In a speech that included an overt jab at embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders decried the U.S. incarceration rate as an "international embarrassment" and said he considers "reforming our broken criminal justice system one of the most important things that a president of the United States can do."
It’s important to note that the war on drugs and mass incarceration policies gained momentum during the Reagan administration and reached a zenith during the Clinton administration. Reagan’s CIA was importing cocaine to fuel the US crack epidemic and using the proceeds to fund their illegal war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Simultaneously the powers that be on the working class’s backs were vigorously prosecuting and jailing the lower level drug dealers and users.
This was combined with President’s Clinton’s welfare and mandatory sentencing policies decimated an entire generation of lower working class African Americans and whites while filling and fueling the prison industrial complex some of which is now for profit. It’s not a stretch to conclude that these were deliberate, diabolical policies intended to entrench and enrich the ruling classes while serving as a stern warning to anyone wanting to challenge their legitimacy and power.
Gary Webb’s articles in the San Jose Mercury News on this topic.
Yet another principled stand and call for justice, among many others, by Bernie Sanders, notably spoken in Chicago. The obscenity of Chicago police actions over decades and continuing cover-up of the police execution murder of Laquan McDonald by CPD, Mayor Emanuel, prosecutor Alvarez, and other highly-placed co-conspirators is a national scandal that must not be tolerated or allowed to be swept under the rug! A special prosecutor is critical, but given the criminality, corruption and influence of Chicago politics and Emanuel reaching deep into the Obama WH, none will be appointed…such is the nature of corruption Sanders faces as we clearly saw with the DNC - Debbie W-S recent actions - it should be noted that Prez Obama appointed/nominated DWS to chair the DNC.
The contrast between Sanders and other candidates is stark as more and more I believe are seeing. RepubliCons display such a lack of understanding, empathy, and common decency that as a group they betray everything America supposedly stands for. The arguable legacy of the Democratic Party has likewise been betrayed by its leadership in many ways, notably regarding banker/financial parasites, corporate domination, for-profit vulture-capitalism enterprise as sacrosanct, and the for-profit war-machine - all of which criminal accountability has been zero under the current admin. stooge “Justice” Department. Dems and all people of good conscience will hopefully rally to a vision of justice and fairness represented by Bernie Sanders that may begin to restore notions of the Common Good over common greed and corruption as a way of life in America.
I often suspect Bernie of being a reader of CD. Hope so.
Good post, nottheonly1. In Dubuque on December 12, Bernie made 2 promises if he is elected: “If elected president, I will end the international disgrace of the US having more people in jail than any other country on earth.” “My second promise to you is that no nominee of mine to the US Supreme Court will get that position unless he or she is loud and clear in saying they will vote to overturn Citizens United.”
From Dubuque Telegraph Herald, December 13, 2015
Senator Bernie Sanders hits the right notes again as he speaks in Chicago on criminal justice reform: “A future you can believe in.”
Bernie visited Dubuque December 12, and he spoke for well over an hour, including Q and A. I marvel at his ability to speak truth to power from a progressive populist perspective on all issues. This was his third Dubuque visit in 14 months, and his crowds were bigger each time.
After hearing him speak, I was fortunate to meet him briefly and tell him I’ll caucus for him in February. He replied, “Be sure to be there!” I have to switch from Green Party to register as a Democrat in order to caucus, but I think it’s worth it.
By coincidence I have a line from Board member Jesus Garcia’s concession from his mayoral race, clipped onto my calendar book, “We fought hard for what we believe in. You don’t succeed at this or anything unless you try.”
Here’s to Bernie Sanders in 2016!
Rahm Emanuel is a symbol of shame, he’s responsible for the decimation of Chicago public schools, the loss of the poor children’s future opportunities and many teachers jobs. He belongs in the prison he helped to send many for minor crimes or no crimes at all.
Yes, it is important to remember that US mass incarceration is part of the Perpetual Warfare State, and that integral to the latter is an unaccountable CIA that derives most of the funding for its black ops (e.g., overthrowing governments, e.g., in Ukraine last year) from the sale and smuggling of narcotics.
It is also important to remember that the “War on Drugs” began during the Nixon administration. The anti-Vietnam War movement was at its height and there was real concern among the ruling elites about the possibility of revolution. What better way to get rid of surplus populations, especially black and brown folks, than with a “War on Drugs”? I mean, we aren’t about to create jobs and economic opportunities for them; after all, that would hurt Wall Street’s bottom line. And if they are out running around, they only increase the likelihood of more agitation.
For more on the background of the failed “War on Drugs” (failed for the 99%, fantastically successful for the 1%), I recommend Lockdown Nation, by Christian Parenti.
Surprisingly, Bernie’s stop in Chicago actually got decent coverage in The Chicago Tribune this morning.
Gary Webb got too close to the truth; therefor, he had to be eliminated. Gary, exposed the truth that there never was a war on drugs, but a war on who controls the drugs and the CIA was involved in that war.
I think collectively we can be that mighty 60 foot wave when we are united and the elite crooks are aboard their yacht, they better pray for our mercy.
Thank you Raven for this, and all your insightful comments, and Goddess bless you. There are some gaps in Bernies candidacy which I view as necessary, given the ugly, divisive nature of politics in America, and even more distortions of the man himself, but in the main he is a genuine Human Being of moral compass and empathy.
I have been a sailor in my youth and also later in life, so I appreciate and understand the analogies re the sea, as well as President Kennedy’s reminder to himself (at least partly). Those who stole his leadership from us, and have never been exposed or paid for it, committed a crime of such vast proportions we must never forget or forgive - their evil legacy is still alive and very powerful today! We do indeed face a great storm and must all pull together to weather it. All the best!
Sanders/Warren is a ticket that could beat Trump.
Why Americans could even get past Democratic Socialist if faced with a Trump Rump.
Should it not be a surprise how poppy cultivation has grown exponentially under the noses of US/NATO forces in Helmand province of Afghanistan? Both ISIS and taliban use narcotic trafficking proceeds to fund their terror campaigns. Taliban process poppy to make heroin in Pakistan labs while ISIS do same in Turkish laboratories for export to US and Europe. Not sure what percentage of the illicit drugs end up in US pharmaceutical industry hands.
Another issue pretty much never even acknowledged by our President – or Congress – Thank you, Bernie Sanders
But just wanted to mention the other side of this issue . . . We release something like close to 500,000 prisoners each year – probably still with limitations of parole system.
But when we do not rehabilitate these prisoners – where we are seemingly “punishing” them in our prisons in many ways – our societies lose again when they are released.
The last reform of our prison system that I’m aware of was under the FDR administration – I believe carried out by Alger Hiss which certainly made him an enemy of the right wing – and he was, imo, framed and set up by Nixon and FBI with faked evidence and sent to prison.
Pretty much everything our government has done since then has been an embarrassment to the nation and to democracy.
I would add Martin O’Malley for Secretary of state, that way should the deep state think assassination again, they would have to kill all three which would be harder to accomplish.
Gary Webb is another great example of what the ruling elite will do to any of us if we rock the boat. The ruling elite are sociopathic criminals.
There have been many victims who exposed criminal conspiracies of the oligarchy and their alphabet agency enforcers in ways the people could get a handle on, Gary Webb was one such. Secret, off the books, CIA funding via drug trafficking has been noted for decades in many areas of the world. The official story of Gary Webb’s “suicide” stretches credulity way past red-line, the claim being he committed suicide by shooting himself TWICE in the head with a .38!
Sen. Sanders openly campaigned for Chuy in the runoff for mayor last year. So, that’s a lump of large coal inside a stinky, loaded red sock for Hizzoner Rahm. Piling on this political hack seems in keeping with the holiday spirit, though. But it’s really funny on the reporter’s part, as well. Or, maybe they’re really that clueless. As to mass incarceration; the reason it is out of favor is its’ spiraling cost. We’ll probably outsource the tracking of parolees to Indian Cos. and save even more tax dollars. Mass surveillance on the cheap is the New American Way The technology now exists to track and control all people’s whereabouts, anyway. All the marketing dept. needs to do is create the necessary fear. Which our various gov’t agencies and corporatocracies are working on, 24/7. However, if anyone besides Bernie is elected the police state crackdown will be reinvigorated, post haste. As Rahm says, " never let a crisis go to waste. " And, they sure as hell won’t, either.
We need a moneyless society.