What Rights Does Osama Get?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 18, 2008 10:01 PM
Barack Obama is worried about how to bring Osama bin Laden to justice without his becoming a "martyr."  He also had this to say:

"First of all, I think there is an executive order out on Osama bin Laden's head.  And if I'm president, and we have the opportunity to capture him, we may not be able to capture him alive."

Isn't that statement inconsistent with his concern about how to try bin Laden?  After all, if a trial offering a full panoply of rights is necessary to avoid the mantle of martyrdom being draped across Osama's shoulders, wouldn't outright killing him be even worse?

All this is pretty reminiscent of Howard Dean's willingness back in '03 to extend the presumption of innocence to Osama

So here are two questions for Barack:

(1) If he were elected, would be amend the "executive order out on Osama bin Laden's head" so that the terrorist could only be captured, and not killed?
(2) Does Barack -- as Howard Dean did -- believe that bin Laden should be presumed innocent until proven guilty?

Oh, and here's one more: How scary is it that we even have to ask about these things?