Reality takes an unreal shape

In a post called “Is Eric Holder a Dope?,” we noted a colloquy between Attorney General Holder and Rep. John Culberson in which Holder testifed that Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson are comparable people, at least to the extent that they both have “the right to go before a jury [and] get the acts that [they are] charged with proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Holder went on to downplay the practical consequences of his position, telling Culberson:

Let’s deal with reality. You’re talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. 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.

But, as John noted in an update to the post, General McChrystal says it’s the military’s goal to capture bin Laden alive. And with good reason. Bin Laden may well remain actively engaged in plotting attacks against the U.S. and others. In all likelihood, he also possesses valuable information about terrorist networks. Thus, killing him, when capturing and interrogating him is an alternative, would be a grossly irresponsible act.
But, it is also the natural outgrowth of this administration’s policy on dealing with detainees. Obama and Holder view detainees as a problem — where do we house them; do foreigners like how we treat them — not as part of the solution — an invaluable source of information with which to combat terrorism and terrorists.
Moreover, the Obama administration’s policy on interrogating terrorists reinforces its inability to see detainees as part of the solution. The less harshly we are allowed to question them, the less value they have.
Thus, Holder’s odd and irreponsible position that, realistically, we will never capture bin Laden isn’t just an escape hatch to tough questions from a congressman. It is the logical consequence of administration policy. Unfortunately, as Gen. McChrystal’s reaction shows, it is an illogical approach to keeping America safe.
If it matters, Holder’s gymnastics are also an illogical escape hatch. If Holder wants to kill, rather than capture, bin Laden under all circumstances, then bin Laden can’t be comparable to Charles Manson, a criminal we would (and did) capture.
Holder appears to be deeming bin Laden entitled to a jury trial that he guarantees we will prevent. And he does so while admonishing us to “deal with reality.” The Democrats are giving reality an unreal shape these days.

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