CMU Marion Correctional Officer (C.O.) Mr. J. Smith flouts BOP's counterterrorism rules in counterterrorism unit

From: GOTTESFELD MARTIN (12982104)
Sent Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022 7:51 AM
Subject: 2022-07-12: J. Smith flouts counterterrorism rules

3:01 P.M. Eastern Time, Tuesday, July 12, 2022

I hereby make the following statement available under the latest Creative Commons by-attribution, derivativespermitted, share-alike, commercial-use-permitted license, pursuant to BOP's Program Statement and regulations
on inmate manuscripts.

MARION, IL--The United States Penitentiary (USP) in town has a storied past. Built in the 1960s, it was, for
decades, the federal government's sole "Level 6 Super Max," until the U.S. federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) built
its subterranean administrative-maximum-security super-penitentiary in Florence, Colorado.

Today USP Marion hosts one of the nation's two communications-management units (CMUs). Designed to hold
terrorists during the George W. Bush administration, the CMUs are meant to ensure "total communications
monitoring" of their prisoner populations. To prevent further terror attacks against Americans, the public was told,
the CMUs would gather useful intelligence from incarcerated terrorists and their communications home. Staffers
here are supposed to undergo specialized training to seal off any cracks.

Towards the end of World War II, Britain adopted a similar program to great effect, housing German POWs in a
converted manor-home filled with hidden microphones.

At least that was the theory used to justify over 15 years of multi-million-dollar appropriations to maintain the
CMU program. But the Justice Department's inspector general (IG), in a March 2020 audit, found that BOP used
the CMUs to house only 27 of its 500-plus terrorist inmates. Over 100 are in low-security institutions, the IG
noted, with the bulk of the remainder in medium-security facilities. Moreover, BOP and its in-house "CounterTerrorism Unit" ("C.T.U.") failed to monitor BOP's terrorist inmates effectively, found the IG. In some cases, BOP
was using technology that was quite literally laughable, **e.g.**, two phones taped together, speaker-to-receiver.

At the same time, the CMU program has proved quite controversial. BOP has placed journalists, activists and
political dissidents here to silence them. Hence liberal groups have dubbed the CMUs: "Gitmo North." The
American Conservative Union calls them "an abomination to civil liberty" that have outlived their initial
justification. A British judge recently ruled against Washington's extradition request for WikiLeaks-founder Julian
Assange, citing the CMUs as oppressive and likely violative of his human rights, should he be handed over to the
U.S. Justice Department for prosecution. (That ruling was reversed by a higher British court and a final appeal
will likely be heard by the European Union Human Rights Court.)

But behind it all lies a simple truth: The CMU program has never produced a single piece of actionable
intelligence. It's never saved one life, quite the opposite, in fact. A non-violent 68-year-old white-collar offender
was garroted to death in a CMU in November 2018, his head nearly severed from his body by a jihadi lifer.
Another older, non-violent offender, in the same incident, was stabbed multiple times, but survived when a highersecurity prisoner intervened. Staffers, apparently, were too slow to respond and nowhere to be found.

So, like many government boondoggles, the OIG's audit begs the question: Where is the CMUs' "counterterrorism" funding **actually** going, given that clearly it's not spent on effectively monitoring terrorists, or staffing
the units that are supposed to, but in fact largely do not, house terrorists?

It apparently didn't go to train a correctional officer (C.O.) here at the Marion CMU, a Mr. J. Smith. On Sunday,
without my consent, Smith took a box from me that contained, among other things, written materials. He then
placed it outside the unit without scanning those written materials for BOP's "counter-terrorists" to "clear" them for
dangerous contents---the CMUs' supposed reason for existence. This was a blatant violation of the federal
regulations governing the CMUs. (**See** 28 C.F.R. Secs. 540.200 **et seq.**) What happened to the written
materials in the box? I don't know. BOP likely doesn't know either.

But apparently BOP knows its own "counter-terrorism" is little more than a joke to gain access to funding
largesse: even after violating BOP's most sacred "counter-terrorism" procedures, C.O. Smith remains in the
Marion CMU today.