Even if it might be the case that incarceration rates don\u2019t necessarily correlate with corruption, they do necessarily reflect the extent to which a given nation\u2019s government is (by means of its laws and its enforcement of those laws) at war against its own population; and, so, technically speaking, incarceration rates (the percentage of the population who are in prison) are supposed to reflect the prevalence of law-breaking within a given nation.After all, by definition, people are presumed to be in prison for law-breaking, irrespective of whether the given nation\u2019s laws are just \u2014 and if they\u2019re not just, then this fact reflects even more strongly that the nation itself is corrupt. So, a high incarceration rate does strongly tend to go along with a nation\u2019s being highly corrupt, in more than merely a technical sense \u2014 it\u2019s almost more like being the definitive measure of \u201ccorruption.\u201d So, the correlation between incarceration rates and corruption must be assumed to be high, and any measure of corruption which fails to at least include countries\u2019 incarceration rates should be rejected. Out of the world\u2019s 223 countries, the U.S. has the world\u2019s second-highest incarceration rate: 698 per 100,000, just behind #1 Seychelles, with 799 per 100,000. Seychelles doesn\u2019t even have as many as 100,000 people (but only 90,024 \u2014 as many people as are in the city of Temple, Texas). By contrast, the U.S. has 322,369,319; so, the U.S. is surely the global leader in imprisonment. And, furthermore, #3, St. Kitts and Nevis, with an incarceration rate of 607 per 100,000, has only 54,961 people (as many people as are in the city of Columbus, Indiana). The only other country that might actually be close to the U.S. in imprisoning its own people is North Korea, which could even beat out the U.S. there, but wouldn\u2019t likely beat tiny Seychelles: North Korea is estimated to have \u201c600-800 people incarcerated per 100,000,\u201d and a total population of \u201c24,895,000.\u201dThus, for imprisonments, the U.S. really does have no close second: it\u2019s the unquestionable global market-leader, for prisons and prisoners.And this brings us to the market-leader for prisons within America itself, and to the stunning corruption that stands behind it. So, here\u2019s that extraordinary example, and the story behind its corruption, which will provide a closeup view of America\u2019s general corruption, from the top (including the government itself) on down: In order to protect the profits of privately run prisons in the U.S. (where \u201cSixty-two percent of detention beds are administered by private prison corporations,\u201d meaning that most U.S. prisoners are being \u2018served\u2019 by for-profit corporations in for-profit-run prisons), the U.S. federal government is refusing to honor Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which is trying to find out why people are being imprisoned as illegal immigrants who ought not to be. Wrongly imprisoned people are a device by which private prison-operating companies keep their prison beds occupied and thus drawing income from the U.S. government, just like a high occupancy-rate is essential for a hotelier\u2019s profitability.But unlike in the hotel trade, this coercive bed-occupancy produces more than mere profits; it produces also distressed families, of those individuals who are yanked and unjustifiably imprisoned, families suffering needlessly. It turns out that U.S. federal laws, passed mainly by the Republicans, but also with votes from corrupt Democrats, require (in H.R.3547) the U.S. government to pay for \u201ca level of not less than 34,000 detention beds\u201d for \u2018illegal immigrants.\u2019 (You can see that requirement being cited by the Republican interrogator of an Obama Administration official, Department of Homeland Security, at 1:03:00- in this video, where the Obama official is being criticized for not locking up enough people to meet the law\u2019s requirements.) (Republicans and other conservatives love to punish people, irrespective of justice; so, they want at least those 34,000 prisoners. To be concerned about justice, as the CCR is, is to be \u2018soft on crime,\u2019 as Republicans view it.Instead of justice, Republicans seek revenge; thus, for example, Republicans overwhelmingly support torture against \u2018terrorist\u2019 suspects; Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it. Torture greatly reduces the trustworthiness of a suspect\u2019s statements, but it always serves as a vent for revenge, even when the suspect actually had nothing to do with terrorism; so, Republicans strongly approve of torture. Similarly, the most-conservative Muslims approve of beheading \u2018infidels.\u2019 Conservatives everywhere, and in every faith, support harsh punishments; and the U.S. is a conservative country; so, sentences are long, and the conditions are harsh.)However, the Obama Administration itself, even as it locks up, on some days, just shy of the legally mandated minimum of 34,000 accused \u2018illegal immigrants\u2019 (which shortfall is here drawing the ire of that congressional Republican in the video), is also actively blocking CCR from access to the information about how the government and private corporations set rates for immigration detention beds and facilities. CCR argues that private profits are being given higher priority by the Administration than is the welfare of the public; and, thus, that the General Welfare Clause of the U.S. Constitution is being violated here. The Obama administration says that it won\u2019t release the information, because to do so would \u201charm corporations competitively.\u201d CCR claims, and the Obama administration is opposing their claim, that "there is essentially no competitive market in government contracts that could be harmed by the release of information, that there should be nothing proprietary about the terms of a government contract, and that the public has a right to understand how Congress funds immigration detention and how that funding is influenced.\u201dThe Obama administration is arguing that if this same cost-information were being requested concerning any of the 38% of government-run prisons, then the FOIA request would be complied with, but that contracting-out or privatizing that function has freed the government from any such obligation.However, CCR is concerned specifically about that profit-motive here \u2014 that the revolving door between government service and the private sector might itself be a key part of the explanation for the government\u2019s requiring that at least 34,000 people will be in prison for, or awaiting trial on charges of, \u2018illegal immigration.\u2019 CCR contends that the only reason why people should be imprisoned in America is that they\u2019ve actually broken laws for which the correct punishment is a prison term. But the position of the U.S. government is contrary: if the beneficiary of someone\u2019s imprisonment is a private corporation, the public shouldn\u2019t necessarily be allowed to know what\u2019s going on, nor why. And, so, that\u2019s the issue here. Does a private corporation\u2019s privacy-right exceed the public\u2019s right-to-know? The government says yes; CCR says no. CCR argues that to privatize is not to immunize: the government has the same obligations to the public, regardless of how it has chosen to carry out its obligations \u2014 either directly, or else by contracting them out (such as here). The Obama Administration argues that a private corporation is private, protected from the public\u2019s scrutiny \u2014 and that the corporation\u2019s only obligations are to the government, not to the public; thus, no such FOIA requests will be honored. Here\u2019s what\u2019s not in dispute about the case: the man who, in the first Obama Administration, was the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security\u2019s Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement\u2019s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations, David Venturella, is now the top sales official at GEO Group, which is "the world's leading provider of correctional detention, and residential treatment services around the globe\u201d \u2014 and that\u2019s also the first thing GEO says about itself, on its own \u201cWho We Are\u201d page. And Mr. Venturella is now being cited by the Obama Administration as an \u2018expert,\u2019 in order to deny CCA\u2019s FOIA request.As a GEO official, Venturella claims in his 22 December 2015 declaration in the court case, that, \u201cthe winning proposal in almost every Federal procurement competition is awarded to the lowest priced bidder,\u201d and that, \u201cThe disclosure of GEO\u2019s proprietary bed-day rates and staffing plans would result in substantial competitive financial harm to GEO.\u201d He claims that, \u201cEven with access to their larger competitors\u2019 staffing plans, the smaller private companies do not have access to the capital needed to compete to win a large facility.\u201d In other words: he pretends that GEO is one of \u201cthe smaller private companies.\u201d But then he goes on to say (just in case a reader might happen to consider GEO not to be one of \u201cthe smaller private companies"): "The second stage would be acrimonious competition between the larger organizations, public and private, that will very likely lead to their withdrawal from the detention market as well, thereby leaving ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] with no viable detention service providers.\u201d Venturella assumes here that ICE cannot itself own and operate its prisons. (He doesn\u2019t say why; he merely assumes that it\u2019s the case \u2014 perhaps that everything should be privatized, and must be privatized, so ICE shouldn\u2019t run its own prisons.) And, he also is vaguely threatening there to abandon this market. He\u2019s actually suggesting that, if the government were to require this information about cost and profitability to be released to CCA, then GEO might no longer even bid on this business \u2014 regardless of how profitable it is to them. And, he says, this would leave ICE \u201cwith no viable detention service providers.\u201d So: that (ridiculously and multiply false) argument is the reason why injustices to defendants in the U.S. immigration system must continue, Venturella, the salesman for GEO (his title is \u201cSenior Vice President\u201d), is here arguing. And, the U.S. government doesn\u2019t challenge it, but instead unquestioningly accepts it. Essentially, the Obama Administration is joining with GEO arguing that the profitability of private prison companies is more important than any injustices that might happen to be caused by Congress\u2019s establishment of an arbitrary fixed and stable minimum number of prisoners every day \u2014 and, since the head of the top prison-company is saying that profits would be threatened by adhering to FOIA in this particular matter, the Freedom Of Information Act request in this case must be denied.The basic argument, in other words, is that privatization is more important than the U.S. Constitution and its General Welfare Clause.How close are these contractors to the government?Here are five of the seven members of the Board of Directors of GEO:One is \u201cFormer Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons.\u201dAnother is \u201cFormer Under Secretary United States Air Force.\u201dAnother is \u201cExecutive Director, National League of Cities.\u201dAnother is \u201cChairman and CEO of ElectedFace Inc.,\u201d which \u201cwill connect people to their elected officials in every political district.\u201dAnother is George C. Zoley, the company\u2019s founder and CEO, who is also \u201cAmerica\u2019s Highest Paid \u2018Corrections Officer.\u2019\u201d In fact: "GEO Group's revenue in 2012 exceeded $1.4 billion and CMD [Center for Media and Democracy] estimates that 86% of this money came out of the pockets of taxpayers. CMD's investigation of GEO Group unearthed how the company's cost-cutting strategies lead to a vicious cycle where lower wages and benefits for workers, high employee turnover, insufficient training, and under-staffing results in poor oversight and mistreatment of detained persons, increased violence, and riots.\u201d (If so, then that would add to the misery that\u2019s produced by the improper imprisonments.)\u201cAccording to Nasdaq, major investors in GEO Group include: Vanguard, BlackRock, Scopia Capital (a hedge fund run by Jeremy Mindich and Matt Sirovich) Barclays Global Investors, Bank of New York Mellon, and more. George Zoley, CEO of GEO, is a major stockholder with over 500,000 shares. For more on investors, see Ray Downs, \u2018Who's Getting Rich Off the Prison-Industrial Complex?' Vice, June 2013.\u201dPrivatization is very profitable. But not for everybody. Only for the well-connected. For everybody else, it\u2019s just more poor and abused workers, and unjustly imprisoned people. But virtually all Republicans, and also the Obama Administration and other corrupt Democrats (and Obama will get his enrichment after he leaves office), think that privatization is necessary \u2014 even more necessary than is adherence to the U.S. Constitution, or than a justly ruled nation, and a prosperous public.This type of government fits with America\u2019s extraordinarily high incarceration rate. Looking under the hood of one dysfunctional car, one finds a dysfunctional motor.But a few U.S. officials do whatever they can to reduce the country\u2019s corruption. For example, the \u201cImmigration Detention Bed Quota Timeline\u201d shows that, in September 2015, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (who probably is the U.S. federal government\u2019s leading campaigner against corruption) \u201cintroduces the Justice is Not for Sale Act of 2015, which seeks to end the bed quota among other criminal justice and immigration detention reforms. The bill is the first effort in the U.S. Senate to eliminate the bed quota. In addition, Reps. Ra\u00c3\u00bal Grijalva (D-AZ), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Bobby Rush (D-IL) introduce the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.\u201d Those are the most progressive members of the U.S. Congress. Arrayed against them are the billions of dollars in political propaganda that cause the number of such progressives to be extremely few in the U.S. government. For that bill to pass in Congress, practically all conservatives would first have to become replaced by progressives, and by other supposed non-conservatives (called \u2018liberals\u2019), in Congress. Sanders says that it would require \u201ca political revolution,\u201d and he\u2019s correct on that. But that\u2019s the least likely type of \u201crevolution\u201d the U.S. might have. Perhaps Sanders knows this but doesn\u2019t want to shock people, who are too indoctrinated to be able to accept the uncomfortably ugly truth, that things are probably already be too far gone for that type of \u201crevolution\u201d to be sufficient (even if feasible).Everyone in Congress knows that this is the reality. On December 28, Huffington Post bannered, \u201cWhy Jon Stewart Fought So Hard For 9/11 Responders: The former \u2018Daily Show\u2019 host went to Capitol Hill twice to help the people who had risked their lives get access to health care. It left him disgusted.\u201d He was shocked at how psychopathic almost all of the members of Congress are. Apparently, the closer you get to it, the worse it smells.This story was originally posted at strategic-culture.org.