TAS contributor Sean Higgins asks over at IBD whether the Obama administration prefers killing terrorists to capturing them as a matter of policy and what the intelligence implications of such a decision might be:
In the years since President Obama took office, his administration has shown a marked reluctance to capture terrorists, preferring targeted assassinations. Why? One reason may be that when they’re dead they don’t have to be put in Gitmo or on trial, both of which have proven to be major headaches for the administration.
Few have complained because it’s hard to shed a tear for the death of terrorists who have been targeting the U.S. But the downside of this policy is that we may be giving up intel on al-Qaida operations by not having living detainees we can interrogate.
A little over a year ago, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked by a congressional panel if he would read Osama Bin Laden Miranda rights should he ever get captured by U.S. forces. Holder said that wasn’t going to happen. Ever.
“You’re talking about a hypothetical that will never occur. The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom. That’s the reality. … He will be killed by us, or he will be killed by his own people so he’s not captured by us. We know that,” Holder said at the time.
Higgins goes on to discuss the Obama administration’s increase in targeted assasinations compared to the Bush administration and reports that this was a “kill operation.” I joked on Twitter this morning about whether Holder would have preferred to try bin Laden in New York City. Seems he might have been vetoed on that in any event.