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FBI Head Says Supermax Not Safe Enough

2:13 PM, May 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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A day after Harry Reid took a hardline against the relocation of terrorists now being held at Gitmo to prisons inside the United States, FBI director Robert Mueller goes up to the Hill and shares his concerns:

"The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others," Mueller said, as well as "the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States."

"All of those are relevant concerns," Mueller said.

The FBI chief said he would not discuss specific individuals. He said there were also potential risks to putting detainees in maximum security prisons.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose district includes the World Trade Center site, then prodded Mueller to agree that such individuals could be safely kept in maximum security prisons in the U.S.

Mueller balked at Nadler's suggestion, noting that in some instances imprisoned gang leaders have run their gangs from inside prisons.

"It depends on the circumstances," Mueller said.

Meanwhile, Dems are under tremendous pressure from the White House and the most extreme elements of their base to support the transfer of detainees to American prisons. Just today Reid refined his position slightly so as to allow for the possibility that at some undetermined point in the future he might support such a program. However, the point made by Mueller here has been underplayed in much of the coverage over this issue. Yes, the government may be able to physically secure terrorists held inside the United States, but the success of criminal gangs in using prisons as a base of operations should serve as a warning to those who believe that the U.S. criminal justice system can provide the same protections as Gitmo. Then again, supporters of bringing these terrorists into the United States tend to view them primarily as criminals -- not enemy combatants.

Expect a press release on how FBI director Bob Mueller is "disparaging" the corrections officers of America with his statement.