"A Cage of Every Unclean and
The idea of
political prisoners and the abuse they suffer at the hands of their government
is not a new one to the majority of the American public. When the concept is
presented, it usually brings forth visions of the old Soviet gulags or the
horrors of Southeast Asia. The possibility that America would have such a thing
as a "political prisoner" within its own borders would be, to the
majority of this nation's citizens, considered the substance of right wing,
militia or separatist paranoia.
A former twelve-term Republican congressman from Idaho,
however, has different ideas as to where one could find this scenario being
played out. Former GOP Congressman, George Hansen, has been referred to on as
many as 2,500 talk-radio stations across the country as "America's most
famous political prisoner", according to the "U.S. Citizens Human
"The odyssey of George Hansen in the nation's legal
system," claims the Mission Statement of that organization, "is so
brutal that it makes him the natural spokesman to the nation and the world of
the terror experienced by thousands of Americans each year as they are ground
under the heel of a ruthless justice system run amok."
The group, as its name implies, was established to
provide recourse to remedy against suspected or actual human rights violations.
Their Mission Statement, however, denotes a different approach to the subject
than most are familiar with. Instead of the standard application to human
rights, i.e., addressing immigrants', minorities' or children's rights, etc.,
their declared purpose is for "publicly exposing and eliminating the wave
of violence and killings of Americans everywhere at the hands of government law
enforcement officers and officials of the judiciary."
Such claims would seem questionable, at best, were it not
for the fact that this fourteen-year veteran of Congress and former Deputy
Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture under Nixon has himself
been the focus of "political retribution."
The newspaper, The Idaho Observer, stated
that "Seven-term U.S. Congressman, George Hansen (R. Idaho) was punished
severely for having the audacity to implement a plan which would make Congress
instantly accountable to the American public.
"Hansen, author of To Harass Our People, an
indictment of the IRS, was also the architect of the Congressional
Accountability Project (CAP) which was...to use national TV and a 1-900 number
to instantly post congressional floor votes and public response to them."
This legislation met with a hostile congressional
response and began a series of events in the life of the congressman that makes
the term "bizarre" seem woefully inadequate.
The real substance of Rep. Hansen's nightmare began when
James Cole, special counsel to the House Ethics Committee (the same special
prosecutor assigned to deal with Newt Gingrich's
ethics case), went after Hansen on alleged violation of Title 18 sec. 1001 of
the United States Code. He was accused of lying to the government by omitting
specific information on his financial disclosure statement. Even after the
Supreme Court handed down its decision, years later, vacating Hansen's
conviction and calling the litigation a "wrongful prosecution", Cole
was still presenting his handling of the Hansen case as his preeminent
qualification in order to be assigned the Gingrich matter. After successfully
receiving the case, a story published by Associated Press included a photograph
of Cole with the caption, "APPOINTED. Special counsel James M. Cole made a
name by prosecuting a congressman who falsified his disclosure
forms,"--the AP still apparently ignorant that Hansen was declared
innocent of the charge by the highest court in the land.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
In an extensive interview with The WINDS, Rep. Hansen
detailed the chronology of events, up to and including his torture and
incarceration by federal marshals. The following is that chronology.
Congressman Hansen's trouble really began, he told this
reporter, about 1964. "I'd been in a running battle with the Feds for
years because I don't like what they do to people--so they tried to take me
down. The big part started in 1975.
IRS came after
me with their criminal division." Other congressmen, Hansen alleges,
"had the IRS foil their re-election bids claiming they evaded taxes, thus
labeling them as 'scoff- laws', a term used to imply that the legislators
thought that they were above the law, "something the American people don't
like". "In my case," Hansen says, "my people [his
electorate] knew better. They [the IRS] were after me with criminal
[proceedings] for three years and they finally had to give me back $10,000 in
overpaid taxes. Then they got their 'big brother', the
Department of Justice, to come after me on
campaign contributions. When that didn't work, they [pursued] ethics violations
like they did with Newt Gingrich which also didn't work. Then they claimed I
didn't report my wife for [income] tax purposes."
The method the government used that finally resulted in a
"successful" prosecution, the congressman told The WINDS, was when
they took him to downtown Washington, D.C. "where," Hansen says,
"you could indict a ham sandwich," and was indeed indicted for
"failure to report" under the previously stated U.S. Code. "As a
result of this I ended up in and out of jail for a ten-year period--four years
solid time behind prison bars. Finally the Supreme Court" handed down a
decision in May of 1995 claiming that the case was a "wrongful
prosecution"--translation: it should never have been brought to court.
During his incarceration Rep. Hansen was subjected to
what federal inmates refer to as "Diesel Therapy," so named because
of the continuous transport by diesel-powered vehicles. This takes place in
transit to or from whatever detention facility to which the prisoner is
ultimately assigned. The congressman detailed this form of
"institutionalized torture" for The WINDS. The reader should be
advised that the incidents described therein depict graphic details that some
may find extremely disturbing. Also in the following account it is well to
remember that this treatment was being perpetrated upon a 63 year-old man.
"When they chain you up, legs and wrists, they put a
thing called a stiffener on those they don't like. That's a small black box
slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes. This is placed on the chains between
the handcuffs and makes them rigid so your arms can't move. Then they run a
chain from your arms and fasten it to your waist. When they do that it pulls
your arms from a normal 180-degree angle to 90 degrees, putting your arms in a
bind which cuts into the nerves of your wrists so badly that, the result is,
after an extended period of time like that, it requires weeks and sometimes
months to get feeling and circulation back to your hands--and pretty much the
same for your feet."
After placing these manacles on hands and feet,
"they strap you into a seat and you're so bound up with chains that if you
have to go to the bathroom, you can't do anything about it. You can't pull your
pants down or do anything to relieve yourself."
According to Hansen, the vehicles he was transported in
reeked of urine and feces because the prisoners were chained in that position
for twenty hours a day, forcing them to accommodate their bodily functions
without access to sanitation facilities.
"The best thing you could do," Hansen advised
others, "is the Biblical act of fasting. If you don't eat and don't drink,
you don't have to go to the bathroom. They do this to you for four or five
weeks at a time; they put you in chains about two in the morning, you get out
about ten at night. And when you're bigger than average [Rep. Hansen is
6'6"], you're wedged in, sitting there twenty hours a day and you can't
move your legs. Because the shackles cut off the return blood flow from your
lower extremities, soon your legs fill with blood, especially when you're 63
years-old as I was then. Then you get to walk around with two barrels full of
blood where your calves and lower legs should be.
"The result of this is that your feet swell and
become two to three sizes too large for your shoes. [Hansen claims that the
marshals intentionally provided him with shoes several sizes too small]. This
causes your toes to jam into the ends of your shoes and blood blisters form
underneath your toenails. They then start growing straight up and to the side
in the most grotesque manner. You can't believe what happens under those
conditions. Your toes turn to knobs, becoming very disfigured, making it
impossible to wear shoes. The only way I could get shoes on was to pull my
toenails out by the roots, myself, with pliers. I now have ten toes without
"Because of the blood pooling in my shins for such
extended periods of time, if I just skinned them, on the back of a seat or
something, it formed open sores that didn't heal for as long as a year and a
half. I couldn't get any medical attention because of their attitude toward me.
They were trying to send me a message.
"I found a foil container in the garbage with a
couple of, what used to be, iodine swabs all dried out. I put some water on it
to try to activate what was left of the iodine and applied that to the sores.
It did cause some coagulating and eventually, after some time, healed over.
"My legs looked like they were beaten with
two-by-fours. When I went to Iran several years before, I was the only public
official to get into the country during the hostage crisis, and that's what
they showed me the Shah had been doing to his people. If they didn't like what
you were doing, they would smash your shins with boards and pull your nails out
and break your teeth. I went to Congress recently and detailed what happened in
Iran and told them I didn't even have to leave the country--I got the job done
down the road about a hundred miles--right here in the United States of
America. It shook them up pretty badly.
"The way they smashed my teeth out is they isolated
me, arbitrarily, to a place where I had no communication with the outside
world. They placed me where I had to do chemical testing on extremely hazardous
substances with absolutely no protection. That caused my bones and teeth to go
soft. I ended up with twenty-four teeth breaking off at the gum line. For three
years I was not allowed to see a dentist. So far, it has cost me about $14,000
to try to repair my mouth. My dentist says I'm a dental cripple for life
because the chemicals eroded not only my teeth, but my jawbone and gums. I went
through about the same thing they do in a foreign prison. I got it done a
little differently, but the results were the same."
The actual "diesel therapy", Hansen says, is
for the purpose of isolating a prisoner from the rest of the world for extended
periods of time by keeping him in transit. This is a form of physical and
emotional torture somewhat akin to sleep deprivation and brainwashing, but with
much more serious physiological consequences.
"I saw the U.S.A. in a different way," he
continued, "I surrendered to custody in Pocatello, went to Blackfoot
[Idaho], down to Salt Lake City, Davis County jail, was put on an airplane,
went to Seattle, down to Sacramento, to Phoenix, over to Lompoc, down to Los
Angeles, back to Phoenix then to Lompoc again then to Los Angeles and San
Diego--all at taxpayer expense- -then up to Denver and down to Oklahoma City to
El Reno [detention facility] then to Atlanta, then hopscotched up the coast by
bus to several jails and prisons till I reached Petersburg Federal Correctional
Institution in Virginia where I stayed. That was one "diesel therapy"
trip," which, Hansen said, took over a month.
When later released, the process was done in reverse, the
congressman told this office, to transport him to a parole hearing in Boise.
Upon presentation of the requirements and restrictions of
his parole, Rep. Hansen informed the parole board he would not accept the terms
of financial reporting because it would reveal the names of people he was
representing who were experiencing difficulties with the government. This would
result in the betrayal of those people, Hansen claimed, and he told them if
they didn't like it, "I'll just stay here and serve more time." The
parole board acceded to his demands in writing then, according to Hansen,
"ten days later they told me, 'we can't do that.' I said, 'You already
did'. I was already released. I told them that if they didn't like it, to put
me back in prison. They said they couldn't unless I violated the terms of my
parole. 'I'll tell you what,'" he informed the parole board, "'I will
live up the terms I signed out on and you do what you want to do.'" When
asked what they would do if he violated their version of his parole--whether
they would notify him so he could present himself and surrender, or if they
would send the marshals after him with guns and chains, they told him they
would notify him to surrender. "That was a lie," Hansen said.
HANSON GETS ARRESTED FOR GOING TO CHURCH
"I went to my own church on a Sunday morning and sat
right beside a federal marshal who was also a member of the congregation. That
became my parole violation--going to my own church in my own home town--because
they didn't approve my travel, even though they signed an agreement that said
they wouldn't restrict my travel. They just make up the rules as they go
along," he said.
While addressing a church congregation in Omaha,
Nebraska, Hansen claims black cars began prowling the parking lot, helicopters
appeared overhead, "the next thing I knew," he said, "I was in
chains and they had changed my name to Fredrick Smith, heisted me off in the
dead of night in a Lear jet, all at the expense of the taxpayer. They took me
to an abandoned jail where I spent Good Friday and Easter Sunday. My wife
couldn't find me, Congress couldn't find me, my attorney couldn't find me and
the media couldn't find me. I was just a lost soul for several days while they
had me strapped to a wall in an old jail."
"That's our government," the congressman added
with a note of sadness.
The purpose of the aforementioned treatment, he claims,
was to send him a message not to mess with their system. "They take you
out on the road where you have no communication with anybody. You can't write,
you can't call, you can't be called--you're lost" where no legal process
can intervene. "They get away with it because it is also a form of
It could be effectively argued that "diesel
therapy" is an ingenious method of blowing a very large hole in Article 1,
Section 9 of the Constitution which says, "The
privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in
cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." When a
legal system does what Rep. Hansen claims was done to him, it has effectively
abolished the "privilege of the writ of habeas corpus" which
historically extends through the U.S. Constitution back in time to the Magna
Carta, A.D. 1215.
"When they kill people out there, and they do,"
Hansen continued, "and there are instances I'm thoroughly familiar with
where they've killed people while they've been in transit--what they will do
then is to take everyone who has witnessed the killing and scatter them
throughout the huge jail system they run around the country so they can't
communicate with one another. They then give themselves enough time for a court
hearing to substantiate that the death was accidental."
After the Supreme Court declared Congressman Hansen
innocent of any wrongdoing and that his case should never have been prosecuted,
it still took the former legislator eight months to be released. When he
applied to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for the vacating
of his sentence, and his release was imminent, the
Justice Department, Hansen asserts, in one
more bid to harass the former Congressman claimed, "'we think there are
some technicalities you haven't looked at', and kept it going from May to
Christmas. Then, the lower court judge decided, rather than to release me to
travel on my own across the country to be present at a release hearing,
which was nothing more than a proforma matter [administrative technicality], he
had to jerk me around, put me back on "diesel therapy" and go back
through the whole system again."
That lower court judge that Rep. Hansen claims made this
final jab at him was Edward Lodge, the same judge against whom petitions for
malfeasance of office are being presented to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
for, among other things, his alleged judicial mishandling of the Randy
This "odyssey" of former U.S. Representative
George Hansen is apparently not an isolated instance of abuse by federal
authorities of those to whom they desire to "send a message."
Recently, such a case has come to light concerning Whitewater defendant, Susan
SUSAN MCDOUGAL GETS THE TREATMENT
Whether or not one agrees with McDougal's refusal to
testify before the Whitewater investigators or whether Special Prosecutor,
Kenneth Starr was justified in pressing contempt of court charges on her,
McDougal's situation can certainly be scrutinized and cited as a likely example
of, as Rep. Hansen puts it, "a legal system run amok."
A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union
(McDougal v. Ramon) charges that:
Since December 1996, [McDougal] has been held in isolation,
under lock-down up to 23 hours per day, while other inmates, even those charged
with serious violent crimes, are allowed 12 hours a day outside their cells;
[she is] consistently kept in handcuffs when other inmates have not been;
variously denied visitation, medical visits, worship services, reading
materials, and even a Bible; forced to wear a red jail uniform reserved for
despised informants and baby killers; forced to endure the spectacle of male
prisoners taunting her, exposing themselves and masturbating in front of her
without intervention from guards.
"The abusive treatment of Ms. McDougal by Mr.
Starr's office," said Mark Rosenbaum, Legal Director of the ACLU
Foundation of Southern California, "must be the subject of a congressional
investigation to ensure that, in the future, no federal prosecutor be permitted
to wield authority in so brutish and inhuman a manner."
In July of this year, "the ACLU filed a federal
lawsuit charging that the United States Government was holding McDougal
illegally in the L.A. jail to punish her for refusing to testify to
investigators in the Whitewater affair. U.S. Marshall Michael Ramon was named
in the lawsuit because he had technical custody over McDougal."
Quoting from an ACLU press release, "McDougal's
continued confinement in the L.A. County jail, despite the state court order
releasing her, was designed to break her spirit and force her to testify before
the Whitewater Special Prosecutor."
Could it not be logically reasoned that all that kept
Susan McDougal from receiving the "diesel therapy" to which Hansen
was subjected was that she was a much higher profile figure, being more closely
scrutinized by the public? This certainly would make the degree of abuse
Congressman Hansen experienced impractical in McDougal's case, from the point
of view of the federal marshals.
When Rep. Hansen was asked if he had any future plans to
regain his congressional seat, the veteran legislator, who not once displayed a
note of bitterness over his ordeal, simply replied, "My wife says if I
ever run for anything again it had better be the border."
If one looks objectively at these instances, would it not
seem to stretch the fabric of statistical probabilities to the breaking point
to suggest that these occurrences are the only ones, and that they just, by
chance, came to public attention? Perhaps no more unlikely than one viewing an
iceberg and concluding that it stops at the waterline, merely because the
remainder of it is lost to view.
The description of Congressman Hansen's ordeal and that
of Susan McDougal as they were "ground under the heel of a ruthless
justice system run amok", most clearly depicts the methods of those
charting the course of the New World Order. They will brook no departure from
their purposes nor obstruction to them. They are startlingly reminiscent of the
biblical description from the pen of the prophet Daniel when he described such
a "ruthless" power:
"After this I saw in the night
visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong
exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and
stamped the residue with the feet of it." Daniel 7:7
Copyright © 1997 The WINDS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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