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From: Mike Steindel
Subject: Real Crime of WOD

I was surfing the net and ended up on a cop site ( checking out the other side. There is a page there asking for help to solve the Green River Serial Killer case. I am astounded that the case has been closed due to lack of funding. The Fed's & State's combined budgets for the war on drugs exceeds 45 Billion dollars per year, but there is no money to pursue Killers. Pot smokers in the eyes of the Govt. now are a higher priority than SERIAL KILLERS. I wonder how many other dangerous felons are walking free so that nonviolent cannabis users can be locked up. The police need to protect us from harm, not from ourselves.


I've just read my first Razor Wire (Which is how I got your address) during my seven years of incarceration and I'm very impressed with the support we have. I am also a little embarrassed at my inactivity in this fight in the drug war. I feel like a draft-dodger (smile).

I hope you can give me some ideas on how we as POWs can help promote, finance, or just take a load off your back with a service we can perform from the inside. Please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your time, tolerance, and persistence in this "WAR",

Lawrence Powe, Prisoner of the Drug War


From: Sean Flint

I had an interesting day today; I had to appear for jury duty and made it all the way to where the judge and lawyers were picking the jurors out of 26 people. Five were excused because they believed that they would be biased, for they had family that was currently incarcerated. I would have been the sixth but we didn't make it that far. It seemed to me the accused was going to be convicted and that's a terrible thing to say when we didn't know any more than he was found with coke in his pocket and he was black. The jury was all white. I told the judge in a rather loud voice that I felt that I could not serve because my wife is in the federal system and I totally disagreed with the minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines. My hope is that some of the 50 people in the room would have enough curiosity to try to find out what the hell I was talking about.


I was arrested in Florida for $5 worth of crack. I admit it; I was an addict. Two days before I was sentenced, I went to a drug rehab program, but was told I would have to wait for a bed. In court, a counselor from that program told the judge that a bed had become available, I was just the sort of people he was looking for, and he had come to take me to the program­­for free!

Well, the judge told this counselor, "I'm going to send him to a treatment program­­in prison!" I got 2 + years for $5 worth of crack, I have seven months left, and I have yet to see any kind of treatment. I never will, in the Department of Corrections!

Richard Davidson, Prisoner of the Drug War


In your last issue under "Who is the November Coalition" you mentioned we must stop the government from talking about a "war" on drugs. On the contrary, we must not let the government change the term (war) they invented to combat an individual's personal choice of intoxicants. As George Orwell so astutely pointed out in his seminal novel "1984," governments thrive on language control. Since Vietnam, the American people have been averse to protracted, unwinnable wars. The government is all too aware of the linguistic dead end with "drug war." General McCaffrey (Drug War Czar) recently stated that the term "Drug War" is no longer viable. He wants it substituted with "cancer." By medicalizing the drug war as a "cancer " instead of a war the government can continue under a new and improved euphemism for a few more years or decades. Do not let General McCaffrey and his ilk fool us. Do not let the government manipulate the language and thoughts of the American people. This is a Drug War and we in prison are POWs. I am not in a cancer ward, I am in federal prison!

William E. Hall, Prisoner of the Drug War


My name is Kelly and I spoke to you in regards to the November Coalition and my desire to become involved.

My husband was arrested July 16,1998. On August 14, 1998 he was charged with 1 count of Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine and 2 counts of using a telephone for illicit purposes. On December 11,1998 he was charged on a second superseding indictment with 2 additional counts of conspiracy to distribute Cocaine. My husband was not caught with drugs, money or weapons. The basis of the case against him is testimony of an unidentified witness or witnesses. The Government refuses to reveal their identities. His bond has been denied twice. His attorney has pretty much backed off the case because we can not pay him at the rate he wants (the court appointed attorney told a codefendant that my husbands case was a lost cause and he would be spending the rest of his life in jail so he was just along for the ride) so at this point we feel that we are at a loss. It seems without money you can not fight back but having money makes you guilty. It's a Catch 22.


Please accept this donation on my part for a worthy cause. You should receive an inmate trust fund check from me each month for at least $5.

I recently read my first issue of N.C. and found it to be honest and sincere. I am one of what is called the last breed (an old con) and normally don't put much stock in newsletters etc., but I am beginning to believe that legislation is the answer to prison population growth, and TNC is on the right track with the information being provided.

Thank you for your efforts. May they prove to be fruitful.

Jamie Slate

Ed. note.: Jamie, thank you - for the donation and the notice.


From: GStark
Subject: Becoming a Chapter Leader

I want to work on behalf of my brother who was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years. He was a first-time offender, in a nonviolent drug conspiracy. I have quit my job of 10 years to do this. My reasons are greater than just the love of my brother and the pain it has caused my family. I want to fight for all of the pain for all the families. We live in Minnesota, and have not found an organization fully devoted until we found you. It's time to be heard. I think that message was clear when we voted for Jesse Ventura to be our Governor.


From: Tom Comer
Subject: Congratulations

Hey Tom, I just saw the Frontline program "Snitch" the other night. Kudos to you and Nora and anyone else that helped on that program. I thought it did a great job of showing the absurdity of the "Win convictions at any cost " mentality so prevalent in the justice system. I couldn't help but be amused by the fact that all those who wholeheartedly back the "snitch" approach in the war on drug users ( Sen. Orrin Hatch, et al ) are so appalled when they are the target of the snitching by Larry Flynt. Seems like there is no end to the hypocrisy in sight.

Anyway, thanks for the issues of your paper, I've passed them along to others here at work.


Today I had the very WORST experience of my life. I delivered a very special friend of mine to a Federal Prison Camp. She was very brave but as the moment of surrender approached, I saw in her eyes the sheer terror of a wounded and cornered animal. She begged for me to take her "Home" I could only answer her, I'm sorry but I can't, I have to be mean to you so you will be able to come home again... As I left her she cried out to me, "Please don't forget me..." She doesn't have to worry.

A 36-year-old woman, who has never been in trouble, who was gainfully employed in a small business is now living at taxpayer expense, because a Federal Judge's hands are tied, Federal prosecutors seek personal advancement, greedy lawyers prosper through our ignorance. The spirit of the law is subverted as political representatives retire in luxury, the people pay the price. Who is to gain? I can tell you it will not be the common man.

I "heard" your message while researching her rights and I am shocked by the "madness" again practiced by the masters of deception. They play a very old tune yet again. The tune is "Fear." The dancers are the old, the infirm, the handicapped, the Jew, those whose skin is not the preferred color, those daring to differ in opinion. The list of those deemed to have no rights is growing. Who will be next? How dare they abuse their children so!

Edward Payne


From: Doug Anderson
Subject: concerning contribution

I am a recovering addict, 34, wonderful wife and 1-year-old son. I mostly drank and smoked pot, never dealt drugs. After seeing PBS' Frontline "Snitch" I sat scared to death. Mostly for the fact that I could be anyone of those who's lives have been thrown to the heap because of the people they ( I ) have associated with. Now I sit waiting for one of them to cut a shitty deal and mention me. I could never help prosecution, for I made it a rule to meet as few people as possible in that world, much less remember or ever care to get names. Anyway the show got me on-line and I found FAMM, you, and other links.

I have over the years developed what some consider "paranoid" or "eccentric" attitudes towards the powers that be, and those who judge so, I just place them in my mental file under the "Blissfully Ignorant". I ponder things on an International scale as well, not just here at home. Anyway I have downloaded so much reference material, I suppose arming myself with better understanding and preparing to jump into the trenches. I personally haven't lost a loved one, but know all of the legislation in this "war" is ass backwards and has been proven to be so in decades past. We just don't learn from our past do we?


I would very much like to receive your publication, The Razor Wire. I have only just read the first issue of what I expect will become a routine part of my reading fare.

I am currently residing with little enthusiasm in federal prison. I expect to be here for a while, so your news update will be put to good and timely use.

My monthly salary is $5.25, so finances are a bit thin. However, I intend to mail $10 in the form of a prison money order. I'll do my part today.

Thank you for proving that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't always an oncoming train.

Charles F. Knight, Prisoner of the Drug War


Today I turn 43 years old, and I do not live in the same country in which I was born. I grew up and attended school during the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam War and Watergate. In my life, I have had the opportunity to witness our government at its best, and its worst. Even during the worst times, we still retained the right to speak out, as individuals or en masse, against the policies of our lawmakers. In school I was taught how our government was conceived, formed and operates (or how it is supposed to anyway). I was taught to cherish the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights as not only our rights as citizens, but as the very foundation of this nation. The principles set forth in these documents have been defended with the sacrifice of lives of those who would rather die than live without what these documents guarantee them.

I have exercised my rights, and have been politically active since the age of 14. I have marched against the indecency that was Vietnam and Civil Rights violations. I have collected signatures by the thousands for passage of legislation beneficial to our environment and world. I have lobbied members of both houses of Congress for causes in which I believe. I was proud to be an American, and proud that I lived in a country that permitted its citizens to stand up for causes in which they believe, even though these beliefs may not agree with those of the "Powers That Be." The America in which I was born and raised was a country in which even children were not only permitted, but also encouraged to participate in the democratic process.

As I stated earlier, there was a time that I was proud to be an American. Now, however, I am ashamed not only to be an American, but more importantly I am ashamed of what America has become, and the frightening direction it continues to travel. Even though I hate the cliche. I can think of no other way to say this: we have now embarked onto the infamous "slippery slope" under the guise of righteousness. And if we are not extremely cautious and vigilant we will pass the "point of no return". The slope will became simply too slippery to retrace our steps.

Keith W. Kennedy, Prisoner of War

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