Dear President Biden:


I write to implore you not to nominate Gary C. Mohr as director of the Bureau of Prisons. Mr. Mohr is a radical, right-wing extremist who, as director of the Ohio prison system, instituted a domestic torture program to silence and neutralize his critics and political opponents. He committed crimes against humanity that are now challenged in international court, in Sean Swan versus the United States, InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights, Case No. 14.146– a case that made history as the first time an American citizen has brought claims of domestic torture against the U.S. and proceeded to the merits stage.

I believe it is quite telling that your State Department, in this case, has not written a single word to deny wrongdoing or to defend Gary C. Mohr’s administration against claims of domestic torture and human rights abuses. This absence of a defense is due to the fact that Mr. Mohr’s crimes were, and are, absolutely defenseless.

Details of Mr. Mohr’s crimes against humanity– which included a sexual assault component –can be found in my latest book, ‘Opposing Torture,’ now available from with a foreword by former C.I.A. whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed the foreign torture program employed under George W. Bush.

As director of Ohio prisons, Mr. Mohr did not only target those whose politics he found personally disagreeable and subject them to torture, but he orchestrated a full-spectrum response of state terror to silence and neutralize his victims if and when they spoke out. This was a deliberate, thoughtful abuse of power designed to silence exposure of his crimes against humanity and to utterly crush his critics.

Gary C. Mohr does not have the temperament nor the character to exercise the power for which he is currently considered and his track record as one employing torture and state terror against his perceived enemies, as well as his radical right wing extremism, make him more aligned to the previous administration than to what it appears your administration aspires to be.

Your administration and the American people deserve better than a torturer and right-wing state terrorist to direct such an important agency of government at such a critical time when the systems of justice and corrections should be modernized and held to a higher standard of justice and accountability, rather than the lowest common denominator of predatory profiteering, personal gain, corruption and abuse of power.

No one in corrections history exemplifies the lowest common denominator better than Gary C. Mohr, who was known to prisoners and administrators alike in the Ohio system as “Gestapo Gary.”

For the sake of humanity, please nominate anyone but Gary C. Mohr.

Thank you for your time and kind consideration.




Sean Swain

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