Not the first time he’s whiffed on an Osama interrogation hypothetical. Graham tossed one at him last November and Holder’s reply was to say that we have enough evidence on Bin Laden already that questioning him wouldn’t be a make-or-break thing. Which is both stupid and revealing insofar as it shows what he thinks the point is of interrogating detainees, but not so stupid that other top Democrats wouldn’t parrot the same line. Five months later, he’s learned enough about this game to simply duck when the pitch is thrown:
Attorney General Eric Holder told a congressional panel Tuesday that the question of reading Osama bin Laden his Miranda rights is absurd – because he won’t be brought in alive.
“Let’s deal with reality,” Holder said. “You’re talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. We will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s the reality….He will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people, so he’s not captured by us. We know that.”
And there you have it. No need to seriously plan for this explosive situation involving the world’s most wanted terrorist since it’s an absolute metaphysical impossibility. Just like a true ticking bomb scenario is an absolute impossibility, just like deriving useful intelligence from enhanced interrogation is an absolute impossibility. In counterterrorism as in health-care policy, there are no truly tough trade-offs to be found if you simply follow the leftist line. ObamaCare will not only accomplish a major policy goal, it’ll actually improve centrist Democrats’ chances in November. Civilian trials and a total ban on coercive interrogation are not only truer to due process, they cost precisely nothing in terms of intelligence lost. No dilemmas. Must be nice.
Actually, here’s the best soundbite from today’s hearing:
Holder also defended the FBI’s handling of Christmas Day bombing suspect Omar Abdulmutallab and said the interrogation that took place before he was read Miranda rights was extensive.
“I’ve heard a lot said that he was only questioned for 50 minutes. That’s a fairly long period of time,” Holder said. “If you look at the report of interview of what was gotten from him in 50 minutes—an hour, there was pretty substantial amount of information gotten from him.”
Makes sense. If we don’t really need to interrogate Bin Laden at all, why would we need more than an hour with some low-level grunt like Abdulmutallab?
I’ll leave you with this clip from the same hearing of Holder fielding yet another Bin Laden query while looking constipated.
Update: Since he’s unwilling to answer the Osama question in a straightforward way, let me pinch hit. If we did capture him and he refused to talk, this is what would happen. With full assurances from the country to which he sent him, of course, that he’d be treated with all appropriate humane protocols. Wink.