Saturday, May 07, 2011


Andrew McCarthy for Attorney General

My memory of the quality of our attorney generals during the near 58 years I've lived is spotty at best. Janet Reno was horrible, making up from whole cloth an unspecified imminent danger to the children in the Branch Davidian compound to justify a poorly planned assault thereon which resulted in the burning to death of, well, all the children she said she was trying to save. But there may have been worse ones in the 60s or 70s. Ramsey Clark couldn't have been any great shakes. Still, for general horribleness, it is difficult to think of a worse attorney general than Eric Holder.

The left cried a river when the second Bush Administration got rid of a handful of US Attorneys, saying he was politicizing the Justice Department. President Clinton fired all of the US Attorneys but of course, as a Democrat, he was held to a different standard. As Al Jolson used to say: You ain't seen nothing, yet. Under Holder, the Justice Department has become nearly fully politicized--the race based decisions to forego prosecution of the New Black Panthers and other voting act violations (by blacks); the decision not to prosecute Islamic money gatherers for Jihadists; the decision to give full, citizen like protection to those waging war as illegal combatants, and the witch hunt against CIA interrogators, who should be receiving medals, are just the lowlights of the myriad, idiot decisions by Mr. Holder.

I wrote yesterday about Holder's inability to see the war footing nose on the front of his face. Andrew McCarthy writes today about how fully foolish our current AG is. Behold:

In 2004, Mr. Holder chose to file an amicus brief on behalf of Jose Padilla, the al-Qaeda terrorist sent to our country by bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to carry out a post-9/11 second wave of attacks. In the brief, Holder argued that a commander-in-chief lacks the constitutional authority to do what his boss, the current commander-in-chief, has just done: determine the parameters of the battlefield. By Holder’s lights — at least when the president is not named Obama — an al-Qaeda terrorist must be treated as a criminal defendant, not an enemy combatant, unless he is encountered on a traditional battlefield.

The more-rights-for-illegal-combatants crowd seems to think that unless Congress uses the words "declare" and "war" back to back, it is powerless to authorize military force. The Constitution, unfortunately, did not come with forms for Congress to use. I submit, as Mr. McCarthy does, that an authorization to use military force declares war just as effectively as an honest to God declaration. You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think. As an antidote for Holder's failure to grasp the bloody obvious, here's more of the rigorous logic of Mr. McCarthy:

But hold on: Bin Laden was not confronted on a battlefield. Nor was he, like Admiral Yamamoto, in an aircraft, which theoretically can be a military asset — or even used as a missile, as al-Qaeda has demonstrated. To the contrary, al-Qaeda’s emir was targeted in a residential neighborhood. Though he had some bodyguards, he was in the company of noncombatant women and children.

For most Americans, that does not detract at all from the legitimacy of bin Laden’s killing. This enemy has declared a global jihad against the United States. Al-Qaeda reserves to itself the prerogative to turn any place of its choosing into a battlefield. In fact, it would be perilous not to assume, when encountering al-Qaeda operatives, that this is exactly what they are up to. Their m.o., after all, is to target civilians for mass murder and to hide among civilians in order to frustrate retaliatory strikes. Consequently, it should make no difference that bin Laden was not found on a traditional battlefield — that he was in a residential compound inside a country with which the United States is not at war.

Nevertheless, what is not a problem for most Americans is a problem for Mr. Holder — at least if we’re talking about Eric Holder the prominent Democratic lawyer who filed the Padilla amicus brief, an action that he failed to disclose to the Senate during his confirmation process.

The idea is not to reward those who flaunt the few rules of war that civilized nations agree exist, by treating them the same as those who follow the rules and, worse, by giving them more rights than POWs. A blind man can see the wisdom of summary execution (after thorough interrogation) of illegal combatants. There is none so blind...

Fortunately, Mr. McCarthy chooses to see things as they are.

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Jose Padilla is an American Citizen. You are aware of due process, no? The Constitution? The Fifth Amendment? Innocent until proven guilty? That all rings a bell, correct? Just because the President says he's a terrorist, doesn't make it true.
Hans Haupt, American citizen, executed August 8, 1942 after a military tribunal. Absolutely fine per our Supreme Court. See Ex Parte Quirin. Just because you're a citizen doesn't mean we can't put you to death for being an illegal combatant with no trial at all. Of course 5th amendment, innocent until proven guilty, due process etc. all apply but the commander in chief can provide all that with a tribunal. As you'll see soon for Jihadi non-citizens.
I don't remember there being a tribunal for him. Unless it happened in secret? Is that how they work?
Who do you mean by "him"? Padilla? He got a trial on charges that did not involve national security sources and methods. If by him you meant Haupt, he got a military tribunal within weeks of his capture. Unless you are making a joke here. The tribunals can be in secret if a public one would jeopardize methods and sources. Part of their charm.
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