Oriana Fallaci back in the soup.
She's being sued in Italy for defaming Islam in her last book, The Rage and the Pride
, and faces up to two years in prison.
The suit was brought by President of the Italian Muslim Union, Sig. Adel Smith
, a fellow who's activism even other Muslims sometimes profess to find a bit much
And now, as if this makes things right, he's gone to jail for defaming Catholicism.
Ms Fallaci's most recent book, The Force of Reason
, as radioactive as her last, is due out in America later this year.
The free speech in Europe thing is interesting, if crazy making, but does it distract us from the issues that dare not speak their names? Is she right, can East and West survive together? Or are we really best advised to go our separate ways
posted by IndigoJones
on Jun 24, 2005 -
"One lawyer said that his client... has told him that he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo, hanged by his wrists for hours at a time and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm." The age of this "client" when he was detained? 14 years old
. The reply of the camp's public affairs officer: "They don't come with birth certificates."
posted by digaman
on Jun 13, 2005 -
Stories from a prison in South Korea,
told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one
. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two
. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
posted by Mo Nickels
on May 18, 2005 -
The main business of Napanoch, N.Y., is a maximum-security prison, Eastern New York Correctional Facility, also known as Happy Nap... There is, however, a reason that inmates call the prison Happy Nap. Eastern is more relaxed than other maximum-security prisons, or 'maxes,' in upstate New York, with less hostility between staff and prisoners, and as a result fewer U.I.'s, or 'unusual incidents' -- stabbings and the like. It is said that the farther upstate you go, the harsher the prison conditions can be. Among New York's maxes, Eastern has one of the best reputations. It is one of only three maximum-security prisons in the state where you can still get an education -- not just in manual skills, but a proper college education with a degree at the end, thanks to privately financed initiatives. Uncaptive Minds
posted by y2karl
on Feb 27, 2005 -
Marine Refuses to Use Guns ...
Marine Cpl. Joel D. Klimkewicz converted to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints while in the Marines, and now believes that killing is against Jesus' teachings. As such, he refused to train with a gun though he says he would be willing to clear mines and work the front lines. The result is that the military has jailed him for his religious beliefs, convicting him of disobeying a direct order. Anyone think that Bill O'Reilly is going to say the military is trying to destroy Christianity?
posted by nathanrudy
on Jan 1, 2005 -
A long-lost treasure too toxic to touch:
Construction at New York City's Harlem Community Justice Center recently revealed a room piled high with records documenting the building's former life as an early 20th century prison. They offer a peek into the street life of ca. 1900 NYC and scholars are already interested - there's only one problem: the room also contains decades worth of toxic pigeon droppings. (NY Times - registration required).
Photos (click on the "records rescue" link at the bottom) of the room are available at the great correctionhistory.org which also offers histories and photos of other out-of-the-way corners of NYC like the Hart Island Potter's Field.
posted by ryanshepard
on Nov 5, 2004 -
The Road To Abu Ghraib A generation from now, historians may look back to April 28, 2004, as the day the United States lost the war in Iraq... It was a direct—and predictable—consequence of a policy, hatched at the highest levels of the administration, by senior White House officials and lawyers, in the weeks and months after 9/11. Yet the administration has largely managed to escape responsibility for those decisions; a month from election day, almost no one in the press or the political class is talking about what is, without question, the worst scandal to emerge from President Bush's nearly four years in office... Given the particular conditions faced by the president and his deputies after 9/11—a war against terrorists, in which the need to extract intelligence via interrogations was intensely pressing, but the limits placed by international law on interrogation techniques were very constricting—did those leaders have better alternatives than the one they chose? The answer is that they did. And we will be living with the consequences of the choices they made for years to come.
posted by y2karl
on Oct 27, 2004 -
This is Jon's diary. Jon is in prison on money laundering and drugs charges.
"My new co-habitants are enduring the twin evils of a broken swamp-cooler and a cockroach infestation. A neighbouring asthmatic inmate happily described how he inhaled a cockroach that had crept into his nebulizer. He could feel the insect crawling around inside him and promptly vomited his stomach contents. Unfortunately the cockroach was not ejected, as it was lodged in his lung."
posted by urban greeting
on Sep 9, 2004 -
Blowing Up Gotti.
A weekly series from
The Smoking Gun featuring prison videotapes of John Gotti behind plexiglass talking to his kids and grandkids. Check out
Episode One: Grandpa Blows a Gasket (Quicktime required). Makes you think twice about your baseball career. (Via
posted by adrober
on Aug 18, 2004 -
Write a Prisoner
Offers a unique service. It connects you with your convicted-felon potential solemate. Fun for the whole family (NSFW)
posted by cjoh
on Jul 16, 2004 -
The Wrong Morons.
(from the Army Times
) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
posted by Ty Webb
on May 11, 2004 -
Here are some ideas
for Thanksgiving dinner, though not a circumstance I'd like to participate in.
If ever there was a time to say Grace before dining, this certainly is one of those times.
Pumpkin pie anyone?
posted by bluedaniel
on Nov 27, 2003 -
Anger management therapy in prison.
Does it work? Is it ethical?
Prisoners who state "If I had had a better education, I would have a good job, and wouldn't need to commit crime"
have "distorted thinking"; and one prisoner claims therapy helped him premeditate an attack on an informer. Should prison therapy be effectively compulsory?
aims to find out what makes people happy.
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Nov 19, 2003 -
Man Pleads Guilty to Raping his own 2 month old Daughter
But wait, that's just the beginning. This guy's daddy heads the state Corrections Department and part of his plea is to reduce the amount of time he's going to spend in jail for this most heinous act.
This guy is facing, if the judge agrees to the plea, only 6 months in jail! The standard sentence for first-degree child rape is seven to 10 years in prison.
He's admitted to molesting a 9 year old in Maine before and has also been convicted of orchestrating an armed robbery.
How in the heck he's going to get ANY leniency is beyond me.
posted by fenriq
on Oct 29, 2003 -
is a fantastic, prize-winning author. His book Newjack
is, to quote Jon Krakauer, "a compelling, compassionate look at a terribly important, poorly understood aspect of American society." In it, he works undercover as a guard at Sing Sing. You can read the truncated New Yorker version
on the site. Additionally, there are many other articles
, reviews and interviews
, and a pretty interesting group of e-mails
from "officers, their families, and others affected by prison." And, just to name-drop once more, Sebastian Junger says: "Ted Conover is a first-rate reporter and more daring and imaginative than the rest of us combined." Check him out!
posted by adrober
on Oct 25, 2003 -
Reflect the pain
and desolate loneliness inmates felt when serving time - time in a prison surrounded by a paradise that teased them with what was forbidden.
In 1985, before I left Brazil to live in the United States, I journeyed with some friends to surf at Ilha Grande. One day, while we relaxed on a remote beach, a group of military men suddenly appeared looking for some escaped prisoners. They advised us to stay together.
Hours later, a helicopter flew over the sea with two fugitives trapped in a net that was hanging from its belly. ...At that moment, a desire was born in me to see life within the Caldron.
posted by thisisdrew
on Oct 22, 2003 -
David Garland's disturbing new book addresses the question why there are so many more people in jail in America and Britain than anywhere else... Its broader concern is with "cultures of control," how societies treat deviance and violence and whom they single out for what treatment. Here are some facts about skyrocketing imprisonment... There are approximately two million people in jail in America today, 2,166,260 at last count: more than four times as many people as thirty years ago. It is the largest number in our history... [and] between four and ten times the incarceration rate of any civilized country in the world... Twelve percent of African-American men between twenty and thirty-four are currently behind bars (the highest figure ever recorded by the Justice Department) compared to 1.6 percent of white men of comparable ages. And according to the same source, 28 percent of black men will be sent to jail in their lifetime... It was not until crime rates had already leveled off that incarceration rates began their steady, year-by-year climb. Between 1972 and 1992, while the population of America's prisons grew and grew, the crime rate as a whole continued at the same level, unchanged.
Jerome S. Bruner reviews The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society
for The New York Review of Books
, as does Austin Sarat
in the American Prospect
posted by y2karl
on Sep 18, 2003 -
Bush signs a bill into law
that very few people will have anything bad to say about. Most of those who would oppose the new law can't vote, anyway, being members of predatory prison gangs, so I think we're pretty much good on this one
posted by majcher
on Sep 5, 2003 -
Sick on the Inside.
Published in Harper's August 2003 issue but not online, the full text of Wil S. Hylton's exposure of the medical conditions in United States prisons has been put on the web by the Wrongful Death Institute
with the author's permission. The gravity of the situation for more than 2 million people behind bars can hardly be exaggerated.
"We have almost 30 percent of our prison population in Texas infected with hepatitis. That’s not so different from the numbers you see in the Dark Ages with the plague."
posted by Eloquence
on Sep 1, 2003 -
"[Correctional Medical Services] is an HMO with a captive audience," says David Santacroce, the professor who is spearheading the Michigan lawsuit. "The fewer patients they treat, the more money they make."
We're number one! We're number one!
From a source quoted in the article: "We have the wealthiest society in human history, and we maintain the highest level of imprisonment. It's striking what that says about our approach to social problems and inequality."
(apologies for the usual US-centrism)
posted by alumshubby
on Aug 18, 2003 -
Dead Man Eating
is a weblog listing last meals of American prisoners put to death. Often humanizing the prisoners without belittling their crimes, it's a macabre, fascinating read no matter which side of the death penalty debate you're on.
posted by kickerofelves
on Aug 2, 2003 -
Study Finds 2.6% Increase in U.S. Prison Population The nation's prison population grew 2.6 percent last year, the largest increase since 1999, according to a study by the Justice Department. The jump came despite a small decline in serious crime in 2002. It also came when a growing number of states facing large budget deficits have begun trying to reduce prison costs by easing tough sentencing laws passed in the 1990's, thereby decreasing the number of inmates. The key finding in the report is this growth, which is somewhat surprising in its size after several years of relative stability in the prison population, said Allen J. Beck, an author of the report. U.S. Prison Population Grew 2.6% in 2002. The country's prisons, jails and juvenile facilities held 2,166,260 persons at the end of last year, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) said in a report released today. Prisoners in 2002 Abstract
posted by y2karl
on Jul 28, 2003 -
Another great French prison escape.
Two members of an international drug smuggling ring hijack a helicopter, abseil into the prison exercise yard, and resuce a third man. Also, “last month, a commando-style gang used plastic explosives and a rocket launcher to blow its way into a prison near Paris and free a convict serving a sentence for organized crime. In a separate attack, men brandishing what turned out to be a fake rocket launcher freed another crime kingpin from a prison in Borgo on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.” In August, a man secretly replaced his brother, a Basque separatist leader, in prison
posted by Mo Nickels
on Apr 14, 2003 -
Christopher Boyce (the Falcon from Falcon and the Snowman
) on spying, prison, breaking out of prison, and the cruelty of denying parole to federal inmates. (LA Times reg.)
posted by xowie
on Mar 1, 2003 -