Free Markets, Free People

Reason 2 why it is better we killed OBL than captured him

Short version?  Two words: Eric Holder.  Or one word if you prefer: circus.

Here’s Sen. Jeff Sessions questioning Holder yesterday trying to get a little clarity on a particular subject, i.e. if there is a presumption that terrorists would be tried in civilian courts:

“My question to you fundamentally is every law enforcement officer involved out there, every military person involved out there needs to know what the policy is,” Sessions said. “So, is the policy that they [captured terrorists] would presumptively be tried in civilian court?”

Holder, citing the president himself, said there is a presumption of that captured terrorists would be tried in civilian courts.

“As I said, the archived speech that the president made was that there is a presumption,” Holder said. “It is not an irrebutable presumption that cases go to the civilian court with regard to the Miranda issue, but I think we have demonstrated hundreds of times, hundreds of times, that we can get actionable intelligence, while at the same time prosecuting people in jail for really extended periods of time.”

Of course Holder leaves himself some wiggle room, but it is clear he holds civilian courts to be superior to military tribunals.  That, for some misbegotten reason, he believes justice can be best served in a civilian court regardless of any external concerns.  And finally, people who’ve committed an act of war against the United States deserve all the rights reserved for citizens of the United States, even if the act occurred out of the US and they’re not citizens (obviously I withdraw the point if they are US citizens committing acts of terror in the US – the point is our Constitution guarantees their rights – not any rights of foreign nationals committing acts of terror/war).

It makes absolutely no sense to me.  It demonstrates a bias that is both arrogant and dangerous.  It also has little to do with “justice”.  So, given that Holder is our AG and someone I have absolutely no confidence in legally or otherwise,  I certainly am glad, frankly, that a couple of rounds found their way into the cranium of OBL.  Imagine the three-ring-circus Holder and crew would have tried to put on had we captured him alive.

BTW, anyone know what “irrebutable” means?



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

25 Responses to Reason 2 why it is better we killed OBL than captured him

  • McQIt demonstrates a bias that is both arrogant and dangerous. 

    “Stupid” is the word I would use.  Just saying…

    The next questions for the Bagman should be:

    “OK, Mr. Attorney General.  Can you give me an example of ANYBODY who shouldn’t be tried in a US court?  What if GI’s had captured Hitler or Tojo?  What would you have had done with bin Laden assuming that he’d been captured?  And since – apparently – terrorists are to be given the same legal rights as US citizens, doesn’t that imply that the same standards for arrest should be followed?  Are you planning to investigate and possibly prosecute the SEAL who shot him for use of excessive force just as – I presume – you would for an FBI agent who shot an unarmed suspect during an arrest?  And what about that SEAL’s chain of command?  If he was ORDERED to kill bin Laden, isn’t that an illegal act that you should investigate and prosecute?”

    The BagmanI think we have demonstrated hundreds of times, hundreds of times, that we can get actionable intelligence, while at the same time prosecuting people in jail for really extended periods of time.

    I would suggest asking for examples, but this is one of those lovely cases where officials can hide behind the excuse that they can’t be specific because it would compromise an ongoing investigation or disclose methods or endanger sources or some such.  The Bagman could claim that we got bin Laden because we said “please” to a terrorist suspect and nobody could prove otherwise.


  • Regarding the UBL “mansion” …

    Asked why they had not checked out a building so close a major military facility the ISI said that the compound had actually been raided when the house was under construction in 2003 when the authorities believed an Al Qaeda operative Abu Faraj Al Libbi was there. On that occasion he escaped.

    … with a known Al Qaeda link

  • Not to hang this on Scott (Jacobs), but he suggested, facetiously I’m sure, that Osama was off learning to waterboard in an eastern European prison back at the start of this.
    I played along, not really believing that at first, but after some thought, realized he WOULD be more valuable for extracting information – let everyone think he’s dead, go through a quick burial at sea with a manikin or who knows what (pork products, as a twisted joke, comes to mind).  Still, I was pretty sure he was dead even if I don’t understand why that would be better than having him as an intelligence gold mine.
    Now, some twit is coming out with ‘anonymous’ intel that there was only 1 armed combatant killed during the raid.
    So now I’m FORCED to seriously consider why guys who I’d be afraid of if they were hog tied and weighted down would HAVE to kill a 54 year old guy who’s alleged to be suffering from kidney failure, who was reported (by OUR people for God’s sake) to be unarmed, who’s daughter claims he was taken alive and shot, and who it now turns out had hardly anyone AROUND him who was armed.   You see where this goes?
    I wasn’t in the room, I’m not the guys who flew into Pakistan, probably at tree top level, and overran a compound where it would be reasonable to expect they’d meet well armed resistance.   They might have been what I’ll refer to as “professionally tense”.   I can’t say I wouldn’t have popped him if he looked at me cross-eyed.  but the more info comes out on this, the more the story smells.
    As far as almost everybody in the compound being unarmed, I don’t care if they shot him and his buddies while they were dancing the Hora in Bart Simpson boxers.  They do what they’re told to do, that’s the nature of the beast, but someone better get the story straight and clamp down on these leaks pretty damned hard and fast or this is going to turn from a success into some weird worldwide moralization about unarmed enemies that makes it all akin to killing helpless puppies with a sledgehammer.
    Which, I suppose, given the demonstrated caliber of this administration, means that’s what will happen.  Talk about being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.   And while I think Bush would have handled this, properly, I thank God they can’t blame him,. at all, for what this is turning into.

    • “but someone better get the story straight”

      Sorry, wrong administration. Too late now. 

      “…or this is going to turn from a success into some wei…”

      Wrong tense. Like I said, too late now.

    • You aren’t the only one to have noticed (via AoSHQ):

      There is increasing concern in Washington that Jay Carney, the new White House Press Secretary, isn’t up to the job. Even when faced with an innocuous question that requires only that he trot out the official line, he looks completely stunned, as if the questioner is Bob Woodward asking him about Deep Throat.

      This is a pivotal moment in Barack Obama’s presidency, a moment when the eyes of the world are locked on Washington. In the global battle for hearts and minds, it is essential that the leader of the free world exudes an air of calm authority at this time. Yet the White House’s handling of the media in the aftermath of Sunday’s events has been breathtakingly amateurish, planting seeds of doubt about the legality of the operation and about Osama bin Laden’s death that would not otherwise be there. The constantly changing narrative – or “fact pattern”, as one White House official described it – suggests that the president and his advisers have been caught on the hop and have no clear strategy for dealing with the fallout from bin Laden’s death… [emphasis mine – dj505]

      And, if you’re interested in keeping score:

      Usually when governments use misinformation, they use it to make themselves look good.  The Obama Administration gets points for originality, insofar as it’s been using disinformation and misinformation to make itself look arbitrary, unlawful, helpless and stupid…

      The author then lists more than two dozen changes in “the story” since Sunday night.

      looker[W]hile I think Bush would have handled this, properly, I thank God they can’t blame him,. at all, for what this is turning into.

      Oh, give them time.  Cwissy Mathews and Olberdoofus and Joy Behar can blame ANYTHING on Bush (or Reagan, for that matter).

      And can imagine how this would be playing out if Bush HAD been in charge?  Quite aside from hysterical allegations of “war crimes” (“You MURDERED an unarmed man!  In front of his little daughter!  JUST BECAUSE HE TRIED TO KILL YOUR DADDY!  Er… JUST TO GET REELECTED!”), the conspiracy nuts would be coming out of the woodwork.  No praise for getting bin Fishfood; it would be non-stop “questions” about “DID we get him?  And can fire REALLY melt steel?”

    • Case in point about the helpless puppies –
      “British newspaper The Sun used the headline: ‘Bin Laden Unarmed – Just like his 9/11 and 7/7 victims’.

      Read more:

      I think the administration were so eager to get an approval bounce out of this – they let the story get out and out of control.

    • I can believe that their instructions probably guided their options.  If the order is to guarantee that Bin Laden is neutralized, then you have to consider prisoners can get free.  And when they first came across Bin Laden, could they consider the compound or the neighborhood secure and in control?  When you come across Bin Laden and you want to make sure the mission is completely successful while you have the upper hand, there’s only one guaranteed method to make the outcome certain.
      The issue I have is that if this was a kill mission, the administration knew what they were asking for.
      The question I have was he
      killed to ensure mission success.
      killed for revenge,
      killed as punishment for his crimes,
      or killed because it was politically expedient to not have to face the decision of trying him in publicly or not?
      The first, I can get behind.  I can get behind the 2nd because its honest.  The third makes a mockery of systems of justice by throwing the book out the window and lying about it.  The fourth, I can’t get behind.

  • Of course all those terrorists would never try to interfere with a trial of OBL, that would be illegal. I would love to see Holder try to empanel a jury in that trial. The mind boggles. Naturally, suicide bombers should be tried by suicide judges, suicide prosecuters, and suicide jurors.

  • The spoils of war …

    Still, the administration is in a strange position — not one I would have anticipated.  And not one the administration would have anticipated either, I reckon:

    A strand of the left wing insisting that OBL should have been arrested or at least killed resisting arrest for the sake of good legal form;
    a strand of the right wing crying vindication for enhanced interrogation techniques and, it desperately hopes, crucial information obtained through waterboarding; and
    a middle wing, including most of the left and right and in-between, looking at where OBL was living in Pakistan and among whom, and thinking, WTF?

    … or is that spoiled by war ?

  • “BTW, anyone know what “irrebutable” means?”
    You misunderestimated your authority on this – you’re only allowed to make fun of made up words if Bush uses them, but my guess, as I’m sure yours is, is that it’s intended in that context to work like “irrefutable” or “inarguable” would.
    Trust me, no one will compile a list of Holderism’s and put them in Wikipedia like they did for Bush, that would racist and wrong.

    • “BTW, anyone know what “irrebutable” means?” ”

      Nah, but it sounds cool.

      Thats going to be running through my mind for awhile.

      • Methinks “irrebutable” is the status of Eric Holder’s “race card”

  • I wish I had time to do the idea of a civilian trial of OBL justice.

    The first thing the prosecutor would do would be to move for a change of venue to an undisclosed location. This would probably revive the NASA budget. In order to pay for the security for this trial, Congress would have to raise the debt limit.


  • “BTW, anyone know what “irrebutable” means?”
    I think it’s pronounced with the u long and is a rubber material used in the production of hose.
    Or, maybe not…

  • I’m getting in a little late for the bin Laden post-shoot party. Here’s my take:

    1. When I heard the news that bin Laden had been located and was dead, I had almost no reaction at all. Mild surprise and a sense that this was old news because the whole show had moved on pretty much without him. Had no immediate regrets that he was dead as opposed to captured. Heard the term “fire fight,” and thought that it must have been a serious shoot-out, and was happy that none of our lads had been killed.

    2. Next I hear that Obama is coming out for a late night speech about it, and I shrugged that off. I’d get the details next morning. I try to avoid listening to him and didn’t care to see him speak on this matter anyway.

    3. Next couple of days the details start to assemble themselves, and the story starts to change. I see that guy Brennan, who I wouldn’t let within 500 feet of a serious game of volleyball, hanging around making this or that pronouncement and I have just the slightest feeling of queasiness about the operation. Though certainly nothing but high appreciation for the SEALS.

    4. Eventually the story becomes that bin Laden did not resist and was not armed, and it’s pretty clear that the lads went in with a kill order. That was the order going in, or so it seemed. In any case, it was not an order to bring him back alive.

    5. Then I’m thinking that there are important questions he needed to provide answers, which were likely only in his head, and that even KSM probably didn’t have. Like, “Do you have Saudi collaborators in and outside of the Kingdom’s government and if so who are they? Then, same basic question on Pakistan. Then, what operations have you authorized in the past and what’s in the pipeline? Name the principals, the financial backers, the banks and institutions involved. What’s your relationship with the Russians? Ditto the Chinese. Ditto on any Europeans. And so on.

    6. Then I’m thinking that since this was a top-secret op at the very tip-top highest level of secrecy, what’s our (the U.S.) advantage of blabbing about it within hours? How’s that helping us? But if you do handle it that way, then maybe that is what actually necessitates the kill order, because you don’t want the problem of the living Obama on the board when you run your PR routine. This is a time for aggrandizing the President, and showing him to be the Great Helmsman in the War on Terror, not a time to seek the best national security advantage. I’m thinking, a good solid 90 days of interrogation, then maybe a secret tribunal, then the execution, then a month after all that is done, you announce it. But then, you know, it’s really not fresh produce; it’s the frozen stuff. So, the political value is greatly reduced, no?

    So, that’s what I saw around this. But remember, I didn’t have too great of a reaction to the news in the first place. So maybe I was at the wrong end of the focus group.

    Though, in the past I’ve said that these sort of ops are the real meat of the counter-asymmetrical warfare effort that we call the War on Terror, and it’s nice to see one half-recognized, even if the way the policy osgoods handled it was bullcrap up and down.

    Imagine if we could comb through the details from ten thousand similar operations.

    • Hah. That should have been “…you don’t want the problem of the living Osama on the board…” I guess everyone has been making that mistake.

  • Hoist on their own petard comes to mind. I think this another case of suddenly discovering that the club you used on the Bush Administration is now being wielded by your own allies. At least potentially. And further discovering that 90% of the population of the country never bought into the idea that unlawful combatants deserved anything more than a drumhead court martial and 5.56mm justice.
    Maybe that’s too cynical. Maybe there are some people who really buy into the idea that giving unlawful combatants the same rights as an American is a way for us to demonstrate how much better we are. Sadly, historically, how we handled this type of problem under the military legal system has never been seriously questioned. I suppose you could make the case that the German saboteurs were railroaded by FDR, but they had a trial and an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The same court that approved FDR’s incarceration of Japanese aliens and their native born progeny.
    In part, I blame the Bush Administration for failing to move forward expeditiously in setting up and conducting military trials. The sad fact is they took counsel of their fears and ceded the initiative to the Eric Holder’s that populate the legal profession.

  • I can just imagine UBL’s lawyer asking for a change of venue  …  to Afghanistan

    • Yep, and now he can ask they change it from the Arabian Sea to the “Martyr’s Sea”.

  • Wow, this administration took a clear and decisive victory and turned it into a clusterfark.

    Not releasing the photos
    Suddenly changing stories  (and I don’t care of they went in with a kill order or not.  Just pick one thing and stick with it!)
    The “iconic” situation room photo is bosh – it turns out they weren’t watching the raid.

    Dummies.  Scored a goal……then turned around and scored an own goal.

    • “Iconic”
      Well, you know, it is, like everything else in this administration – phony.

  • So, is benlayin’low dead or not? I mean, I don’t trust a thing Obama says…why should I? So, what have we got?

    • I’ve convinced myself he’s 90% dead, with a 10% chance of learning to waterboard.   I like either option.
      I don’t think Obama has the ‘steely eyed’ in him to knowingly go with the waterboard option, and they certainly couldn’t tell Biden, because he’d talk about what a great opportunity Bin Laden was getting to see Poland or Romania.   And Holder would just spend night after night in anguish thinking of some poor non-white guy being punished unjustly, so it’s best for him not to know at all.
      Now, I can see Panetta and Clinton putting him under a bag and throwing him in a cell, in a heartbeat.
      One way or another, you can be comfortable that Bin Laden is no longer breathing free air.

      • “I’ve convinced myself he’s 90% dead,”

        Perhaps, like Schrodinger’s cat, he is both alive and dead. I don’t really care as long as he stays in the dam box.

  • Hope those computers are plush with intel, because if there’s a meaningful 10th anniversary plot for 9/11, we may have killed our best lead to stop it.
    Maybe it isn’t the base they are afraid of pissing off by admitting it wasn’t an arrest mission.