published Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Terrorism suspect at Gitmo gets copy of al-Qaida magazine

There has been some criticism since authorities at the United States' detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, began to examine correspondence between attorneys and the terrorism suspects held there. The reviews were ordered over concerns that prisoners might receive prohibited sensitive information or items that could be fashioned into weapons.

At issue is whether the reviews of the correspondence violated attorney-client privilege.

The examinations of the mail have been in limbo in the wake of the criticism. A new order called for simply a scaled-back "plain sight review" to prevent contraband from being delivered along with legitimate correspondence.

But it was eye-opening to learn what prompted the examination of the mail in the first place: U.S. prosecutors told a military judge recently that a copy of an al-Qaida magazine that has at times included tips on how to kill American citizens somehow made its way to one of the terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

That doesn't necessarily mean the magazine came from an attorney for one of the suspects held at Gitmo, but it certainly suggests -- as one of the prosecutors pointed out -- that previous security screenings of items sent to the terrorism suspects were inadequate.

It seems to us that remedying that dangerous situation should be a priority.

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