Eric Holder on Homeland Security
Now, Holder did not do a 180 on Snowden. He said that the massive leak of NSA documents had compromised US security for a time. And he said that Snowden should return to the United States and face charges. Then he could argue that the public service he performed should mitigate his legal transgressions.
Legally speaking, this position isn't any different from where everybody-- including Snowden himself--has been for a while. They differ, of course, on the details. The Justice Department (and entire intelligence community) would like to see Snowden serve a long sentence under harsh conditions.
"I would not think that that would be an appropriate use of any kind of lethal force," he said. This was an evasive response. Something can be "inappropriate without being "unconstitutional." Purposefully, Holder had not answered my question--so I tried again.
"With all due respect, General Holder, "I interjected, "my question wasn't about appropriateness."
Holder briefly complained about the nature of hypotheticals before again saying that "in that situation, the use of a drone or lethal force would not be appropriate."
Another evasion, so I tried a 3rd time. "You are unable to give a simple, one-word, one-syllable answer: no."
Only then did he say, with a heavy dose of exasperation, "Translate my 'inappropriate' to 'no'. I thought I was saying 'no.'"
While the trial may not be in the Big Apple, it looks certain that it will be in a civilian civil court. That is clearly Obama's and Holder's preference. But how can federal prosecutors use much of the evidence they have against Mohammed? He was not read his rights. It's unlikely that confessions were obtained pursuant to the constraints imposed by the Fifth Amendment.
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