“A Tale of an American Political Prisoner”

Part 7.6: The DC Gulag; Washington, DC

–Happy Hellidays–

by: Jessica Watkins (X: @J6ssicaWatkins)

A True Story; 100% verifiable with Text Messages, Emails, Video/Audio, Court Documents and Testimony.

The Congressional visit accomplished nothing on our end. But it DID remind the jail Staff how badly they hated us. Now that they were famous in the news, the shakedowns, threats and mistreatment by the CO’s returned once more. What was equally as annoying is that the grifters began using the Congressional visit to try and get themselves rich and famous. For the rest of the Pod, the poor guys just wanted to go home to their wife and kids. Their beards were STILL unkempt, uncut for nearly a year for most of them. They all looked like a version of the crazy guy on the corner with a “The End is Near” sign. Kenny Harrelson had almost 3 beards. People like Shane Jenkins took to using Magic Shave (Nair) on his head, giving himself an iconic patch of hair on the back of his skull. Brandon hid in his cell behind a sheet, preparing his pro se defense. Dominick Pezzola isolated himself (more), working out with his laundry bag full of water bottles, and generally avoiding socialization. Jeff Sabol hid in his cell, trying to break the code of the Q-Drops, “reading the tea leaves” and searching for clues that would give him hope to be home with his daughters by Christmas. Cumulatively, we struggled to keep cohesion. Depression swept through C2B as the holidays drew nearer and nearer. All we wanted was to be home with our families. For me, I also became severely depressed. Irritable. I began isolating myself in my cell. As Thanksgiving approached, I began disassociating myself with the others. I cried a lot, and I rarely left my cell. I still sang the National Anthem every night, but not with the same gusto or passion that I’d once had. After almost a year in jail, I was pretty damn beaten down.

We were all homesick, and dreading the return to the freezing cold that came with winter. The black mold growing on the walls, the condensation getting our blankets wet. But the heaviness of the holidays was the worst. By the time Thanksgiving Day came, I wanted nothing to do with the “festivities”. I was beyond depressed. I barely came out of my cell at all. A bunch of the guys chipped in on Commissary items and laid out a spread for a big Thanksgiving Day meal. It was Jake Lang’s idea, and seeing him sitting there at the head of the table acting like some damnable facsimile of a Messiah… well, I wanted nothing to do with THAT. I wasn’t alone. Many of us didn’t. By this point, Jake was… look, I don’t like bashing people… but Jake was getting to be a problem. What was worse, is that he fancied himself some sort of prophet. Worse yet, I was forced to share a cell wall with the guy. I was in Cell 24 and he was in Cell 23. He’d often wake me up, beating on my wall and asking me to pray with him at like 2am. “I’M SLEEPING JAKE! LEAVE ME THE F*** ALONE!” The guy even had the nerve to try and write HIS OWN book of Psalms; a mashup of pseudo-patriotism and heretical writings that he would write on slips of paper and distribute through the Pod like some kinda phony Jesus figure. He even called himself “Yisrael”. It was freakin’ weird.

On top of all that, he was always trying to get us to sign these crazy documents with a bunch of inflated rhetoric. He even tried to start a “militia” behind bars, despite the foolishness of said venture and NO military experience whatsoever. Speaking of, He had the horse-sized nuts to wear a Purple Heart stamp (upside down) on his orange jumpsuit for a while, like he had earned some kinda medal. He told people that he “…was a veteran now, because J6 was war”. For us REAL veterans, who lost REAL friends in a REAL war… well, his Stolen Valor bulls*** made us want to monkey stomp the f*** out of him. I’m surprised that Jeff McKellop (Special Forces veteran) didn’t snap the twit in half for it. J6 was bad, sure. But unless you’re reading the New York Times, it wasn’t a war. By this point, I’d had about as much as I could take of Edward Jacob Lang. So when he assembled his “disciples” and held a Last Supper type Thanksgiving Dinner… I just hid in my cell and listened to heavy metal. Memorial Day was the first real Holiday I missed. Then the 4th of July. Then on Veterans Day, Brian Mock decided to cause a ruckus and ran from the CO’s. The guards teargassed the entire unit, and we coughed and retched, trapped in our cells with our eyes burning. Dan Caldwell passed out and hit his head. The CO’s left him in there for like an hour, unconscious on the floor. I was supposed to have an interview with Greg Kelly on Newsmax for Veterans Day. Instead, we veterans spent the day beating on the doors trying to get poor Dan, a former Marine, medical attention. Halloween was the only good holiday we had. Thanksgiving was … well, yeah.

Naturally, the next holiday up is Christmas. Jake kept pushing my buttons, singing Christmas songs at all hours of the night. Sometimes as late as 2-3am. I would beat on my wall screaming “SHUT THE F*** UP JAKE! SHUT! THE! F***! UP!” He was only encouraged to sing louder and harder. I was too depressed, too angry to deal with his antagonistic Messiah-complex bulls***. Holidays behind bars are the worst. Sure, you could try to make the best of the situation. But why? It feels like you’re going through the motions, trying to pretend everything is OK, when all you want is to be home with your family. It all seems so pointless. Christmas came and went. I think I remember telling Montana that I didn’t want to call. That I wanted to be alone. I seem to remember him scolding me for it (very nicely, btw) and telling me to call anyway. I seem to remember doing that. By-and-large, I don’t remember that Christmas. It’s basically a black empty hole in my memory. Next up was New Years. I don’t really remember that either. That whole period of time is basically a void. I probably slept a lot, and wheedled my hours away reading. But a NEW holiday was on the horizon. I dubbed it “Sixthmas”, and it would become the Democrats favorite holiday. The Anniversary of January 6th was mere days away, and the Democrats were like a bunch of giddy kiddies waiting to open up Sixmas presents filled with hateful rhetoric, shaming, and self righteous arrogance to the tune of Sixthmas carols led by the cast of Hamilton.