Read the background to the Paul Bergrin story and learn the truth about this government vendetta
This is a letter from Paul Bergrin that explains how he ended-up in the position he’s in today and sentenced to 6 life terms + 200 years by U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh. You will notice a few typos in this lengthy letter, but I viewed it as important to leave it unedited and raw. The only corrections made are of 2 misspellings of names because we want you to know who the people discussed are and have the ability to research. At the conclusion of the letter, you’ll find a link to it in PDF form. Please do feel free to grab a copy, share it, discuss it, and research the statements:
THE UNTOLD STORY
Paul W. Bergrin
As a soldier, attorney, humanitarian, and human being, I witnessed violations of international law, treaties, inhumane conduct, and blatant, intentional lies by the highest levels of the United States government; by individuals who would condone human rights atrocities and then hypocritically and publicly condemn such actions.
I now realize why I am imprisoned and the vociferous attempts to impugn my integrity, morality, and veracity. I have the ability to connect these atrocious abominations committed against Prisoners of War, Enemy Combatants, Insurgents, and even Civilians, to the highest levels of our national government and cause our enemy, foe, and ally to have significant contempt and disdain for our country. I could prove that North Korea, Iraq, Iran, and China’s violations of human rights pale in comparison to the precedent and actions of the United States of America.
There exists not another human being , who has such unique vast and vital experiences, firsthand and indisputable knowledge, as well as information ascertained through copious investigative mechanisms. As an attorney and retired Army Major, I can eviscerate the alleged morality of a system and political idealism and prove the nexus to this realism. I can categorically and unequivocally prove the hypocrisy of our government leaders’ grave miscarriages of justice, which resulted in immeasurably and unjustified suffering with no benefits whatsoever.
The motivation to silence me and the rewards for achieving this objective is unparalleled in history.
In March of 1987, I was recruited for employment at the Office of the United States Attorney, District of New Jersey, by United States Attorney Thomas Graulich and First Assistant Thomas Roth. I had a successful career as a State Homicide Prosecutor. Shortly after being hired as a federal prosecutor, the administration changed and the new United States Attorney was Samuel Alito, First Assistant Michael Chertoff, and Criminal Division Chief Paul Fishman. During these years, I excelled and was given one of the premier prosecutions in the office, United States v. Gerald Winters, et. al., also known as the Candyman Commercial Terrorism case. In or about 1990, the Office indicted and prosecuted Detectives Thomas Gilsenan and Ralph Cicalese, two Essex Country Prosecutor’s detectives, well known by us for RICO and corruption. As the result of my federal employment and knowledge of these defendants, I was subpoenaed as a defense witness and called to testify on their behalf.
My albatross and nemesis would be this testimony, as Alito, Chertoff, Fishman, and others attempted to coerce, intimidate, and even threatened me against testifying truthfully. They all attempted to suborn perjury and collectively warned me that I should get amnesia upon the witness stand. I was told that if I were to offer favorable evidence to the defense that the consequences and ramifications of it would detrimentally affect my position as a federal prosecutor and employment in the office. I testified truthfully and to the best of my recollection.
During my testimony, Alito sat in the center of the courtroom, stared me down, attempted to intimidate me and when I would go to the courthouse to watch the trial, again attempt to intimidate me. Chertoff ordered Chief John Fahy to warn me against testifying and to inform me how disloyal I was being. Although I complained and repulsed Fahy’s threats to the administration and voiced my objection to my treatment, I knew I had made enemies for life. Subsequent to the jury’s verdict, I was my office to the sixth floor of the federal building. I had no desk, secretary, telephone, files, cases, and was scorned by office personnel. There were no other federal prosecutors on this floor and my career with the Justice Department essentially over. I resigned as a federal prosecutor in 1991 and went into private practice in the District of New Jersey. I had met my obligations pursuant to a legally issued subpoena and knew there would be retaliation.
In 1991, while this administration remained in power, I was falsely accused and indicted for conspiracy to tamper with evidence and tampering evidence, knowingly false accusations, devoid of any merit whatsoever. I remained under indictment for two years, despite conclusive proof of my actual innocence. It devastated my private practice, so the intent of this baseless case was achieved. Three days prior to commencement of trial, wherein I would have been vindicated, Chertoff’s good griend, Howard Shapiro, alleged conflict of counsel, dismissed all charges against me in the interests of justice. Their objective of destroying me had been accomplished but never over.
Samuel Alito would depart from his tenure as New Jersey United States Attorney and be elevated by the Republicans and Bush Administration to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Alito’s long term alliance with David Addington, a Federalist like Alito and arch conservative Republican, would be my nemesis. Addington became Chief of Staff and legal counsel to Vice President Cheney and lead Cheney and Rumsfeld’s personal war on terror. Addington, along with White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales, would change history by re-defining the term “torture,” in clear contravention to humanity and law and promote memo upon memo wrongfully and unlawfully espousing Rumsfeld and Cheney’s position of permissible torture during interrogations. Furthermore, Addington and Gonzales would mislead agency heads on permissible interrogation techniques, with the approval of the White House; and when Chertoff served as Chief of the Criminal Division, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., he would wrongfully and also unlawfully support their position. Directors from the CIA and other intelligence agencies detrimentally relied upon Addington, Gonzales, and Chertoff in advising their operatives, agents, and soldiers in the field on permissible conduct, while knowing their opinions intentionally breached the American Code of Law and espoused what were in essence war crimes against humanity. As the lead counsel to Abu Ghraib , I learned of the actions by these parties and sought them along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Stephen Cambone (Deputy to Rumsfeld on intelligence), Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as witnesses. All to no avail. They knew I was aware of their memos, orders to torture, which I publicly proclaimed through my interviews with the media, especially Al-Jazeera, motions, and legal work.
In 2000, Alito, at the behest of Addington and the Bush administration, gave a speech before the Federalist Society. Alito would be involved in giving new and unprecedented powers to Bush and his administration.
Paul Fishman, my former Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, would move into the Justice Department, Washington, D.C. and Chertoff, who was United States Attorney in New jersy after Alito, would also be empowered with new appointments, from heading the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division from 2001-2003, to a Cabinet level position as the Secretary of Homeland Security from 2005 to the end of the Bush administration.
My ardent, vociferous, and aggressive betrayal of the Bush administration in my quest to zealously represent scapegoated soldiers on the Abu Ghraib case, Objective Iron Triangle debacle, and my appeal of tank commander Staff Sergeant Leon Parker (who was being crucified and wrongfully charged with criminal negligent homicide) lead to my demise. The hierarchy of the men I challenged continued to rise to unprecedented power in our nation. They all knew and feared my tenacity and intelligence by observing my public display of discrediting the highest levels of our government. Most importantly, they knew it had to be curtailed at all costs. Consequently, here I sit in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, New York, wrongfully convicted by the word of convicted felons, who were given benefits beyond comprehension, to falsely accuse and testify against me; and facing life in prison with no parole.
I was the one who constantly and publicly publicized the fact that the United States violated international law, ordered the cruel and inhumane torture of men, women, and children in the name of national security, lied to the international and national communities as to our government’s knowledge of the conduct and actions which lead to legal violations. I took the lead and scrutinized our government’s actions. I brought further evidence our government’s attempt to desperately conceal such atrocities. It was I who challenged the Bush administration to stop scapegoating the lowly soldiers and to finally tell the world the truth.
The knowledge I gained during the scope of my representation made me a threat to the reputation, integrity, and influence of the United States in the eyes of the entire world, among foe and ally alike.
I know about torture recommendations, murder of prisoners of war, water boarding, starvation, beatings, closed quarter isolation booth prisoners, especially Muslims, being forced into nudity, in the wearing of female garments to demoralize them for intelligence, threats with vicious dogs, sleep deprivation, hangings with chains, binding of wrists and ankles off the ground, all by order of the Bush administration. I knew in 2006, prior to the Obama administration ordering the release of such information, the infamous Bush torture memos.
I made telephone inquiries with the ACLU, a Constitutional Law professor at Seton Hall Law School, co-counsel on Abu Ghraib, Guy Womack, and defamed Sgt. Javal Davis of Abu Ghraib. I revealed that I was going to change military history and renew my attack on the American government and its war crimes; that I was moving to reverse the convictions of all Abu Ghraib case soldiers because the defense was denied crucial intelligence information, which I demanded, but was denied, and which would have proven the soldiers of Abu Ghraib were merely following the orders of the intelligence community. Prior to my achieving these objectives, I was indicted in New York in a case the federal government clearly had a hand in and which would become a major part of my federal indictment.
Additionally, I demoralized the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office with my acquittal before a jury of Carmine Dente, Jr. in United States v. Carmine Dente. Jr., a case wherein the Federal Bureau of Investigation and United States Attorney’s Office sought a conviction to publicize the need to protect witnesses. As they prepared for their victory speech, the jury shelled egg on their face with a not guilty verdict and it was I who gave the victory speech.
My ability to tie together all the personnel cases, criminal acts and conduct of our government set into motion the retaliatory indictment and case against me. What is also important to note is how I can reveal the relationships developed between federal laws, enforcement agencies, and the highest levels of government officials. I was a thorn to their continued deception and lies. While their Counsel Gonzales became United States Attorney General, John Ashcroft, United States Attorney General, befriended a lowly attorney named Chris Christie, who later came to reward Ashcroft with a major monetary contract. The concealed foundation of the Bush legacy was under attack by me and now all the power players had to depict their loyalty to Bush and guard his administration’s integrity or they would also potentially fall with him and be exposed. More importantly, they had to protect the criminal actions and conduct of our nation from being revealed.
Upon my retention in the Abu Ghraib in or about April of 2004, I lived the war on terror. There was not an investigation that was endorsed and conducted that remained unread. There was not a federal law enforcement or intelligence agency that I did not scrutinize. I incessantly read thousands and thousands of reports and evidence, included, but not limited to, from the Schlesinger report, Taguba report, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Army Criminal Investigation Division, Inspector General’s Office, International Red Cross reports and memorandum, Iraq’s Survey Group, Special Operation’s Command, Naval Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, State Department , United States Senate reports, Fay-Jones report, Task Force 121 reports, Army secret e-mails system messages in Washington, D.C. I ordered depositions of vital and seminal military commanders, and more. Additionally, I interviewed every accused soldier in Abu Ghraib and Iron Triangle copiously and befriended them. They believed in me and confided their inner most thoughts and knowledge to me. I repeatedly made trips to Iraq, despite threats of death, capture, torture, severe bodily injury, and incapacitation by my own government under the guise of a hold-harmless letter. The soldiers knew I risked my life and liberty for them and would never betray them. They opened up to me. I travelled to the Abu Ghraib prison site on multiple occasions with an interpreter and both interviewed and video-taped prisoners. I observed first-hand the torture facilities and spoke to an undisclosed number of soldiers and civilians with intelligence, all the while gathering knowledge and first-hand knowledge of what was occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan. I lived in the field with the soldiers to gain their confidences and even spent multiple days in the Green Zone, Iraq, where I confronted and spoke to unidentified government intelligence agents, who ended up warning me that there would be retaliation against me and that my name and actions are known by the highest levels of our government, who did not want what I learned disclosed. These intelligence officers disclosed the murder of Iraqi General Manadel al-Jamadi at Abu Ghraib and told me that they also feared being scapegoated because they were ordered to extract intelligence information from Jamadi at all costs. They physically beat him to death.
During my trips to Washington, D.C., I and my investigator Sgt. Richard Russell read thousands of e-mails sent to the highest levels of our government, civilian and military, advising them of the worst scenarios of torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. So, I was acutely and innately aware that our government habitually lied about not condoning torture and being unaware it was occurring. I was the attorney who found and called Major David Dinenna as a witness and learned that as a commander at Abu Ghraib hr had pleaded for a cease or halt to the war crimes. He witnessed inhumane treatment of men, women, and children detained at Abu Ghraib. Dinnera complained about the contractors the United States hired that provided worm infested food, spoiled meals, and six (6) spot a pots of portable toliets for over a thousand prisoners, insufficient water, the imprisonment of children and women in order to potentially gain intelligence from a target, not interviewing detainees for years, killing of detainees, sweep and imprisonment of innocent civilians, the monitoring of the outside camps and its deplorable living conditions, including over-crowding, rapes, and much more. I confirmed all the messages I read as I personally viewed and witnessed the Abu Ghraib facility and interviewed a plethora of individuals, including prisoners. My jaw dropped repeatedly as countless horror stories were revealed of rape conditions to which our government subjected men, women, and children. These conditions had to be endured. I knew I had opened a can of worms and Pandora’s box and why the International Red Cross was refused access to the prison and prisoners by the Bush administration. Now, I made myself a witness to conditions and treatment of human beings similar to the Nazis during World War II. Words cannot describe our mistreatment of human beings.
My relationship with the accused six soldiers in the Abu Ghraib case, my viewing of thousands of photographs, my covert conversations with intelligence officers, both civilian and military, made me a threat to our government.
Subsequent to Abu Ghraib, I played a major role in our soldiers’ defense in the case known as Objective Iron Triangle; the 101st Airborne assault on the Island of Samarra and an unlawful Rule of Engagement to kill every single military age male on the Island. In addition, I participated in liberating First Armor Division tank commander Leon Parker, who was accused and eventually convicted in the friendly fire death of young American soldiers. I knew our government was scapegoating all the accused soldiers and that the orders in the Objective Iron Triangle also came from the White House. My efforts to reveal the origination of the orders was stymied by the Commander, who revealed them while asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent. Our democratic and just government refused to grant him immunity; so I could interrogate him and prove Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld hands were dirty again.
For three years, my life was placed on hold to prove my theory that the United States government was scapegoating the young and low level soldiers, while the government escaped responsibility.
I was the attorney who incessantly spoke with Al-Jazeera news and attempted to bait our government into accepting responsibility for war crimes. I repeatedly challenged White House policy and the Bush legacy.
Through my efforts, I was able to ascertain that Israeli agents were involved in the torture and interrogation of detainees at Abu Ghraib. This fact would have driven the Muslin community ballistic and compelled our government to intentionally lie to key and strategic allies in its alleged war on terror. I was able to confirm the fact as I was the only Abu Ghraib attorney to depose Brigadier General Janis Karpinski Commander of the 372nd MP Company and an Abu Ghraib scapegoat. She personally spoke to Israeli agents at Abu Ghraib, but was warned to keep her mouth shut.
As I personally witnessed the dried blood in the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib, I literally cried myself to sleep as I envisioned and re-envisioned hysterical persons pleading for their release and my help. I uncovered the gory details of how United States agents beat to death General Manadel al-Jamadi and the indignant manner of how he was treated even in death. I spent hours with Army Specialist Sabrina Harman at Victory Base, Baghdad and in the Green Zone as she recounted his physical condition in a black body bag filled with ice as he was dumped at Abu Ghraib in the early summer morning hours. His blood soaked and badly beaten face and body cried for assistance as he pleaded for mercy. I later determined that the agents who criminally caused Jamadi’s death were being investigated by our government and federal prosecutor John Durham. I pleaded with standby attorney Larry Lustberg to ask if I could testify, but my efforts were thwarted. What a grave miscarriage of justice! I witnessed as Army Specialist Sabrina Harman was prosecuted for preserving evidence and photography General Manadel al-Jamadi while the government agents, who beat him to death and the same White House officials who ordered and approved the torture escaped prosecution and punishment.
As my experiences in Iraq developed, I learned about Ghost Detainees and hiding captured or seized prisoners and detainees by throwing them into Abu Ghraib unnoticed under a false number or by number. I was able to put together how this violated international law and exposed it during my depositions of Major General Barbara Fast, who was in charge of intelligence in Iraq and General Geoffrey Miller, who was personally sent and ordered by Rumsfeld to Abu Ghraib and Iraq to teach torture and inhumanity in the name of intelligence gathering. I mistakenly revealed my knowledge of war crimes as I took the lead in deposing the highest levels of our military command. The extent of my confirmations made during interrogations of our strategic commanders in Iraq opened me up to retaliation. I should have never demanded copies of torture memos. I made my knowledge public. Furthermore, my public revelation of Objective Iron Triangle’s Rule of Engagement opened me up to contempt and scorn by our government.
I further connected the dots when my visit to Abu Ghraib and Iraq revealed that Rumsfeld had been repeatedly visiting the Abu Ghraib prison, while our government continued to deny knowledge and involvement in abuse and torture. I learned from soldiers themselves that Rumsfeld was inspiring torture and abuse and motivating soldiers to violate international laws of war.
As I delved deeper and deeper into what had gone wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as my compassion to save the life and liberty of our young soldiers increased, my old friend, Michael Chertoff’s name repeatedly popped up. I had known that Addington and Gonzales had redefined torture to only include permanent disfigurement and injury, but Central Intelligence agents informed me that it was Chertoff, who condoned inhumanity, while advising their Director. I read Chertoff’s confirmation hearing testimony for Secretary at Homeland Security, and now knew he lied under oath about his involvement and knowledge of war crimes in Iraq. I could also now see the intricate connection between the Department of Justice headed by Bush ally Ashcroft and then Gonzalez, Addington, Alito, and Chertoff. I could see how the FBI, who had agents at Abu Ghraib and throughout Iraq torturing prisoners and committing war crimes against humanity, and eventually Chris Christie, all had similar motives to thwart my integrity, existence, and scorn me as a public source of information. My demand for Albert Gonzales as a witness at Javal Davis’ court martial made my knowledge of the vicious circle and cycle apparent.
As Ascroft left his position as United States Attorney General, he would use his strong connection to Bush and their devout friendship to get Chris Christie selected as United States Attorney. He would pass his baton of being the head federal prosecutor to Albert Gonzales, who continued to mislead the American public about America’s awareness and involvement in war crimes and international law violations; even if it meant false testimony under oath at hearings. But, I knew the truth and demanded accountability, as I repeatedly called for the testimony of these individuals.
Christie’s allegiance to Ashcroft and Bush would be repaid in his pursuit of me and in his political patronage and reward of Missouri attorney Ashcroft with a forty (40) million dollar, no bid, no compete contract for legal work in New Jersey. At the time of my indictment, I had to further suffer Christie’s insolence as a powerful New Jersey governor, with ties to the FBI, DOJ, and the White House; and aspirations of someday living on Pennsylvania Avenue. Christie had to lend love and support to the Bush administration for their confidence in appointing him. If he is to ascend to the White House, this component of American history must never be revealed.
Through my efforts, I proved that the six (6) rogue Military Police officers as cried out by Bush on national television were not solely responsible for the inhumanity and crimes in Iraq. The photos clearly established that every intelligence agency under the command of our White House was superiorly responsible. Yet, the magnitude of the lies committed before our United States Senate Committee hearings, to the American and international communities, our allies and even foes were unchecked and undeterred. I tried to do this and make the difference. No other attorney in the entire Abu Ghraib or Iron Triangle case ever came close to my revelations, demand for discovery, and efforts.
The spirit of Abu Ghraib carried over to my legal representation in Objective Iron Triangle, as three (3) young enlisted men were being accused of premeditated murder. The military and the White House were seeking to imprison them for life. If I had not used the media to portray this grave miscarriage of justice, they would all be serving life imprisonment with no opportunity to ever be paroled. Factually, they were ordered to kill every military aged male on the Island Samarra upon contact. When they took prisoners, they were chastised and accused of disobeying orders. When they shot and killed the prisoners they took, they were called murderers. The White House again used the life again of the low level soldier to appease the Muslin and international community because Iraq’s soldiers were on the mission and cried out about the conduct. My legal work proved the soldiers were following orders and that they were scapegoated. We accepted minimal pleas of guilty to avoid the potential consequence of life in prison. The message we got out was the insurmountable amount of scapegoating against those incapable of defending themselves against the White House and the lies and fallacy about the cooperative military efforts between American troops and Iraqi soldiers. This blatant lie was proven as our soldiers refused to go on mission with Iraqi soldiers and the level of malfeasance and distrust was evident. In the Article 32 Hearing of the three Iron Triangle soldiers, I proved how our soldiers hated working with and going on missions with Iraqi Soldiers, proof the Bush administration especially lied to the entire world.
I opened eyes with my vigorous defense of our soldiers and brought the issues out in the open. Even attempts to deter me through the New York indictment did not hinder my representation of these kids. When the New York indictment did not slow me down, the Feds took action. When a million dollar bail in New York for non-violent accusations of prostitution and money laundering did not keep me incarcerated, the Feds stepped in to detain me without bail. I learned that New York authorities, specifically New York Police Detective Myles Mahady and FBI agent Shawn Brokos, were working hand in hand and communicated daily. A fact that remains uncontroverted even to today.
The attempts by our government to conceal the Rule of Engagement (R.O.E.) on Objective Iron Triangle would have been accomplished if not for my zealousness. This revelation lead to the liberation of these young soldiers and prevented a life of misery. All remain free as of today.
Leon Parker was a veteran soldier on his second tour of Iraqi and an exceptional combatant and leader by all standards. When a fellow tank crew man accidently died during a combat mission, Bush had to blame someone and he became the scapegoat. When I visited him in imprisoned in Mannheim, Germany and met his wife and seven infant children, I scorned with contempt the White House and our military for what they had done to this young hero; who was willing to die for his country. I called upon Stars and Stripes, the newspaper read world-wide by all American soldiers, to publicize our plight. They gave me front page photo and coverage and I excoriated Bush and his evil administration. That was the nail in my coffin of success as I followed it with the United States v. Dente acquittal and they followed with life imprisonment for Paul.
My final links in connecting the dots was accomplished throughout my tours in luxurious Iraq. I spoke to at least fifty employees of Halliburton and their subsidiary contractors on all the outposts and military bases. I visited Victory Base, the Green Zone , Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, and Forward Operating Base, Mosul. Additionally, I staged several nights with civilian contractors and Halliburton employees. I met at Baghdad Airport, in their luxury facility at the Marriott Hotel, Kuwait. I learned that the average salary paid to them was over $130,000 per year, tax free, while the American soldier averaged about $30,000. It was rare when a civilian employee risked life or limb, but common for the soldier. Halliburton contracted with foreign nations such as the Philippines, for employees to work on American bases, paid these foreign nationals peanuts, yet billed the American taxpayer extraordinarily. It was one big joke to the civilian and comical as they put it. The money being paid by taxpayers made Cheney’s and Bush’s cronies wealthy, while the young soldier died, suffered severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or was maimed by bombs and small arms fire. When it was revealed that there never were weapons of mass destruction, we had no out strategy. The whole objective behind the Iraq war came to light. I was someone who could put into perspective all the profits made by the politicians and the elevations in states achieved by them. I also realized how powerful the indignant, self-proclaimed righteous men who rose to the highest levels of our society, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Alito, Chertoff, Christie, Fishman, amongst others, were.
For more information about Paul Bergrin’s show trial read through the blog posts: Paul Bergrin on Trial