Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reading bin Laden his rights

Lindsay Graham frequently drives us crazy, but it can't be denied that he has his moments. In today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, he took Eric Holder to the woodshed:

Graham is right, of course. Under the Obama administration's policies, if we capture Osama bin Laden tomorrow, the first thing we will have to do is read him his rights, and the second is get him a lawyer at taxpayer expense. The argument that Holder tries to interpose--maybe we won't have to Mirandize bin Laden because the evidence of his guilt is "overwhelming"--is pathetic. Can you imagine trying to explain to a federal judge that a criminal defendant had a constitutional right to have his rights read to him, but you skipped that step because the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming? The fact that the Obama administration needs to resort to such silly evasions demonstrates that its policy is indefensible.

To the extent that the Obama administration tries to justify its criminalization of the war against terror, its excuse is that doing so "vindicates the rule of law." But, as Holder's exchange with Graham showed, the administration is happy to abandon the "rule of law" as soon as it becomes inconvenient. In that regard, one basic question has always been, what happens if we prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his confederates and the result is an acquittal or a hung jury?

The rest from Powerline here.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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