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November 19, 2009

Lindsay Graham (Yeah, I Know) Destroys AG Eric "Nation Of Cowards" Holder On Civilian Trials For Terrorists UPDATE: Leahy Says We Don't Need To Interogate Bin Laden

I'm second to no one in my loathing of Lindsay Graham's style of 'make a deal and get something done' politics but my guess is he's a hell of a lawyer.

There are a lot of knocks on Eric Holder but no one really thinks he's a stupid man. Misguided? Sure. Diagnosably retarded? No. Watch this exchange between Graham and Holder. Graham leaves Holder stammering like a fool.

Here's the crap Holder is trying to sell that Graham won't let him get away with...Holder says, 'we don't need to question bin Laden because we have so much evidence already so we won't question him for a statement, therefor Miranda doesn't apply'.

Graham nails him with the fact Miranda isn't just about 'the right to remain silent'. It's also about an affirmative right to an attorney.

The fight is about when does a "military capture" become a "civilian arrest" and when and how do all the rights that come with a civilian arrest and trial attach. Right now there are no answers because as Graham points out, the Obama administration is making it up as they go.

Guess who is going to get involved in that question at some point. The courts. Given the arc of cases since 9/11 is anyone 100% sure (hell, 50% sure) that a court won't throw out a conviction or even a bar a trial on any number of 6th Amendment grounds?

Holder is left babbling like a fool about these basic questions.

I'd be interested in what the lawyers here have to say about Graham's style of questioning. My guess is they wouldn't want their client on the other side of it.

Graham did this during the Sotomayor hearings. He walked her down a path where there was absolutely no doubt she was incompetent and lying. Unfortunately at that point Graham's political instincts overrode his legal training and he let her off the hook. Worse still, he then voted for her but his questioning left her, like Holder, in shreds.

I found the above video at The Corner. To make up for swiping it, I commend this post to you. McCarthy has been all over this and as someone who actually convicted terrorists (the first WTC bombers), he knows the drill and the limitations of the Obama approach.

UPDATE:

Oy.


If the U.S. captures Osama bin Laden, there's no need to interrogate him, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of that committee, said that arguments raised by Republican senators about whether bin Laden would be afforded Miranda rights if he were captured amount to a "red herring."

"The red herring that my friend [Sen.] Lindsey Graham [R-S.C.] was covering is not realistic," Leahy said during an appearance on "Washington Journal" on C-SPAN.

"For one thing, capturing Osama bin Laden we've had enough on him, we don't need to interrogate him," Leahy added.

First, we don't need whatever intel OBL might have? Really?

Second, the walk back on this will be, 'sure we'll let the CIA at him for awhile but we don't need that intel to convict him'. Here's the thing, there's no proof that you can do this and then go to a civilian court. Just because Obama wants to create a distinction between custody and questioning by military/intelligence agencies and civilian ones doesn't mean the courts will buy it. Again, given the arc of these cases in the courts, there's every reason to believe that KSM and his ilk will likely win on at least some procedural grounds, maybe even acquittals.

Third, okay, this maybe the case with OBL, but what about lesser known but as dangerous terrorists? How does Obama want captured terrorists dealt with? Commanders in the field need to know and "Present" isn't an option.

Right now his approach is, "we'll review and make a decision later". Well, the US civilian court system doesn't work that way. All the protections that come with it start the second you are in custody, not when the executive feels like it.

Anyone want to take a stab at the Equal Protection arguments to begin with just for shits and giggles? Or the 5th, 6th and 8th Amendment fights?

There is simply no basis in law for Obama and Holder's theory here. It's simply a political decision divorced from law.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:30 AM

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