Weaponized Incarceration

How the Ruling Class Re-Enslaved the Black Community

Noah Burger

The United States currently incarcerates more people, per capita, than any other nation. Our country’s incarceration rates extend past the worlds next highest jailers, Russia and Rwanda, by nearly seventy-five percent (Sentencing Project, 2017). In countries like Russia and Rwanda, high incarceration rates make sense; in 1994, the Rwandan Genocide claimed over 800,000 lives (Associated Press, 2019). Prior to 1982, incarceration rates in the United States mirrored our NATO allies, however, in the years since, incarceration rates have increased over five-hundred percent (Sentencing Project, 2017).  Currently, incarceration rates in the United States vary dramatically from the rest of the world. This paper will analyze how, and why, American incarceration rates have exploded in recent history, through critical analysis of historical events from 1950 to 2001.

In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency launched Operation Mockingbird, a “domestic propaganda campaign designed to promote CIA opinions – often presented as facts – within the media”, influencing public opinion (Veterans Today, 2018). In 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke in front of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, exposing a secretive “system which has conscripted vast human and material resources… a highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations”, pleading for the press to allow “man to be what he was born to be, free and independent” (JFK Library, n.d.) In 1962, the CIA planned to carry out terrorist attacks against both American military and civilian targets, creating public approval for war with Cuba (Ruppe, n.d). While the operation had been approved by both the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it was ultimately rejected by President Kennedy (Lepore, 2019). Additionally, Kennedy was against war in Vietnam, electing only to allow small numbers of troops to be deployed as “military advisers” (JFK Library, n.d). Less than one year after rejecting Operation Northwoods, and five months after sending a bill to Congress that would later become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, John F. Kennedy, a strong proponent of government transparency and civil rights, was assassinated (JFK Library, n.d.).

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover “hated communists as much as he hated black people (Scheiger, 2017). In the 1960s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation utilized false allegations of communist collusion to wiretap and surveil Martin Luther King Jr. No evidence of communist collusion, or any other crime, were discovered (Ruane, 2017). However, the FBI discovered that Martin Luther King Jr had been unfaithful to his wife. In 1964, the FBI delivered a package to King Jr’s wife, containing the evidence of the affair, as well as a letter attempting to persuade Martin Luther King Jr to commit suicide, because the FBI viewed the Civil Rights movement as “threats to the social order” (Ruane, 2017). In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr, the leader of the Civil Rights movement, was assassinated.

After Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President. Within months, Johnson employed the Gulf of Tonkin incident – later declassified to be a false-flag attack that implemented the same military, media, and government arms Kennedy had warned about – to escalate US involvement in the Vietnam War (History, 2009). While Johnson took credit for signing Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act into law, it had been well documented that Lyndon B. Johnson was in fact a racist (Serwer, 2014). The assassination of John F. Kennedy had “left American citizens reeling”, leaving Johnson no choice but to “push through key elements of Kennedy’s legislative agenda – in particular, Civil Rights legislation and tax cuts” (History, n.d). Johnson also created various social programs, including subsidized food and housing projects that incentivized regression. It is important to note, that after losing the Civil War, former slaveowners – members of the ruling class – implemented similar programs, historically labeled as “Sharecropping” or “Indentured Servitude”, to maintain dominance over African-Americans (PBS, n.d).

In the late 1970s, and early 1980s, the Central Intelligence Agency imported tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the United States, in exchange for weapons delivered to Nicaraguan rebels (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016). The cocaine was then sold to various black street gangs, such as the Bloods and the Crips (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). As a result, cocaine usage – specifically crack-cocaine in black communities – increased (Turner, 2017). President Ronald Reagan officially began the War on Drugs in 1982. Reagan’s “get tough” policies included harsh, mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine possession – designed to target the black community. However, the CIA continued importing thousands of kilograms of cocaine through 1985 – selling it to black street gangs – an entire three years after the start of the “War on Drugs” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007). By 1985, the CIA, under the Reagan Administration, had been exposed for its role in the Iran-Contra affair. As a result, the CIA ceased weapon exports to the Contras, and, thus, ceased importing cocaine.

With decreasing supply, demand rising, and drug laws posing as “risk premiums”, the price of cocaine skyrocketed. As a result, gang violence, which was already fuming, exploded. However, the increase in gang violence is not the root cause of America’s high incarceration rates; violent crime clearance is notoriously low. Drug crimes, however, have notoriously high clearance rates, especially those that carry mandatory minimums. Over the next twenty years, American incarceration rates saw increases of over five-hundred percent, mostly targeting African-Americans with drug crimes, and dwarfing all other nations on the planet. Without irony, former Confederate States have imprisoned twice as many people per capita than the rest of the United States (Wagner and Sawyer, 2018).

In summary, two Civil Rights leaders, JFK and MLK, were assassinated. Both had conflicts with intelligence agencies known internationally for their roles in political assassinations. The CIA, ever since its inception, has implemented forms of mass media manipulation and false-flag terrorist attacks, influencing the thoughts of citizens – and the actions of congress. Less than one year after restricting US-involvement in Vietnam, sending a Civil Rights bill to Congress that the FBI opposed, and rejecting a CIA false-flag terrorist attack that would start a war with Cuba, JFK was assassinated. Less than one year after JFK was assassinated, LBJ and the CIA employed a false-flag terrorist attack, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, to escalate war with Vietnam. LBJ, a well known racist, passed JFK’s Civil Rights Act, yet added “rider” policies that incentivized social regression, rather than prosperity, mirroring the sharecropping tactics of post-slavery days. From the 1970s to 1985, the CIA imported tons of cocaine directly into the black community, only stopping because they had been exposed. Three years before 1985, Ronald Reagan passed radical new drug laws, designed to target black Americans, via mandatory minimum sentences for crack-cocaine. In the decades since, American incarceration rates rose over five-hundred percent, with large numbers of African Americans being jailed for drug crimes. Concurrently, drugs, gang violence, social regression, and prison sentences have created an endless poverty-crime cycle, decimating the black community.

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