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Sahir Chatterjee and the Warehouse of Death

         While I was in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (appropriately nicknamed the "Warehouse of Death") in Chicago, one of my fellow inmates was an engineer named Sahir Chatterjee,a renowned engineer from India. He had been hired by the U.S. government to clean up the Chicago River. After about five years of trying to clean up the filthy, polluted river, it was not as clean as the government had hoped. The reason? Because the government consistently refused to follow Mr. Chaterjee's instructions. So, after nearly five years of working for the government, Mr. Chatterjee was arrested for (guess what?) FRAUD! The "fraud"? That he'd defrauded the government into thinking he could clean up the river more than it was. (The federal statute of limitations on such a "crime" is five years - they waited until the last minute to indict him).

        As he sat with me, rotting away in the Warehouse of Death, the government told Mr. Chatterjee that they'd let him plea guilty and receive a probationary sentence provided he returned all of the money he had received from the government for his work for the five year period! He had paid most of it to his assistant and other employees, and, with the high cost of living in Chicago, he didn't even have the money, had he wanted to return it. Can you imagine being ordered to return your entire salary for the past half decade?

        After about a year in the Warehouse of Death, with his wife and children safely back in India, waiting for him, Mr. Chatterjee finally agreed to plead guilty, not repay any money, and receive a three year sentence. He arranged to have someone from the Department of State at his sentencing hearing, so that he could renounce the U.S. citizenship he had been so proud to receive, before the judge who turned him, an innocent man, into a felon. This is the America we have inherited by the apathetic compliance of our fellow countrymen, who have elected to sit silently by the sidelines as centuries of human progress is analytically annihilated.