as finding the levels of violence against mentally ill TDCJ prisoners “overwhelming”, the Clements Unit Warden Barry Martin asserted, “I think we do a very good job of taking care of what we do here.”

And what they “do here”, which I am in the process of giving detailed account of in an upcoming report, is murder prisoners using methods ranging from staged suicides and direct violence to medical neglect, to routinely manufacturing situations to give a false appearance of justified use of force especially riot teams and chemical agents (indeed I have been the repeated victim of bystander gas assaults as a result of their frequent abuses of chemical agents on other prisoners around me, especially prisoners with mental illnesses), to literally starving prisoners for weeks on end until their body weights hover around 100 pounds (and I’m talking about men 5’6” to 5’ 9” in height).

And what of the children? For example, the epidemic of sexual abuses of those confined in U.S. juvenile institutions. National Public Radio’s news program All Things Considered reported on April 2, 2014, that one in ten kids imprisoned in the U.S. are sexually abused, with eighty percent of the offenses committed by staff. And the crisis levels of sexual abuse of women in U.S. prisons by officials,4 or the abuse of elders in U.S. prisons, also including sexual abuse, by officials.5 What becomes evident is U.S. officials target the most vulnerable groups for the most inhumane prison abuses. Much like the Nazis did.

But while the UN can condemn NK, a country that it has no means of directly observing, it takes no notice of human rights abuses occurring in the U.S. where the UN’s own headquarters lies.

And this is the very same “tough on crime” U.S. that imprisons more people than any other country in the world and especially targets national and racial minorities, that presides over the UN body that condemns officials from the darker nations to punishment by the World Court for crimes against humanity. Yet it hypocritically makes sure that its own agents arrogantly stand literally above the law and immune from accountability to the other nations of the world.

Dare to struggle Dare to win!
All Power To The People!


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  1. As the Workers World reported, the commission: “was established in response to a bill passed in 2004 by the U.S. Congress. Called the ‘North Korean Human Rights Act’, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. Now Governor Brownback is ‘a hero of the country’s Christian right’ who is pushing a bullishly conservative agenda’ in his state. (New York Times, Feb. 13 []
  2. Brandi Grissom, “Violence Behind Bars: A Tie to Mental Illness.” The Texas Tribune, (September 22, 2013). []
  3. See, Ruiz v. Johnson, 154 F. Supp. 2d 975 (S.P. Tex. 2001); Ruiz v. Johnson, 37 F. Supp. 2d 855 (S.C. Tex. 1999). []
  4. Gary Hunter, “Guards’ Rape of Prisons Rampant, No Solution in Sight”, Prison Legal News, Vol. 17 No. 8 (August 2006), pp. 1-13. []
  5. Tina Maschi, “Elder Abuse in Prisons: The Call for Elder Justice and Human Rights Protection Behind Bars”, Prison Legal News, Vol. 24 No. 12 (December 2013), pp. 52-53. []

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