By Mitchell Blatt*
Republican politicians continue to oppose U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where 91 prisoners continue to reside.
Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R), whose home houses the ADX Florence supermax prison that houses multiple convicted terrorists and murderers, along with two other Republican senators, released a letter that said in part, “Our states and our communities remain opposed to moving the world’s deadliest terrorists to U.S. soil. The terrorists at Guantanamo Bay are where they should remain — at Guantanamo Bay.”
Among the deadly terrorists housed at ADX Florence are: Zarcarias Moussaoui, serving six life sentences for his role in 9/11; Ramzi Yousef, who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, and three other co-conspirators; four co-conspirators of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanaznia, which killed 224 people; Richard Reid, the failed shoebomber; Umar Abdulmutallab, the failed underwear bomber; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bomber; Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Terry Nichols, the Oklahoma City bomber; Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber; and Faisal Shahzad, the failed Times Square bomber.
Besides terrorists, there are also traitors, like Robert Hanssen, who passed information to the Soviet Union while working for the FBI, and gang leaders, including those affiliated with the Mexican Mafia and the Aryan Brotherhood.
In short, it’s a hardened group of thugs, currently 360 inmates, but no one has ever escaped. When Richard Lee McNair, originally convicted of murder, escaped from prison three times, he was sent to Florence supermax.
This chart shows how many murders can be prevented by locking up terrorists at ADX:
Meanwhile, Joy Overbeck of Townhall.com worries that housing terrorists with ties to Al Qaeda could encourage other terrorists to attack Colorado. These people–the ones who targeted the World Trade Centers twice and brought them down–are not normal criminals, she wrote.
Islamic terrorists have no scruples about slaughtering schoolchildren and that’s what worries the residents of Florence, Colorado, when they hear the president talk about transferring up to 61 Gitmo prisoners to the Supermax prison in their small town.
If suicide bombers are willing to blow themselves up just to take a few infidels with them, imagine the glory that could lure terrorist foot soldiers to rescue their jihadi generals, super-heroes who have spent time at Gitmo. Those foot soldiers are out there, and some of them are trained veterans of ISIS battlefields.
[Florence’s] population of nearly 4,000 lacks the resources to deal with international terrorist attacks. It would take only a few determined terrorists to take over its schools and businesses.
Even career criminals have a moral code of sorts; they despise any among them who will harm a child and often mete out punishment to fellow prisoners convicted of crimes against children. Not the Islamic jihadis. We simply cannot tempt them to massacre Americans or American children on our own soil.
If her theory bears out, then maybe we can look at the past to see if Florence has ever been targeted since Yousef or Moussaoui were convicted.
As of February 2016, according to the New York Times, there are still 91 detaines remaining in “Gitmo”, out of 779 who have ever been held there, with 35 of those cleared for release by the U.S. government.
About the author:
*Mitchell Blatt moved to China in 2012, and since then he has traveled and written about politics and culture throughout Asia. A writer and journalist, based in China, he is the lead author of Panda Guides Hong Kong guidebook and a contributor to outlets including The Federalist, China.org.cn, The Daily Caller, and Vagabond Journey. Fluent in Chinese, he has lived and traveled in Asia for three years, blogging about his travels at ChinaTravelWriter.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @MitchBlatt.
This article was published by Bombs and Dollars.