Saturday, November 21, 2009

More from the Holder Testimony

Questions, questions, questions. Tom Maguire's question about whether there are any DOJ lawyers left to prosecute KSM and crew based on their prior pro bono work on behalf of said terrorists is certainly a good one and was not well answered by Holder at the hearings.

From that same testimony, the AG said he will 'consider' giving Senator Grassley the names of all the recused lawyers within DOJ that were formerly trying to obtain civil rights for the terrorists. Considering? What happened to the Obama sunshine?

Here's Senator Hatch asking whether how discovery might work if KSM decides to be his own lawyer. Holder said there were protections. He later called Andy McCarthy, who has made the contention that a list of unindicted co-conspirators ended up in bin Laden's hands as a result of discovery in the Abdel Rahman case, a "polemicist". McCarthy responds.

Senator Coburn asked why the killing of the Arkansas Army recruiter wasn't a hate crime. That begs the question of why all terrorist crimes aren't hate crimes, and whether the hate crime attachment would actually produce a stronger sentence in a standard murder case versus not having it attached during a terrorist case. Surely a lawyer/prosecutor could answer that, it's just a bit perplexing.

Finally, Benedict Specter asked Holder to explain his distinction between choosing civilian courts versus tribunals, to which Holder offered a slightly better answer than he did with Kyl. The AG who once said Americans were race cowards suggested his decisions are based on the level of interrogation (but never torture!), which affects admissibility, along with apparently some magic dust thrown over the right should onto a paper target. OK, the last past was editorial license.

Anyway, a worry over admissibility may answer the question of why al-Nashiri is being tried in a commission since he was already under indictment prior ot 9/11 and before they applied the waterboard. The case is supposedly weaker, presumably relying on evidence gathered during the Clinton (and Holder) years, so perhaps it will struggle to get media coverage with the KSM case blaring on simultaneously. Not that politics would ever factor in, mind you.

Ironically KSM was also under indictment since about 1995, and the government even lost a chance to nab him in Qatar in 1995. Neither of those items sound like a winner on the nightly news, assuming they would make news.

Holder kept going back to explaining his distinctions by mentioning his super top secret evidence on KSM, which will negate the loss of tortured confessions. What is it, Bojinka? Stuff from nephew Ramzi's laptop? Maybe, but that wouldn't necessarily satisfy the public's demand for vengeance over the 9/11 attacks. How about his confession to al-Jazeera:
Summoning every thread of experience and courage, I looked Khalid in the eye and asked: "Did you do it?" The reference to September 11 was implicit. Khalid responded with little fanfare: "I am the head of the al-Qaida military committee," he began, "and Ramzi is the coordinator of the Holy Tuesday operation. And yes, we did it."
Again though, that doesn't have any political bombshell to it. He's already denied some of it. So if this is about politics there has to be something bigger and more damaging to the previous administration with 2010 coming up.


Debbie said...

I want to know what this "other evidence" is that Holder says he has seen, that apparently no one else has seen, that will guarantee a conviction. Something smells....

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

Yep. It can't be open source from his era at Justice during the 90s, that's too obvious. And if it can't be from his confessions, then it's something picked up between 2001-2003.

One thing that might be worrisome for the right -- Cheney has gone silent.