Smiling Faces Sometimes

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.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Interesting. I see now.

Anonymous said...

Those munions as you politely call
them are nothing but the corrupted
boys of New Jersey that better pull up their pants real high because WHAT GOES AROUND ALWAYS

Anonymous said...

They are making it very very hard for mr bergrin and i did my reserch also this is an way to keep him SILENCE..... This place is for terroist and alike john walker is housed there.

Anonymous said...

The harder they make it for Paul
Bergrin, the harder it will be for
them. It's not very smart, the situation could be solved in many
other ways. It's a question of being intelligent in this situation and not playing dirty criminal games.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme court? Oy vey.

Anonymous said...

No not the Supreme court there are
others ways when people have good will.
These ways can be for example political, or similar. If you
think just the Government can do
a lot in such a chaos. I've seen
cases solved in such a way and
it's not something impossible.
ONLY GOOD WILL on behalf of certain persons " GOOD WILL."

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that the government
does not allow Paul Bergrin to
prepare court and all legal matters with freedom.
This is not only unfair, it is
criminal especially when the man
is innocent. This can cost a lot
to tax payers.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of busting him out Vicky?

Anonymous said...

Everyone that knows Paul well will
confirm that he is a GRAND PERSON.
A humanitarian that defended these
soldiers against the government,
a soldier that faught for his country because it was his duty.And because of his sense of
responsibilities the government is
torturing him and locking him up in a prison for life. Don't people
see there is something very wrong in all this. How about not being
cowards or lyers, how about waking
up to reality and being strong just like Paul. God bless him.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, if that really is your name, Paul didn't fight for his country, he was a lawyer. Big diff

Anonymous said...

To last anonymous. Paul is a Major
in the army so he did fight for his country and it's not because he is a lawyer that he is not entitled to have a fair trial, an appeal, etc... It's not because he is a lawyer that he has to pay
for the responsibilites of others and die in prison. A lawyer is a human being like anyone else not an animal.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Exactly, there are not enough like
Paul Bergrin. His entire case is based on pure fabrication and intimidation to suppress the truth.
No wonder federal authorities hate
him but never say why.He had the skill and committment to expose
their crimes.

The truth will always be the truth.

Anonymous said...

These witnesses that have lied in
court for the government againts
Paul Bergrin to make sure this one could lock him up for life
better come up soon to make things
clean before it's too late for them.In time things will obviously
get worse for them if they don't
do it.Noone can be punished for
saying the truth sooner or later.
Americans citizens will be grateful if they do so.

Anonymous said...

If those witnesses that commited
perjury and lied in Paul Bergrins trial don't come up to say the truth, they will receive at the end a stronger punishment of incarceration because of their
lies and silence. In their own interest they should step up now.

Vicky Gallas said...

@the last Anonymous -

I disagree. The witnesses that lied did so to lessen any possible charge or sentence in their own cases. To change their stories now, regardless that the new statement is true, would result in further harassment from the government. To not change their statements would result in nothing legal, and certainly not more punishment, but will haunt each eventually if it is not already.

The time to tell the truth was on the stand at trial. It has now been almost 2 years since the second trial. The only way for these witnesses that lied to come clean now is for each to write a truthful and factual statement in their own words and voluntarily, get it notarized, and drop it in the mail to Paul's attorney, Lawrence Lustberg. Mr. Lustberg will know what to do with any statements that he receives.

I do not hold high hope for any one of them sending such a statement. No one can write it for them as this would be as coerced as the original statements given to the government. Furthermore, take note that I have never and will never contact any government witness or informant in this case. To do so would probably be a chargeable offense. Paul Bergrin's case is not over as he has appeals left and these people are still co-defendants or government witnesses.

In other words, whatever anyone does on their own, they definitely need to keep me out of it. If the witnesses that lied want to make a truthful statement, I think they know how without any assistance whatsoever.

Enough about witnesses that lied. They know what to do, if they want to do it.

Unknown said...

Only Jesus can save him now....and prayers I'lol pray