If Even a Third of This Is Accurate, It’s Enough to Throw American Officials in the Hague
This article features our client Dawn Wooten and was originally published here.
Do I really have to explain? Do I really have to explain that, even if a third of this whistleblower’s account is accurate, it’s enough to throw American officials into a cell at the Hague? Do I really have to explain that this should be the lead story in every newspaper and on every newscast in the country, and that it would be if we weren’t so benumbed by four years of being led toward perdition by a vulgar talking yam? From the BBC:
It is based on the allegations of a whistleblower, a nurse identified as Dawn Wooten. She worked at the centre, which houses immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As part of her complaint, filed on Monday, Ms Wooten expressed concerns about the high number of hysterectomies performed on Spanish-speaking women at the centre. The nurse said detained women told her they did not fully understand why they had to get a hysterectomy – an operation involving the removal of all or part of the uterus. The complaint also alleges “jarring medical neglect” during the coronavirus pandemic, including a refusal to test detainees with symptoms and fabricating medical records.
And do I really have to explain (again) that private prisons are a terrible idea? And that allowing a rogue federal agency to operate within a private prison is like setting a fire in a Minuteman silo?
In response to allegations about Covid-19 safety, ICE told the AJC news website: “ICE epidemiologists have been tracking the outbreak, regularly updating infection prevention and control protocols, and issuing guidance to ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) staff for the screening and management of potential exposure among detainees.” The BBC has contacted ICE and LaSalle Corrections, the private company that runs Irwin County Detention Center, for comment.
Good god. Now, it is true that this is one report from a network of advocacy groups and that it should be “reported out” as thoroughly as is possible. But it’s not as though ICE doesn’t have a track record that would make these kind of atrocities more than plausible. This isn’t even the first report of inmate abuse from this single facility. From Capital and Main:
At the heart of the detainees’ protest is a claim that they are in prolonged detention and denied bond or parole, even when they qualify for those benefits. The denials of these rights appear to be part of a national trend, said Michael Tan, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, who is currently challenging the ongoing confinement on behalf of detainees under the jurisdiction of ICE field offices in Los Angeles, Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia and San Antonio.
“We are desperate. Many of us came in search of freedom, fleeing persecution and torture by dictators in countries like VENEZUELA, NICARAGUA and CUBA,” the Stewart detainees wrote in an unsigned complaint. “And we find all these abuses that cause us to suffer even more. Many would rather be deported and die in their own countries than die slowly with the mental torture that we live with here.”
The Georgia branch of the ACLU already has issued one report detailing alleged abuses at the Stewart facility, and now this report comes along. I don’t want to believe this story. Nobody wants to believe this story. But that’s no reason not to believe this story, nor to act amazed and appalled if and when, one day, we find out it was even worse than we imagined.