This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 2, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: You may have heard the Justice Department has hired at least nine lawyers who have — either have worked for or assisted captured terrorists in their defense. One of the hires is Tony West, who actually defended the American Taliban guy, John Walker Lindh. The question is what's going on? Joining us from Washington, Fox News political analyst Charles Krauthammer.
So maybe these guys bring in a special insight to terror captives? Is that why Holder is doing it?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think so. You don't have to be a psychiatrist to figure this one out. This one is 100 percent ideological affinity.
Look, what you're dealing with here is a bunch of lawyers, very successful, corporate lawyers, private lawyers. They make a lot of money, and now they want to give to the community and do work for free. Now, do they choose to defend a black kid in the inner city caught up in a drug deal but he's going to get 30 years? Or do they choose to defend working-class people in Brooklyn who are going to lose their home so a developer can build an arena? No.
These people chose to do for free, defense work for people in Guantanamo, for people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who not only was the architect of 9/11, but he boasts of slitting the throat of Daniel Pearl. So he's choosing, at least nine people who chose that this is the work they are going to do on the side. That tells you there is some ideological affinity here, and that's very troubling because it tells you why the Justice Department has ended up with some of the absurd decisions it's made in the War on Terror.
O'REILLY: But I don't understand — I know Holder is a progressive. He admits it. And he's a far-left guy. But he's still a law enforcement agent. And he's still — I don't think Holder has sympathy for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I don't think he wants him out on the street. I think that's insane. But I'm still not figuring out why Holder would want to hire guys like this. What good are they to him?
KRAUTHAMMER: It's not that either he nor they sympathize with the terrorists themselves, but he or they have — and they have this idea about our justice system, that if you catch a terrorist, you've got two choices. You either give them a trial in New York, civilian trial with all the pomp and ceremony, all the defenses you and I have that they, in my view, do not deserve, or you let them go. Now, that, I think, is an absurd idea, but that's what they believe. Holder is a man who was in a law firm that itself probably devoted over probably $1 million worth of free work on defense of Guantanamo detainees. They believe...
O'REILLY: What does Holder want these guys to do? Does he want them to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York? Is that why — does he think they'll be better at prosecuting these people?
KRAUTHAMMER: These people — he's not hiring them for their expertise. They are not going to be the ones in the courtroom. These are people who share his view of how the justice system ought to deal with terror. These are people who give him the advice that Abdulmutallab, the guy who tried to blow up the airplane on Christmas, ought to have Miranda rights. They believe in them.
O'REILLY: All right. So they're loophole finders? They're loophole finders is what you're saying.
KRAUTHAMMER: No, they are radical civil libertarians.
O'REILLY: OK, but they're going to find a way to justify Holder's keeping them out of the military's clutches?
KRAUTHAMMER: Right. But that's not a loophole in their opinion. That is...
O'REILLY: No, in their opinion. What my opinion is...
O'REILLY: Right. Victoria Toensing — and I'm sure you already read this in The Wall Street Journal today — had an excellent, excellent op-ed. And we direct people there to read it, about the folly — F-O-L-L-Y — of trying these guys in civilian court, how much money it wastes, time it wastes, not necessary. There's a law that says they can be put in front of a military commission. Why ignore the law? But I just want to make it crystal-clear. You don't think these are bad men, do you, that Holder is hiring?
KRAUTHAMMER: I think these are people who have a peculiar understanding of the American Constitution and who have a view contrary to Adams, who believed that the Constitution is not a suicide pact. These are people who believe for some reason that when you capture a terrorist overseas or even at home, he gets his Miranda rights. In all of our history, that's never been true. A German prisoner of war never got a civilian trial. He never got a judge. He waited until the end of the war. But these people have a contrary view, and that's why Holder has chosen them. He wants people with an ideological affinity to him, and that's what he got.
O'REILLY: All right. Charles, thanks very much, as always.
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