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Aside from the the fact that no one has ever escaped from a US maximum security prison, what would happen if a terrorist escaped from the Supermax Prison near Florence Colorado or Pelican Bay near Crescent City Califonia?

How about very rapid apprehension?

I've read numerous right wing fear mongering statements warning about the threat of terrorists escaping and wreaking havoc on US citizens if we close Gitmo and house them in supermax prisons on US soil. I have yet to read a counter-argument like the one I am about to make.

First I have to ask readers to disregard the fact that no prisoners, even experienced criminals with extensive support networks on the outside, have ever escaped from a US maximum security prison.

Assume  then, that the possibility  of escape exists - and that you are a terrorist inmate who knows little English, probably does not look like the people who live near the prison; has never stepped foot on US soil except when being transported from Gitmo to your current prison, knows nothing of US society and customs, and nothing about the area surrounding the prison or anywhere in the US for that matter.

Further assume that you have just escaped and are somewhere in the vicinity of the prison. What obstacles do you have to overcome before you can commit murder and mayhem?

Turns out, quite a few. To begin with, you need to find civilian clothes because you are dressed in easily recognizable prison garb. Food and money are absolute necessities. A map or even better a GPS system, would come in handy, but only if you can read English and know how to use them. A car would be a big help because you are being pursued  by angry prison guards, humiliated that you somehow escaped from their prison. They are being led by snarling dogs who know your smell and local and state police equipped with helicopters and infrared devices. And don't forget the FBI, if they have had time to get into the act before you are apprehended, plus possibly the National Guard. Unfortunately, you almost certainly do not know how to drive, so the car won't help you get away to where?

Then there's the local populace which has been alerted and is keeping an eye out for you.  Many of them are armed and know how to use a rifle or a shotgun since hunting is a way of life and everyone knows how to use them. It would be wise for you to consider that they might shoot on sight.

So I am not at all concerned about housing terrorists on US soil. Nor should you be.

I hope this helps you all understand why I disregard right wing fearmongers like Cheney, who never met a war he was willing to serve in, or passed up an opportunity to instill fear in the US citizenry.

Originally posted to Fred in Santa Cruz on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:41 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Eric Rudolph ... (14+ / 0-)
    ... fugitive terrorist for five years.

    That said, no one has ever even tried to escape from a SuperMax. That's why they call it a SuperMax -- there almost no human contact at all.

  •  I don't know why these guys are so worried (7+ / 0-)

    about terrorists running lose when they think the rapture is right around the corner anyway...

  •  It is comical to think that (5+ / 0-)

    people really believe that putting terrorists in supermax prisons would be any different from keeping them at Gitmo - other than a prison population that probably would not be very friendly to them.

    •  What is especially silly about it (5+ / 0-)

      is that the same people claiming that it's too dangerous to close down Gitmo were the ones talking about how it's like a paradise there and they get to eat like kings, etc.

    •  Escape from Gitmo, swim ashore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      inclusiveheart

      and terror Florida

      Freedom isn't free, but don't tax me. Fox 527 on your dial.

      by 88kathy on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:35:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My understanding of supermax procedures (2+ / 0-)

      -- and maybe I'm wrong about this -- is that prisoners have little to no contact with each other.

      It doesn't matter what the guy in the next cell thinks of you if you never see him...

      Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

      by litho on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:42:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw some guy interviewed on CNN the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        litho

        other day who was on a book tour about his career in the US prison system and he made a few interesting points - first he pooh-poohed all of the "they might escape" stuff, but he also said that they wouldn't have the community that they have at Gitmo at a SuperMax prison - and he added that the other inmates wouldn't be inclined to be friendly towards them.  So to the extent that they would have any interactions with other prisoners, I think his basic point was that they'd be much more alone at a SM than they are at Gitmo right now.

      •  Supermax procedures at Florence, CO: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        litho

        For Zacarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda fantasist convicted for his role in the September 11 terrorist attacks, it will be home for the rest of his natural life.

        He can look forward to a lifetime of solitary confinement in a facility that houses 399 other high security prisoners including former al Qaeda operatives, drug barons, and ganglords. Set in the middle of the desert and equipped with sophisticated surveillance technology, the prison is considered almost impossible to escape from.

        Dubbed by the Guinness World Records as the most secure prison in the world, ...Supermax is equipped with motion detectors, 1,400 steel remote-controlled steel doors, laser beams, barbed wire fences, pressure pads and attack dogs...

        Most of the prisoners are held in solitary confinement for 23 hours every day. For one hour each day they are allowed to exercise in a concrete chamber, fettered by leg irons and handcuffs. Prisoners stay in sound-proofed cells measuring seven feet by twelve. Each cell is bolted shut with a steel door.

        It is already housing terrorists such as Zacharias Moussaoui, Ramzi Yousef, Richard Reid, Theodore Kaczynski or Terry Nichols, and Jose Padilla.

        Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:46:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They'd kinda stand out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Arken

    They don't exactly look like the people in Canon City, Colorado.

    Proud to be an "Uncle Tom" kinda gay according to denniswine

    by Shane Hensinger on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:51:38 PM PDT

  •  It's Their Superpowers (11+ / 0-)

    X Ray vision, ability to hypnotize guards to release them, liberal lawyers getting them off on Miranda technicalities, and their ability to get welfare.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:52:57 PM PDT

  •  Fear and smear. That's all they have. They (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberalis, juturna

    saw a chance and moved in. First, attack Pelosi and then get back to "he's made us unsafe" talking points.
    Despicable rats.

  •  If Republicans were in office (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, liberalis, LeftyAce

    and that happened, terrorists would train in flight schools all over the US without their knowledge.

    Luckily people who care about national security are running the government at the moment.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Sun May 24, 2009 at 12:55:24 PM PDT

  •  The schnook would probably stray... (0+ / 0-)

    ...into an inter city slum and become another statistic.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:11:54 PM PDT

  •  The *real* threat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho

    as I read it yesterday, is that housing these people in Florence, Colorado (which is an area of a dozen or so prisons of every ilk), will put the area in the crosshairs of the terrorists' supporters.  

    And so, if I follow the paranoia correctly, Florence will become a target of terrorism.  Somehow.  For some reason.  

    What I couldn't figure out was whether they would invade to free their comrades or nuke the area out of anger even though it would incinerate their pals.  

    Perhaps both.

    (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by john07801 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:12:23 PM PDT

    •  Well, just look what they did to Gitmo. (5+ / 0-)

      Oh.  Wait. Never mind.

      •  Not just Gitmo (0+ / 0-)

        any of the prisons, in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they're held now.

        And many of those people are innocent, their friends are right there, the terrorists are right there, and they have access to weapons and other help - and STILL they're in prison.

        Besides that, we ALREADY have some of them in US prisons, and nobody is attacking the prisons trying to get them out.

        •  As far as attacks go (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          America is a HUGE place with a fair amount of pretty empty spaces-especially near where they would be housed. Where would people helping them to escape hide?

          A terror cell from outside? On September 11th, when none of the measures we now employ were employed, the hijackers didn't even go near where any of the previous 1993 bombers were held. As far as I know, they didn't even discuss the possibility of freeing the Blind Sheik or any of the other 1993 participants at all. Why? They had no more use for these men. They would be more of a burden than a help, taking more resources than can be spared. Terrorist groups are often like cults, you are valuable only as long as you are useful. Far better to use them as symbols who don't have to be fed and housed and rehabilitated.

          Howard Dean Forever and a Day

          by CarolDuhart on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:14:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That is great news for McCain and the GOP!! (0+ / 0-)

      Limbaugh and his associates in media crime can once again incite rural areas like Florence into thinking terrorists are hiding behind every cactus and shrub.

      Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:49:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans who use this meme are BEDWETTERS. (3+ / 0-)

    That's what to make of them .. every time.

    Because my life doesn't need to be an educational experience for someone else. (-6.62, -6.26)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:24:41 PM PDT

  •  Don't you know? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, mmacdDE, Ponder Stibbons

    Terrorists have superpowers!  They're able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, just like Superman... they're able to "radicalize" American prisoners, even if they don't speak English, and they are able to make a nuclear bomb out of a Quran, three toothpicks, and the sole of a shoe.

    Why else would the right-wing be so terrified of housing them here in a supermax facility?  

    Oh yeah - and their eyes shoot lasers.  I almost forgot that point.

    That said, I can't figure out why they haven't all escaped from Gitmo... must be some dastardly plot I haven't figured out yet.

    "Spread happiness... share it with all those who seek it." - Keith Olbermann

    by Diogenes2008 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:36:42 PM PDT

  •  I don't believe escape from supermax is possible (0+ / 0-)

    but if it were to happen, I would expect the prisoners to be working with a network of rescuers on the outside.

    Food, clothing, and transportation would all be arranged for them, and they would undoubtedly be spirited out of the country in very short order.

    Assuming, that is, that escape is possible.

    Which it is not.

    Richard "The Dick" Cheney: screwing America since 1969

    by litho on Sun May 24, 2009 at 01:45:19 PM PDT

  •  The prison in Montana (0+ / 0-)

    The one where the town fathers want to take Gitmo prisoners, featured on Keith last week. This is seriously in the middle of nowhere with long cold winters. Plus it appears difficult to get to from pretty much anywhere.

  •  The isue is not whether the prisoners (0+ / 0-)

    if moved to the USA will escape.  Rather the main sticking point over the last few days has been once the detainees are brought into the US, if they are found by the courts to be held for no valid reason, and have to be released, it will be harder to get them out of the country.  That they will, through their lawyers, claim political assylum, etc.  That seems a valid concern.

    •  Political Asylum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandbox

      Isn't automatic either. In these cases, the men would have to be

      1)Completely innocent and exonerated. These would be the guys who were sold for bounty money and had no involvement whatsoever-like say, the Uighurs

      2)Have no place else they can go-I imagine that other places are being lined up for these people to go that don't torture them or treat them otherwise badly.

      3)Want to stay in a country that would always view them with suspicion, where they couldn't get a job or a place to stay without help instead of a place where they could move around more freely.

      4)Have a sponsor and agree to heavily supervised monitoring-even a bit of house arrest.

      Howard Dean Forever and a Day

      by CarolDuhart on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:20:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And above all... (0+ / 0-)

    Most of the people still in Gitmo are refugees at the wrong place and the wrong time who were caught and turned in entirely for reward money. I'm fairly sure they couldn't get out of a regular prison, let alone maximum security.

    "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Voltaire

    by T Master on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:47:16 PM PDT

  •  Even here we call them (0+ / 0-)

    terrorists, even though we don't know much about them.  They're no longer individual human beings, which is the true horror of the Bush/Cheney legacy.  

    I Love You! You're perfect! Now change.

    by I love OCD on Sun May 24, 2009 at 02:47:46 PM PDT

  •  What if a flying dog suddenly appeared in front (0+ / 0-)

    of your house and started vomiting up lollipops? There's a reason no one has ever escaped from a Supermax. Taking ADX Florence as an example:

    ...most individuals are kept for at least 23 hours each day in solitary confinement. They are housed in a 7 ft (2.1 m) by 12 ft (3.7 m) room, built behind a steel door and grate. Their free hour is spent exercising alone in a separate concrete chamber. Prisoners seldom see one another, and the inmates' only direct human interaction is with correctional officers or other prison staff. Visiting from outside the prison is conducted through glass, with each prisoner in a separate chamber.

    Most cells' furniture is made almost entirely out of poured concrete, including the desk, stool, and bed. Each chamber contains a toilet that shuts off if plugged, a shower that runs on a timer to prevent flooding, and a sink missing a potentially dangerous trap. Rooms may also be fitted with polished steel mirrors bolted to the wall, an electric light, a radio, and a television set that shows recreational, educational and religious programming.[4] These privileges can be taken away as punishment. The 4 in (10 cm) by 4 ft (1.2 m) windows are designed to prevent the prisoner from knowing his specific location within the complex because he can see only the sky and roof through them. Telecommunication with the outside world is forbidden, and food is hand-delivered by correctional officers.

    The prison as a whole contains a multitude of motion detectors and cameras, 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors, and 12 ft (3.66 m) high razor wire fences. Laser beams, pressure pads, and attack dogs guard the area between the prison walls and razor wire.

    ADX Florence has successfully housed Omar Abdel-Rahman, Anthony Casso, Wadih el-Hage, Theodore Kaczynski, Zacarias Moussaoui, Terry Nichols, Richard Colvin Reid, Eric Robert Rudolph, Ramzi Yousef, Timothy McVeigh, Jose Padilla, Michael Swango, Mahmud Abouhalima, and plenty of other extremely dangerous criminals without incident.

    (-9.88, -8.87) Namaste.

    by liberate on Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:24:22 PM PDT

    •  ADX Florence (0+ / 0-)

      is full,  so that discussion is moot.

      But all this discussion about "escape" is the wrong one to be having,  anyway.  Which is why the Republicans are driving it that way:  it distracts from the crucial issue of the Bushies' criminality making the closure of Gitmo necessary (or,  at least,  desirable),  and helps reinforce the meme that they were somehow justified in mistreating the inmates there because they're "the worst of the worst".

      I'm sure they're grateful for all the help they're getting from Kossacks keeping the focus where they want it...

  •  The latest "ism" (0+ / 0-)

    All "ism" are bad, as we know. Commun-ism, lib-ral-ism, pick your favorite, Americans are so aware of the tenuous nature of their national identity and the seemingly fragile "health" of their body politic that they can so easily be taught to fear the latest "ism." As if it is a disease that can be caught, and spread virulently through the vapid compromised immune systems of our ignorant polity. As if "ism-"ists are Pod People who will stick a slimy earwig in your auditory meatus, which will then crawl into your neocortex and turn you ineluctably into another clumping zombie working for "them," who are out to GET you, like an over-tickling uncle or the monster under the bed. Any of you old enough to remember 50 years of the kind of preaching about the Inerent Evils of Commu-nism that worked off just this kind of mind set?

    Tell me again just what a "terror-ist" is? I'll accept that there are Unabombers, and Tim McVeighs, and Arab-Brits with no sense of identity who are as vulnerable to Scientology as to one of the many (including "Christian") Fundamentalist tar babys, and hopeless young people all over the place who can be convinced or coerced into "doing God's work" by killing as many people and raising as much Hell as they can manage. But individual cells in your body and mine, and our various bodies politic, are becoming cancerous this very minute. And it's up to our immune systems, our personal and national police forces, to recognize the aberrant cells, isolate them, police them up and return their constituents to useful healthy tissue.

    "Terrorism" is not a political movement or ideology -- it's a set of actions indulged in by human neoplasms that have sprung from any of the organs and tissues of the great body of hunamity. Be accurate: the CIA does and sponsors "terrorism," as do our and every other nations' rulers. There are nihilists out there who love death and destruction, but they do not have a single philosophical or dogmatical source. If the rest of us treat them the wrong way, then just like numerous "treatments" for cancer, we may end up engendering new neoplasms.

    "Terrorists" are just one kind of aberration in the range of possible human behaviors. If we don't understand what makes and drives them, there's not much chance of either expertly detecting and disarming them or diverting them out of the processes that lead to this form of social cancer.

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Sun May 24, 2009 at 03:41:07 PM PDT

  •  Noooooooooo..........KSM is ......... (0+ / 0-)

    The Flying Purple People Eater is disguise!

  •  I'm Sure We Would All Die (0+ / 0-)

    If one terrorist escaped from a Supermax prison, I do not see how anyone in the US would survive. Terrorists are the scariest things in the world and are clearly superhuman beings capable of more than any other criminal locked up in a SuperMax.

    The release of one terrorist would no doubt set off a chain reaction in which that terrorist--who has had no contact with terrorists in the outside world for years--would immediately intiate the diabolical plan he had been hatching for years at Guantanamo to convince aliens to come and destroy America.

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