Saturday, June 6, 2009

Something to think about: Abdul Hakim Muhammad and the Gitmo detainees

Within conservative circles, the focus surrounding Abdul Hakim Muhammad, the Army Requiter Killer, has mosty been about the media's unequal treatment of his story versus George Tiller's killer. Tiller's story was sensationalized within minutes, while the details of Muhammed deliberately remain sketchy and obscure. While this battle over media bias rages on, I would like to focus on another question. Could the radicalization of Abdul Hakim Muhammad be the fate that awaits us should be start bringing Gitmo detainees here?

Some liberals are arguing that our Supermax prisons are more than equip to handle the task of holding Gitmo detainees. To a certain degree, they are correct, however our Supermax prisons were never designed to jail political or radical thoughts. Bringing radicalized Islamic Gitmo prisoners to the US, runs the risk of spreading their ideas on our soil.

While looking into Supermax prisons, I came across this article about the psychological effects of Supermax confinement:

A study by Craig Haney (2003), who researched conditions at Pelican Bay's Security Housing Unit (SHU), evinced that the psychological effects of supermax confinement can induce appetite and sleep disturbances, panic attacks, anxiety, uncontrollable rage, hallucinations, and self-mutilations, some of which occur from the extreme sensory deprivation of such conditions. (It has been speculated that one of the factors behind the Kingston Penitentiary riot in 1971 was that prisoners were restricted from "personalizing" their cell-space, or decorating their living environments, creating an environment akin to sensory deprivation or loss of control.) In addition to Hane'ys medical symptoms there are subtler cognitive, attitudinal, or homeostatic alterations incurred. Below is a comprehensive inventory of the documented effects from psychiatric reports and research into supermax confinement:

negative attitudes
social withdrawal
ruminations (compulsive preoccupations, duress, or strain produced by indecision)
a sense of impending doom
suicidal ideation and suicide attempts

After reading this, two quick thoughts emerge. First, for all of the complaints many on the left have about the conditions of Gitmo, it seems odd that some of them are eager to subject the Gitmo detainees to these effects (but that is for another blog post). Second, doesn't these effects sound like excellent precursors for creating homegrown Islamic extremists?

It is no secret that conversion to Islam takes place throughout our prison system. Some statistics show 1 in 10 inmates convert, with about 1 in 5 keeping up with it once released. Given these statistics, why would we want to add prisoners to our prison system that are radicalized to the point where they have already engaged in Jihad in Iraq? Even the much talked about Uighurs seem to have an ax to grind.

As Abdul Hakim Muhammad's story slowly unfold and as we grow closer to the arbitrary closing date of Gitmo's, let us keep the possible connection of the two in mind.


Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

I would imagine the recruitment into radical Muslimism would be among the general population where they can talk to each other, intimidate other prisoners into their beliefs. It sounds like supermax prisoners have no contact with other prisoners, thus the sensory deprivation. But, because that is true, I bet they would sue being as they are there politically and would have the conditions changed so as to accommodate them. Who knows, they might ask to go back to Gitmo if it's bad enough.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I believe it has already begun. Just look at parts of Minnesota and Michigan. Even here, in Georgia we have radical islamist.

The fate of Europe is ours too if we do not act now to prevent it.

Multiculturalism and diversity will be our ruining

Just a conservative girl said...

I wonder what the President thinks about why Bush kept it open. In someways he is keeping things that Bush did. I don't understand why he just doesn't admit that Bush was right about keeping them there. For now, it is the best place for them.

Clifton B said...

Happy Hour Somewhere:

I am not too sure I want to bet the farm that they would be 100% isolated. Even in the darkest places on earth, thoughts are hard to contain.

Clifton B said...

C. Scalawag:

Actually, I think Obama really does did believe the whole torture thing going in. Only after being on the job for a while, does he realize the error of his ways. Now he is just trying to follow through on a bad decision.

Clifton B said...


Hey welcome to A.B.C!
I accidently resonded to your post under Scalawags reply. Gotta stop blogging before coffee! LOL

Clifton B said...

C Scalawag:

This response is for you, LOL.
I had no idea radicals were an issue in Georgia! I thought (in my blue state snobbery) that that was only an urban problem. Gosh it is worse than I thought!

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