Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vaporizes Att. Gen. Eric Holder

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hasn’t been one of my favorite US Senators (though he is pro-life).

This moment, however, deserves attention.

Watch the Senator vaporizes Attorney General Eric Holder in hearing.  The Senator asks the Attorney General about the federal prosecution of terrorists as if they were criminals. 

This heat up about 2 minutes in and the whole thing is about 9 minutes long, you don’t have to pay much attention after Holder tries to rebut.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTmLKUT817Y]

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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30 Responses to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vaporizes Att. Gen. Eric Holder

  1. Thank you, Father, for this great piece. I heard it live on Public Radio yesterday morning but it seems the media is squelching it. Your readers should know that Sen. Graham is also a military attorney in the Reserves so he knows of what he speaks. You are on the ball, Padre! (my apologies if this comes across as condescending).

  2. Jack Hughes says:

    Sen. Graham ripped holder to pieces, is this the best guy that your president can get for attorney general?

  3. Stu says:

    The Attorney General comes across as completely unqualified for the job.

  4. EXCHIEF says:

    Holder (with obvious support from Obama) has made a huge mistake which will jeopardise national security,the safety of government operatives, and may well lead to a dismissal of charges against KSM. Forcing enemy combatants historically tried in military courts into civilian criminal courts is a terrible precedent. It will result in impossible legal requirements being forced onto the battlefield. For two lawyers (Holder and BO) to make such a decision, knowing the consequences as they must, cannot be dismissed as an accident or stupid mistake. This was intentional and–sorry for the conspiracy theory–might be a way of appeasing the Islamic world and forcing the trial into a “world court”. If the later occurs BO gets the best of both world’s–an excuse for why KSM was not found guilty in the USA and a means of having a third party court indict members of the previous administration for “war crimes”.

    I could go on forever on this subject but won’t. Suffice it to say that this is just one more indication of the corruption and evil of this administration and one more reason why BO is completely unqualified to serve as commander in chief.

  5. wmeyer says:

    With all respect, from 4 minute in to about 6 minutes in, Sen. Graham gives Holder a valuable education. Sen. Graham is the clearest and strongest voice I have heard on why the Guantanamo detainees should never be transferred to civilian courts.

  6. chironomo says:

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a “bungled decision” on the part of the administration. The outcome that we (and Sen. Graham) fear is the very outcome that they desire. The intention is to bring all of the national dirty laundry out in trial. They see terrorism as a sort of “really severe vandalism” that should be prosecuted as a criminal act.

  7. James Locke says:

    My mind just exploded. I am taking a class on international law and we discussed this at length and we concluded that the trying of KSM was a terrible mistake for the same exact reasoning that Sen Graham gives. I am shocked to see a non-political, essentially perfect argument such as this in the senate. I have such a great respect for senator graham right now and am moved to tears by this. we water-boarded KSM 187 times and according to national law none of the information he gave can be used in court and in fact, the entire case can be thrown out based on that alone. there needs to be a unity between our theory and practice, between what we say and what we do. I hope this farce of a trail is given up and he is sent into a military court where he should be tried.

  8. Nan says:

    James Locke, I recently attended a presentation by a former CIA attorney and my understanding is that the information obtained via waterboarding has nothing to do with the WTC but rather was related to other matters; KSM confessed to being the 9/11 mastermind without waterboarding so moot point anyway.

    However, I fully expect another presentation by the same attorney now that this idiocy has taken place.

  9. JMody says:

    Stu — makes him look unqualified? If the shoe fits …

  10. Geremia says:

    At 1:04 min., an allusion to Particular Judgment? “He will get his day… he will meet justice.”

  11. nasman2 says:

    Holder’s problem is he thinks the military has no right to interrogate terrorists. He kept mentioning that we already have a case against Bin Ladin. No kidding? That must be why we’re trying to kill him everyday. When captured, I can guarantee you the military will be interrogating him solely to find out what his next move against the United States will be, just as they did to KSM and to good effect. These terrorist’s day in ‘court’ was the declaration of war against them by Congress. Why is it that Holder can’t see we are way beyond courts? The real question is what do we do with these terrorists? Anytime I hear someone say constitutional rights apply to these combatants, I sadly shake my head.

  12. isabella says:

    Classic “deer in the headlights” at 2:39. Did Holder really not see what was coming almost as soon as Senator Graham started talking? How did he ever get a law degree? The aides behind the senator were LOL as he began to shred Holder.

    He’s a useless excuse for an AG but still worth watching because of the effort to have peaceful prayer outside abortion clinics redefined as terrorism. I’ve heard some fellow students call us “freaks and terrorists”, so it was comforting to see the guy can’t think on his feet (as far as that issue goes, anyway).

  13. Melody says:

    That was win.

  14. This will be one of the greatest miscalculations of the Obama presidency. In an effort to destroy the reputation of the previous administration they will air all the info on torture. (NB: as a Catholic, I am totally opposed to torture). Pres. Obama and co. believe that most Americans will be disturbed by the revelation that we did some evil things to some very evil men. It is here that he makes a fatal mistake: Very few Americans will care. Most Americans are proportionalists at heart. If doing bad things to very bad men helps us catch other very bad men, Americans are okay with that. If the charges are thrown out, well then, the Obama administration is totally finished. They (and the MSM) will stand there proclaiming, “Didn’t you see all the TORTURE?” And Americans will respond, “You let him GO FREE?”

    We saw a smaller version of this sort of miscalculation with the attempt to get the Olympics. By getting involved Obama had not much to gain, but very much to lose. So it is here. I am amazed at the incompetence of the Obama advisory team. Even a smart advisor who wants to see the former administration indicted, would advise against this trial because of the potential backlash.

  15. Lynne says:


    With all respect, from 4 minute in to about 6 minutes in, Sen. Graham gives Holder a valuable education. Sen. Graham is the clearest and strongest voice I have heard on why the Guantanamo detainees should never be transferred to civilian courts.
    Comment by wmeyer — 19 November 2009 @ 9:13 pm

    I was hoping to hear applause at that point…

  16. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Unfortunately, Senator Graham doesn’t realize that we would also make “sad history” if we never tried these people and just held them indefinitely. It is a blatant disregard for the basic rights of humans, even those who have done such perverse things, as to be almost unthinkabele.

    Consider this. If they truly are guilty of committing some act, they should be able to be convicted of it in court (military or civilian) and punished appropriately. If they aren’t guilty (or even if we cannot prove their guilt), we are holding an innocent man in prison, no matter what your emotions tell you. Just because we are being told these men are terrorists, these men were involved in 9/11 or this bombing or that bombing, doesn’t mean they were. These are informal charges, but charges none the less, and the men should be able to defend themselves against them.

  17. chcrix says:

    Thank you Salvatore.

    The country is in a pickle of the government’s making (from more than one perspective). Unpopular as it may be, Chalmers Johnson’s expression “Blowback” is THE story of the last 10 years.

  18. robtbrown says:

    Unfortunately, Senator Graham doesn’t realize that we would also make “sad history” if we never tried these people and just held them indefinitely. It is a blatant disregard for the basic rights of humans, even those who have done such perverse things, as to be almost unthinkabele.

    I think that’s incorrect. First, war allows for detention of prisoners until the end of the war. Second, these matters can be disposed of in military courts.

    Consider this. If they truly are guilty of committing some act, they should be able to be convicted of it in court (military or civilian) and punished appropriately.

    If they aren’t guilty (or even if we cannot prove their guilt), we are holding an innocent man in prison, no matter what your emotions tell you. Just because we are being told these men are terrorists, these men were involved in 9/11 or this bombing or that bombing, doesn’t mean they were. These are informal charges, but charges none the less, and the men should be able to defend themselves against them.
    Comment by Salvatore_Giuseppe

    KSM has already said that he and others wanted to plead guilty in a military court.

    NB: Lindsey Graham is not only a civil lawyer but also a military one. He is a colonel in the Air Force Reserves.

  19. robtbrown says:

    The country is in a pickle of the government’s making (from more than one perspective). Unpopular as it may be, Chalmers Johnson’s expression “Blowback” is THE story of the last 10 years.
    Comment by chcrix

    An old high school friend, now a ret Army JAG general, once pointed out to me that the US is the only nation in history to divide the world into Commands:

    * United States Africa Command – USAFRICOM
    * United States Central Command – USCENTCOM
    * United States European Command – USEUCOM
    * United States Pacific Command – USPACOM
    * United States Northern Command – USNORTHCOM
    * United States Southern Command – USSOUTHCOM

  20. Emilio III says:

    Salvatore_Giuseppe, your argument is nonsensical. Prisoners of war are detained indefinitely until the hostilities cease or they are exchanged. This assumes they are not guilty of anything at all improper. Indefinite detention is and always has been expected of enemy combatants. Since most POWs are not presumed to be guilty of any crime, they cannot be expected to stand trial at all, and the detention must be indefinite.

  21. irishgirl says:

    I apologize, Fr. Z, if my post was too harsh-I see that it was removed after appearing briefly.

    But I still get mad at the thought that these terrorists who killed so many innocent people in one day are going to be tried on US soil! What was wrong about trying them in a military court?

    Senator Graham made toast out of Holder-yay!

  22. EXCHIEF says:

    irishgirl
    I understand why your post was dumped but there are a lot of people who agree with you. Then most of us, you included I suspect, take a deep breath and look to a fair and just way of dealing with the issue. A civilian criminal trial is not fair and just nor is it appropriate. A military tribunal is and has been used throughout our history in such cases—as it should be in this one.

  23. MenTaLguY says:

    A military tribunal would definitely be the appropriate thing.

  24. Peter says:

    Emilio III, no I don’t think Salvatore’s argument is nonsensical. But I am not an American.

    As an outsider it seems that seam running through this whole thing is whether those detained in Guantanamo Bay will ever have the hope of either being tried for some crime, with recourse to due process and natural law, or at the end of hostilities that they can ‘go home’.

    Maybe this is a naive view, but historically enemy combatants tried in military courts belong to some country and they are alleged to have breached rules of war, and if are not so charged, they have the prospect of going home when hostilities cease. (The conditions they are kept under is another matter). The case is of course complicated because there is no insititutional opponent so there is no clear way for hostilities to cease. Or is the US wanting to say that as a general rule any soldier who happens to be in a war against the US will be guilty of a crime under military law per se? Does this have precedent, and if it does, is it justice?

  25. MaryMaria says:

    This is a disturbing video….but then most of what is going on in the beltway is disturbing…..did anyone notice that AG Holder referred to this ‘REGIME’ as opposed to administration???? Just asking….

  26. CPKS says:

    This is a disturbing topic!

    The initial question is: “if a terrorist is (by fluke or miracle) acquitted in a court of law, there’s no risk, is there, that they would be released?”

    Throughout what follows, it seems to be assumed that it would be a terrible thing if they were released.

    My question would be: what’s the point of a trial in the first place? You don’t try criminals: you sentence them. You don’t try terrorists: you protect the public from them. The whole point of a trial is to ascertain whether the prisoner in the dock is a criminal/terrorist or not. Don’t conduct a travesty of a trial if you have already made your mind up on the issue of guilt.

    Am I missing something? Please tell me if I am; but watching and re-watching the first couple of minutes of this video, I’m getting the impression that the major issue here is the protection of the American people, and the issue of individual guilt is secondary.

    So if some powerful people think that X is a “terrorist”, then even if he is found not guilty in a court of law, those powerful people can detain X at their pleasure?

    This is the rule of law?

  27. bookworm says:

    The Administration is trying to have it both ways. They want to placate their left-leaning supporters by closing Gitmo and treating terrorist suspects as ordinary criminals with constitutional rights, rather than as prisoners of war or enemy combatants. Yet at the same time, they want to assure more centrist or right-leaning people that of course they realize these people are waging war against the U.S. and they won’t be turned loose to cause more trouble.

    Well, either go or get off the pot — are they criminals or are they combatants? I think there are valid arguments to be made either way (treating them as ordinary criminals instead of combatants denies them some of the twisted “honor” they get from seeing themselves as warriors against the Great Satan). But the important thing is, pick one approach and STICK WITH IT.

  28. irishgirl says:

    Thanks, EXCHIEF.

  29. mwidunn says:

    We’ll bring you to trial in a civilian court without jurisdiction. By the way, the trial will surely be fair — but, you’ll be convicted. And, also by the way, if somehow you’re acquitted, we’ll ignore that and never let you go.

    A Soviet “show trial” couldn’t have done any better.

    What did Pogo say? “We have seen the Enemy and he is Us.”