Thursday, November 19, 2009

Law & Order

Lindsey Graham is not on anyone's list of great Republicans, but when he is on, he is good. His grilling of Eric Holder has received praise far and wide, and justifiably so. Of course, it helped that Holder was completely unprepared, no doubt because he has been self-marinating in his self-righteousness since 2002. Graham wasn't even trying very hard, yet Holder could not answer without stammering and leaving uncomfortable pauses in his responses. Even Janet Reno was more on the ball than this guy:

Ann Althouse: Lindsey Graham Devastates Eric Holder
Holder imagines that he can hide inside that "thoughtful" routine that Obama so often relies on, but it is utterly pathetic here. Either he knows damned well what he's doing and he's lying or he's outrageously unqualified for his job. His evasive style is so similar to Obama's that he makes Obama look worse.

Can you imagine any other context in which the President of the United States would assure the public that a criminal defendant is guilty; that he will be convicted by a jury; and that he will be executed? Such comments make a mockery of the "rule of law" as normally understood.

It's true, of course, that Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are obviously guilty of the terrorist attacks of which they proudly boast. We don't need a judge and jury to tell us this. In my view, we would be amply justified in simply shooting them.

But if only one jury verdict is acceptable; if the President is willing to assure the American people of conviction; if acquittal or a hung jury is "not an option;" if, assuming such a result, the defendant would be returned to prison anyway--then it is ridiculous to say that we are going through this charade in order to "vindicate the rule of law."

Perhaps the best was Andrew McCarthy, who noted that Holder's old law firm was among the gold rush of pro bono lawyers flying down to GITMO to engage in lawfare for no better reason than to get back at Bush: Justice Delayed
Of all the infuriating aspects of the decision to transfer five 9/11 war criminals to civilian federal court, the one that grates most is the contention that the Obama administration is finally moving forward after “eight years of delay” — as Attorney General Eric Holder put it at his Friday press conference — during which the Bush administration managed to complete only three military-commission trials.

This is chutzpah writ large. The principal reason there were so few military trials is the tireless campaign conducted by leftist lawyers to derail military tribunals by challenging them in the courts. Many of those lawyers are now working for the Obama Justice Department. That includes Holder, whose firm, Covington & Burling, volunteered its services to at least 18 of America’s enemies in lawsuits they brought against the American people. (During 2007 alone, Covington contributed more than 3,000 hours of free, top-flight legal assistance to our enemy detainees.)

All of this makes the acute embarrassment of watching Chuck Schumer torment Alberto Gonzalez a little more easy to bear.

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