Just a couple of weeks ago the Attorney General testified at a Congressional Hearing and said that terrorists should be treated as criminals and given full rights under our law. That includes the right to be read their rights and to have an attorney present during interrogations and, of course, the right, under the 5th amendment, not to make any statement which might tend to incriminate themselves. Under his theory terrorists are criminals, not enemy combatants.
Well, Mr. Attorney General, just how does that square with the Presidents decision to send Special Operations forces into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden? –and please don’t try to tell me there was any real intention of taking him alive, reading him his rights and having a lawyer present during interrogations.
It doesn’t, does it? And the reason is simply because bin Laden was not just a criminal, he was the head of an international group committed to using terrorism against the people of the United States, including the use of mass murder whenever possible. He had actually declared war on the United States as a political, not criminal, entity. Fighting him required military, not police tactics and forces.
A criminal can not be pursued across international borders without the permission and cooperation of the other country. Can you imagine California Police Officers crossing into Mexico in a helicopter to arrest a criminal without notifying the Mexican authorities? No, of course not.
Osama bin Laden was a completely different matter. He was not just a deadly enemy of the United States. He was so different that the previous administration, under Bush, declared him and al Qaeda, enemy combatants and tasked the Armed Forces and the CIA as the primary people in the fight. Even Eric Holders own boss, President Obama, came around to the reality of this special situation. He has kept Guantanamo Bay open to confine the “enemy combatants”, continued and expanded the operations in Afghanistan, called for the renewal of the Patriot Act and ordered the operation that killed bin Laden.
Eric Holder told the media that the operation to cross into Pakistan, without permission, and the killing of bin Laden was completely legal. But that can only be true if bin Laden was a terrorist to be treated as an enemy combatant. It can not be legal if he was just a criminal.
Mr. Holder. I am afraid your hypocrisy is showing. You’re going to have to make up your mind. Which is it to be? Are these terrorists’ criminals to be given the same rights as US citizens, confined in civilian prisons and tried in civilian courts –or are they, in fact, enemy combatants to be held in military prisons and tried in military courts? You can not have it both ways (depending upon which is more politically convenient for you at the moment).
I have a suggestion. If this question continues to confound you, and you find it too difficult to resolve the matter, why not make it easier for all of us and just resign? I am sure you could find a nice cushy job with the ACLU.
Live Long and Prosper.......