Defense & National Security

Holder Flip Flops on Geneva Convention Protection for Terrorists

The American people overwhelmingly think that the Christmas Day airplane bomber, not to mention 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, should be treated as enemy combatants, not common criminals or Prisoners of War afforded protections under the Geneva Conventions.

Interestingly enough, Attorney General Eric Holder agrees — at least, he did back in 2002. Here’s what he said when discussing the 9/11 terrorists: “One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located.…It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves,…that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war. If, for instance, Mohamed Atta had survived the attack on the World Trade Center, would we now be calling him a prisoner of war? I think not.”

Holder also acknowledged back then that giving terrorists access to lawyers and telling them they have the “right to remain silent” — as the Obama administration did with the Christmas day bomber — means you can no longer effectively interrogate them.  In a 2002 interview on CNN, Holder was asked about John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban captured in Afghanistan and brought to America for trial. “How much pressure should they put on this man to get information out of him as they interrogate him?” CNN asked. Holder replied, “Well, I mean, it’s hard to interrogate him at this point now that he has a lawyer and now that he is here in the United States.”

How times have changed.

In his shocking new book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA has Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting the Next Attack, author Marc Thiessen reveals a stunning reversal of opinion when Holder said years later in a speech to the American Constitution Society “I never thought I would see the day when…the Supreme Court would have to order the President of the United States to treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva Convention.”

Like so many others in this administration, Holder puts political convenience above common sense, military tradition and any concern for the safety of American citizens.  As Thiessen points out in Courting Disaster, this is just one more instance of the Obama administration endangering our safety and inviting the next terrorist attack.

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