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Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise

In anticipation of the release today of new Abu Ghraib photos and videos, I was searching around, and found this speech:

It is interesting that the nation which boasts the most about freedom and democracy is one of the world’s most rabid incarcerators. It is also interesting that the nation that deigns to serve as the world’s teacher on human rights brought you the vile indignities, tortures and terror of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq!

For many of us who dwell in these manmade hells, Abu Ghraib was no surprise; we have seen or heard the same things in the gulags where we are. Is it mere coincidence that many of the most notorious tyrants and slimy torturers at Abu Ghraib were, in their private lives, state prison guards? Or that the very ringleader, the man shown in most of those vicious photos, worked here, at this very prison, for over six years?

Where do you think he learned what he shared with his Iraqi captives? From a book? America has a long and distinguished career as cager, shackler, handcuffer and torturer. It has had over three centuries of practice against Africans and Indians.

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, "one of over 2 million men, women and children encaged in America’s gulags, the fastest growing public housing development in the United States."

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  • Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    Iraqi's raped in Saddam's prisons: grounds for war. Americans raped in American prisons: grounds for Jey Leno jokes.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#2)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    Oh geez, I forgot. Iraqis raped in American prisons: harmless fratboy prank.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#3)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    uh-oh. TL said the name "Mumia." Raise the troll alert level to red and get out the duct tape.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#4)
    by jarober on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    Or as the rest of us know him, Mumia "Cop Killer" Jamal. He doesn't live in a gulag - he lives where the gun he used put him.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:30 PM EST
    Free Mumia! Free the Cuban Five! Come on liberals, join in! Free the Cuban Five! Free Mumia! You, the Howard Dean voters, join in! Free the Cuban Five! Free Mumia!

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#6)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    (Is anyone else still having problems with signing in?) If a crime committed means you cannot have a good opinion, or even worse, your opinion will be ignored (see JRs comment, nothing about the post, just normal wrong wing trolling) then is it no wonder nobody in their left mind will even consider anything the current administration says? A crook is a crook is a crook. Amazing how people will fellate the president despite being proven a crook, but immediately refute anything someone who is in, has been, is going to prison/jail/gulag/detention center says. What gives? Take that whole "with us or against us" rhetoric a little to literally? The point of the post is that America enslaves, oops I mean incarcerates it's citizens at a rate that would make any little despot proud. Why? Because we make things like flag burning and pot smoking illegal. Even though burning a flag is the proper way to get rid of it (making the process of burning a flag in protest a thought crime), and pot is pretty much a harmless drug when stacked up against beer and tobacco. Sex is also grounds for incarceration. If I hadn't seen my representatives name on the "aye" list for the so-called patriot act, (Herseth, D-SD), I would sign off with "vote D" But alas, my little rep has proven time and again to be a D in name only. Shame woman, shame. America, prison nation.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#7)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    Also, BMB, nice try, but no troll cookie. Here's a thumbs up instead.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    I read Mumia's book. It had a contrary effect than what was intended: it convinced me that he killed the cop. He is very eloquent, but that isn't the point. I don't care how eloquent Sirhan Sirhan may (or may not) be, for example. As for his statements about the US prison system, they are unfortunately true for the most part. Now I can't wait for the photos...

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#9)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    et al - He is a killer. He is in jail. That kinda taints anything he might have to say. At least for me.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#10)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    America's Jim Crow prison system is the reason that Democrats have and will have an ever harder time winning national elections. See: Pennsylvania -democracy incarcerated- Richard Nixon and the Wallace wing of the Democrats created the drug war in 1970 to subvert and neutralize the electoral empowerment purposes of the Voter Rights Act and the 26st Amendment. That conspiracy hit critical mass in 2000. The simple math: 13 million Americans are disenfranchised due to criminal convictions. 60-70% from drug convictions. the 2000 and 2004 elections were decided by 3 million votes or less. Jim Crow is alive and well. Compound this with the collateral damage that is accepted by the right wing, well funded terrorists groups and armies feeding on the $ 360 billion a year world wide black market created by the same drug war policy and you have a democracy and world peace destabilizing policy that promises to turn America and the sworld into a police state like none ever before seen in modern history. [links deleted, not in html format]

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#11)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    The New York Times this year has written two editorials saying that condoms should be handed out in prisons to reduce AIDs. This even though Mother Jones reported in 2001 that 364,000 prisoners are raped in American prisons each year. SEE: The New York Times has a bunch of self serving sociopaths writing their editorials. Their concern was not for the prisoners but for the fact that convicts returning to society are a major cause of the spread of AIDs, other STDs and tuberculosis in America's general population. All of that prison sex gang rape is perfectly all right wing the New York Times if only we can keep the victims from bringing deadly diseases back home with them. The really nuts part is that, in other editorials, they have denounced elements of the prison packing drug war but they refuse to attach it to this public health issue. The way to reduce the sex crime is to reduce the prison overcrowding. The ONLY way to do that in a free society is by ending the laws that unjustly pack our prisons with Americans who make bad personal choices or who are victims of the genetic based disease of addiction. End the narco-eugenics policies of America. [link deleted not in html format. ]

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#12)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    "May the lights in the Land of Plenty Shine on the truth some day" Leonard Cohen, Ten New Songs

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    The "Free Mumia" folks are one of the few things that make me embarrassed to call myself a liberals.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#14)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    Posted by tripps at July 22, 2005 09:49 AM All the tolerance of the typical American right wing liberal.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    aahpat.. All the tolerance of the typical American right wing liberal. Yeah...let's let him out... I mean all he did was kill somebody. No biggie!

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#16)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    BB at July 22, 2005 10:23 AM Before addressing me I recommend that you learn to read for comprehension. The person I responded to was not talking about Mumia but rather expressing intolerance for those who do support Mumia. I was talking about Mumia but rather the intolerance of a person who claimed to be a "liberal". Go to Wal-mart and take that back that defective chinese slave labor brain. It ain't doing it for you. Now address the issues instead of intentionally diverting from the issues with the Mumia distraction. If you can.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#17)
    by aahpat on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    Sorry about the typo garble. Should have written: Go to Wal-mart and take back that defective Chinese slave labor brain. It ain't doing it for you

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    aahpat... I was talking about Mumia but rather the intolerance of a person who claimed to be a "liberal".... Now address the issues instead of intentionally diverting from the issues with the Mumia distraction. If you can. The issue is -- this "murderer" is talking about the prison system -- He's there...he's guilty... so whatever he has to say should be taken with a block of salt! All the bleeding hearts should consider the family of the person he killed before you even mention him... period!

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    Jamal mistakenly asserts that the 'nation' is responsible for the felonious acts of the RULERS. It's a typical leftist perspective, but TL's use of a quote from an imprisoned felon is not surprising or a sign that TL is siding with Jamal, or with leftist perspectives. As a liberal Dem, and not a leftist, I find Jamal's point valid: the crimes at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo were abetted by a prison warden/guard contingent put in specifically for their 'expertise.' We also know that the Mossad, aka FOREIGN AGENTS, helped design this aspect of USPNAC's Hate America NOW! program. I wish it was just leftists who are attacking America. They are a fairly harmless bunch. But Bush and his USPNAC fellow b*stards are using the power and authority of the nation to carry out war crimes and genocide. Crimes that use the expertise of American jailors who commit crimes in the system, habitually. Jamal may have killed a cop. Bush has killed 130,000 civilians, in an illegal invasion over lies told to the nation, in order to install airbases. Jamal didn't violate: UN charter, US treaty law, Geneva Conventions, or an oath of office, like Bush did.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    BB: "All the bleeding hearts should consider the family of the person he killed before you even mention him... period!" He MAY not be guilty. Recent and longterm experience has shown that some of the people in prison for such crimes are innocent in fact. Before DNA testing proved this, your kind of chest-beating was so much more satisfying.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#21)
    by wishful on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    I do not find it difficult to separate the man's past actions from the man's current recording of conditions. They may be related, and they may not. It is the reader's responsibility to decide this thoughtfully. It is not wise to dismiss out of hand all of an inmate's observations because of his past crime. It makes sense to examine his credibility. However, it ruins your own credibility to assume that he cannot observe and record any truths, but that instead everything he writes must be less than true. It is the loss of the reader and all who hear him when he makes such clearly ignorant judgements on the writings of a condemned person. It behooves a civilized society that most of her members can dare to look that society in the eye, discover the society's condition honestly, and proceed in the direction of continuous improvement to the extent humanly possible.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:31 PM EST
    Well said wishful.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:32 PM EST
    On the subject of Mumia, I'm not that sure of his innocence, but his trial was grossly unfair. Still, the real bias is that there are other cases of people on death row who are clearly innocent, and were clearly victims of bias, but unfortunately for them weren't Peabody Award Winning Journalist.

    Re: Mumia: Abu Ghraib No Surprise (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:34 PM EST
    "Until the nation impeaches the right wing puss bag the nation is responsible" That's flat-out ridiculous. The nation has no power to impeach a coup with two stolen elections packing the legislature. To suggest that it is the nation's fault is simply to DENY that coups occur in ALL governments that become weakened due to corruption. The government is not the nation. Nor is the fascist leader the nation, though fascism makes that claim. "and will, in reputation and myriad discreet victimizations around the world, pay over and over for the stupid psychotic and fascistic policies of any and all of its leaders." The whole human race is in danger because of nuclear weapons, aahpat. You may prefer your scapegoat, but the real task is not achievable by scapegoating. Indeed, scapegoating is just more racism, more negative false generalization used by others for their driving purposes, often violent. There are a lot of violent people, in all or almost all places. The problem of democracy and legal government are not the CAUSE of militarism, but rather an imperfect brake on it. Your generality of the nation indicts people who have no direct power, especially because of false representation due to vote fraud. You are just indulging in blaming the innocent for the crimes of the few. Where have I heard that recently?