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May 21st, 2009
04:21 PM ET

Club Gitmo on U.S. Soil? The Not-In-My-Backyard Senate may have a point

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/21/art.supermax.florence.jpg caption="This 1995 file photo shows guards walking along the fence at the super-maximum-security federal prison in Florence, Colorado."]

Drew Griffin | BIO
CNN Investigative Correspondent

No one is suggesting any of the bad guys being held in the Federal SuperMax Prison outside Florence, Colorado could ever escape. But then no one ever thought anyone being held in SuperMax could have been running criminal enterprises, either.

Still, federal prosecutors say it happened. SuperMax, according to a 2006 report by the Inspector General of the Bureau of Prisons, was "unable to effectively monitor the mail of terrorist and other high-risk inmates in order to detect and prevent terrorism and criminal activities."

Since we first aired our report about this in 2006, the Bureau of Prisons says the security gap, at least for terrorists, has been closed. We are told 100 percent of terrorist mail and 100 percent of terrorist phone calls are now being monitored.

But the fact that at one time, 100 percent of terrorist phone calls and terrorist mail was not being monitored maybe exactly why even his allies in the U.S. Senate want to make sure they know where President Obama wants to keep the Guantanamo Bay detainees, before they shut it down.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Diane from NC

    I SUPPORT the decision of the Congress today. I do not want suspected terrorists kept on American soil if another choice is possible. Obama needs a viable plan before any decisions are made, or funding given, to the closing of Guantanimo and the relocating of prisoners there.

    I am a democrat who voted for Obama, and who also believes that torture is despicable.

    We also should be asking the question, "Are we closing Gitmo because of its emotional connection with torture, or because it is "in reality" a bad place to hold suspected terrorists? Perhaps, it is the "idea", and not the actual "place", that we actually need to move on from.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  2. Jeffrey Hewitt

    I see no reason why we can't put these prisoners in our maximum security prisons. The question is what happens when we go from 100 detainees to 1000 or more?

    May 21, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  3. ed

    This is so suprising Cheney and his family spend time in media diffend old ideas and false claims. Is this real true that these criminals can not stay in highly security American jail? Cheney is wrong and he remain as such and this is reflection of Republican today. Let him try to diffend his legacy on torture and all of us move on.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  4. Julianne Frazier

    A note on torture: Everyone is up in arms about the police video showing officers beating the man in AL...isn't that considered torture...are the police officers goanna be detained in "gitmo"..according to Cheney they should be, they may break out of that supermax prison, and go on a "beating up" rant!!!
    I will take one of the detainees, he could do my shopping, and he would be very helpful walking me through the cold dark nights here in Columbia...(great protection, who would attack me with a terrorist on my arm? LOL
    This whole discussion is nothing but a way for the right to keep Pres Obama from doing his job..they dont want healthcare, and they feel if they just keep bring up this stuff, no one will care about anything else. They are going to be shocked when they realize the American public is not stupid (well except for Fox TV viewers)
    Thanks for making me want to be smarter, you are doing a great service to are country, and proving you don't have to pick up a gun to fight for America!!!
    Julianne

    May 21, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  5. isabel

    Americans don't want to torture. Nobody wants to torture. But after 09/11 nobody wants terrorist attacks or even live in uncertainty or with fear of possible attack.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  6. Julianne Frazier

    A note on torture: Everyone is up in arms about the police video showing officers beating the man in AL...isnt that considered torture...are the polcie officers gonna be detained in "gitmo"..according to Cheney they should be, they may break out of that supermax prison, and go on a "beating up" rant!!!

    May 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Perhaps they should rehab Alcatraz and put the detainees there. First off the rehab would create some jobs; while rehabbing they can make the prison more secure; Alcatraz is off on an island so escaping is a bit more of a challenge.

    May 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  8. Stacy

    Obama's allies in the senate are playing politics. This is nothing but fearmongering.

    May 21, 2009 at 6:35 pm |