Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Terrorists' mail going unread

President Bush claims he is already doing everything he can to prevent future terrorist attacks, and that he must have the power to detain people indefinitely as an added measure of security.

The administration dismisses critics who suggest that, rather than overturning habeas corpus and other fundamental legal protections, Bush might have more success fighting terror with common sense measures such as scanning port containers, or tightening security at chemical plants.

Or, reading the mail of convicted terrorists.

A Justice Dept. review finds that federal prison officials are not reading all of the mail received by people convicted of terrorist activities.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons is supposed to translate and screen all mail to and from the highest-risk inmates — including terrorists, gang members and spies — for evidence of criminal activity. But that target was not being met consistently at 10 federal prisons and detention centers surveyed by the Justice Department's inspector general.

"The threat remains that terrorist and other high-risk inmates can use mail and verbal communications to conduct terrorist or criminal activities while incarcerated," concluded the report by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. It urged the Bureau of Prisons to correct quickly the security gap, including putting tracking systems in place to ensure all high-risk inmate mail is read and analyzed.

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman said the agency agrees with the review's recommendations in whole or in part. But it is largely too cash-strapped to afford enough staff to sort through the thousands of letters and other pieces of mail federal prisons receive each week — what Bureau of Prisons Director Harley G. Lappin described to inspectors as searching for "a needle in a haystack."

Experts fear that a new generation of homegrown terrorists is being bred in prison and, after release, they will seek guidance from Islamic extremists still behind bars.
I am reminded of Bush's sneering response to John Kerry's assurance that, if elected, he would implement the security measures recommended by the 9/11 commission. Bush snorted, "I don't think he wants to talk about how he's gonna pay for all that." Billions for war and the drug companies, but pennies for real homeland security.

They won't even hire enough people to read all the mail received by convicted terrorists. Heckuva job.


betmo said...

chalk that up to proof number 456 that this "war on terror" has made us safer. i guess living in the bubble of the beltway precludes realizing that folks on the outside are tired of the lies, deceit, arrogance and coverups. did i mention pedophilia?