Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Which Lawyer Came to Work Prepared?

If we taught in law school (a personal nightmare), we'd require first-year students to watch this exchange between Attorney General Eric Holder and Senator Lindsey Graham. Then we'd ask, Which attorney would you rather be? What makes that attorney different?

The obvious answers are "Graham," and "He seems to know what he's talking about, while Holder hasn't a clue about things that should be settled."

As in someone thought things through and did his homework, while someone else didn't.

How does the Attorney General of the United States go to a Senate committee hearing, having announced civilian trials for 9/11 conspirators, and not expect to be asked what he'd do with Bin Laden? How does the Justice Department not already have a plan for Bin Laden's disposition when he's captured?

Answers, to be applied multiply and randomly to the questions above: (1) They're making it up as they go. (2) They're focused on satisfying the editorial board of The Nation, not the Congress or the electorate. (3) Despite having campaigned on Bin Laden's noncapture, they have no means or desire to effect his capture.

We really think that Holder looks like he's in over his head in this exchange. Graham is deferential to his niceness, almost as if to say that he's sorry to expose the fact that he's not really up to the job.

We're trying not to imagine the confusion behind the scenes as Justice plays out its civilian show trials while intelligence agencies wonder what they'll have to do with the next bad guy who's captured.


Anonymous said...

I'd say it's a TV-caliber court drama. On the radio that day Graham elaborated much more on his last sentence in that video - the part about it being a perversion of justice that we would benefit terrorists who strike our homeland, or civilian targets, with greater constitutional rights than those who strike our military targets abroad. As if terrorists needed more incentive to attack civilians. It used to be that we debated whether to extend Geneva convention privileges to those who fought us outside the rules of war [dressed as civilians they attack our (and their!)civilians]... but now we will go further and extend them the benefit of a US criminal court, to the detriment of our intelligence services and justice itself?

Per Graham, Holder's "protocols" and logic would mean that if a U.S. Carnival cruise ship and U.S. naval vessel were both attacked on the same day in the same foreign port - we would try the terrorists differently based on the difference in targets, not similarly based on the one source of both attacks.


Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Dude, Carinval Cruises are the centerpiece of our democracy!

Anonymous said...

hmmm on the radio you say - that would have been the Sean Hannity show (not sure what's worse Eddie and Tracy or SH)! (Yes - to know this I would have listed too - but I digress)

I think we know where the annonymous Matt gets news......anyhoo Graham finally showed some teeth by speaking some logic. Only problem is most Carnival cruise ships aren't registered in the US (taxes, employee regulations, and other onerous such) so maybe a Delta flight to Santiago would have been a better example.

Anonymous said...

What can I say, 1% of the time Sean Hannity is better than everything else on the radio. This was squarely in that 1%.


Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Re Hannity: Even a blind pig finds the occasional acorn.

Bryan D said...

Indeed, pigs find ACORN all the time.

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