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July 10, 2009

The audacity of having hope and dreams inside the Supermax walls

Here is a new AP report that seems likely to make Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage all smile. The piece is headine "Supermax prison: Obama's books objectionable," and here are snippets:

The federal government's most secure prison has determined that two books written by President Barack Obama contain material "potentially detrimental to national security" and rejected an inmate's request to read them.

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is serving a 30-year sentence at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., for joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush. Last year, Abu Ali requested two books written by Obama: "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."

But prison officials, citing guidance from the FBI, determined that passages in both books contain information that could damage national security.  A prison spokeswoman referred questions to the FBI, where a spokeswoman was looking into the matter Thursday evening.

The documents detailing the prison's rejection of Obama's books are included in court papers for a resentencing hearing scheduled later this month for Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen.... Abu Ali requested the books in August, before Obama was elected. In a short, handwritten note on a prison complaint form, Abu Ali argues that the two rejections "violate my 1st amend. rights."...

Prison officials cite specific pages -- but not specific passages -- in the books that they deem objectionable. They include one page in Obama's 1995 book, "Dreams from My Father," and 22 separate pages in his policy-oriented 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope." It was not immediately obvious what passages might have been deemed problematic, though nearly half of the pages cited are in a chapter devoted to foreign affairs....

Abu Ali will be resentenced July 27, following an appellate court ruling that U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee improperly deviated from sentencing guidelines that recommended a term of life in prison.

July 10, 2009 at 09:49 AM | Permalink

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