Monday, March 5, 2012

The Inmates at Camp Fluffy

By Richard Edmondson

Imagine the following:

A physical space resembling a campus; landscaped yards, and hedges shaped into giant globes; windows, trees, flowers—a place where one may lie out on the grass and tan….

Sounds like a pretty nice place, maybe a resort of some sort. In reality, it’s a description (contained in an article here ) of a federal prison named Butner Correctional Complex. Those who make their homes there include Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard and Wall Street swindler Bernie Madoff. It seems if you’re Jewish or a financial criminal (or both), you get to spend your prison sentence basking in the leisurely environs of Butner. Other sorts of evildoers—thieves, drug dealers, terrorist sympathizers, etc.—are consigned to realms that probably even Dante could not have imagined.

The latest scheme to win a presidential commutation for Pollard is told of in an article at the Revolt of the Plebs blog. It seems the Israeli Council of Progressive (Reform) Rabbis is appealing for their puppet in the White House to exercise the “humanitarian compassion” he is so well known for and free Pollard from the hardships of prison life. While the article does indeed mention Butner—known to federal inmates as “Camp Fluffy”—along with the fact that Pollard is “living the sweet life” there—its main focus is on the espionage conducted, damage that was done to US security, and the fact that the convicted spy is now regarded as a hero in Israel. Overall an interesting article, and I very much encourage people to check it out in its entirety. Yet I thought it might also be of interest to expand upon its theme a bit and delve into the subject of Camp Fluffy itself.


Located in Butner, North Carolina not far north of the Raleigh-Durham area, the complex consists of a low-security prison, two medium-security facilities, and a prison medical center. Both Pollard and Madoff are housed at the same medium-security institute—known as FCI Butner Medium I—and apparently they are now acquaintances.

Pollard, a cutup, kidded Madoff about how much time they got. Pollard was loose and comical—“always happy,” one con tells me—and liked to work blue. Hay recalls, “They brought a young boy in for evaluation. He was small. I said to him, ‘Hey, boy, you got to be 18 to drink coffee.’ ” Pollard chimed in, “ ‘Yeah, but you’re old enough to suck all the dick you want.’ Pollard is a good-hearted guy.

The above, including Pollard’s not-so-nuanced vulgarity, is from a New York Magazine article about Madoff’s arrival at Camp Fluffy in July of 2009 and his subsequent adaptation to life there. The article describes Medium I as the “softer of Butner’s two medium-security facilities”—replete with gym, library, pool tables, chapel, volleyball court, and even an Indian sweat lodge. The reporter who wrote the piece also employs the word “soft” to describe the type of prisoners there—specifically “those who might not survive other institutions, including pedophiles and cooperators (‘rats’).” In addition to Pollard and Madoff, other notorious inmates at Camp Fluffy include Jon Burge, a former Chicago police commander accused of having tortured hundreds of people, mainly young black men; John Connolly, a former FBI agent convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice, and Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called “blind sheikh,” convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Abdel-Rahman is housed in the medical center).

Also perhaps of interest is the prison commissary, where as it so happens yarmulkes are sold for just $2.60—and as the New York Magazine piece notes, Pollard, “heavier and balder than when he was sentenced in 1987,” goes about the prison grounds wearing his yarmulke pretty much constantly. You can also click here for a full list of additional items sold at the commissary. The list includes pony tail ties, watches, clothing, and a variety of junk foods and personal hygiene items—all priced reasonably.

In addition to the more-than-adequate shopping opportunities, living quarters seem to be quite pleasant. There are no bars, only windows. Madoff’s unit includes an adjacent terrace and a picnic bench where he can relax on sunny days, and the convicted fraudster has even managed to hire another inmate to do his laundry for just $8 a week.

A Modest Proposal

At this point I’d like to put forth a proposal, one which I think very well may offer a key to fixing the seemingly intractable Middle East conflict. Very simply, the solution is this: give Palestine back to its rightful owners—the Palestinians—and establish a new Jewish national homeland at Camp Fluffy. No doubt Palestinians would find this an extremely acceptable arrangement, but the proposal also offers some very significant benefits to Jews as well. First off, there would be no need to construct an apartheid wall since there’s already one there ready-made. Think of all the money this would save! And as one of its first acts, the Camp Fluffy Knesset could pass a Law of Return giving Jews anywhere in the world the right to immigrate to the new state and become automatic citizens.

Also a Jewish homeland at Camp Fluffy would alleviate ever-prevalent concerns about a demographic ticking time bomb. Burge, Abdel-Rahman, and any other non-Jews lurking about could simply be transferred to other prison facilities. While technically speaking this may amount to ethnic cleansing, my guess is few people would think of it that way. Thus the leaders of Camp Fluffy could be confident their state would remain both Jewish and democratic!

Another benefit, and one which would be realized immediately, is members of Congress would have not nearly as far to travel in making their annual junkets to Israel. This once again would represent considerable savings. A Jewish state at Camp Fluffy would also be welcomed by President Obama as it would relieve him of having to make the difficult decision of whether to commute Pollard’s sentence (and thereby risk potential backlash from the highest levels of the CIA and military establishments), while Pollard, for his own part, would require no movement, not so much as a single millimeter, thus being absolved of any further exertion: he’d already be home! Thus a presidential pardon becomes a moot point!

Pollard might find other reasons to rejoice as well. With the founding of the new Jewish homeland, the smart entrepreneurs at the Camp Fluffy commissary would doubtless want to expand their selection of yarmulkes. The convicted spy could suddenly find himself with a much wider variety to choose from. But it doesn’t have to end there. If Pollard is politically astute enough, he could easily ride his hero status among Jews into politics. And who knows? Given his longstanding historical ties to Camp Fluffy, he might even have a shot at getting elected prime minister!

But perhaps more than anyone else, US taxpayers would stand to gain. The annual dole to Israel—of billions upon billions of dollars—could be reduced to no more than it takes to run a prison! With these significant savings we could build new schools, new roads, provide some medical care to indigent people, disaster relief for tornado victims, and maybe even tackle the longstanding problem of cleaning up hazardous waste sites. Thus it’s a win-win situation all the way around! Or perhaps we should say almost all the way around, for as with most any proposal, there are both pros and cons to be considered. So it is with our new Jewish homeland.

On the downside, AIPAC would be forced to change its acronym—to ACFPAC (America Camp Fluffy Public Affairs Committee)—but I have no doubt the expense of printing up new letterhead stationary could be managed successfully by the world’s most powerful lobbying organization. Perhaps a more serious issue, however, might be that of cultural theft. Given the fate of humus, we can probably anticipate the Jews of Camp Fluffy fully appropriating a number of regional delicacies—grits, turnip greens, southern fried chicken, and the like—and marketing them to the world exclusively as their own. This would likely rile Carolina southerners, but here again I think the problem, should it in fact arise, is one which could be resolved more or less peacefully.

All in all, the above points make for some compelling arguments in favor of a Jewish state at Camp Fluffy, but I believe I have truly saved the best one for last! If you go here it will take you to the official website of the town of Butner, North Carolina, which offers us quite a bit of useful information. The town itself is a recent creation; it was only incorporated as a town less than five years ago. But this notwithstanding, the region has quite a rich past, as we learn from visiting the site’s history page. Originally the area was an agricultural community, it seems, but during World War II it became an important military training camp after the federal government purchased approximately 40,300 acres of local land. This became known as the “Camp Butner Reservation.” A couple of years after the war, the reservation’s military aspects were phased out, gradually replaced with other government-funded projects and endeavors. At this time, the state of North Carolina began to take over from the federal government the job of administering certain sectors of the region, and a new emphasis came to be upon the task of providing treatment for the mentally ill:

The abandoned army hospital became the site for John Umstead Hospital. The hospital serves the 16 counties of the North Central Region. Its primary function is to provide an inpatient facility to diagnose and treat individuals (6 years and older) with psychiatric disorders, restore them to an optimal level of functioning, and return them to the community…

1947 was also the year that the State Legislature designated the State Board of Mental Health as the governing body of the Town of Butner. The Board was given the power to prepare, adopt and enforce ordinances and regulations for the development of both the State and privately owned property in the area. In 1973, following State government reorganization, the Department of Human Resources (currently the Department of Health and Human Services) was given this responsibility. Also during 1973, the Butner Municipal Committee was appointed to advise the Secretary of Human Resources in governing the Town. The responsibility of managing the Town was assigned to the business manager of John Umstead Hospital.

In other words, we’re talking about primo psychiatric care! The best! Now consider that Zionists and Jewish supremacists are some of the most mentally disturbed people on the planet, and you begin to see what a tremendous resource this would be for the new Jewish state at Camp Fluffy! Why, the benefits are literally incalculable!

Pedophiles and Organ Traffickers

Recall the above comment about “soft” prisoners, i.e. those who would probably not survive long at other correctional facilities. With that in mind, we might propose the following as possible excellent candidates for immigration to Camp Fluffy:

Or consider this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this.

In October of last year, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, the man caught in the New Jersey sting, pled guilty to brokering three illegal kidney transplants in exchange for payments of $120,000 or more.

His lawyers, Ronald Kleinberg and Richard Finkel, said in a statement that their client had performed a lifesaving service for desperately ill people who had been languishing on official transplant-waiting lists.

“The transplants were successful, and the donors and recipients are now leading full and healthy lives,” the statement said. “In fact, because of the transplants and for the first time in many years, the recipients are no longer burdened by the medical and substantial health dangers associated with dialysis and kidney failure.”

Since Rosenbaum’s lawyers don’t feel he did anything wrong by creating a black market in human organs and exploiting those who were desperately poor, perhaps they, too, would find Camp Fluffy a “promised land” of sorts. At any rate, all these people, don’t cha know, are in earnest need of a homeland they can call their own, a sovereign, independent state where they can simply be themselves and live life to their full potential. Freedom, in other words. All human beings deserve no less!


Considering all of the above, establishing a Jewish homeland in North Carolina simply makes a monstrous amount of sense! Time to hoist the star of David over Camp Fluffy!

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