For a funny and genuinely insightful look into Sarah Palin and the world she inhabits. It is a little different from the real world, Return After Reading
From NewsBusters, those ever vigilant Conservative media police, NPR Shocker: Attorney General Holder Stumped By Lindsey Graham
Now, the real focus of this NPR piece was Graham’s subsequent question concerning whether or not U.S. officials would have to Mirandize Osama bin Laden if he was captured:
GRAHAM: If bin Laden were caught tomorrow, would it be the position of this administration that he would be brought to justice?
HOLDER: He would certainly be brought to justice, absolutely.
GRAHAM: Where would you try him?
HOLDER: Well, we’d go through our protocol. And we’d make the determination about where he should appropriately be tried. [...]
GRAHAM: If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?
HOLDER: Again I’m not — that all depends. I mean, the notion that we –
GRAHAM: Well, it does not depend. If you’re going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.
Graham used to be a military lawyer(JAG) so his views of the law are understandability skewed toward military rather then civil or criminal law. Given Holder’s background serving as a lawyer and as a judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia its possible that Graham’s question struck Holder as being so asinine that he was shocked a U.S. Senator with some law experience would imply reading someone their Miranda rights would some how keep them from being found guilty. Has the Conservative Senator from South Carolina or NewsBusters for that matter ever heard of a prison. Does he know that in spite of those pesky Miranda rights the U.S. has one of the highest percentages of its population in prison. Is there a big gotcha here for Graham and the Right. Sure if you know as much about the law as a dung beetle knows about relativity theory. The U.S. has read rights to and convicted 145 terrorist in our courts – its not an oh my gosh we’re all gonna die for prosecuting bad guys game changing moment to continue to do so. Some of the current terror suspects being held may get military tribunals. Either way the U.S. judicial systems tries and convicts some very nefarious characters that range from child killers to arsonists with great regularity. There is no reason, other then blind fear and ignorance to think we cannot handle most of those currently at Gitmo, Neoconservative contempt for the Constitution is not only un-American; it is al-Qaida’s greatest ally
In a related post at American Prospect Adam Serwer dismantles what could only be called the semi-insane ramblings of partisan hack Andrew McCarthy of The National Review, Andy McCarthy vs. Thomas Paine
The federal courts have convicted hundreds of terrorists; during the entire Bush administration the military commissions tried three cases. That one of these people tried to escape and hurt someone has zero to do with whether or not the legal system of the United States can handle trying terrorist suspects. What McCarthy is describing above is a security issue, not a legal issue, but since he can’t distinguish between fact and opinion I suppose the above distinction is also too much to ask. Yesterday, former Bush adviser John Bellinger said that military lawyers were so unused to trying terrorism cases that they tried to get them help from the civilian attorneys in the Justice Department. That’s not a qualitative judgment on military lawyers — it’s indicative of the fact that terrorism has traditionally been tried in civilian court and so federal prosecutors have more experience with those kinds of cases.
A civilian trial is no more a platform for KSM than a military commission would have been. That’s ridiculous. KSM was ready to plead guilty and be executed eleven months ago. Whatever soapbox he was going to have, he’d largely already had, and while we’d have had to let him speak before sentence was imposed, that would have been the end of it. Now, he’s going to get a full-blown trial — after combing through the discovery for a couple of years and after putting the Bush administration under the spotlight.
So this is an unforced self-owning. McCarthy wants a military commission for KSM because he’s afraid of “putting the Bush administration under the spotlight.” In other words, a civilian trial of KSM would expose the Bush administration’s illegal behavior, behavior McCarthy supports but doesn’t want exposed for what it is. There’s nothing more telling about the shaky moral case for torture than torture apologists’ fear of their methods being scrutinized before a court of law..
We can all agree, as A.M. asserts, that KSM and those like him are cowards. Though let’s add wussy right-wingers like McCarthy that display a lack of character and courage that is become the adopted mind set of the very same folks that let Osama Bin laden get away and spent a trillion dollars destroying Iraq so we could all pay to rebuild it as America’s economy went in the crapper.