Discipline, Dignity and Respect

Dignity emits from the man, not necessarily the situation. It’s a lesson I learned from my past life as an Airborne Ranger and has served me well here, in Hell…

My name is John Calvin Buckley, IV and in my previous life, I was a decorated Operator in the Special Operations community. Serving with distinction in 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, I deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq several times. I had lunch with the President of the United States.

Several years ago, I was incarcerated for a crime I DID NOT commit, due to a loop hole in the law that allows civilians to exploit their FEAR of combat veterans, seeing us as “defective machines”. Like every other class of people who differ from what society considers “normal”, the warrior class has become marginalized, polarized and ostracized. And let’s remember that this group contains every race, gender and the LGBQT community, so no “woke” comment please.

After 2 decades of an all-volunteer military fighting its’ nations wars after 9/11, I wonder what “normal” looks like. Native Americans, African Americans, Irish Americans, Japanese and German Americans interred in concentration camps during WWII, Vietnam veterans being vilified, mass incarceration exploding especially after Biden’s “tough on crime” bill in the 90s, all share the same hatred and indifference from society. Historically, the way society deals with things they don’t understand is to send them away so they don’t have to think about them. After being demonized for being a combat Veteran at my trial and having the jury told that I can’t be a “normal” person in society because I’m a combat Veteran, I looked at this jury of my “peers” and watched in horror as about half of them nodded their heads in agreement! These were the American people that begged for vengeance when the towers fell. And then they were waving flags and thanking me for my “service”. My service was in a WAR, which by its’ nature is VIOLENT, and yet that violence TERRIFIED this jury. How do you think I felt??

Suddenly, I was found to no longer be “safe” enough to occupy a place in society, my case was reduced to a shard of evidence with denial of other evidence that would have shown my accuser for exactly who she was, a blown up picture of me on the wall facing the jury with my tattoos during my service years and my legal guns laid out on a table in front of the jury (guns that were never out in the open at my house, always locked up and stored).

I have spent 12 years fighting this travesty of a trial with every court agreeing there may have been an error—BUT I got a fair trial following “procedure” because the only thing that matters to today’s court system is FINALITY of convictions…NOT Justice.

As of this moment, I’ve spent over 15 months in isolation. The building I’m in is nicknamed “The Castle”. They have written books about it and horror stories are based upon it. It was built in 1870 using prisoner slave labor. Hundreds of murders have occurred here at KSP in its’ 144 yr. old history and the place still holds the infamous record for the most executions in a single day with 9. The chamber with “Old Smokey” sits a mere meters away from where I’m currently being held hostage.

I am admittedly a bit of an activist. I’ve never been able to abide a bully or naked aggression. From elementary school on, I took up for the weaker kids against the bullies. The military taught me my values, it taught me how deep I could dig and how to handle adversity with Discipline, Dignity and Respect. Somehow I have managed to maintain these values despite living in a toilet surrounded by the worst “society” have to offer—both prisoners and Staff.

In a 144 yr. old building infested with black mold, rats, roaches, mice, lice, and birds and with raw sewage on every floor, feces and mace on every surface—“oppressive” and “torture” are words that come to mind. This building is so old that it lacks air conditioning and central heat, so the winters are FREEZING and the summers are SUFFOCATING (I have now done both in here). There is no view to the outside world. Showers and Recreation—which are mandated by law—are viewed as privileges to be granted or taken away on a whim. Books are non-existent and our mail is HIGHLY censored. I’ve spent the last almost year and a half staring at the walls.

On a daily basis I am forced to strip naked, forced to lift up my penis and separate it from my scrotum. I am then forced—or I will be tazed which could kill me because of the metal in my shoulder—to bend over at the waist, separate my butt cheeks and allow a guard to look into my rectum with a flashlight. It is humiliating, emasculating and dehumanizing especially while the guards are cracking jokes and lording their power over your nudity. Most of these “winners” are half my age, fat, slovenly, immature and dumb. They have disassociated from their humanity, referring to prisoners as chattel: “Feed em’/”Exercise ‘em”/”Count ‘em”. There are a few decent guards here, but they don’t last long. Who could watch other human beings being treated like this and be alright with it?? As a soldier, I was in charge of Prisoners of War several times. These were men who shot at me and my brothers and in some instances wounded and killed my brothers. Still, I respected these men as soliders and human beings and showed them the dignity and respect they were due under the Geneva Convention. This is NOT how I am treated as a Prisoner, held hostage indefinitely in Solitary at a backwards KY Prison in my own country. Even standing there stark naked as some 21 yr. old with peach fuzz on his face LEERS at me, I maintain the Discipline, Dignity and Respect of a US Army Ranger. Head up, shoulders back, making direct eye contact with the little cowards trying to belittle me. Boy, do they hate that!

This place is designed to suck your soul and break your spirit. I have been interred in this tiny 4×9 cell indefinitely and with no end in sight, as retaliation for speaking out about the conditions in which I am being confined. (see my Open Letter to KY leaders, published as a One page Ad in the Louisville Courier Journal—( https://www.justiceforjohnbuckley.com/johns-open-letter-to-ky-gov-beshear-ky-doc-). For those of you reading this, I don’t know if you’ve been indifferent to such practices which, by the way, have been verified by an outside state agency who actually came in on a surprise visit to see for themselves and talk to me and other inmates. But just by the fact that you are interested in reading this tells me that you’re becoming awake to the fact that THIS is how we are treating our hidden populations behind bars, away from public scrutiny. No created being should live like this and many don’t, they just give up and they go crazy. It’s more survivable for them to be out of their minds. Or they die of sicknesses and ailments untreated. Or they are stabbed and beaten to death. But I will bear this inhumane abuse for however long I have to because I am an Army Ranger and that is what we do. With Respect, Discipline and Dignity, even naked and ridiculed.

Ranger Buckley From the Frontlines Out!! RLTW!! (Rangers lead the way)

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By |2024-04-28T21:15:05-06:00April 25th, 2024|Categories: Letters from John|0 Comments

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