April 14th, 2010
05:15 PM ET

Holder: No need to read Miranda rights to bin Laden if captured

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday there would be no need to read Miranda rights to Osama bin Laden if the al Qaeda leader were captured.

Holder told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that enough evidence exists against bin Laden to convict him in a trial, so that advising him of his rights to protect the legal admissibility of subsequent interrogation was unnecessary.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:
Holder: With regard to Bin Laden, there would be no need to give bin Laden Miranda warnings, and if I was not clear there, I meant to be. If he were captured I cannot foresee any reason why

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama: But Mr. Holder, your presumption is in your own report that they would be tried in civilian courts. Why wouldn't you give Miranda warnings? What reason is there not to do so, unless you're going to try them in military commissions?

Holder: The concern with Miranda warnings is only whether or not the information you get from that person might be excluded. We have sufficient information, statements from bin Laden, so that there is no reason to Mirandize him at all.

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. kane

    Give that worm rights? Are you serious?

    April 15, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. alumette

    No worry about Miranda rights. The guy is as elusive as a magician. We will never find him or know where he hides. He has too many dedicated helpers and followers. Our mistake for not trying harder during the Bush administration.

    April 15, 2010 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. simplefact

    Everything else is good for academic discussions!

    April 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AshannaK

    Osama bin Laden is an alimentary canal opening. We can all agree on that.
    However, read him Miranda. That way there will be no doubt as to the justice
    he'll get. And our tails will be protected. And he'll have no cause to complain,
    spelled with a capital 'B'.

    April 14, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wes Harris

    Holder is missing the point. He is confirming his belief that Bin Laden is entitled to Miranda rights. He just thinks we are lucky enough to be able to get a conviction, even if any statements by Bin Laden after his hypothetical arrest are thrown out by a judge in a civilian court.

    The opposing view, which I would support, is that Bin Laden is an enemy combatant who has no Miranda rights in the first place. This whole exchange just illustrates the danger of putting Bin Laden in a civilian court, where his fate can be decide on the whim of some federal judge, who may decide to apply entirely inappropriate rules of evidence. What are we supposed to do if some judge orders Bin Laden set free on the streets of New York?

    April 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy

    I see no reason to read him his rights, or bring him in alive. I say shoot him on sight and rid the world of this murderer. I'm sure he or any of his followers would not hesitate to put a bullet in our head if the opportunity presented itself. We are much too diplomatic, just kill him and get it over with.

    April 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |