By The Way, Terrorists ARE Being Held In US

By The Way, Terrorists ARE Being Held In US


The logic of how we’ve handled terrorism and terrorists in the post 9/11 world has always been flawed, but one of the more obviously incorrect arguments has been the claim that we don’t want these people serving time on American soil.

Why? Not sure really. We just don’t. They’re incredibly, crazy dangerous for some reason and can’t be here.

Of course this ignores the fact that we’ve held numerous terrorists here before, both foreign and homegrown, and nothing has happened as a result.

Which is why the following story is important to note.

From Wash Post:

Thirty-three international terrorists, many with ties to al-Qaeda, reside in a single federal prison in Florence, Colo., with little public notice.

Detained in the supermax facility in Colorado are Ramzi Yousef, who headed the group that carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993; Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Ahmed Ressam, of the Dec. 31, 1999, Los Angeles airport millennium attack plots; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, conspirator in several plots, including one to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Wadih el-Hage, convicted of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

Inmates in Florence and those at the maximum-security disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., rarely see other prisoners. At Leavenworth, the toughest prisoners are allowed outside their cells only one hour a day when they are moved with their legs shackled and accompanied by three guards.

“We have a vast amount of experience in how to judge the continued incarceration of highly dangerous prisoners, since we do this with thousands of prisoners every month, all over the United States, including some really quite dangerous people,” Philip D. Zelikow, who was counselor to Bush administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and executive director of the 9/11 Commission, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

That’s right. One of the people behind 9/11 is in Colorado.

Also, let’s just say that we captured Bin Laden. You’re telling me we wouldn’t want to put him to death on US soil?

Just make sure you remember all of this when you’re arguing that these folks shouldn’t be held in the US. Because I want to hear good reasons, not just the notion that they’re somehow extra, super, insanely dangerous.

  • J. Harden

    This is a good point Justin.

    Equally interesting would be to ask Ramzi Yousef if he would rather be in Gitmo or the super-max facility in Colorado. Which one do you think is more humane?

    The irony of this policy of bring terrorists onto US soil is that Gitmo looks like a pleasant day in the park compared to super-max or in fact any maximum security prison the US.

  • kranky kritter


    The ones in US Prisons are convicted criminals.

    The ones in Gitmo have been detained because we think they are dangerous. Not convicted.They’re in a different justice system, one where they don’t get civil due process.

    They can go into US prisons if they get convicted of something after receiving due process. One can make an argument that they deserve that due process, but they are not automatically entitled to it legally, regardless of all the “should” arguments the ACLU can muster.

    Here’s the rub, folks. Face it. If these folks get civil due process, some of them will get released. Among those, many already bore malice towards us and some have already done bad things we can’t prove. If released, #1 we look like idiots to all the people worldwide who KNOW these guys viewpoints and deeds. And more importantly and #2, they likely do and organize more bad things.

    So the upside is all philosophical and the downside is all concrete, measured in jihadists and lives. Not making any argument one way or the other, just laying it all out so we can all see it.

  • Chris

    I would say we deserve that malice. So either give them a trial, kill them, or let them go.

  • Rob

    What about the ones that actually are innocent?

  • the Word

    At one point they reported 70% of those at Abu Gharaib were not guilty. Just curious how an innocent person who was humiliated and tortured would come out of that experience.