Does Osama bin Laden need to be read his Miranda rights if we capture him?
The question put to Attorney General Holder by Lindsey Graham got this response:
Again I'm not -- that all depends. I mean, the notion that we --
Such clarity of thought is about par for the course in the Obama administration.
Credit Graham here for boring in and not letting the AG wiggle away. Some other tidbits from Holder's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday from Noel Sheppard's post at Newsbusters:
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.
The big problem I have is that you're criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we'd have mixed theories and we couldn't turn him over -- to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence -- for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we're saying that he is subject to criminal court in the United States. And you're confusing the people fighting this war.
Noel also points to a question about the history of trying enemy combatants in civilian court that the AG was simply unable to answer.
This is unprecedented, of course. And the Obama administration's point man has yet to give us a good reason why it is better to try KSM in New York rather than before a military tribunal.