Fred Thompson, Osama bin Laden and Howard Dean

This can't sit well with the Fred-head T-shirt hawkers.

Fred Thompson's recent emphasis on "due process" for Osama bin Laden just isn't as punchy as "Kill the terrorists."

Actually, the AP reports, first Thompson downplayed the importance of bin Laden; then he said bin Laden needs to be "caught and killed"; then he said, "No, no, no, we've got due process to go through." Shifting emphasis (whether you call it nuance or a flip-flop) also doesn't make for snappy T-shirts.

No doubt we'll be hearing about Howard Dean's December 2003 editorial board interview at the Monitor, where, discussing the possibility of bringing bin Laden to trial, he said he wouldn't prejudge his guilt (no active link):

The Monitor asked: Where should Osama bin Laden be tried if he's caught? Dean said he didn't think it made any difference, and if he were president he would consult with his lawyers for advice on the subject.
But wouldn't most Americans feel strongly that bin Laden should be tried in America - and put to death?
"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said. "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials. So I'm sure that is the correct sentiment of most Americans, but I do think if you're running for president, or if you are president, it's best to say that the full range of penalties should be available. But it's not so great to prejudge the judicial system."