Terrorism wins again. Shoe Bomber Richard Reid, who tried to light a shoe bomb on American Airlines Flight 63, has won the right to meet with other al Qaeda members in prison to “pray,” and worship. He may have more access to written communication inside the prison and out.
Reid is held in a maximum security penitentiary in Florence, CO. “Special Administrative Measures,” known as SAMs were leveled on Reid’s imprisonment. SAMs are directives intended to insure that some prisoners are kept out of “communication” with persons they might… ‘plot’ with. The SAMs for any prisoner are renewable annually.
Richard Reid’s SAM has expired and Eric Holder allowed it to happen. Reid’s First Amendement rights were under assault – his right to free speech and his right to free exercise of religion.
Reid filed a complaint with the Department of Justice. He said he was illegally prevented from performing daily “group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion.”
The fellows Reid will be praying with are Ramzi Yousef and Zacarias Moussaoui convicted of conspiring on the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Ahmed Ressam the ‘Millenium’ bomber; Jose Padilla the ‘Dirty bomber’; and Osama Bin Laden’s personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people, Wadih el-Hage.
We might wonder why a SAM directive would be needed when someone is in a maximum security prison. The answer is that maximum security prisoners are allowed outrageous privileges:
…the shocking discovery that three of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers at ADX, not subject to security directives, had sent 90 letters to overseas terrorist networks, including those associated with the Madrid train bombing. The letters, exhorting jihad and praising Osama bin Laden as “my hero of this generation,” were printed in Arabic newspapers and brandished like trophies to recruit new members.
The DOJ has had a fairly hardline on using SAMs after having some experience dealing with imprisoned jihadists. In December 2008, before The Time of Obama, Justice recommended that Reid’s lawsuit be dismissed. They cited a case proving:
…the seriousness [of the threat of] “a group of inmates, of like mind in their opposition to the U.S. to congregate for a prayer service conducted in a language not understood by most correctional officers.
While imprisoned for passport fraud in 1992, [Ahmed Ajaj] assisted in the plans to destroy the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993, making phone calls to Ramzi Yousef and speaking in code to elude law enforcement monitoring. Ajaj tried to get his “training kit” to Yousef, which included videotapes and notes he had taken on bomb-making while attending a terrorist camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
On July 6th, DOJ caved in favor of terrorism, and now Reid will be given “a new placement.” No one knows what that mean, the Bureau of Prisons isn’t talking and Justice “refuses to comment.” More Obama-style transparency.
The WSJ ponders: can it mean a transfer to a less secure facility, or a “stepped down” security designation – perhaps to a different unit? We have no way to know. More pondering:
What drove the Obama administration’s decision to cave in to Reid’s demands? The president after all has repeatedly pitched supermax and the federal prison system as a secure alternative to Guantanamo, citing the fact that it handles “all manner of violent and dangerous criminals.”
Yet the last thing he needs, as his administration engages in its hasty effort to shut Gitmo down by a fast-approaching deadline, is for lawyers and human-rights activists to use a hunger-striking, near-death prisoner to launch a propaganda campaign fashioned right out of the Gitmo detainees’ playbook. Lawyers who shamelessly compared Gitmo to Nazi concentration camps would think nothing of casting supermax as the next “symbol of America’s shame” and a “rallying cry for our enemies.
Speaking of hunger strikes, Richard Reid had one. He didn’t eat for 58 days. Medical intervention was necessary. Nasty publicity for a President appeasing his hard Left followers.
Mr. Obama has been trying to thread the needle between national security policy and his ideological affinity with civil liberties lawyers and human-rights activists, meeting with and consulting them prior to making detainee-related decisions.
The ACLU filed a suit two months ago similar to Richard Reid’s, on behalf of two terrorists held in a medium security prison in Terre Haute:
…the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado issued a statement saying that conditions at supermax are “simply another form of torture” worse than Gitmo which “make a mockery of ‘innocent until proven guilty.’”
The author of this WSJ piece is Debra Burlingame, the sister of Charles Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 which was crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. A former attorney, Ms. Burlingame says Barack Obama is “either disingenuous or naive:”
The militant Islamists at Guantanamo too dangerous to release believe that their resistance behind the wire is a continuation of holy war. There is every reason to believe they will continue their jihad once they have been transported to U.S. soil where certain federal judges have signaled a willingness to confer upon them even more rights.
…the Obama administration is moving full steam ahead, operating on the false premise that giving more civil liberties to religious fanatics bent on destroying Western civilization will make a difference in the Muslim world.
His lawsuit remains active while the Department of Justice works out a settlement that satisfies the man who declared, “I am at war with America.
When it comes to free speech and freedom to worship as you please, we need to so some serious analyzing. There are times when a prisoner should lose these rights. Free Speech and freedom to worship in your cell should always be allowed, but not elsewhere if the ideology is Islam. Prisoners have the right to counsel. If they have a message to get out, they should be required to do it through their attorney. Some very limited communication that is approved by authorities should be allowed with immediate family. That’s all. No worshipping outside the cell for Moslems. Jihad is a part of every mosque, whether it’s admitted or not. If they want to worship with others, then stay out of prison. This may sound simplistic, but violent Islam should have no privilege in America. These men are all violent jihadists.
Other Airline Terrorism:
Abdul Mudallad is Nigerian NW Flt 253 bomber – Failed Al-Qaeda Airline Bomb Attempt