Category Archives: prisons

Torture Gorsuch: looking at a single email

I’m reading through the pile of documents that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch provided to the Congress.  The documents show a legal advisor helping the Bush administration justify their torture policy.  Although being portrayed as a friendly frat guy, these documents suggest that Gorsuch is a more dangerous individual who is not qualified for the Supreme Court.   This essay is a discussion of a single email Gorsuch writes in a 2005  after his visit to the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

The email is a message coordinating strategy to defend Guantanamo.  The email is to other lawyers who represented the positions of the Bush administration.  Gorsuch writes the email giving three suggestions about how to defend the use of the base in Guantanamo Bay as a detention, interrogation and torture facility.  His first suggestion is to destroy the evidence:

“1.  Camp X-Ray.  It serves no current purpose, is overgrown and decaying.  Gen Hood would understandably like to tear it down.  Of course, there may be some evidentiary concerns with this, but can we at least tee this up for a prompt resolution?  Eg — notify counsel of our intent to remove it or seek advance court authorization?”

-Neil Gorsuch, released email from November 10, 2005.  “GTMO trip”

His suggestion to tear down camp X-Ray suggests a desire to cover the nastier parts of the torture at Guantanamo.  Gorsuch’s first suggestion when he returns from a trip to Guantanamo Bay is to destroy the original detainee holding facility despite noting: “Of course, there may be some evidentiary concerns with this . . . ”

This memo is from November 2005.  A couple of months earlier a federal judge had ruled that Camp X-Ray was protected as evidence.   Here is Carol Rosenberg, in the Miami Herald reporting on the legal stakes of destroying Camp X-Ray:

“In July 2005, U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts became the first federal judge to impose a protective order on Guantánamo, ordering the government to “preserve and maintain all evidence, documents and information.”

At the time, the Bush administration argued that courts had no right to meddle in what the White House wanted done here.

Defense Department lawyers interpreted it to mean that nobody should touch Camp X-Ray, even though it officially closed in April 2002, leaving it a ramshackle rot of plywood interrogation huts and cage-like cells engulfed in weeds and wildlife droppings.

For now, that’s where plans for closure start. The FBI team that spent a week earlier this month creating digital imagery did it for Pentagon lawyers, who will ask federal judges if they will accept imagery as a substitute.

But defense lawyers don’t want anything removed or razed.

First, dozens of captives are still suing for their freedom in federal court and their lawyers say their confinement could be used to challenge confessions as bogus, coerced, whether they are tried in the future or set free.

Later, some may want to sue the U.S., said New Mexico criminal attorney Nancy Hollander, who argues that her Mauritanian client Mohammedou Slahi, 38, was subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” at Guantánamo. Never been charged with a crime, he is suing for his freedom.

Detention center staff defend their work as “safe, humane and transparent,” even as they declare portions of the prison camps off-limits to media and lawyers.

But, says Hollander: “I think they should preserve it all. Camp X-Ray figures in too many cases in terms of how people were treated, how people were interrogated.”

“There are interrogation rooms throughout Guantánamo’s prison system. There are loudspeakers. There are strobe lights. The bottom line for me is that Guantánamo is a crime scene and that it should be preserved.”

Moreover, she said, Slahi was moved around the base in blindfolds — at one point taken into the bay on a boat and threatened with death. He says U.S. forces beat him, subjected him to a systematic campaign of sleep deprivation and threatened his family. If she ever gets to look at intelligence logs of his interrogations, she may want to send investigators to examine the sites.

“Many of those things are violations of the conventions against torture,” she said. “And I believe he was tortured, and he received cruel and degrading treatment in violation of the law. There may be civil suits.”

– Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald November 15, 2009.  http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/guantanamo/v-print/story/1335533.html

This couple of years are the apex of political and legal scrutiny on the Bush Torture policies.  And they were Gorsuch’s responsibilty.  Charlie Savage explains in the New York Times:

“Judge Gorsuch’s time in the executive branch was brief. He joined the Justice Department in June 2005 as the principal deputy associate attorney general, meaning he was the top aide to the No. 3 official in the department. He left in August 2006, when Mr. Bush appointed him as a federal appeals court judge in Denver.

But those 14 months were tumultuous ones for the Bush administration amid controversies over detainee abuses, military commissions, warrantless surveillance and its broad claims of executive power. Judge Gorsuch’s job put him at the center of both litigation and negotiations with Congress over legislation about such topics.

References to those efforts may offer clues to Judge Gorsuch’s approach to the sort of national-security and executive power issues that rarely come before his appeals court but can be crucial at the Supreme Court.”

– Charlie Savage.  “Neil Gorsuch helped defend disputed Bush-era torture policies.” New York Times, March 15, 2017.

Gorsuch, fresh back from Guantanamo zips off a 3 point memo to provide more robust support for Guantanamo.  He casually suggests destroying camp X-Ray despite the legal prohibition to do so.  Why might a Bush Administration lawyer hope to protect Guantanamo from legal scrutiny?  Oh yeah, turns out the CIA was running a top-secret torture detention facility out of Guantanamo.  Here is Carol Rosenberg in the Miami Herald in 2014:

“In 2004, as the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to let Guantánamo captives consult lawyers for the first time, the CIA spirited some men who now face death-penalty trials from a clandestine lockup at the U.S. Navy base — and didn’t tell Congress.

Two years later, even as President George W. Bush announced at the White House Rose Garden that the spy agency had transferred its most prized captives to Guantánamo for trial, the alleged al-Qaida terrorists were still under control of the CIA.

The release of 524 pages of the 6,700-page Senate Intelligence Committee report confirms for the first time that the CIA used Guantánamo as a black site — and continued to run the prison that held the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and 13 other men even as the Pentagon was charged to prosecute them.

It also offers graphic details that the U.S. government has hidden from view in the pretrial hearings of six captives it seeks to execute — about the sexual torture and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of the alleged USS Cole bomber and why a sickly looking accused 9/11 conspirator sits on a pillow at court proceedings.

But it does not resolve whether the spy agency that systematically hid its prized interrogation program from court and congressional scrutiny has ceded control to the U.S. military of the secret facility where the men are imprisoned. And, if so, when?

“I would find it hard to believe that they let go. Throughout this entire program, the CIA is running from the law at every turn,” says Navy Cmdr. Brian Mizer. He calls the revelation that his client, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the accused planner of the USS Cole bombing, “had a tube inserted into his anus” tantamount to rape.”

– Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald.  December 11, 2014. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article4434603.html

Gorsuch consistently ran interference and helped to cover-up the potential crimes of Guantanamo.  That original quote is a grotesque artifact and it is just a single paragraph.  Gorsuch leans so heavily in favor of the Republican President of the time this email is a documentation of his hustle to find justifications and run interference.

In this same November 10, 2005 email Gorsuch suggests bringing federal judges to Guantanamo to sway their opinion of Guantanamo.  Gorsuch writes:

“2.  Judges trip.  If the DC judges could see what we saw, I believe they would be more sympathetic to our litigating positions.  Even if habeas counsel objected to such a trip, that might not be a bad thing.  What do they want to hide, a judge might ask?  Habeas counsel have been eager to testify (sometimes quite misleadingly) about conditions they’ve witnessed; a visit, or even just the offer of a visit, might help dispel myths and build confidence in our representation to the court about conditions and detainee treatment. Of course there are countervailing considerations — e.g., can judges come take a view under such circumstances?  do any judicial ethical considerations exist?  who bears the costs?  (. . . )”

-Neil Gorsuch, released email from November 10, 2005.  “GTMO trip”

Gorsuch’s bias to defend Guantanamo at all costs and to sway judges seems offensive to me.  Federal judges have been the only realistic check on potential abuses at the facility.   Is Gorsuch trying to prevent rulings such as the judge who ordered Camp X-Ray be preserved as evidence?  It seems this way.

Neil Gorsuch is a danger to the United States.  President Trump has widely called for an expansion of the use of Guantanamo.  Including at times for illegally sending United States citizens to Guantanamo.  Here William Finnegan explains in the New Yorker:

President Donald Trump has never been particularly lucid on the subject of the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He is for it, of course. Early last year, at a campaign rally, he said, “I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantánamo Bay, which, by the way, which, by the way, we are keeping open. Which we are keeping open . . . and we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up.” This cartoonish threat raised the question of where or in which putative wars the United States would find these new inmates. Trump seemed to think, in a later interview, that he could send Americans accused of terrorism to Guantánamo to be tried by military commissions. But American citizens cannot, by law, be held at Guantánamo. Details, for Trump.

– William Finnegan. “President Trump’s Guantánamo Delusion” New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/president-trumps-guantanamo-delusion

Gorsuch seems to be a torture-leaning, executive branch yes-man in this email.  The United States must have a robust Supreme Court who can prevent or respond to illegal presidential actions.  Sadly, Gorsuch has shown us that he is not that judge.

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Obama pardons Valerie Bozeman: drug war reflections

Kyle Swenson has an excellent write up on Valerie Bozeman in the Broward Palm Beach New Times.  Bozeman was convicted of drug charges and received federal mandatory minimum penalties.  She was pardoned from her life sentence by President Obama after 23 years in prison.  This is an excellent read complete with a sympathetic protagonist, grimy drug kingpins, incompetent defense attorneys and a guilty judge.

Swenson does a good job explaining how low-level offenders were getting astounding sentences.

But as anxiety over crack grew, the statute was hijacked. The use of “851 enhancements,” as they came to be called, became a huge prosecutorial hammer. The marching orders for federal prosecutors were for no mercy.

In 1989, then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh ordered U.S. attorneys to “charge the most serious, readily provable offense.” Victory in the courtroom was “measured by the length of sentence you could get if you secured that prosecution,” explains Price. So 851 enhancements — which could trigger a life sentence if an individual had two prior felony convictions — became an easy way for the government to notch a heavy win.

“It was a time when we turned our backs on rehabilitation and support, and our criminal justice system and sentencing law became much more punitive,” Price says. “We were locking up people who we didn’t like and were afraid of. But we were also locking up a lot of people who really didn’t deserve the lengthy sentences we were doling out.”

Source: Valerie Bozeman Is Pardoned by Obama as America Wrestles With Fallout From the War on Drugs | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Bozeman got a life sentence and learned about the 851 (mandatory minimum) penalties that sent her to prison only years later.  Note that the ‘old timers’ — the prisoners who are sentenced to life became a legal research unit under the direction of Bozeman.

In between chores, Bozeman shot off urgent letters to court-appointed lawyers, like SOS messages stuffed in bottles and pitched into the ocean. Most were ignored. Eventually, she received a letter from Judge Ungaro patiently explaining that Bozeman had been sentenced to life because of a statute known at “851 enhancement.”

With that phrase in her mind, she began visiting the prison law library, where she finally began to unlock what exactly had happened to her.

Soon, Bozeman called together the old-timers. Bozeman had a one-question pop quiz. “Do you know why you got a life sentence?”

Blank looks bounced back at her. One by one, Bozeman sent the women to their cells for their sentencing paperwork. Together they bushwhacked through the legalese until they found it: 851. “The ladies didn’t understand why they were sitting there with a life sentence,” she says today. “They just didn’t know.”

Source: Valerie Bozeman Is Pardoned by Obama as America Wrestles With Fallout From the War on Drugs | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

The essay is also ripe with some terrifying statistics about the drug war and incarceration.  In particular the use of the federal 851 statute (mandatory minimums) to coerce suspects to admit guilt.

Between 1980 and 2013, the number of drug defendants incarcerated in federal custody had exploded from 4,749 to 100,026 — a 2,006 percent uptick. Fifty percent of all federal inmates were serving time on drug charges.

Not only did mandatory minimums put small-time dealers in prison for long periods but 851 enhancements also had another harsh effect. Because the decision to file rested solely with the prosecution, it could be used as a threat: If you go to trial, we’ll file an enhancement.

A study by Human Rights Watch showed that in 2012, “the average sentence of federal drug offenders convicted after trial was three times higher (16 years) than that received after a guilty plea (5 years and 4 months).” When sentencing enhancements were in play for defendants with prior convictions, defendants “who went to trial were 8.4 times more likely to have the enhancement applied” than those who pleaded guilty.

New York Federal District Judge John Gleeson noted that use of 851s had gotten out of control. He wrote in an October 2013 decision that they brought on “the sentencing equivalent of a two-by-four to the forehead.” As a result, so many people chose to plead guilty rather than take chances at trial that a federal criminal trial was “on the endangered species list,” he said. “The government’s use of [851 enhancements] coerces guilty pleas and produces sentences so excessively severe they take your breath away.”

Proof was in the data: In 1980, only 69 percent of defendants in federal drug cases pleaded guilty and took plea deals; by 2010, 97 percent did.

Source: Valerie Bozeman Is Pardoned by Obama as America Wrestles With Fallout From the War on Drugs | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

This essay is a worthwhile read and a thoughtful reflection on the drug war.  Thanks to Longreads for the suggestion.

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Cannibal capitalism: Chief Keef and rehab

I’m interested in the idea that folks would become famous because they harmed themselves or allowed someone else to harm them on camera.  I’ve been calling it cannibal capitalism – as a means of describing this wide scope on popular media.    Cannibal in the sense that viewers consume of the body of another human being who is on camera taking years off of their life

Chief Keef is in rehab for ganja and let’s loose with some great insights about how unpleasant it is.

Nestled inside a nondescript beach house, one of hip-hop’s most controversial rising stars is holed up in court-ordered rehab, and he’s feeling frustrated and alone.

“It’s like being locked up,” Chief Keef, 18, tells Billboard, in his first interview since he entered rehab. “And when I’m locked up, I don’t want anybody to come see me. I won’t let my family come here. I haven’t seen my 2-year-old daughter.”

via Chief Keef Talks Rehab, ‘Bang 3’ Album & Learning How to Surf | Billboard.

Cannibal Capitalism is best thought of as a pattern of mediated communication about morality.  Along with viewing people getting hurt and enjoying it (Jackass, NFL, Ultimate Fighting) we also get the moral commentary from the narrators and participants about that suffering.

Part of the narration of morality that comes with hip hop and cannibal capitalism is a kind of racism+classism+paternalism.  When the articles were popping about Odd Future, the dominant story was just how naughty they were and emphasizing the difficulties they got into.  Very little conversation about music, and heavy emphasis on the disciplining of (usually) young black men.

The quote from the Billboard article is the opening passage.  Do you think it invites a kind of moral judgement?  Do you wonder what this rapper did to get this punishment?  Is it framed in a way to encourage you to read it as an omniscient person who hasn’t had this kind of difficulty, shaking your head in faux-sympathy?

There is no doubt that Chief Keef is at the core of a major moral panic.  One part of the division is the fascinating language used to divide people up.  Richard Sherman and the significance of the representation of thug:

I wonder if the exciting pleasure of the music and imagery of Chief Keef experiencing suffering, particularly mapping up to the discipline and punish strategy of suffering/redemption (recycled) is part of the appeal?

Public consumption of rap stars and their back stories usually includes a kind of nefarious sharing of information.  I went over to my buddies house and we listened to music and also to a 5 minute rant from KRS-ONE threatening some dude over a van robbery.

Hip hop fans are usually fiends for gossip, and interested in the music, culture, language and well, anything of our favorite musicians.

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Graffiti deterrence: SABE KST

Vice has a cool interview with SABE KST. about is perspective on the evolution of bombing.  I like the graphic stories from old graffiti writers.  SABE has an epic story about graffiti beef going bad:

Aside from commodification, how has the game changed since?

A lot of the writers I grew up with gave it up for different reasons. Either they can’t get up in the middle of the night to go bombing, or they have a boss and a wife, or can’t afford to get locked up. I think it’s a privilege that I’m able to keep writing, so I exercise that liberty whenever I can. Probably the most notable change is the drastic drop in violence. Looking back, I was involved in some pretty serious beefs back then.

How serious?

A friend of mine cut this other kid’s ear off with hatchet over some graffiti nonsense. I was 17 at the time and we lived together in a two-story house in the Bronx. He was one of those kids who didn’t really think about the consequences of his actions and didn’t make a big deal about it. But, I knew for a fact that this kid would come around eventually, so I went out and came back with an M16 assault rifle.

How’d you manage that?

A mutual friend put me in touch with a guy who I guess you can call a good Samaritan. He let me borrow the rifle which he apparently stole from a military base. The guy literally had an empty apartment full of guns and grenades. This was in 1995.

This doesn’t seem so far-fetched. This kid ever come looking for closure?

Yeah, sure enough. And the kid came with his crew. I went outside to talk to them since my friend wanted a fair fight with the kid, but they kept insisting on jumping him. So he grabbed the rifle and lit up the whole block from the top of our stoop. It was like a movie. Everybody started hitting the corner and I ran down the block until I felt this cold heat.

So you caught a stray?

Yeah… Once everyone scattered and I saw the blood, I knew I was shot. And once my friend realized he just ran—he threw the gun in the backyard and took off. When the police discovered the weapon, his prints were all over it and he ended up doing two years. Like I said, he never really thought anything through. Luckily the bullet missed my heart and got lodged in my solar plexus.

via Conceptual Vandalism with Sabe Kst | VICE United States.

A few thoughts:

– this is the quintessential moral panic about graffiti, including the friend who just doesn’t think about the consequences of his actions.  “cut a kid’s ear off with a hatchet . . .”  whoa.

– It is exactly the kind of tantalizing story told in graffiti magazines and books.

– I wonder why the public service announcements in our health education are focused so heavily on the negative consequences of the actions they are trying to prevent, when that seems to be the kind of war story used the most often for authenticity within the subculture?

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Chelsea Manning on direct action and risk

Time Magazine gave Chelsea Manning some space and she makes some good arguments.  A political prisoner who uses her access to media to talk about complicated ideas.  Complicated ideas like direct action, accountability, violence to native nations, class, risks associated with solidarity, killing activists, and the movement. Here is the whole thing.  Stay real america.

I’m usually hesitant to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. After all, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony systematically terrorized and slaughtered the very same Pequot tribe that assisted the first English refugees to arrive at Plymouth Rock. So, perhaps ironically, I’m thankful that I know that, and I’m also thankful that there are people who seek out, and usually find, such truths.  I’m thankful for people who, even surrounded by millions of Americans eating turkey during regularly scheduled commercial breaks in the Green Bay and Detroit football game; who, despite having been taught, often as early as five and six years old, that the “helpful natives” selflessly assisted the “poor helpless Pilgrims” and lived happily ever after, dare to ask probing, even dangerous, questions.

Such people are often nameless and humble, yet no less courageous. Whether carpenters of welders; retail clerks or bank managers; artists or lawyers, they dare to ask tough questions, and seek out the truth, even when the answers they find might not be easy to live with.

I’m also grateful for having social and human justice pioneers who lead through action, and by example, as opposed to directing or commanding other people to take action. Often, the achievements of such people transcend political, cultural, and generational boundaries. Unfortunately, such remarkable people often risk their reputations, their livelihood, and, all too often, even their lives.

For instance, the man commonly known as Malcolm X began to openly embrace the idea, after an awakening during his travels to the Middle East and Africa, of an international and unifying effort to achieve equality, and was murdered after a tough, yearlong defection from the Nation of Islam. Martin Luther King Jr., after choosing to embrace the struggles of striking sanitation workers in Memphis over lobbying in Washington, D.C., was murdered by an escaped convict seeking fame and respect from white Southerners. Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in the U.S., was murdered by a jealous former colleague. These are only examples; I wouldn’t dare to make a claim that they represent an exhaustive list of remarkable pioneers of social justice and equality—certainly many if not the vast majority are unsung and, sadly, forgotten.

So, this year, and every year, I’m thankful for such people, and I’m thankful that one day—perhaps not tomorrow—because of the accomplishments of such truth-seekers and human rights pioneers, we can live together on this tiny “pale blue dot” of a planet and stop looking inward, at each other, but rather outward, into the space beyond this planet and the future of all of humanity.

Chelsea Manning, formerly named Bradley, is serving a 35-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

via Chelsea Manning | Thanksgiving Gratitude With Michelle Obama, Rick Warren and More | TIME.com.

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Challenging representation about violence in Chicago

I’m impressed with the arguments presented criticizing the moral panic about gun violence in Chicago.  I don’t live in Chicago, but I’ve certainly read a number of heavily negative media stories in the last year.   Prison Culture blog has the critique and it seems persuasive to me.

It’s certainly true that in some parts of the city, you are more likely to be shot or physically harmed than in others. However, on the whole, Chicago is actually “safer” in terms of public shootings and homicides than it’s been in decades. The city is in fact nowhere close to being the so-called “Murder Capital” of the country. Check the statistics, you’ll see that I’m right.

But you notice that I said “safer” in terms of public shootings and homicides, not “safer” in terms of “violence.” Because in very real ways, in terms of structural and institutional violence and overall oppression, things are pretty terrible for a lot of people. But we don’t discuss this with nearly the frequency or sensationalism that we do when we catalog the dead and the injured (as important as it is to memorialize those precious lives).

via Prison Culture » Can We Please Bury “Stop the Violence” as a Slogan? It’s Meaningless.

I also like that they address the militarized language that influences the way we understand poverty and policing in Chicago.

When we use these terms (which may or may not accurately describe how we live based on our own subjective experiences), we inadvertently legitimate a military response from the state (though the state needs no excuse to crackdown on the marginalized).

I would suggest that even more insidious is the way that these terms condition our own thinking about ourselves and each other. We trap ourselves into responding to these structural problems with a punishment mindset and a war footing. And this has devastating consequences for communities that are already over-policed, militarized, under-resourced and ravaged through decades of disinvestment. Using this terminology ultimately contributes nothing to ending interpersonal violence & may in fact exacerbate it.

via Prison Culture » Can We Please Bury “Stop the Violence” as a Slogan? It’s Meaningless.

 Thanks to Feministing for the suggestion via their Weekly Feminist Reader.

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Waka and Gucci fall 2013

Waka Flocka Flame has a diss track for the currently-incarcerated Gucci Mane.  Having been friends and label-mates, this schism seems pretty interesting.   Nice beat and a particularly scathing criticism.   Drug use, question of authenticity (“I’ve been shooting pistols since seventh grade.”) number of goons willing to shoot for them, and attacking Gucci for causing strife solely for attention.

“P.S. Don’t get caught in that/Dissin’ for promotion/All in your feelings/all in your emotions/Just for attention/you cause all this commotion/Ni**a you just talking/you don’t really want all your business in the ocean. “

– Waka Flocka Flame “Ice Cream” Oct 2013.

I actually think Waka has some good points.

He also has the status to call out Gucci like no one else can.  Waka has taken the Snoop Dogg path to success.  Astounding tour concerts.  Relentless affection for his fans, and a consistent ability to stay out of gossip blogs.

Remember Waka volunteering to go naked for PETA?  Like Snoop, Waka seems “like a grown-ass rock star” as one of his buddies puts it in a video.  He is a taylor made celebrity — with toxic violent raps and a Fozzy Bear sized lovable personality.  Waka, like Snoop before him has chosen a particularly thin road to walk for fame.   Playing cute in morning shows and rapping about shooting people at the same time.

If Waka releases videos full of debauchery and destruction, he loses a significant portion of his buying public.  Something Gucci is now facing — perhaps the myriad offenses cease to be explainable.  Fans desert you and your albums are not purchased.

But Waka (and Gucci Mane and a million other roughneck emcees) still have to articulate an image of outlaw anti-social behavior.  In most cases, they choose to emphasize their wealth (suggesting that it was garnered through drug sales and not through regular work, music, savings or investing.)  In other cases, they mark their own perpetual return to the criminal life.

Of course telling a couple of hundred thousand fans (and increasingly interested cops) about your criminal behavior has potential consequences.  It seems like cops listened to Waka and Gucci when they raided Deb Antney — Waka Flocka Flame’s manager and mom.

Antney, who heads up Mizay Entertainment, was frustrated because her company is scheduled to host a toy drive Thursday. She said when she arrived on the scene, police called her “the Candy Lady” and suggested she was the ring leader of the prostitution operation.

“Of course I’m not gonna sit back and be called ‘the Candy Lady,’ ” she said. “There was no prostitution. And we’re not gang-affiliated.”

via Waka Flocka Flame’s Mom Denies That Prostitution Was Behind Raid – Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV.com.

(Pause for a minute to ask ANY of you how you would do with the cops raiding your mom’s house?)

I’m not blaming musicians for rhyming about criminality.  I’m interested in how Waka stayed famous, rich and out of jail, while Gucci is alienating everyone and in prison for the next six months (at least).

Part of it has to be Waka noting that those who commit crimes when trying to rhyme are “hustling backwards.”

“Why would I try to rap and then street gangbang?” he added. “That’s hustling backwards. I’m good. I dropped the album Flockaveli, and it’s doing numbers. I think ‘No Hands’ is platinum or on the road to be. I’m in the top three albums of the year…I’m going in, man.”

via Waka Flocka Flame Addresses Police Raid | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales | HipHop DX.

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