Pawlenty: Holder should resign

posted at 12:30 pm on November 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The pressure on Barack Obama and Eric Holder after an embarrassing failure in federal court got ratcheted up a bit on Thursday evening.  Tim Pawlenty, widely expected to run for the Republican nomination to challenge Obama, told Hugh Hewitt that Obama and Holder made “a fundamental mistake” in attempting to try Ahmed “Foopie” Ghailani in federal court for the murder of more than 200 people in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, including more than a dozen Americans.  After making that kind of mistake and getting the outcome of losing on all but one count of conspiracy, Pawlenty called for Holder’s resignation:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over the first civilian trial of a Guantanamo detainee who was acquitted on all but one charge.

During an interview with Hugh Hewitt, a conservative talk radio host, Pawlenty said President Obama and the Justice Department “made a huge mistake” trying Ahmed Ghailani in civilian court.

Politico has the transcript, which Ben Smith got from Instaputz:

Hewitt : Okay, and should Eric Holder resign?

Pawlenty: You know, I think Eric Holder and the Justice Department made a fundamental mistake, and they put the country, almost put the country at risk, and may still have done it if they continue down this path. And I don’t think you can just stay in that position and have those kinds of outcomes.

Hewitt : That’s a yes.

Pawlenty: Yes.

Obviously, I agree, and I suspect that Congress will get involved at some point to press the issue, at least indirectly.  After the debacle in New York’s federal court, Darrell Issa may decide to move the subject to the top of his House Oversight list, if the new Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee doesn’t get there first.  The decision to move Ghailani to federal court came in defiance to three separate Congressional efforts to establish a military commission system to adjudicate these cases.  Holder arrogantly told Congress earlier that he could get convictions anywhere and didn’t need military commissions to try people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ghailani.

When you wind up with that kind of egg on your face, it’s customary to remove your embarrassing presence from an administration.  We’ll see if Holder takes the hint before both committees also start taking a peek into the potential perjury committed by political appointees in testimony to Congress in the New Black Panther Party. We’ll also see how many other prominent Republicans — and Democrats — start calling for Holder’s resignation.


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I agree. The DOJ (IMHO) aided and abetted the terrorists this week by pushing these monsters to civilian courts.

hawkdriver on November 20, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Holder will resign once the Devil orders a winter coat.

So low level “peon” will get pushed under the bus for failing to dot an “i” or something.

VikingGoneWild on November 20, 2010 at 12:35 PM

so= SOME!

VikingGoneWild on November 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Politico has the transcript, which Ben Smith got from Instaputz:

That tells you all you need to know about Ben Smith.

JeffWeimer on November 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM

And his boss should resign as well.

rbj on November 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Holder is following Obama’s instructions. I doubt that O finds any reason to let him go….O seems pretty impervious to what the right wing little bitter clingers have to say

he’s busy transforming the country

r keller on November 20, 2010 at 12:36 PM

I remember watching Holder refuse to even admit that there was a possibility that a civilian trial might aquit someone who was captured overseas. He also would not answer wether or not Bin Laden should be read his miranda rights because “they would be reading it to a corpse”.

Mord on November 20, 2010 at 12:38 PM

We’ll see if Holder takes the hint before both committees also start taking a peek into the potential perjury committed by political appointees in testimony to Congress in the New Black Panther Party.

They need to take more than a peek into this issue. Holder does need to go but he isnot the only one at DOJ that is incompetent at best and criminal at worst.

bluemarlin on November 20, 2010 at 12:38 PM

T-Paw for President.

Quietly Competent, lets results speak for themselves. Would be a refreshing change from speaking about results that won’t happen.

We vote opposites to the previous President in significant ways. Wouldn’t actual ability fit the bill?

JeffWeimer on November 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

And I don’t think you can just stay in that position and have those kinds of outcomes


you mean convicting someone to serve 20 years to life for the crime they were originally indicted for, in an open civilian trial with absolutely no security issues? Not sure how that’s a bad outcome Tim.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Palin called for Holder to resign or be fired in February, 2010 because of how he handled terrorism. Again, she was out in front of all of the other wannabe’s.

NoNails on November 20, 2010 at 12:46 PM

you mean convicting someone to serve 20 years to life for the crime they were originally indicted for, in an open civilian trial with absolutely no security issues? Not sure how that’s a bad outcome Tim.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

1 win, 284 losses. Victory!
yea

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Proud Rino called. Needs your legal help on the Gawker thread in Headlines.

Del Dolemonte on November 20, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Well, finally someone said it. Up to now, the silence has been deafening.

petefrt on November 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM

1 win, 284 losses. Victory!
yea

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Wow, if that’s how we defined victory (the ratio of charges to convictions) virtually ever prosecutor would be a miserable failure. Seeing as they often throw as many charges as possible at a defendant to see what sticks. You knew that though, didn’t you?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

This is nothing. Holder, Obama, and Vilsack should all be removed from office for their parts in the Shadow Reparations bullshit that just went through the Senate.

The fact that it was unanimously approved is a whole different story and one that will have to be explained in public with great honesty.

The obvious is that both parties are terrified of the optics of voting against a financial award to racial minorities for past discrimination. The not-so-obvious is that not one single Senator has the personal integrity to call out this complete and total sham, with over $5 billion of the American peoples’ money being redistributed to support the Democrats’ political and social ambitions.

Jaibones on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Wow, if that’s how we defined victory (the ratio of charges to convictions) virtually ever prosecutor would be a miserable failure. Seeing as they often throw as many charges as possible at a defendant to see what sticks. You knew that though, didn’t you?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The guy was convicted of blowing up the embassy but not of killing any of the 224 that were killed? You think that makes sense?

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Ulysses Grant once said:

I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.

In a similar spirit, I think Holder and Napolitano should stay right where they are. The American public should be forced to live with the consequences of what they did in November 2008. It’s the best assurance of sending Obama packing back to Hyde Park in January 2013.

Travis Bickle on November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Wow, if that’s how we defined victory (the ratio of charges to convictions) virtually ever prosecutor would be a miserable failure. Seeing as they often throw as many charges as possible at a defendant to see what sticks. You knew that though, didn’t you?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The guy was convicted of blowing up the embassy but not of killing any of the 224 that were killed? You think that makes sense?

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Not sure what you mean by “makes sense.” Could you be more specific?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

He didn’t call for Holder’s resignation, he backed into it while being prodded. What a pussy.

SurferDoc on November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

He didn’t call for Holder’s resignation, he agreed to it while being prodded. Another wimp.

SurferDoc on November 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Not sure what you mean by “makes sense.” Could you be more specific?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I think the jury caved to one lone juror that was not going to convict on anything. How do you blow up a building and 224 people die and you did not kill them. This was not a victory this was a lucky break. Next time maybe not. Clear?

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Pawlenty should not run for president.

SurferDoc on November 20, 2010 at 1:12 PM

This weak conviction, one out of 280, for “conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property”, is like convicting OJ Simpson only of littering for dropping one of his bloody gloves.

Holder is an idiot and an incompetent. Bammie should fire him, but he’s just as stupid. A narcissist like the Bamster, very insecure at his core, is not going to employ someone smarter than he is. Thus Biden, Holder, Napolitano, Sebelius, etc, etc.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

A narcissist like the Bamster, very insecure at his core, is not going to employ someone smarter than he is. Thus Biden, Holder, Napolitano, Sebelius, etc, etc.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Too bad for crr6 that she is so ‘smart’…

ladyingray on November 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM

T-PAW is goin’ Grizzly?

PappyD61 on November 20, 2010 at 1:21 PM

He’s a dufus candidate. I don’t care what he has to say.

And this is a silly thead. He is about as relevant has Jindal.

AnninCA on November 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM

I don’t care what the GOP inner politics are. The facts are the fact.

The entire political world was upturned with the midterms, including the GOP structure.

The fact is that we’re not interested in GOP supported types.

They are as bad as the Dems.

AnninCA on November 20, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Sure, but what difference will it make when the same man who appointed Holder will appoint his replacement.
The man who appointed Holder is the one who should resign.

JellyToast on November 20, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Wow, if that’s how we defined victory (the ratio of charges to convictions) virtually ever prosecutor would be a miserable failure. Seeing as they often throw as many charges as possible at a defendant to see what sticks. You knew that though, didn’t you?

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Cuz when serial killers are brought up on murder charges; they really hope they get em for jaywalking.

lorien1973 on November 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Just an opportunity crafted by Hewitt to polish beta-male Pawlenty’s ‘tough side’ persona. Real effort, and damage, will come after Jan 1, when new House Oversight and House Judiciary Cmtes swing into action. Holder won’t offer to resign and Obama won’t ask for a resignation. What happens afterwards is anyone’s guess.

Bob in VA on November 20, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Cuz when serial killers are brought up on murder charges; they really hope they get em for jaywalking.

lorien1973 on November 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM

That would probably be a good analogy if jaywalking were punishable with 20 years to life in prison. But it’s not so it isn’t.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

So did Pawlenty have anything to say before the trial verdict?

sharrukin on November 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM

It really is, though. They didn’t put this guy through the system to try and get a conspiracy conviction. They wanted him for the murder of those people. Unless you think they are going to spend time looking for the real killers now – since this guy is obviously not guilty.

lorien1973 on November 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

It really is, though. They didn’t put this guy through the system to try and get a conspiracy conviction. They wanted him for the murder of those people. Unless you think they are going to spend time looking for the real killers now – since this guy is obviously not guilty.

lorien1973 on November 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

No, that’s incorrect. Conspiracy to destroy government buildings was the reason the FBI first indicted him, and it was the main charge the prosecutors intended to convict him on. And it’s a very serious charge, unless you think 20 to life without the possibility of parole is something to sneeze at.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

And it’s a very serious charge, unless you think 20 to life without the possibility of parole is something to sneeze at.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Don’t worry too much. Your man Obaka will pardon him when he leaves office.

ladyingray on November 20, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Gosh I like Tim Pawlenty. He’s been an adequate – if occasionally frustrating – governor in my state.

But as Presidential material, I can’t help it. When he speaks, I just hear an impish, “Aw, shucks”.

Tim Pawlenty < Presidential Gravitas

IronDioPriest on November 20, 2010 at 2:16 PM

The only thing this does is make sure these trials will likely not happen again. Military Commissions will be used from now on. The troll can try to spin this any way he wants. The fact is this is a disaster for the idiot in chief and his naive view of world. I am sure the families of the victims are relieved to know he was convicted of conspiracy and will most likely get out of jail at some point.

Howcome on November 20, 2010 at 2:22 PM

So, for those of you with legal experience, with a conviction rate of 1/280 in the first trial, what are the odds that that one remaining charge will make it through appeal?

Nevermind grounds for appeal, -I think someone could write a book on that topic.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Not sure what you mean by “makes sense.”
crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Just beautiful, thanks for your candor.

ontherocks on November 20, 2010 at 2:27 PM

When you wind up with that kind of egg on your face, it’s customary to remove your embarrassing presence

Only if you’re familiar with the concept of “shame”. But when you’re as consumed with hubris as these people are, you don’t remove yourself, you identify a scapegoat. (see: Obama blames Bush, etc.)

oldleprechaun on November 20, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Conspiracy to destroy government buildings was the reason the FBI first indicted him, and it was the main charge the prosecutors intended to convict him on. And it’s a very serious charge, unless you think 20 to life without the possibility of parole is something to sneeze at.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Stop distracting people from the real issue. Your argument that twenty years is the best result belies the fact that Ghailani could have received an acquittal, and nearly did. This IS the failure of trying terrorists in a civilian court rather than the customary military tribunal.

Key evidence was suppressed in this civilian trial because it involved water-boarding. Only a scant few terrorists were actually water-boarded including KSM. The data uncovered from this sort of enhanced interrogation yielded critical information concerning al-Qaeda’s communication, targets, financing, recruitment, travel routes, and planned attacks.

The fact is that Barry and Holder’s decision to try Ghailani in civilian court clearly demonstrates their contempt for enhanced interrogation techniques, George Bush, our military, and America.

Ghailani’s trial was not a victory for the families of the more than two hundred people who were murdered. The trial was only a victory for other aspiring terrorists, who know now how light their punishment will be if they’re captured.

anXdem on November 20, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Stop distracting people from the real issue. Your argument that twenty years is the best result

20 years isn’t the best result. Life in prison is. That’s the statutory maximum sentence for the crime he was convicted of. You’re aware of that, right?

belies the fact that Ghailani could have received an acquittal, and nearly did. This IS the failure of trying terrorists in a civilian court rather than the customary military tribunal.

Not at all. He could have been acquitted in a military commission as well. That’s the risk you take when you give these guys any kind of process.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 2:47 PM

He could have been acquitted in a military commission as well. That’s the risk you take when you give these guys any kind of process.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Naturally, this is erroneous. In a military tribunal, Ghailani would have been found guilty on several more counts because critical evidence would not have been suppressed.

anXdem on November 20, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I COMPLETELY agree with Pawlenty.

Lourdes on November 20, 2010 at 3:13 PM

This is nothing. Holder, Obama, and Vilsack should all be removed from office for their parts in the Shadow Reparations bullshit that just went through the Senate.

The fact that it was unanimously approved is a whole different story and one that will have to be explained in public with great honesty.

The obvious is that both parties are terrified of the optics of voting against a financial award to racial minorities for past discrimination. The not-so-obvious is that not one single Senator has the personal integrity to call out this complete and total sham, with over $5 billion of the American peoples’ money being redistributed to support the Democrats’ political and social ambitions.

Jaibones on November 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Yes, Pigford. I’m stunned at this slip’n'slide, too.

Lourdes on November 20, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Naturally, this is erroneous. In a military tribunal, Ghailani would have been found guilty on several more counts because critical evidence would not have been suppressed.

anXdem on November 20, 2010 at 2:57 PM

That’s awfully presumptuous isn’t it? Even if we assume the confession were to be taken into account, that doesn’t mean the military judge would find it to be credible. After all, it was coerced by torture. I’m pretty sure I could get you to confess you quite a bit under pressure of water-boarding as well.

And remember the case of Bin Laden’s body guard, Hamdan? He was tried before a military commission, and he only received to a 5 1/2 year sentence. Are you happy with that?

In contrast here the guy’s gonna quite possibly get a life sentence in an open, legitimate civilian trial despite the fact that he was tortured, and there were absolutely no security issues with the trial. We should be proud of that, as Americans.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 3:18 PM

The guy was convicted of blowing up the embassy but not of killing any of the 224 that were killed? You think that makes sense?

VegasRick on November 20, 2010 at 1:04 PM

I guess the reasoning was that though they affirmed he was responsible for blowing up the embassy, that he thought he was making donuts or something.

It’s a senseless verdict. How he could not be found guilty of murder on any of those counts or so little as one is utterly senseless.

And Holder is incompetent as Attorney General. My impression is that there are many more like him in today’s Justice, as also the State Dept.

Lourdes on November 20, 2010 at 3:19 PM

That’s awfully presumptuous isn’t it? Even if we assume the confession were to be taken into account, that doesn’t mean the military judge would find it to be credible. After all, it was coerced by torture. I’m pretty sure I could get you to confess you quite a bit under pressure of water-boarding as well.

crr6 on November 20, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Nonsense, crr6, you little gremlin. What’s presumptuous is that you think you know absolutely everything, when you know squat. A military judge would likely find Ghailani’s admissions credible because the intel was confirmed and matched other circumstantial evidence.

As for what you deem as coercive torture otherwise known as enhanced interrogation, these techniques provide invaluable intelligence that we would probably not find through any other means. What we have learned through enhanced interrogation is some of the most salient intelligence ever–information that has saved thousands of lives.

Saving American lives isn’t what little crr6 thinks is important– She’s more concerned with the appearance of justice and placating terrorists in the pretense of fairness. War isn’t fair and neither are terrorists. Now, go back to school little gremlin.

anXdem on November 20, 2010 at 3:51 PM

He’s a dufus candidate. I don’t care what he has to say.

And this is a silly thead. He is about as relevant has Jindal.

AnninCA on November 20, 2010 at 1:27 PM

And we should care what you have to say…why?
///
T-Paw 2012!
(Jindal works too)

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2010 at 9:08 PM

The fact is that we’re not interested in GOP supported types.

They are as bad as the Dems.

AnninCA on November 20, 2010 at 1:29 PM

You can only speak for you…not we.

annoyinglittletwerp on November 20, 2010 at 9:09 PM

It’s not a good sign when my instinctive reaction to any Pawlenty thread is, “Who?”

Especially since I know who the guy is.

Cylor on November 22, 2010 at 5:17 AM