In the October 19, 2009 New Yorker, Ian Frazier writing in The Talk of The Town relates part of his conversation with Tomas Moran, identified as Chief of Staff in the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Mr. Frazier’s piece is about dogs trained to sniff out cell phones in prison. He asks Mr. Moran how cell phones get into prisons to begin with and Mr. Moran responds: “Their friends shoot them over the fence with potato guns, fly’em in with model airplanes, arrows…Body cavities, of course, when a girlfriend visits. Packages. Food deliveries.”
Well, who knew prisons had so much going on? Manhattan at noon time on a Tuesday isn’t as busy. Duck! A model airplane is coming straight for your head! And of course the old standby, the girlfriends vagina. Prison convicts have girlfriends with huge vaginas. They can hide an SUV in there. That’s how most convicts escape, they just crawl up there and she walks them out.
Well, I’ve got news for you. If there is a cell phone in the prison in a convicts possession -and there are- the chances of that convict having got it without the assistance of a staff member is almost nonexistent. Even if a girlfriend did sneak it in this can only happen through incompetent assistance by staff. Both visitor and convict are supposed to be searched and scanned through metal detectors, so for that method to work two staff members at a minimum have to screw up.
I celled with a supposed big time marijuana trafficker near the end of a 25 year sentence at Williamsburg FCI in South Carolina (Federal Bureau of Prisons [BOP]). He showed me his Casio Pathfinder watch that was powered by solar charging, and lit up by a quick flip of his wrist. These are not sold by the BOP on the commissary. He admitted to me that a BOP guard brought it in for him. He also had a pair of aluminum headphones, a very large, really luxurious set of headphones, which clearly were never sold by the Bureau of Prisons. A pair of headphones that he brought with him from another Federal prison. A pair of headphones that can be identified as non-BOP issue from a hundred feet away.
In addition to cell phones a lot of inmates have I-Pods, which are also not sold by the BOP on the commissary. They also have tobacco, and marijuana, and cocaine, and heroin, and pornographic magazines. Damn, those girlfriends have really big vaginas. You could shove a Wal-Mart up there!
You would think that a writer for the New Yorker would be a little less credulous about these prison officials comments. The reason you think that is not so much the New Yorker’s reputation as an intellectual publication, but has more to do with your belief that Ian Frazier and the “liberals” at the New Yorker care about what goes on in American prisons.
They do not.
The “liberals” at the big media outlets care a great deal about America’s reputation among other nations in regard to Guantanomo and Abu Ghraib, and the CIA’s Rendition program (kidnapping and torture). But they do not give a rats ass about what happens to you when you are locked up in prison in this country (and you may be as the list of offenses that are prosecuted continues to grow along with America’s prison population). That’s who the “liberals” are, spokesmen for the U.S. Government, which consists of those institutions in Washington D.C., as well as the Fortune 500 corporations, the major academic universities like Harvard, Yale and Stanford; and Wall Street “investment” businesses and banks.
The reason that you do not read their “news”papers and magazines so much anymore is that subconsciously you understand that they do not represent you in any way. You understand that they are an alien entity and they regard you as the enemy.
The reason that so many immigrants have been brought into this country over the last thirty years is to smash the middle class whose labor is not profitable for those at the top of this society. Those at the top see the vast majority of the American people as no different from the majority of those who live in Mexico, Brazil or China. They are nothing more than potential workers to be exploited for profit, to help those at the top build another mansion on another estate in Greenwich Connecticut, Long Island, Virginia or Beverly Hills. They see themselves as “citizens of the world”, and the rest of us whether here in America, or in other countries, as subhuman slaves put on this planet to serve them.
Do you know who Charles Graner is? Well, you do and you don’t. If you remember Abu Ghraib then you might recall Mr. Graner as the guy who was sentenced to ten years in Federal prison, and who got Lynndie England pregnant and then abandoned her. You might recall this due to the fact that the big media outlets repeatedly broadcast this information.
What you do not know about Charles Graner though is far more interesting. Mr. Graner has a Wikipedia entry, which is both extensive and accurate. You should read it. There you would find that Mr. Graner had more than one lawsuit filed against him. Mr. Graner did not work as a bank teller or supermarket manager or even as a car salesman. Mr. Graner’s job back here was the same as his job at Abu Ghraib. He was a prison guard.
In fact Mr. Graner was a Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Despite repeated charges of serious prisoner abuse that resulted in lawsuits -a Federal judge ruled on one and decided that it had merit- Mr. Graner was promoted and still employed as a Lieutenant at the time of his deployment to Iraq. No one in the media here in America has ever been interested in Mr. Graner’s conduct back in Pennsylvania. No one at Human Rights Watch or the Red Cross has shown any concern either. The human rights of Americans who are incarcerated here are not a concern of any of these “liberal” institutions.
One of the lawsuits accused Graner of placing a razor blade in the inmates food. That just is not a concern of anyone at the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Time magazine or any of those bullshit “news” networks on the TV. These sorts of human rights violations go on everyday in this country and nothing is going to be done to stop it from happening. They do not care about you and I.
Another myth perpetrated by the media is that inmate violence is the result of confining monsters among one another. In fact, just as with contraband, most inmate violence is the result of either instigation by staff members or the staff allowing it to happen. A prison riot never happens without prior knowledge by staff. Inmate gang leaders get a green-light to go ahead with it, just as they get either a green-light or encouragement to assault an inmate, either with their fists, a weapon, or a sexual assault. The assault happens because staff do not like the inmate either due to his behavior at the institution or because of the offense he is doing time for. Most assaults in this manor are due to the inmates behavior.
Prison rape is actually rare. Read that again. The most popular myth perpetrated by the media is the one about sexual violation. Particularly the one about “Tyrone” raping the “white boy”. This almost never happens. Anywhere. Probably less than once every ten years somewhere in the United States.
Now if we throw child molesters into the mix, well that’s a different story. White pedophiles may get raped by blacks because they have no protection, and the guards turn them over to “Tyrone”. But if you are white and go to prison, and do not do so for child molestation, then you can sleep soundly knowing that you will never be raped by “Tyrone”, or anyone else for that matter. White prison gangs will not tolerate such behavior. The FBI will. The “liberal” journalists will. But the gang members will not.
Oh, and why don’t the prisons just block cell phone transmissions? That would be much more effective than trying to find phones with dogs or any other method. In fact, blocking cell phone transmissions would be one hundred percent effective. Well, the prison authorities actually claim they cannot due to “FCC law”. Really? Try to look at any prison through Google Earth or another satellite viewer and see what you get. Seems there is an exception made for prison facilities as opposed to the local shopping center. But we are to believe that a prison cannot block cell phone transmissions due to Federal law.
That does not pass the smell test, but Ian Frazier and the editors at the New Yorker and other media outlets have no problem accepting that explanation, or anything else that a prison employee says.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
High resolution jpeg files of Williamsburg FCI (Federal Bureau of Prisons) commissary order forms used at the prison in Salters, South Carolina. Download (save) and use a viewer to magnify and read. Windows has a viewer built in, just double-click the downloaded file.
UPDATE: January 30, 2010
What I wrote just above here was wrong. Prison facilities are not blocked from our view through online satellite viewers. In fact I was stunned by the quality of pictures available through Bing Maps and used them to put together a virtual tour of the Federal prison camp at Schuylkill FCI where I was at for part of my sentence. I’m sure the Federal Bureau of Prisons will be very happy with my virtual tour.
The pictures are very large, too large for this blog layout so I put together Web pages off-site to view them. They display differently in Firefox and IE8 so choose the page which corresponds to your browser.
Enjoy the tour!