Eric Holder, whom President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate as attorney general, disagrees with Mr. Obama on the legal status of terrorists in U.S. custody, or at least he did in 2002.
In a TV interview on CNN in 2002, Holder expressed views on the status of unlawful combatants that more closely resemble those of the Bush administration:
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; under the Geneva Convention that you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people.
It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, 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. Should Zacarias Moussaoui be called a prisoner of war? Again, I think not.
Kerry Picket of NewsBusters/Eyeblast found the video, which is here:
Holder’s reasoning is impeccable. Will the Nutroots freak out? Maybe. Will Obama care? Who knows.