Exhibit A of this might be Holder’s initial decision to hold 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial in federal court. But after political blowback, that appears almost certain to change to either a military trial or a civilian trial outside Manhattan.
The about-face came after months of defending the policy by the White House and the attorney general. Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee last November, “Failure is not an option.” That guarantee is impossible to make and contradicts the basis of the original decision of civilian trials to maintain the constitutional principle of innocent until proven guilty.
While there were indications that sending KSM back to a military court was part of a deal with Republicans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, Holder has yet to make a fi nal call on the trial’s venue.
Even New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer became frustrated with the delay, saying in April, “We know the administration is not going to hold the trial in New York. They should just say it already.”
In "Eric Holder: Whose Attorney General?" in the July issue of Townhall magazine, Fred Lucas examines the behavior Eric Holder, the DOJ and the staffers Holder and Obama have chosen to run the DOJ.
Here's an excerpt:
For those who issued the most dire warnings about Obama’s AG nomination, Holder has not disappointed. Aside from the KSM trial and commencing a probe of CIA interrogators, Holder defended his call to treat the Christmas Day bombing suspect as a “criminal.”Read the whole thing in the July issue.
“Neither advising Abdulmutallab of his Miranda rights nor granting him access to counsel prevents us from obtaining intelligence from him,” Holder wrote in a Feb. 3 letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky. “On the contrary, history shows that the federal justice system is an extremely effective tool for gathering intelligence.”
Most of this could have been foretold given Holder’s shaky history.
After serving as the No. 2 man in the Clinton Justice Department—where he played a defi ning role in the pardons of fugitive fi nancier Marc Rich and the FALN terrorists—Holder went on to be a senior partner in the powerful fi rm of Covington & Burling.
Covington & Burling’s website boasts of winning the “Beacon of Justice” award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association for its work defending Gitmo detainees. The fi rm has devoted more than 3,000 pro bono hours of legal work to 18 terrorism suspects at Gitmo, seeking to grant the detainees rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and under the Geneva conventions.
“Most of the men have been detained for approximately seven years. None have been charged with any crimes, and none have been accorded the protections of the Geneva Convention,” the Covington & Burling site says.
“In Boumediene v. Bush, 128 S. Ct. 2229 (2008), where we were co-counsel for 11 of the detainees, the Supreme Court held that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus extends to detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. Following that decision, we have been preparing for habeas corpus hearings to be held in federal district court Washington, D.C., for 11 of our clients,” it continues.
Thus, there should have been little surprise that the Holder Justice Department would be staffed by at least nine lawyers who have defended or advocated for jihadists in American courts.
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