The Washington Post

Gitmo prisoner’s odd reading habit

Muhammed Rahim al-Afghani poses for a photo at Guantanamo (AP Photo/International Red Cross via Rahim family)

Seems our reader, one Muhammad Rahim, has to use that circuitous route for correspondence because he’s a guest of the federal government in Guantanamo, Cuba.

His question: “Does Obama read ‘In the Loop?’”

A most interesting question, Mr. Rahim, but we’re thinking probably not. On the other hand, some of his staff likely read it, judging from the occasionally abusive phone calls, but it’s unlikely the President does.

Rahim, a prolific and rambling correspondent, was said to be a former translator for Osama bin Laden and allegedly helped him escape from Afghanistan in 2001. He was captured in Pakistan in 2007, apparently by local authorities.

U.S. intelligence and defense officials call him a “tough, seasoned jihadist.” But he’s also, despite being in Gitmo for about six years and one of the last prisoners sent there, managed to keep up with the news in this country.

In his latest letter, dated Feb.13 and stamped “unclassified,” he discourses about Obama’s “pathetic, ineffectual gun control” efforts and notes that ”if he has time to fill out a bracket for ‘March Madness’, he should have time to meet” with Warner.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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