A REMINDER OF THE OBVIOUS…. Somehow, the nation has managed to do pretty well despite all of these terrorists living in our “neighborhoods,” coming to our “communities,” and “living among us.”

[T]he apocalyptic rhetoric rarely addresses this: Thirty-three international terrorists, many with ties to al-Qaeda, reside in a single federal prison in Florence, Colo., with little public notice.

Detained in the supermax facility in Colorado are Ramzi Yousef, who headed the group that carried out the first bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993; Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; Ahmed Ressam, of the Dec. 31, 1999, Los Angeles airport millennium attack plots; Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, conspirator in several plots, including one to assassinate President George W. Bush; and Wadih el-Hage, convicted of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

Inmates in Florence and those at the maximum-security disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., rarely see other prisoners. At Leavenworth, the toughest prisoners are allowed outside their cells only one hour a day when they are moved with their legs shackled and accompanied by three guards.

Terrorists in the community of Leavenworth, Kansas? But that’s the heartland! Won’t someone think of the children? (Sen. Pat Roberts on Kansas this week insisted that Army officers would no longer want to train at Ft Leavenworth if there are terrorists held there. Sounds like Roberts doesn’t know what he’s talking about.)

Philip Zelikow, a top official in the Bush administration’s State Department, explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, “We have a vast amount of experience in how to judge the continued incarceration of highly dangerous prisoners, since we do this with thousands of prisoners every month, all over the United States, including some really quite dangerous people.”

It’s a shame articles like these are even necessary, since reality seems so obvious. And yet, a few too many lawmakers, who presumably know better, are just hysterical.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) put his foot down. “We’re not going to bring al-Qaeda to Big Sky Country — no way, not on my watch,” he told Time magazine this month.

What an embarrassment.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.