WELL, IF MAGNETO CAN DO IT…. Glenn Greenwald noted yesterday how much success the U.S. has had in locking up terrorists on U.S. soil.
What are all the bad and scary things that have happened as a result? The answer is: “nothing.” Take note, Chris Cillizza and friends: while it’s true that “not a single prisoner has escaped from Gitmo since it was created,” it’s also true that no Muslim Terrorists have escaped from American prisons and our SuperMax prison “has had no escapes or serious attempts to escape.” Actually, the only person to even make an escape attempt from a SuperMax is Green Arrow, who hasn’t succeeded despite the help of Joker and Lex Luthor.
I really want to know: when our nation’s stalwart right-wing warriors (along with Harry “Fighting the Good Fight” Reid) become petrified at the thought of keeping Muslim Terrorists in our prisons, what exactly do they fantasize will happen? What bad things specifically do they fear are going to occur?
I know Glenn was kidding with the Green Arrow reference, but it speaks to an underlying truth: the right really seems to believe that suspected terrorists — many of whom are nuts who’ve lived in caves — have some kind of superpowers. They seem to think, “I saw ‘X-Men 2,’ and if maximum security wasn’t good enough to hold Magneto, maybe it won’t be enough for KSM, either!”
(Update: Adam Serwer was all over this yesterday: “Greenwald clearly doesn’t remember the Magneto incident of 2003, in which the mutant supervillain escaped from his glass prison facility after Mystique increased the iron content in his guard’s blood, which Magneto extracted using his ferrokinetic powers and then used to destroy his cell. Obviously, we need to discover if Gitmo inmates do have mutant abilities, which will undoubtedly require more waterboarding, and this has to be done before the administration gets a dime to close Guantanamo. In fact, I’m pretty sure Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the subject in 2002.”)
It’s why that Fox News report Glenn cited was actually pretty helpful. Noting information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the report offered some details on the supermax facility in Florence, Colorado, which holds, among others, Zacarias Moussaoui. And as Glenn noted, the grand total of escapes from this penitentiary is zero. The grand total of attempted escapes is zero.
Until we start locking up supervillains with superpowers, these facilities and the personnel who work there will do just fine in keeping us safe.
Something to keep in mind as the “debate” continues over the possibility of bringing Gitmo detainees to American soil.