Revenge of the Shoe Bomber The terrorist sues to resume his jihad from prison. The Obama administration caves in. By DEBRA BURLINGAME Last May at the National Archives, President Barack Obama warned that more mistakes would occur if Congress continued to politicize terrorist detention policy and the closure of Guantanamo Bay. f we refuse to deal with those issues today, he predicted, then I guarantee you, they will be an albatross around our efforts to combat terrorism in the future. On June 17, at the Administrative Maximum (ADX) penitentiary in Florence, Colo., one of those albatrosses, inmate number 24079-038, began his day with a whole new range of possibilities. Eight days earlier, the U.S. Attorneys office in Denver filed notice in federal court that the Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) which applied to that prisonerRichard C. Reid, a.k.a. the Shoe Bomberwere being allowed to expire. SAMs are security directives, renewable yearly, issued by the attorney general when there is a substantial risk that a prisoners communications, correspondence or contacts with persons could result in death or serious bodily injury to others. Reid was arrested in 2001 for attempting to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami with 197 passengers and crew on board. Why had Attorney General Eric Holder decided not to renew his security measures, kept in place since 2002? According to court documents filed in a 2007 civil lawsuit against the government, Reid claimed that SAMs violated his First Amendment right of free speech and free exercise of religion. In a hand-written complaint, he asserted that he was being illegally prevented from performing daily group prayers in a manner prescribed by my religion. Yet the list of Reids potential fellow congregants at ADX Florence reads like a Whos Who of al Qaedas 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 Ladens personal secretary, convicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombing that killed 247 people. In December 2008, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss Reids lawsuit. It cited the example of ADX inmate Ahmed Ajaj as an illustration of the dangers inherent in permitting a group of inmates, of like mind in their opposition to the United States, to congregate for a prayer service conducted in a language not understood by most correctional officers. While imprisoned for passport fraud in 1992, 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. Reids own SAMs on correspondence had been tightened in 2006 after 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. When setting restrictions on inmate religious practice, the Bureau of Prisons need only meet a reasonableness standard, a very low bar in the case of Muslim terrorists. Justice would easily have prevailed against Reids lawsuit; nevertheless it dropped the security measures on Reid after he missed 58 meals in a hunger strike that required medical intervention and forced feeding in April. On July 6, Justice Department lawyers informed the court that Reid will be given a new placement in a post-SAMs setting. Whether that entails stepped down security in a different unit or transfer to a less secure facility, the Bureau of Prisons wont say, and Justice refuses to comment. Mr. Obama likes to observe that no one has escaped from supermax, but if Reid is moved from ADX Florence, he will be the first convicted terrorist to use the First Amendment to sue his way out. What drove the Obama administrations decision to cave in to Reids 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 Americas shame and a rallying cry for our enemies. From the outset of his administration, 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. Though his executive order shutting Guantanamo closely followed the blueprint provided by Human Rights First, leaders of key organizations were stunned when he revealed in an awkward, off-the-record meeting the day before his public announcement at the National Archives that he planned to continue President George W. Bushs policy of preventive detention. Michael Ratner, whose human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed the first successful detainee lawsuit in 2002, called Mr. Obamas proposed U.S. detention scheme a road to perdition and nothing more than a plan to repackage Guantanamo. Leaders of the so-called Gitmo bar appear poised to launch a flurry of legal challenges the moment the last departing detainees feet touch U.S. soil. In January, 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. Last month, the ACLU filed a civil lawsuit mirroring Reids religious rights claim on behalf of two terrorism inmates held at the Communications Management Unit inside a medium security prison in Terre Haute, Ind. One of those inmates is Enaam Arnaout, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen serving a 10-year sentence for diverting Muslim charity money to militant Islamic groups in Bosnia and Chechnya. The other, Randall Royer, is serving 20 years for his role recruiting young Muslims in the Virginia Jihad Network, a group that used paintball games in 2000-2001 to train for holy war. Mr. Obama has repeatedly suggested that the security challenge of bringing more than 100 trained and dangerous terrorists onto U.S. soil can be solved by simply installing them in an impenetrable fortress. This view is either disingenuous or naïve. 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 position of civil rights activists with regard to these prisoners is plain. If they cannot be convicted, says ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer, then you release them. Meanwhile, in order to appease political constituencies both here and abroad, 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. In a letter sent to his father as he began his hunger strike, Reid provided a preview of how he will exercise his newly enlarged free speech rights, calling Mr. Obama a hypocrite who is no better than George Bush. 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. DOJ Civil Rights: Black Panther Voter Fraud Absolved Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli is responsible for reversing voter fraud charge against the New Black Panthers, but many had a hand in it after the interested "political" and "racial" factions put their heads together. After intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling precinct, decked out like a military thugs from a third world country, wielding at least one 2-ft. long nightstick, a civil lawsuit was filed. The three men charged refused to show up for their court cases for five months - that's 5 months - and they did show! The government won a default judgement in federal court against the New Black Panthers and three of their men. In April, however, department lawyers were told to drop the case - after already procuring the default judgment. Unbelievable. Why would the case be dropped? Wouldn't you know it is always about politics? Front-line lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were unexpectedly told by their superiors in late April to seek a delay after a meeting between political appointees and career supervisors, according to federal records and interviews. If that doesn't make your blood boil...this will: Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler told The Washington Times that the department has an "ongoing obligation" to be sure the claims it makes are supported by the facts and the law. She said that after a "thorough review" of the complaint, top career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division determined the "facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants. Schmaler is certainly a Liberal. She had the audacity to says "we [DOJ] are committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws protecting anyone exercising his or her right to vote." Only Liberals have that special kind of audacity. What about the people of Philadelphia? What about the people inside and outside the polling place? What about Mr. Bull - a man who signed an affidavit tell what he saw that day? Schmaler says claims must be supported by facts and the law. How about the default judgment? But beside that, there was witness with a sworn affidavit. He is a "longtime civil rights activist and a former aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. Here is a portion of Bartle Bull's affidavit: In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location. Can you believe that the DOJ never did get around to entering Mr. Bull's affidavit! I know it is drama to say that I want to cry for this country and for my children, but that is how I feel. This is not justice. The guilty are Acting-Assistant Attorney General Loretta King, appointed by Barack Obama, who delayed the case. Then King discussed it with Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli. He accepted the counsel of King: She and other career supervisors ultimately recommended dropping the case against two of the men and the party and seeking a restraining order against the one man who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place. Mr. Perrelli approved that plan, officials said. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (F-VA), a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee was prevented from interviewing the "front-line" lawyers who brought the charges. That's transparency for you! Why am I being prevented from meeting with the trial team on this case? Mr. Wolf asked. "There are many questions that need to be answered. This whole thing just stinks to high heaven. Yes, it stinks to high heaven, as most everything does connected to this administration. No need to worry, however, Wolf can't get anywhere with it, but Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has some pull and he is meeting with King next week. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is also to be allowed in the door. More from Rep. Wolf: If showing a weapon, making threatening statements and wearing paramilitary uniforms in front of polling station doors does not constitute voter intimidation, at what threshold of activity would these laws be enforceable? Mr. Wolf asked. Here's a quote from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: ...in a June 16 letter to Justice that the decision to drop the case caused it "great confusion, since the NBPP members were "caught on video blocking access to the polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters during the Nov. 4, 2008, general election. Though it had basically won the case, [through default] the [Civil Rights Division] took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges , the letter said. "The division's public rationale would send the wrong message entirely -- that attempts at voter suppression will be tolerated and will not be vigorously prosecuted so long as the groups or individuals who engage in them fail to respond to the charges leveled against them. To date, the Washington Times says their request for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has yielded nothing. AG Thomas Perrelli, whose word was the final decision, raised more than $500,000.00 for Obama for the presidential election. I cannot begin to express my high-volume anger right now. The New Black Panthers are identified as the party's chairman, Malik Zulu Shabazz, an attorney and a D.C. resident. The nightstick bully is alleged to be Minister King Samir Shabazz, of Philadelphia and head of the Philadelphia NBPP chapter; and Jerry Jackson, Philadelphia. The people of Philadelphia were subject to a thug from Washington, D.C.! The suit against these men alleged: The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with "a dangerous weapon"and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4. The complaint said the three men engaged in "coercion, threats and intimidation, ... racial threats and insults, ... menacing and intimidating gestures, ... and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote." It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would "continued to violate ... the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country." In case you are not white with anger...yet, one more reminder: these men never did respond to the charges or appear in court. Could you get away with this? I could not. The New Black Panthers in Philadelphia want us to know how responsible and credible they are. They've "suspended" their chapter in that city "until further notice." No elections to abuse coming up any time soon. Time to hit the streets and abuse someone there, or meet-up with ACORN for a little fun at the expense of voters everywhere. And what about Malik zulu Shabazz, who called Michelle Malkin a "political prostitute" - all cozy back home in Washington, D.C. where voters need no abuse to do the bidding of the New Black Panthers. http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com/2009/07/doj-civil-rights-division-black-panther.html Wanna kill these ads? We can help!