I posted the below Jan. 15, 2005, at 10:20 AM EST:
The New York Times
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January 15, 2007
The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars
By BERNARD E. HARCOURT
LAST August, a prison inmate in Jackson, Mich. — someone the authorities
described as “floridly psychotic” — died in his segregation cell, naked,
shackled to a concrete slab, lying in his own urine, scheduled for a mental
health transfer that never happened. Last month in Florida, the head of the
state’s social services department resigned abruptly after having been fined
$80,000 and is facing criminal contempt charges for failing to transfer severely
mentally ill jail inmates to state hospitals.
Ten days ago, the Supreme Court agreed to determine when mentally ill death row
inmates should be considered so deranged that their execution would be
constitutionally impermissible. The case involves a 48-year-old Navy veteran who
is a diagnosed schizophrenic. In the decade leading up to the crime he was
hospitalized 14 times for severe mental illness.
According to a study released by the Justice Department in September, 56 percent
of jail inmates in state prisons and 64 percent of inmates across the country
reported mental health problems within the past year.
Though troubling, none of this should come as a surprise. Over the past 40
years, the United States dismantled a colossal mental health complex and rebuilt
— bed by bed — an enormous prison. During the 20th century we exhibited a
schizophrenic relationship to deviance.
After more than 50 years of stability, federal and state prison populations
skyrocketed from under 200,000 persons in 1970 to more than 1.3 million in 2002.
That year, our imprisonment rate rose above 600 inmates per 100,000 adults. With
the inclusion of an additional 700,000 inmates in jail, we now incarcerate more
than two million people — resulting in the highest incarceration number and rate
in the world, five times that of Britain and 12 times that of Japan.
What few people realize, though, is that in the 1940s and ’50s we
institutionalized people at even higher rates — only it was in mental hospitals
and asylums. Simply put, when the data on state and county mental
hospitalization rates are combined with the data on prison rates for 1928
through 2000, the imprisonment revolution of the late 20th century barely
reaches the level we experienced at mid-century. Our current culture of control
is by no means new.
The graph on the left — based on statistics from the federal Census Bureau,
Department of Health and Human Services and Bureau of Justice Statistics — shows
the aggregate rate of institutionalization per 100,000 adults in the United
States from 1928 to 2000, as well as the disaggregated trend lines for mental
hospitalization on the one hand and state and federal prisons on the other.
The numbers include only state and county mental hospitals. There were many more
kinds of mental institutions at mid-century, ones for “mental defectives and
epileptics” and the mentally retarded, psychiatric wards in veterans hospitals,
as well as “psychopathic” and private mental hospitals. If we include residents
of those facilities, from 1935 to 1963 the United States consistently
institutionalized at rates well above 700 per 100,000 adults — with highs of 778
in 1939 and 786 in 1955. It should be clear why there is such a large proportion
of mentally ill persons in our prisons: individuals who used to be tracked for
mental health treatment are now getting a one-way ticket to jail.
Of course, there are important demographic differences between the two
populations. In 1937, women represented 48 percent of residents in state mental
hospitals. In contrast, new prison admissions have consistently been 95 percent
male. Also, the mental health patients from the 1930s to the 1960s were older
and whiter than prison inmates of the 1990s.
But the graph poses a number of troubling questions: Why did we diagnose
deviance in such radically different ways over the course of the 20th century?
Do we need to be imprisoning at such high rates, or were we right, 50 years ago,
to hospitalize instead? Why were so many women hospitalized? Why have they been
replaced by young black men? Have both prisons and mental hospitals included
large numbers of unnecessarily incarcerated individuals?
Whatever the answers, the pendulum has swung too far — possibly off its hinges.
It would be naïve, today, to address any of these questions without also
considering the impact of imprisonment on crime. One of the most reliable
studies estimates that the increased prison population over the 1990s accounted
for about a third of the overall drop in crime that decade.
However, prisons are not the only institutions that seem to have this effect. In
a recent study, I demonstrated that the rate of institutionalization — including
mental hospitals — was a far better predictor of serious violent crime from 1926
to 2000 than just prison populations. The data reveal a robust negative
relationship between overall institutionalization (prisons and asylums) and
homicide. Preliminary findings based on state-level panel data confirm these
The effect on crime may not depend on whether the institution is a mental
hospital or a prison. Even from a crime-fighting perspective, then, it is time
to rethink our prison and mental health policies. A lot more work must be done
before proposing answers to those troubling questions. But the first step is to
realize that we have been wildly erratic in our approach to deviance, mental
health and the prison.
Bernard E. Harcourt, a professor of law and criminology at the University of
Chicago, is the author of “Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing
in an Actuarial Age.”
* * * *
This in from the author of actionlyme.org (click here for website):
TWO SETS OF AIRHEADS DYS-communicate.
The Democratic takeover in November the exit polls said was
primarily due to Republican corruption and not the war.
We, the people, are imaginary icons; little cartoon figures in that
Neverland or Wonderland of the "State," in the minds of "elected
The perfect example of this is Christopher Dodd.
They don't pay attention to us at all. They never respond, they never
reply, and their moron telephone answerers in DC have the
perception that the calls from the people are to be met with the
same low degree of seriousness and condenscension that nurses
at the nursing home administer to the imaginary complaints
of Alzheimer's patients.
So, whatever lip service Democrats are now paying to their constituents
publicly - when the TV microphone and camera are on them - is simply baloney.
It's rather novel and cute that they mention us nowadays, but it all could be
perceived as yet another ploy to maintain their popularity and power- the
power to do nothing.
Conversely, many Americans cannot be bothered with matters of
government. This is rather epidemic, especially in a place like
Connecticut where we have airheads in every level of government
as well as in the media. And when I say airheads, I mean it sincerely.
*No one* here has any idea of how the world works or the actual cost of
anything. A few of us rant and rave but the majority of the ranters don't
understand what the real problem is and are concerned only about their
personal issues. For example, there is no communication between the
Autism support groups, the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support Groups,
the Lyme support groups, etc.. Not for lack of trying on my part. Although
*I'm* the one with the bonefide verbal learning disability, the managers
of these other groups have no compassion or care for other groups of victims
of DC incompetence. They don't hear a word I say on the phone. That's even
if they *let* me talk. The Chronic Fatigue group is the worst. The Autism
does not want to hear from high functioning autistics, because their kids have
mentally retarded kind of Autism, like Beth CVEJANOVICH,
that vicious bitch on the Statewide Bar Counsel.
Lawyers have the complete opposite thinking style that genuine autistics and
scientists have. Lawyers and psychiatrists lie all the time because they have a
non-verbal learning disability, which is what ASPERGERS is: "If you don't
understand something, either lie or change the subject."
The FDA *OFFICIALLY* disclaims their responsibility to actually review the
data sent to them by BigPharma in each new drug filing, despite the fact
that that's what they're there to do. That's their primary job description.
They disclaim it. We pay their salaries anyway.
Whenever some group *does* get heard, it is usually because the media
in San Fransisco picked it up. A well-known incident that comes to mind is
Chris Shays and the newlywed who went overboard on a cruiseship. AFTER
that was national news, Shays came home to join the media jerk off. It
Perhaps I have made my point about a wall between two groups of
incompetent airheads. The ones in DC and the ones in the states.
The issue is what do we do about BushCo because there is no
communication to DC. We don't exist. We're the Lilliputians and
they're... whatever they are. They're there.
The Military has the same attitude towards us'n commoners. I know for
sure because I lived and worked in Groton where the sub base is.
There are two distinct communities here. I got an insider's view of the base
because my ex-husband videotaped many of their weddings. I, sick
and frequently very pregnant, got to help, and also pay the babysitter for those
Saturdays from my Pfizer income. I know what Auschwitz must have been like:
Sick and dying and forced to work 7 days a week anyway. A few times I had
to put my head between my knees while filming a wedding from the back of
the alter to keep from fainting. The people on the bases are snobs and in
the community of Groton put up with the true Red Necks who live in and around
sub base who think non-members of the military are not worthy of their clique.
women are the worst snobs, naturally. They married a Navy guy, so that makes
Queens of the Base. 'Drama Queens in competition for The Most Suffering.
THREE ARTICLES today, are from respected journalists and investigators
who have long been screaming their eyeballs out, because of the impending
global disaster of BushCo (as in, earthquakes and tsunamis from nuking Iran),
probably won't be heard by DC and action not be taken.
Impeachment? There's no time. BushCo has to be arrested in a Military Coup-
except for the fact that the Military are all delusional and serve their own
(delusional, grandiose, uneducated, and stupid- but MARRIED TO A NAVY GUY...)
The Crimes of BushCo I have on the front page of my website,
http://www.actionlyme.org/ if you scroll past the local evidence of
to progress that the entire State of Corrupticut is entirely about. We're the
to the Bush Family, remember, and Yale - a primary source of CIA and CDC
"geniuses." The CT psychopathic union members elect Democrats, who then
don't dare listen to anyone else, because then they won't get elected again,
and the Republican Commissioners and Rell simply have to manage the
psychopathic unions' mobsters and ** hide their crimes to prevent an
from the DC Department of Justice,** should Kevin O'Connor's Stone Wall Gang
fail to keep them out.
It's all about the other 49 states paying for our lifestyle of chewing up black
people and poor people, blaming *them* for not being smart enough to
join a CorruptiUnion and "work" for the State.
It's a form cannibalism. China's paying for it and they know it. Perhaps it
them to keep Americans occupied in social turmoil, gaping at all the "crime and
punishment" like the Roman Colosseum and the Gladiators and the Lions show.
We're a petty, immoral society that probably not worth saving. But maybe
Arabia is. They're not the ones jerking America around and sucking the
life out of us. 'Whoopin us up for more hysteria and the Colosseum and the
Middle East Rodeo Show. The likes of Mortimer Zuckerman are.
"An election. . .for a sheriff
By Mortimer B. Zuckerman • Editor-in-Chief
These are people who can't dance.
They're something wrong with their brains. Were there time, the development
of such higher order psychopathic personalities and the lack of three or four
dimensional talent should be studied (with brain imaging and not the
of psychiatry or philosophy) to see if there's a correlation in psychogenesis.
comes first? The lying, manipulativeness or the lack of grace.
Raimondo, Ron Paul, Paul Roberts:
January 14, 2007
Impeach Bush—Stop Iran Invasion
By Paul Craig Roberts
When are the American people and their representatives in Congress and the
military going to wake up and realize that the US has an insane war criminal in
the White House who is destroying all chances for peace in the world and
establishing a police state in the US?
Americans don’t have much time to realize this and to act before it is too late.
Bush’s "surge" speech last Wednesday night makes it completely clear that his
real purpose is to start wars with Iran and Syria before failure in Iraq brings
an end to the neoconservative/Israeli plan to establish hegemony over the Middle
The "surge" gives Congress, the media, and the foreign policy establishment
something to debate and oppose, while Bush sets his plans in motion to
orchestrate a war with Iran.
Suddenly, we are hearing Bush regime propaganda that there are Iranian networks
operating within Iraq that are working with the Iraqi insurgency and killing US
troops. This assertion is a lie and preposterous on its face. Iranian Shi’ites
are not going to arm Iraqi Sunnis, who are more focused on killing Iraqi
Shi’ites allied with Iran than on killing US troops. If the Iranians wanted to
cause the US trouble in Iraq, they would encourage Iraqi Shi’ites to join the
insurgency against US forces. An insurgency drawn from 80% of the Iraqi
population would overwhelm the US forces.
CBS reports that the news organization has been told by US officials "that
American forces have begun an aggressive and mostly secret ground campaign
against networks of Iranians that had been operating with virtual impunity
inside Iraq." To manufacture evidence in behalf of this lie to feed to the
gullible American public, US forces invaded an Iranian consulate in northern
Iraq and kidnapped 5 consulate officials, claiming the Iranians were part of
plans "to kill Americans." In typical Orwellian fashion, Secretary of State
Condi Rice described Bush’s aggression against Iran as designed to confront
Iraqi government officials in the Kurdish province and the Iraqi foreign
minister have refused to go along with Bush’s propaganda ploy. Iraqi Foreign
Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced that the Iranian officials were no threat and
were working in a liaison office that had Iraqi government approval and was in
the process of being elevated into a consulate.
The Iraqi foreign minister said that US troops tried to seize more innocent
people at the Irbil airport but were prevented by Kurdish troops.
The Kurds, of course, have been allies of the US forces, but Bush is willing to
alienate the Kurds in the interest of provoking a war with Iran.
If Bush is unable to orchestrate war with Iran directly, he will orchestrate war
indirectly by having US troops attack Iraqi Shi’ite militias. Bush has already
given orders for US troops to attack the Iraqi Shi’ite militias, who oppose the
Sunnis and have not been part of the insurgency. Obviously, once Bush can get
US troops in open warfare with Iraqi Shi’ites, the situation for US troops in
Iraq will quickly go down hill. Bush will be able to blame Iranian Shi’ites for
arming Iraqi Shi’ites that he can say are killing US troops.
Bush has also ordered the Persian Gulf to be congested with two US aircraft
carrier attack groups. There is no military or diplomatic reason for even one
attack group to be in the Persian Gulf. If Bush fails to orchestrate a war with
Iran by kidnapping its officials or by attacking Shi’ite militias, he can
orchestrate an event like the Tonkin Gulf incident or have the Israelis pull
another USS Liberty incident and blame the Iranians.
The Tonkin Gulf incident was used by the Johnson administration to deceive
Congress and to involve the US in the Vietnam War. Johnson alleged a North
Vietnamese attack on US warships.
In 1967 Israel attacked and destroyed the US intelligence ship Liberty, because
Liberty’s crew had picked up proof that Israel had initiated the war with Egypt
and intended to attack Syria the next day. Some have speculated that Israelis
hoped their attack on the Liberty could be blamed on Egypt and used to draw the
US into the war against Egypt.
In 2003 the Moorer Commission [see here [PDF] and here], headed by Admiral Tom
Moorer, former Chief of Naval Operations and former Chairman of the Joint
"That in attacking the USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against
American servicemen and an act of war against the United States."
"That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the
U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty."
"…the Captain and surviving crew members were later threatened with
court-martial, imprisonment or worse if they exposed the truth; and were
abandoned by their own government."
"That due to the influence of Israel’s powerful supporters in the United States,
the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the
"That a danger to our national security exists whenever our elected officials
are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation,
and specifically are unwilling to challenge Israel’s interests when they
conflict with American interests."
On the 30th anniversary of Israel’s destruction of the liberty, Admiral Moorer
said that Israel attacked the Liberty because Israel knew that the intelligence
ship could intercept Israel’s plans to seize the Golan Heights from Syria, an
act of Israeli aggression to which the US government was opposed. Admiral
Moorer said, "I believe Moshe Dayan concluded that he could prevent Washington
from becoming aware of what Israel was up to by destroying the primary source of
acquiring that information--the US Liberty.”
Moorer reports that after a 25 minute air attack "that pounded the Liberty with
bombs, rockets, napalm and machine gun fire . . . three Israeli torpedo boats
closed in for the kill . . . the torpedo boats’ machine guns also were turned on
life rafts that were deployed into the Mediterranean as well as those few on
deck that had escaped damage."
Admiral Moorer says, "What is so chilling and cold-blooded, of course, is that
they [Israel] could kill as many Americans as they did in confidence that
Washington would cooperate in quelling any public outcry."
The US invasion of Iraq and the looming US attack on Iran are proof that Israel
has even more power over the White House today.
Bush has many ways to widen his war in the Middle East. His brutal aggression
against Somalia has largely escaped criticism for the war crime that it is. On
January 11 the US National Intelligence Director told Congress that Hezbollah in
Lebanon may be the next US threat. Just as he lied to the entire world about
Saddam Hussein and Iraq, Bush is lying about Iran. Bush and the
neoconservatives are frantic for war with Iran to get underway before the US
Congress forces a US withdrawal from the failed adventure in Iraq.
Bush’s entire "war on terror" is based on lies. The Bush Regime, desperate to
keep its lies covered up, is now trying to prevent American law firms from
defending the Guantanamo detainees. The Bush Regime is fearful that Americans
will learn that the detainees are not terrorists but props in the regime’s
orchestrated "terror war."
On January 13 the New York Times (editorial) said that "Cully Stimson, the
deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, tried to rally
American corporations to stop doing business with law firms that represent
inmates of the Guantanamo internment camp." Stimson alleged that it was
"shocking" that American law firms were "representing detainees down there." He
suggested that when corporate America got word of if, "those C.E.O.’s are going
to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing
reputable firms. We want to watch that play out."[Round Up The Usual Lawyers]
The only reason for the Bush Regime’s policy of indefinite detention without
charges is that it has no charges to bring. The detainees are not terrorists.
They are the Bush Regime’s props in a fake war that serves as cover for the
Regime’s hegemonic policy in the Middle East.
The only action that can stop Bush is for both the Democratic and Republican
leadership of the House and Senate to call on the White House, tell Bush they
know what he is up to and that they will not fall for it a second time. The
congressional leadership must tell Bush that if he does not immediately desist,
he will be impeached and convicted before the week is out.
Can a congressional leadership that lives in fear of the Israel Lobby perform
All the rest is penny-ante. Revoking the Iraqi War Resolution as Rep. Sam Farr
has proposed or requiring Bush to obtain congressional authorization prior to
any US attack on Iran simply lets Bush and his Federalist Society apologists for
executive dictatorship claim he has commander-in-chief powers and proceed with
his planned aggression. Cutting off funding is not itself enough as Bush can
raid other budgets. Non-binding resolutions of disapproval are meaningless to a
president who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
Nothing can stop the criminal Bush from instituting wider war in the Middle East
that could become a catastrophic world war except an unequivocal statement from
Congress that he will be impeached.
Bush has made the US into a colony of Israel. The US is incurring massive debt
and loss of both life and reputation in order to silence Muslim opposition to
Israel’s theft of Palestine and the Golan Heights.
That is what the "war on terror" is about.
COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the
Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's
Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are
Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of