Obama Goes Easy on Shoe Bomber
The Obama Justice Department has withdrawn the “special administrative measures” imposed at the federal prison in Colorado against “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, the jihadist who tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001.
Special administrative measures (SAMs) are security directives, renewable yearly, issued by the attorney general when “there is a substantial risk that a prisoner’s communications, correspondence or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury” to others.”
National Review Online’s Andy McCarthy writes: “Why abandon the SAMs? Because they were a violation of Reid’s First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion, of course.
“So the would-be suicide bomber went on a hunger strike and got results: a cave-in from the Obama Justice Department.”
McCarthy quotes an opinion piece by Debra Burlingame, a former attorney and a director of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation, appearing in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:
“In a hand-written complaint, [Reid] asserted that he was being illegally prevented from performing daily ‘group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion.’ Yet the list of Reid’s potential fellow congregants at ADX Florence [the supermax Colorado prison] reads like a Who’s Who of al-Qaida’s most dangerous members: Ramzi Yousef and his three co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; ‘Millennium bomber’ Ahmed Ressam; ‘Dirty bomber’ Jose Padilla; Wadih el-Hage, Osama Bin Laden’s personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people.”
McCarthy observes: “The human-rights Left is already incorporating their fabulously successful smear-Gitmo strategy in their attack on our civilian prisons. Even Reid’s hunger-strike is page one in the Gitmo playbook . . .
“Detainee policy in the Obama/Holder Justice Department is now being shaped by former Human Rights Watch lawyer Jennifer Daskal, who thinks incarceration is tantamount to torture.”
Attorney General Eric Holder claims that the Justice Department has a “history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal-justice system.”
But McCarthy notes that “to have any chance of securely detaining terrorists in civilian prisons, the SAMs need to be imposed and aggressively enforced.
“Yet, even as Holder is making the ‘securely detaining’ argument out of one side of his mouth, he’s abandoning the SAMs out of the other. And all the while, Obama is pushing to close Gitmo and bring scores of these trained terrorists into the civilian prison system. It’s madness.”
Read the full story in the National Review Online.