Attorney General Eric Holder maintained today that he favors plans to try suspected terrorists in traditional criminal courts, in spite of earlier indications he may be leaning toward holding the trials of self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other alleged plotters in military tribunals. The final decision is still “weeks away,” but Holder argued that criminal trials have been successful and “secure” in the past; in fact, it can be easier to get suspects to plead guilty in civilian courts, he said.
“They are tested … they are secure, we have tried these cases in a safe manner,” Holder told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “Our allies around the world support us in bringing these cases in (criminal) courts.”
As for Osama Bin Laden, he won’t see either kind of court, Holder said, claiming the Al Qaeda leader won’t be captured alive.
“Let’s deal with reality,” Holder said. “The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom … The possibility of catching him alive is infinitesimal. He will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people so he can’t be captured by us.”
Holder went on to compare bin Laden to, uh, Charles Manson, explaining that terrorists in court “have the same rights that Charles Manson would have, any other kind of mass murderer.”