Smiling Faces Sometimes

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Paul Bergrin in CMU in Terre Haute

This post is just a short update to the last post about Paul Bergrin's new BOP designation to the Communications Management Unit (CMU). I have heard from a few people that received letters from Paul and as imagined, they do indeed manage and limit his communications. The first and main rule is that there are no messages of any type, so he is not even able to say, 'tell Vicky...' as he has in past letters.

The conditions in Terre Haute CMU are a central reason for this update, but first lets talk about the trip there.... Paul is in decent health and survived the short stay in the lousy Oklahoma City Transport Facility, and this time the stay was short as it is for other inmates that pass through this dump. For 10 hours before leaving OKC, the asshats actually put Paul Bergrin in a cage. Cage is defined here as limiting his ability to stretch, lay down or stand-up. Paul is taller than their cage is. Clearly there are people working in this craphole that have a sadistic streak and enjoy abusing inmates.

Paul Bergrin was then transported on a plane in shackles with some sort of heavy box contraption attached. It was extremely uncomfortable for him. That's really all I know on this part of his journey.

The CMU in Terre Haute FCI was created / built less than 10 years ago, so you'd think it was a state-of-the-art facility - it's not. It's in an old part of the FCI, the area where death row inmates used to be held, in a dilapidated section of the facility.

Paul had nice things to say about the staff in the CMU and it sounds like he has the utmost respect for everyone he has encountered there. From the wording, I seriously doubt that he was forced to say this. So at least the BOP has some decent employees in charge of the inmates as opposed to the sadistic freaks that attempted to starve Paul Bergrin to death in OKC during his lengthy stay there before he went to Tucson.

Paul is strong and doing what he can to work on his case and appeals. I do have some idea what may have caused this designation to the CMU, but I am unable to state it publicly. I will say that an inmate needs to be extremely cautious of the people that want to be his new best friend in prison, especially if his name is Paul Bergrin. Often the stated goals are not real and there's more going on behind the scenes.

I do believe that Paul will be at the CMU for a long time. I'd be surprised if he received a new designation in the next couple of years, so he has definitely been silenced by the government. I have not written him a letter at this point and if I did, I doubt he would receive it because of this blog and perhaps also because of who I am and my own background, though that part is debatable, and I will write and find out in due time.

There is plenty of time, so I feel no rush to write any letter. If you choose to write Paul a letter, make sure to not include any message from anyone else or statement or what another person says about anything. Just write from the heart and say what you mean - the communications are also monitored by a special unit in Washington DC.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paul Bergrin Designated to a CMU by BOP

The US Attorney's Office in Newark and the BOP have found a way to silence Paul Bergrin - he has been designated to the CMU (Communications Management Unit) in Terre Haute, Indiana. Paul won't be able to complain about starvation, abuse and deplorable conditions in BOP facilities or work on gathering statements and documents in his case. At this point, it looks like he may not even be allowed to correspond with his daughter or contact his attorney, Larry Lustberg. Paul Bergrin is being held incommunicado in Guantanamo North.

Larry Lustberg responded to my questions with this statement:

I have had no contact with Paul since he left Arizona and, even though I am his attorney, and his appeals are still going on -- we are about to go to the Supreme Court -- he has been made inaccessible to us. It really is outrageous. We will challenge this designation.

A Paul Bergrin supporter and blog reader reached out to me with the results of her research on what the BOP has done with Paul Bergrin. She pointed me to the Federal Register for additional reading on the CMU and it has been enlightening to say the least. There are only two CMUs in the country and one is in Terre Haute FCI. The other is in Marion USP. BOP opened these facilities in secret during the Bush administration.

The Bureau of Prisons has so many different acronyms in use that CMU completely escaped me when Paul made a statement about it in a letter. He referred to it as the "terrorist unit" and was really angry just thinking that BOP designated him there - and at that point he just believed that's what BOP was doing because of the specific location he was going to. Apparently he knew what any designation to that location actually meant.

Paul was told where he was going (Terre Haute), but his communications have been so limited in the last six months in Tucson USP SHU (isolation) that no one interpreted his statements as what they actually mean. I responded via his girlfriend that the great majority of defendants and inmates labeled "terrorists" by our government are not even remotely involved in anything terror-related. I basically told him not to be concerned.

No one understood what he was saying, so I don't feel too stupid. Poor Paul. He's tried to warn all of us about what the BOP was doing to him and I took it as just another unwarranted move to a different facility that happens to have lots of Muslim inmates labeled as terrorists. Good grief - this was a completely underwhelming assessment of the situation.


Am I surprised?

Well, aside from the fact that nothing should surprise me in this case, I should not have been. I was concerned the government would place him in a Supermax or even a Guantanamo camp after the trial. They were all so over-the-top, like with Judge Cavanaugh's excessive and bizarre sentence of hundreds of years, that a Supermax sounded like more than a mere possibility.

And then there was the journalist with a German magazine that I put in contact with Paul some time ago. I can guarantee that the US government, the boys in Newark and the BOP did not want Paul in-contact with a journalist from a major publication in Germany. One day that journalist contacted me to say that he received an email notification - yes, the same one that I received days ago - stating that Paul Bergrin no longer wanted to be in contact with him. I asked Paul numerous times in email why he would do that so I could offer this journalist some sort of explanation. Paul never answered me. At the time, it did not occur to me that he never read my question. Yes, I can be naive. More likely than not, Paul wondered why the journalist never followed-up or responded to him.


The CMU is worse than a Supermax

By now you have either searched Google to find more information on a CMU designation by BOP or you're waiting for my explanation. Well, it's not referred to as "Guantanamo North" without reason. At this point, I'll say that when the Paul Bergrin supporter and blog reader called FCI Terre Haute, the government minion that answered the phone almost made the CMU sound pleasant. While such a hellhole designation may indeed seem pleasant to this minion, you'll soon understand that she was full of crap, but then aren't they all? They're bought and paid for by that system, so the answer is yes, of course.


According to the Federal Register BOP statement, an inmate may be designated to a CMU if:

The inmate's current offense(s) of conviction, or offense conduct, included association, communication, or involvement, related to international or domestic terrorism;

The inmate's current offense(s) of conviction, offense conduct, or activity while incarcerated, indicates a substantial likelihood to encourage, coordinate, facilitate, or otherwise act in furtherance of, illegal activity through communication with persons in the community;

The inmate has attempted, or indicates a substantial likelihood, to contact victims of the inmate's current offense(s) of conviction;

The inmate committed a prohibited activity related to misuse/abuse of approved communication methods while incarcerated; or

There is any other evidence of a potential threat to the safe, secure, and orderly operation of prison facilities, or protection of the public, as a result of the inmate's communication with persons in the community.


Since we already know that BOP defends these two "little Guantanamos" and those in-charge have made locking people up their life work, I'll go elsewhere for my explanations of what really happens to inmates in a CMU. While we're at it, I'll look at the true explanation of how an inmate ends-up designated to a CMU by BOP, but the Federal Register has plenty of real information in the comments responding to BOP's "new rule" on CMUs, so definitely read it.

According to Daniel McGowan, former CMU inmate and activist, writing for Huffington Post: Court Documents Prove I was Sent to Communications Management Units (CMU) for my Political Speech

What's also notable about the CMUs is who is sent there. It became quickly obvious to me that many CMU prisoners were there because of their religion or in retaliation for their speech. By my count, around two-thirds of the men are Muslim, many of whom have been caught up in the so-called "war on terror" others who just spoke out for their rights or allegedly took leadership positions in the Muslim community at other facilities. Some, like me, were prisoners who have political views and perspectives that are not shared by the Department of Justice.



It should be clear to anyone reading this blog that Paul's views are not shared by the DOJ. He knows what the government did and has more information about torture under the Bush administration than any man alive.
 
So what next?

I do intend to explore the topic of what actually happens in the CMU in-depth as well as what has been done to Paul, but for now I will leave you with this to think about: Paul Bergrin's daughter also received one of those email notifications that he no longer wanted to be in contact with her. As if! Yes, I'm indignant and angry. BOP is a criminal organization.

I can hear the US Attorney's Office in Newark and the many government minions that work there calling a checkmate now, but don't count out Paul Bergrin yet.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Paul Bergrin Back in OKC Transfer Facility

Paul Bergrin has been back in the Oklahoma City Transfer facility for a couple of weeks now. He is awaiting transfer to Terre Haute USP in Indiana. You recall my posts about this Oklahoma City FTC, right? If not, you need only look back a few posts and read the letter Paul sent while in that hellhole when he was on the way to Tucson USP this time last year. Read about how they starve the inmates there and never allowed Paul Bergrin to purchase food from the commissary during the 4 months they held him there.

As we know that BOP provides funding for adult meals for inmates in every facility, it is clear that there is something else going on in Oklahoma City. I more than insinuated that someone (or a group of someones) is stealing the food or the funding for food. Has anyone ever done anything about it? Of course not, because they don't give a rat's ass.

Most inmates in the federal BOP never experience this starvation when they pass through this transfer facility as they leave quickly. The average stay at this dump is 3 days with 2 weeks being a maximum. Doing without medical care, a shave, haircut, and adult-sized meals for a few days won't usually kill anyone. However, Paul Bergrin is special and spent 16 weeks there the last time. How long will they starve him this round? How long will they get to hold his mail and otherwise abuse his rights at this Guantanamo west hellhole?

Several of us (me, Paul's girlfriend, a friend that he communicated with) received this email from the BOP email system this morning in reference to Paul Bergrin:

The above-named inmate has chosen to remove your email address from his/her approved contact list and, therefore, can not receive or send messages to your email address.


No telling how many people on Paul's email list received this message - I know only of myself and the two others, but it could be everyone. Did Paul initiate this or is it something they did in the OKC facility? None of us have heard from Paul in email since his arrival at this place 2 weeks ago and normally inmates have almost immediate access to email. The last snail-mail letter that his girlfriend received from him is dated January 20, 2015.

What have these criminals done to Paul Bergrin? Why is he being held incommunicado?


How dare anyone claim to care about veterans and whistleblowers and not do something about this abomination going on in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)!


UPDATE on 3 February @9:30PM EST:

One of Paul Bergrin's main longtime supporters has contacted me to inform me that she also received this email notification from the BOP email system. Not a chance that Paul would cease communication with her, so this is definitely crap.

The BOP website shows Paul Bergrin at Terre Haute FCI. The only way that Paul is in the FCI instead of the USP is if he is in SHU (isolation). Most likely the USP had no more room in the SHU so they have him at the FCI, but solitary is solitary, regardless of which specific facility it is in. I can guarantee that BOP did not reclassify him as medium security and an FCI is a medium security facility.

This makes sense because Paul hs no access to email. Apparently, he has also not been able to send out mail since the 20th of January. It was pointed out to me that FTC Oklahoma only allows inmates to send outgoing mail on Thursdays - yes, only one day a week! Supposedly the inmates receive mail Monday - Friday, but outgoing is only on Thursdays.

The timing of this and the FACT that Paul is held incommunicado currently says to me that there is a cover-up of what they have done to him underway. It has been months since Paul has had email access and it's clear that both Newark and the BOP do not like the snail-mail letters that he writes. I actually have 10 to publish on the website, but have not done so yet - before the week is over it will be done.

We will find out what is really happening in due time, and sooner rather than later.


UPDATE on 5 February 2015 @3:45AM EST:

Well, well, well... The boys in Newark and the BOP have really outdone themselves this time. Lots of stormy weather and electric is flashing on and off here, so I will be brief. I do intend to compose a post over the next day or two on this horrific discovery. A supporter of Paul Bergrin contacted me with some info and I followed-up, found numerous relevant articles. Yes, it's that bad and worse.

The BOP has designated Paul Bergrin to a CMU (Communications Management Unit). There are only two CMUs in the country; one is in Terre Haute FCI and the other is in Marion USP. Now we know why Paul is in an FCI. These CMUs are often referred to as Guantanamo North.

The government has managed to silence Paul Bergrin. Possibly forever. Even his daughter received one of those email notifications. So much more to say. Feel free to research the CMU and what they actually do there and comment if you want to. I'll post a new post soon.