The Shame of America’s Gulag by Chris Hedges

by Chris Hedges
Writer, Dandelion Salad
March 18, 2013


Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

If, as Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” then we are a nation of barbarians. Our vast network of federal and state prisons, with some 2.3 million inmates, rivals the gulags of totalitarian states. Once you disappear behind prison walls you become prey. Rape. Torture. Beatings. Prolonged isolation. Sensory deprivation. Racial profiling. Chain gangs. Forced labor. Rancid food. Children imprisoned as adults. Prisoners forced to take medications to induce lethargy. Inadequate heating and ventilation. Poor health care. Draconian sentences for nonviolent crimes. Endemic violence.


via Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His latest books are Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.

Copyright © 2013 Truthdig


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13 thoughts on “The Shame of America’s Gulag by Chris Hedges

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  8. Not many realize how is euro-american establishment unsuccesfull in war games. Napoleon defetead in Russia- it took 100 years to heal paranoia with very mixed result as main trophy took Stalin by kicking of western puppets. As answer they built German military but Stalin beat ’em up so Roozi-taken from death bed- and Churcho ain’t loox happy on pix with Stalin. Establishment was not satisfy with result of WW2 neither see Operation Unthinkable. Cowards from america were waiting to go to war against Germany as they were praying for miracle that fascists will beat Stalin and they should split theft in Russia. Worst scenario happened when Stalin took half of Europe and did not signed Bretton Woods so they created NATO and started Operation Gladio.

    Spanish-American war brought some prifits in short term but on long distance it was worthless as now establishment have 3/4 of the world enemy
    Korean war: north succesfully pushed out the new colonial force- USA. Shortly after Castro kicked ’em out of Cuba for good.
    Vietnam war: establishment defeated by own military as soldiers refused to fight, killed som commanders, revolts spreaded on bases in US and they refused board ships. Establishment in panic ended war and all swept under carpet.
    There were couple succesfull episodes ad Panama and Granada which sets archetype of establishment: put feet there where is safe ground. Even Black Hawk down cowardice establishment did not sent military to Somalia.
    Bombing Serbia without set foot on its soil is anothet sign of cowardice. It developed into drone war.
    Napoleon, WW1-2, korea, vietnam debackle continues in Iraq and Afghosh. Unable to defeat on ground domestic people who protect their homeland against invaders.
    Now look how Putin and BRIC generally tries to pull euro-american establishment to as much war conflicts as possible- Putin leased Syria Iskanders in hope to drawn USS after US provocation but strategists of establishment realize how inefective their military is on ground do Bamanator pulled ships out of Syria.
    Putin has great chess strategy as he plays to lenghten time as much as possible while project of Euro-American 4th reich of holly Roman empire is collapsing inside empire and there is not needs for outside involvement. Just watch this reality show live by live in it.
    The project is finished with failure. What establishment does is trying to land down without landing gears and do not destroy plane. But the landscape where they try to land down loox bad for this maneuver.
    In 1990 after Berlin wall collapsed west and america had world at knees. But old grandfathers screwed it all up as did aparatchiki in Soviet union. China escaped this fate as they started refreshing blood. Without changing political system toward democracy Swiss or Scandinavia model downward spiral of america is irreversible. Aparatchiki in DC and on WS do not have brain cells to see reality.

  9. Stockholm syndrom. Americans have broken will. Majority americans knows the truth about establishment and how establishment rape ’em. But americans choose to cooperate eith their abusers. It worked and head in sand which make ’em Sutton’s deaf, blind, mutemen bring ’em better life than had majority of the world. But since 9/11 things change rapidly. Another war debackle in line, criminal activities of american banks is taking out cooperators abroad. Country is facing uncertain future. Sooner or later americans withdrew from unsigned agreement with abusers. And the last nail will hit military srvicemen by the way as they ended war in Vietnam=paranoimia for establishment.

    Maria is right. She painted picture with right colors of characters of american people= maximum cowards.

  10. Most people are not interested in getting involved.
    They live there lives just for them selves and hopefully their families.
    When they are so indifferent of us going overseas, killing millions of people, bombing their countries and they still a justification in that.
    People who scream by elections over health care insurance for everybody, Let them die.
    You expect those people to care about what happen to people in other countries, our prison system or the people who barely can make ends meet.
    Just reading the latest article from the lady who returned to Baghdad makes my heart cry.
    How dare we say we are the greatest country in the world. We march in with our mighty military with no regard for human life.

  11. And we criticize other nations but refuse to look at the problems in our own back yard.
    When is our government going to look into the abuse of our prison system?
    Like Fox news can bring up Stalin, Mao etc, do we first have to get massive killings?

    • I wouldn’t wait for the government to look into the abuse in the prison system. It’s up to us, we the people, to do something.

      Massive killings? This country (The USA) began as one huge massacre of the Native peoples. How many died in the Civil War? How many after we bombed Dresden? How many died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How many died in Vietnam? Please don’t forget, the US destroyed Iraq, up to 1 1/2 million deaths.

  12. “Tyrell was awarded a wrong time, wrong place conviction -apparently a common medal for a black man in this country. The men who pinned it on him thought; right man, right place, right color for the job. Tyrell was standing in the middle of a robbery, looking for a pen….”

    That’s all it takes to feed the prison justice system, that and an institutionalized greed fed allowed by all of us too busy to care. Tyrell is a character in a book my partner wrote, he could be one of millions of anybodies in jails, prisons and probationary detention all over the country.

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