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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:40 PM

'93 WTC plotter Ramzi Yousef wants contact ban lifted

The convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing wants nearly two decades of communication restrictions lifted, arguing he's no longer a threat to national security, his lawyer said Sunday.

Ramzi Yousef has been locked away in solitary confinement at the federal "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado, since 1998. A 15-page list of rules sets limits on his contact with relatives, lawyers and other inmates. He can read books and watch television, but newspapers and magazines are censored to keep him from receiving messages planted in classified ads or letters to the editor.

Now 44, Yousef "no longer should be considered a national security threat," his lawyer, Bernard Kleinman, told CNN. "If the government feels that he is, they should provide some reasonable basis that they can corroborate as to why he is a continuing national security threat."

U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy, who sentenced Yousef to life plus 20 years, called him "a virus that must be locked away." He was arrested in 1996 in a plot to bomb U.S. airliners in Asia, and he's the nephew of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed -- the accused mastermind of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people and brought down the World Trade Center.

full: http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/17/us/terrorist-prison/index.html

20 replies, 1406 views

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Reply '93 WTC plotter Ramzi Yousef wants contact ban lifted (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #1
Taverner Feb 2013 #3
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #6
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #11
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #5
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #7
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #9
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #12
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #13
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #14
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #18
alcibiades_mystery Feb 2013 #19
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #20
Taverner Feb 2013 #2
Light House Feb 2013 #8
Taverner Feb 2013 #10
Light House Feb 2013 #15
Taverner Feb 2013 #16
Light House Feb 2013 #17
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #4

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:47 PM

1. I don't see any problem with this

He's never going to get out of prison, and the contact ban cannot legally be punitive; it must have some demonstrable function. If the government cannot demonstrate an ongoing function, it should be lifted.

People and times change.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:48 PM

3. I don't care if he changed

 

Part of the reason I am so anti DP is because I think it's too easy

Life in prison, no parole, no visitors

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Response to Taverner (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:52 PM

6. No visitors is unconstitutional as a punishment

The contact ban is related to an ongoing national security function. If that function is not ongoing, then the contact ban would be just as unconstitutional as a universal firearms ban, a death sentence for anti-government speech, or an absolute right to search your house no questions asked. Each of these would be as unconstitutional as your wacky "no visitors" policy. So, to b e blunt, it doesn't matter what you think. The question is whether an ongoing justification for the contact ban is demonstrable by the government.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:00 PM

11. He's been proven a national security threat. Incumbent upon him to make the showing that

he's now just a harmless lamb who would never try to hurt anyone.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:51 PM

5. Well, he hasn't changed. He's not a threat because of the very sanctions that are in place. nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

7. Perhaps... I don't think it's out of bounds to ask the government to prove that from time to time

Call me an Eighth Amendment purist.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

9. I think the trial record serves that purpose. If he can show something that rebuts that

other than the standard jailhouse conversion, let him come forward with it.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:00 PM

12. I tend to side

with the prisoner on 8th Amendment issues. It's a legitimate question for the court, in any case. One can imagine conditions changing such that the trial record would be moot given changes in circumstances. A Weather Underground terrorist serving a life sentence, for instance, would have a legitimate 8th Amendment claim on a similar restriction imposed at sentencing (in, say, 1974), and in that case, it would be - to my mind - incumbent on the government to prove ongoing risk.

It is the government asking for a special dispensation relative to standard 8th Amendment practices, so I believe the government has the burden to show cause for continuing exemption from guaranteed constitutional rights.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:03 PM

13. Sure, because the Weather Underground and the entire leftwing terrorism movement

in general dissipated. Not so with the transnational Islamist terror networks.

If anything, it's even easier to facilitate terrorist coordination with email on mobile devices, embedded files in images, social networks, etc.

The mere passage of time is no indicator that he's lost his desire to commit mass murder.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:12 PM

14. Needless to say

I am not arguing that "The mere passage of time is 'an' indicator that he's lost his desire to commit mass murder," as that would be stupid.

There are numerous ways that a threat can dissipate to the point that these provisions contrary to standard 8th Amendment practices would no longer be necessary. My example showed one obvious case: the very network constituting the threat has completely disappeared (Weather Underground). Another way would be if the subject's capacity or desire or ability to work with and influence an existing network dissipated. And there are other ways, too.

My point is quite simple: for the extraordinary exemption from 8th Amendment protections (and I put the 8th up there with the First as "most important"), the government can be bothered to show and prove from time to time - to demonstrate an ongoing need. This isn't a crazy or flippant call. It holds the government to a high standard when it comes to protection from cruel and unusual punishment. To me, that's not controversial.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:11 PM

18. All of that was proved beyond a reasonable doubt back in the day.

That's the default finding regarding this guy. Up to him to show that things have changed.

But, I see very little that this guy can offer to rebut that other than a self-serving jailhouse conversion.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:25 PM

19. Yes, we appear to have located a point of stasis in our discussion

You believe that Yousef, having been duly convicted and sentenced with special provisions as a result of a sound threat assessement, is responsible for demonstrating a changed situation. ( I should note that this is likely part of the filing, but let's put that aside.)

I believe that extraordinary sentencing provisions contrary to standard 8th Amendment practice are so serious a deviation from fundamental Constitutional rights that the government should be required to demonstrate their continued necessity at reasonable intervals.

Since continued repetition of these points are unlikely to move you, me, or third party readers at this point, I'll thank you for an interesting conversation and bid you good afternoon.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:30 PM

20. Good day to you as well. nt

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:48 PM

2. Maybe...just may-NAH! FUCK HIM!!!

 

Let him rot

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Response to Taverner (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

8. +1000000

 

Agree.
At least he still gets to watch TV, eat meals, think, which is more than the victims that died that day.
Let him rot.

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Response to Light House (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

10. Yep.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like him kept alive

Maybe, just maybe, he might realize what he did

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Response to Taverner (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:21 PM

15. I too oppose the DP for pretty much the same reasons,

 

I want them to have to mull on what they did and the DP is just too easy a way out.
Hope you're having a good President's Day.

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Response to Light House (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:47 PM

16. Unfortunately, working...

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:53 PM

17. Sorry to hear that.

 

Try not to work too hard.
I'm retired from a 35 year career but I have a small business that I closed today and gave my employees the day off with pay.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:50 PM

4. He's no longer a threat because of the communications ban.

This is an easy one for the court to reject.

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