“That’s a hypothetical. I’m not sure it’s particularly relevant,” Holder said in response to a question from Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.)....The failure to answer speaks for itself. To me, it says that he considers it wrong/illegal but wants it done anyway. Wants it done, but doesn't want to be the one to say "do it."
“I think it’s fair to ask, since you opposed a military trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whether you would have opposed a military trial for Osama bin Laden,” Lungren said.
Again declining to answer, Holder said that his position on military tribunals has often been mischaracterized. He noted that, on the same day in November 2009 that he announced a civilian trial for Mohammed, he announced that five other detainees would get military trials.
“I think our military commissions, especially since they’ve been modified, are constitutional and can give fair trials,” he said.
Holder also pushed back against another line of questioning from Lungren, about whether information provided by detainees who underwent “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding contributed to finding bin Laden. Holder said there was “a mosaic of sources” of intelligence, and he did not go into details.
ADDED: Let's remember that last month, after Obama announced that KSM would be tried before a military commission in Guantanamo, that Eric Holder was adamant about the correctness of his original decision to try him in federal court in Manhattan. He blamed Congress for making it impossible to do that, and he basically stomped out of the room when asked about it.
And in March, 2010, Holder avoided the question of how he'd deal with a captured bin Laden: "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." Pushed, he got angry:
When Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.) said that if Bin Laden himself were arrested, it would be absurd to give him the same due process afforded Manson, Holder erupted.So... was bin Laden shot because he resisted — the official story — or because a live, captured bin Laden would have torn the Obama administration apart?
Charges he coddles terrorists get his "blood boiling," the attorney general conceded....
Holder repeated - slowly - to the Texas congressman that "the possibility simply does not exist" that Bin Laden will ever be arraigned in any court....
"The possibility of capturing him alive is infinitesimal - he will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people," Holder said.