Attorney General Eric Holder visited Capitol Hill yesterday for what sounds like mostly unpleasant exchanges with Republican congressmen.
Holder said the Justice Department was weeks, not months, from making a decision over where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried. Many Republicans are pushing for a military tribunal, which would go against Holder’s original decision that the alleged 9-11 mastermind face a jury in the Southern District of New York.
The Blog of The Legal Times has full coverage of the hearing, including this testy back-and-forth: …Holder said that, if the government were to try Osama bin Laden in a civilian courtroom, then bin Laden would have rights equivalent to those granted a murder like Charles Manson. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) pounced on the statement, telling Holder, “You are clothing Osama bin Laden with the protections of the U.S. Constitution.”
Holder replied that he was speaking hypothetically, and he promised bin Laden’s head. “The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s a reality,” Holder said.
Rep. Frank Wolf — the one who wrote Holder a letter saying that, “the decision to allow attorneys who advocated for terrorists held at Guantanamo to craft detainee policy during the war on terror would be akin to allowing attorneys for the Mafia to draft organised crime policy during the 1960s” — also complained Holder’s office had not been responsive enough to his questions.
Holder said he believed they responded to all of them, which is much more generous than the majority of attorneys — on the left or the right — would have been.
Wolf and others, including Liz Cheney, have received a massive amount of criticism for their harsh words about lawyers, including many a BigLaw lawyer, who did pro bono work on behalf of Guantanamo detainees.
Read the BLT’s full report here.
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