I have been trying to get this post together for some time now. It's a quick reminder this holiday season to remember those that are behind the wall.
When I first started to research Gang Stalking I came across the occasional story about people in jail for various reasons, some of the stories left me stunned and shaking my head in disbelief.
See before this type of research I was pretty naive, I thought that if people were in jail for selling drugs they deserved to be there. I assumed that those caught using drugs were in rehabilitation facilities.
I pretty much think drug use is wrong. I am anti-drugs and have been since I was back in school. I was one of those irritating kids telling the friends not to smoke, then not to use drugs, I wasn't a buzz kill, but I might have crossed the goody line a few times.
Since reading these stories and seeing the true state of things, my opinions and views have undergone some changes. While I am still against drugs and drug use, I think the drug laws are a greater injustice to human kind. They are creating an army of Informants that are loyal to the state, and that would sell their mother if asked to. What I am seeing and reading is more wrong than anything else that I have come across, maybe even Gang Stalking and that's hard to say.
I don't believe in legalizing drugs, but I think people should start to look into decriminalizing drugs. The drug war in my opinion is not legitimate. It's not keeping drugs off the streets. Just ask the CIA who were busy importing drugs into ethnic communities. I use to believe the war on drugs was what it presented itself to be. A war to protect our society from those evil people who wanted to use drugs, get high, and sell drugs. I now see that I was wrong about a lot of this.
This war has been used to enslave the innocent, take away civil rights, allow the police now to use no knock warrants to break into innocent people's homes, and using an army of Informants to give false testimony to put away innocent people. Also many of those in jail on drug charges are those who did not agree to become informants. They did not play the game and in many cases that is why they are there.
The ones who do play the game. They go back on the streets and they continue to use drugs, to sell drugs, and to set up others, some guilty some not guilty, it's a disgusting cycle that is being perpetuated and it needs to stop.
I think if society does agree to decriminalize drugs, they could fine drug users the same way they do people who speed in cars. I think they should have areas where people can use some drugs, I don't think all drugs should be decriminalized, but marijuana would be a good start. I don't think people should be allowed to smoke this mind altering drug in homes around children, but if people wish to indulge in this, then set up places that they can do so.
The stories that I am coming across lead me to believe that there is a great deal of corruption within the system, and at the heart of that corruption is this Informant system. Take away the need for consistent convictions and you start to get some control and power back. Take away the testimonies of snitches and society starts to get some control back. Take away Informant deals and society would start to get some control back. However the legal system works with and through informants currently. Informants almost have as much or more power than prosecutors and that can only lead to the corruption that is being witnessed in much of these cases, and other areas of society.
Here are story that first tuned me into the fact that all is not right with the war on drug. There are many more like it, but I think this one really opens your eyes. I hope you will keep it in mind this holiday season as you are at home with your families safe and sound.
1. 10 years in jail for selling light bulbs. The forgotten man.
[quote]In the spring of 1994, the Tucker family received lengthy prison sentences -- 10 years for Steve, 16 years for his older brother Gary, and 10 years for his brother's wife, Joanne -- without possibility of parole, for the curiously worded federal crime of "conspiracy to manufacture marijuana."
Yet federal prosecutors never charged them with buying, selling, growing, transporting, smoking or even possessing marijuana. An 18-month DEA investigation had failed to turn up direct evidence connecting the Tuckers to even a single joint.
Instead, they were locked away for selling the lamps, fertilizer and gardening hardware from the small hydroponic supply shop Gary operated on Buford Highway that enabled their customers to grow pot.
In the mid-'90s, the Tucker case became a cause celebrate among libertarian activists and other advocates of marijuana legalization. It served as an oft-cited, cautionary example of the runaway powers of the federal government and the worst excesses of the War on Drugs.[/quote]
[quote]Most of the stuff we were selling, you could buy at Home Depot. We had a legitimate business."[/quote]
[quote]At the close of the '70s, 11 states -- following the advice of the American Medical Association and even then-President Jimmy Carter -- had decriminalized simple possession. In 1981, the first bill to legalize medical-marijuana use was introduced in Congress. Its lead sponsor was a young, conservative Georgia lawmaker named Newt Gingrich.
Under Ronald Reagan, however, the tide swiftly turned. Even while the CIA was secretly helping Nicaraguan Contras smuggle vast amounts of cocaine into the president's home state of California, the administration was cracking down on domestic pot smokers, pushing for "zero tolerance" drug laws and scolding Americans to "Just Say No." By the end of the '80s, even socially progressive Oregon had again outlawed weed.[/quote]
[quote]So perhaps Gary Tucker shouldn't have been surprised one day in the early weeks of 1992 when DEA Special Agent Kevin McLaughlin dropped by Southern Lights with an offer its owner wasn't expected to refuse. The feds would be much obliged, McLaughlin explained, if he'd let them install hidden cameras in the store so they could snoop on his customers. If he didn't, no effort would be spared in shutting down his 4-year-old business.
The conversation lasted probably all of five minutes, but its outcome would set into motion forces the Tuckers could scarcely imagine.
Gary would later tell his family that when he told McLaughlin to get lost, the agent "said they'd get him somehow," recalls his mother, Doris Gore.
[b]Still disgusted by the idea of being pressured into being a government spy, Steve has never second-guessed his brother's response. "This isn't Nazi Germany," he says.[/b][/quote]
The last paragraph above is the key reason so many people are ending up in jail, with outrageous sentences. Refusing to play the game. Refusing to become government Snitches/Informants. If he had gone along, he would have sent many others to jail, while preserving himself. This unfortunately is what many others have chosen to do, and that has perpetuated a cycle of horror that is unimaginable.
[quote]One evening in July, the DEA's McLaughlin, accompanied by partner Mark Hadaway, paid a visit to Jorene Deakle, who worked with Gary as Southern Lights' store manager, and accused her and her husband of growing pot in their home.
Deakle testified two years later at the Tuckers' sentencing hearing that the agents had threatened to file charges and seize her house unless she agreed to spy on her employer for them. She said she was frightened into giving them names of Southern Lights customers she thought might be growing weed.
But the agents wouldn't let up, she testified, until she came with them to point out a house where she knew marijuana was being grown. As they were driving, Deakle told the judge, she picked a house at random so they finally would leave her alone.
The terrified Deakle called the agents several times a week to feed them tidbits of information; the investigation gained momentum. Agents followed customers home, pawed through their garbage, subpoenaed their utility bills and trained sophisticated infrared-imaging devices on their houses to look for concentrated heat sources.
Then the busts began in earnest, as one green thumb after another was caught red-handed. Don Switlick, a convicted drug trafficker, was found growing 114 plants with hydroponic equipment purchased at Southern Lights. Agents discovered a grow room in the Dawsonville home of Thomas Fordham, a high-school friend of Gary's. And, in September, Chuck Rothermel, who ran a car-customizing shop, was busted for a large crop of immature plants hidden in a nondescript warehouse he was renting in Forsyth County.
Of course, not every raid paid off. In one case, agents searched a startled family's home, only to discover that the husband was using the incriminating high-watt lamps in his tropical aquarium. In another, the suspect had never heard of the store; he'd been identified through his car, which his girlfriend had borrowed for the day.
Suffering from what Steve describes as a "nervous breakdown," Deakle mysteriously quit her job. The Tuckers would later find out she had also broken off contact with the DEA.[/quote]
First they went after someone who worked at the store with these brothers, and threatened her till she decided to snitch. That's where the problem begins. Had she resisted and gone to her employer and advised them what was happening, dozens of people could have avoided being arrested and turned into snitches themselves. Two innocent brothers could have stayed out of jail. Not only that but she admits to pointing out a random house to the police. So some random person is now going to be under investigation for no reason.
[quote]In December, Gary and Joanne went out to dinner and drinks with a friend, Mark Holmes, who kept steering the rambling, margarita-fueled conversation back to the subject of recreational marijuana use -- in large part because he was wearing a wire.[/quote]
[quote]Still, why were prosecutors willing to let admitted pot-growers and convicted drug dealers off easy so they could nail a tax-paying businessman who hadn't been caught with any grass?
Doris Gore is convinced there was an element of vengeance in the DEA's pursuit of her sons because they had refused to roll over, to name names, to cop a plea. "They hated Gary because he wouldn't do what they said," she says.
She may be on to something. During the trial, Garfield Hammonds, then the Southeast's top DEA official, announced to the press that Gary was no mere entrepreneur: "He's a bum, he's a parasite, he's a master of deceit, he's a marijuana czar." Hammonds, who now sits on the state Board of Pardons and Parole, didn't return a CL phone call.[/quote]
The corrupt move up the ladder in this system and the innocent go to jail.
[quote]Steve Tucker still believes he and Joanne were charged primarily as added leverage
against Gary. When they wouldn't give him up, the government simply steamrolled over them as well.[/quote]
Because they would not turn Judas and snitch on an innocent man, they were also made to pay the price.
[quote]One former Southern Lights customer, a 66-year-old ex-con we'll call "Bob" (who spoke to CL on condition he not be named), now says DEA agents tried to coax him into claiming the Tuckers were growing pot at their house, but stopped short of asking him to lie.
"'You help us and we'll help you,' is how they put it," he explains.
When asked to wear a wire into the store, Bob agreed -- then fled the state rather than aid an investigation he believed was intent on "railroading" the business owners.
Even though he eventually testified after police tracked him down, Bob received a four-year sentence, rather than the 18-month stretch he'd initially been offered.[/quote]
This pattern is one that we are consistently seeing. The more culpable being given less time provided they are willing to snitch, lie, and set up the innocent.
[quote]"I was in prison with people who'd swear their own mother was Hitler if it would help them," he says, shaking his head. "I'll never have another close friend. I'll never be able to trust anyone that way, now that I've seen what people will do to protect their freedom."[/quote]
The sad part is after reading these stories, this is not random. Something happens to these people something changes in many of them after they become snitches and what they are willing to do to others to stay out of jail is unimaginable.
[quote]Before the trial began, says Steve: "I was offered 24 months instead of 10 years if I'd testify against Gary. When I said no, they asked me to testify against Joanne. I mean, my brother or my brother's wife, what's the difference?"
Even after the jury had returned guilty verdicts against all three Tuckers, the prosecutors offered Steve one last deal: Give up the names of any pot-growers who had escaped their dragnet and get off with only two years.
"I figure I'm a man, I make my own decisions, and I'm not going to tear someone else down to spare myself some time," he says. "I said, 'I'll do my 10 years.'[/quote]
If more people took this stance, society would not be where it is. He refused to lie and sell out innocent people. Thus they gave him ten years.
[quote]Even as they settled into the cell they shared at Talladega Federal Correctional Institute, Gary and Steve's convictions were being condemned in newsletters and described in magazine articles, discussed at political forums and featured in a CNN special.
The family was the subject of a chapter in the 1998 book Shattered Lives: Portraits From America's Drug War. Co-author Mikki Norris of El Cerrito, Calif., says the Tuckers' case was one of the more disturbing she studied.
"It made me very paranoid to think that you could be convicted of completing a drug transaction without even knowing it," she says.[/quote]
It should have made the country paranoid, and they should have taken a look at the drug policy then, but they didn't.
[quote]Last December, five days after Steve was released from the halfway house where he'd spent the last few months of his sentence, Gary died of cancer at Emory Hospital.
He had been sick for a nearly a year, but prison officials refused to take his illness seriously until it was too late, his mother says.
"They'd give him an aspirin and send him back to his cell until he'd pass out and then they'd take him to the hospital," Gore says.
Steve was able to see Gary toward the end, but Joanne -- who'd been transferred from a Connecticut woman's prison to a Macon halfway house -- wasn't allowed to visit her husband the week before he died.
The diagnosis was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer closely associated with exposure to Agent Orange, the deadly herbicide used in Vietnam. It would seem Gary's government had succeeded in killing him after all.[/quote]
After reading this story you have to really wonder if the laws are working, and if they are really putting away who they should be putting away.
[quote]The thing about federal prison that made the biggest impression on Steve was how many inmates were much like himself: small-time, non-violent offenders serving big-time sentences for reasons that made little sense.
"Even if I was guilty, 10 years seems excessive when there were bank robbers who were in there for two or three years, and I got 10 years for selling light bulbs," he says, his voice rising as if framing a question.
"This drug war forced two little kids to grow up without their dad and my ex-wife to go without child-support for eight years, and for what?" he continues. "I'm not saying I'm above the law, but I know in my heart I'm not the type of person who needed to be in prison."[/quote]
Small time people in jail with big sentences, while the bigger fishes roam free in society because they agreed to play the game. They go on to have lives, and to be a part of society that is now become corrupt. Wonder if there is a correlation?
[quote]Over the last decade, drug convictions have accounted for more than 80 percent of the growth of the federal prison population, so it's hardly surprising that, as the drug war swirled outside, amassing new victims, Steve Tucker was essentially forgotten.[/quote]
Wow drug conviction have accounted for 80% of growth in federal prisons? How many people that make up that 80% have decided to play the game and are out free now, or are only going to be serving small sentences?
After reading and researching I draw the only conclusion that I can. The war on drugs was not about what I originally was lead to believe, it's a part of a much more sinister system that is helping to corrupt society and to enslave society. It's done so silently, insidiously, under the banner of righteousness, and many of us miss the deeper underlying currents that are going to cost all of society in the end.
I meant to bring you more stories from behind the wall, but this article is already too long. I hope you will take a moment this holiday season to make yourselves become aware of those faces and voices that have been long forgotten behind the wall. Those children that have been left without parent or parents due to this war on drugs, and the impact they will have on society as they grow up without the much needed guidance in many cases.
Over 2 million behind bars. Read some of their stories and decide if this war on drugs is really
about what you thought it was about.