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Monday, December 24, 2007

ACLU Ignored Detainee Abuses at KCCF

When the news broke that the US Department of Justice found evidence of deadly civil rights abuses occuring at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle, Washington I was struck by one specific blurb in one of the articles in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, here.

The particular part in the article that caught my attention was this:

"The threat of a contagious, antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known as MRSA has been a particular focus of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, which monitors jail conditions for compliance with a settlement agreement resulting from a 1989 lawsuit, state ACLU spokesman Doug Honig said Wednesday.

"This report from the Justice Department reinforces what we've been saying about the concerns about hygiene at the jail and the need for officials to address those concerns," Honig said."

Well, what struck me wasn't that the paper talked with the ACLU about a prisoner abuse case, it was that I was suprised that the ACLU was actually concerned and doing something about the prisoner abuse... because I have not seen any evidence that they were doing anything at all.

So, I decided to do a bit of research, after all, if the ACLU was concerned and had spoken up about their concerns, I would be able to find out what they said and when.

Several searches later, nothing. No news stories, no papers on their website, no mention, no lawsuits... Not One Thing.

That's right, the ACLU actually has done nothing at all about the prisoner abuse that they had supposedly been allowed to monitor at the King County Jail. In fact, there were no news articles with the Washington state ACLU speaking out about the torture that hundreds of detainees had experienced in that facility. There was also NO MENTION whatsoever of the ACLU speaking out on their own website here. Sure, plenty about Gitmo torture, but not one single solitary mention of the long torturous deaths by infection nor the sexual abuse, or any of the abuses that go on at the King County Jail.

So, it seems that the ACLU lied, they have not been talking about the abuses that occured at the King County Jail, not even since the DOJ's report has the ACLU said one solitary word except for the blurb in this one news article.

I had wondered why I never received a response from the ACLU when I told them how I had been tortured in that jail. It was that the ACLU doesn't really care about the torture of American citizens in American jails, especially when it is done by a supposedly liberal local government, it's not politically expedient for them I suppose... but Gitmo abuses are politically advantageous for their agenda, so that gets plenty of their attention and a vast number of pages on their website as well.

It's a sad day when the US DOJ cares more about the constitutional rights abuses of prisoners in a Seattle jail than the ACLU does. It makes me wonder who is left to defend our rights, because the ACLU isn't.

More than this, the ACLU's silence about the torture of detainees in King County makes them a complicit partner in that torture, especially if it is true that they were charged with monitoring conditions at that jail

UPDATE: To be fair I've sent out requests for official responses to the DOJ report of deadly civil rights abuses at the King County Jail to all civil and human rights organizations. I'll report on what I find out as these reactions, or the utter lack thereof, come in.

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