Yet another reason why the team at the White House needs to be immediately replaced
Quietly implemented in December, the special "Communications Management Unit" (CMU) at [Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution in Indiana] targeting Muslim and Middle-Eastern inmates was not implemented through the process required by federal law, which stipulates the public be notified of any new changes to prison programs and be given opportunity to voice objection. Instead, the program appears to have been ordered and implemented by a senior official at the Department of Justice.
note the timing, little more than a month after the november elections...
[T]he CMU program, instituted Dec. 11, 2006 -- shortly after the mid-term elections in which Democrats won both chambers of Congress -- is being implemented at Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution in Indiana.
it looks like a hoosier-state guantánamo, and i'm sure that must be precisely what's intended...
Under the CMU program, telephone communications must be conducted using monitored phone lines, be live-monitored by staff, are subject to recording and must be in English only. All letters must be reviewed by staff prior to delivery or sending, and visits may be non-contact only, live-monitored, and subject to recording, in English.
so, what's "different...?" read on...
[Attorney Peter Goldberger, a Philadelphia-area specialist in criminal appeals and former law professor who has 30 years experience dealing with federal prisons and inmates] notes that "What's different" about the program, "is limitation of contact with friends, family and outsiders -- instead of 300 minutes of telephone time per month, it's one 15 minute call per week, which can be reduced in the Warden's discretion to a mere three minutes once a month."
"Instead of all-day visiting every week or every other week, it's only two hours at a time, twice a month, with no physical contact, presumably sitting on opposite sides of a plexiglas window," Goldberger continued.
"And all letters, except to lawyers, courts, and Congress, will be read and copied, with weeks of delay, instead of cursorily inspected and sent right on," he adds. "It's a totally new and different program."
and why should this be a concern...?
Director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, D.C. Kate Martin told RAW STORY that restrictions of inmate communications must be narrowly tailored to serve a specific identifiable need of the government. Martin said that there was a clear rationale for restricting communications of those who had previously handled classified information -- for example a former CIA agent who had passed secrets to a foreign government. But with individuals who never possessed classified information, she said, that rationale doesn't exist.
oh, and never mind the fact that it's very likely both illegal and unconstitutional...
[Executive Director of Federal Defense Associates Howard Kieffer, a legal group based in California] believes that the program not only violates federal law but the Constitution as well, saying it abridges their right to freedom of expression and association.
These inmates are "not able to communicate like other inmates," he said.
James Landrith, Jr., who heads "The Multiracial Activist," an on-line journal that covers social and civil liberties issues relating multi-racialism, says the new program set a "very, very bad precedent."
and, par for bushco, it was all done under the table...
It's "interesting that this administration is trying to push these things through covertly" -- things he said he views as unconstitutional restrictions -- "while you have a sitting Vice President who could be charged in the short-term future with having been involved in outing a CIA agent."
He added that the program "makes it very very hard for someone to mount a real defense or appeal when they can't talk to anyone on the outside."
if it wasn't for the serious investigative journalism being conducted by sites such as raw story, this wouldn't be coming to light at all... the part that i find most chilling is how much more DON'T we know...? it has to be one hell of a lot...
Labels: Bureau of Prisons, Center for National Security Studies, Communications Management Unit, Department of Justice, Middle East, Muslims, Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution, U.S. ConstitutionSubmit To Propeller