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National Briefing / Colorado

Obama books OK'd for inmates

July 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The Bureau of Prisons says it reversed course months ago to allow some of the country's most dangerous prisoners to read two books written by President Obama.

Court papers show that prison officials twice rejected requests by inmate Ahmed Omar Abu Ali to read "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."

The books contained material "potentially detrimental to national security," prison officials said in two separate rejections from August and September.

Bureau spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said the bureau reversed course in November and let him read the books.

Abu Ali is serving 30 years in the federal supermax prison in Florence for joining Al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate then-President George W. Bush.

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