Tuesday, March 01, 2005


On Monday, Federal Judge Joan Lefkow arrived home to find her husband, labor lawyer Michael Lefkow, and her mother, Donna Grace Humphrey, shot to death in the basement of her home. It has been less than a year since white supremacist Matthew Hale was convicted of trying to have her murdered for holding him in contempt of court.

The Sun-Times reports that Hale is currently held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in the South Loop "under tight control, usually reserved for terrorists, to keep him from sending out violent edicts from prison." And the Tribune characterizes the federal prison's measures as "special administrative measures taken against suspected terrorists."

"Special administrative measures taken against suspected terrorists"

Sounds strict. But NBC's review of the Bureau of Prisons' measures taken against convicted terrorists -- the 1993 World Trade Center bombers -- paints a different picture.

They wrote letters to other suspected terrorists and brazenly praised Osama bin Laden in Arabic newspapers. *** [A]t least 14 letters went back and forth between the World Trade Center bombers and a Spanish terror cell.

And these letters weren't written before the September 11, 2001. They were passed out of the federal Supermax prison after Osama bin Laden's 9-11 attacks succeeded in carrying out the prisoner's plan of taking down the World Trade Center buildings.

World Trade Center bomber (Class of '93) Mohammed Salameh was permitted to send out a letter in which he wrote: "Oh God! Make us live with happiness, make us die as martyrs, may we be united on the Day of Judgment."

And who did Salameh send this February 2003 love letter to? Mohamed Achraf, the spiritual leader of the "Martyrs for Morocco," who is currently awaiting trial for leading a plot to blow up the National Justice Building in Madrid.

In July 2002, nearly a year after the 9-11 attacks, the Al-Quds newspaper was able to publish a contribution that Salameh sent from his Supermax prison cell. In that letter Salameh declared, "Osama Bin Laden is my hero of this generation."

And what did federal prison officials say while these transmissions were going back an forth between prison cells and terrorist cells?
"We have been managing inmates with ties to terrorism for over a decade by confining them in secure conditions and monitoring their communications closely," said Harley Lappin, the Bureau of Prisons director, in October 2003.
We should all be mindful of this record of "tight control, usually reserved for terrorists" when prison officials assure us that Matthew Hale was unable to communicate his hateful designs to his followers.

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