Civil Liberties

You Say 'Critic,' We Say 'Traitor'

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Keep America Safe's attacks on Justice Department lawyers who once represented terrorism suspects or challenged the Bush administration's detention policies have roused the ire of attorneys and legal scholars from across the political spectrum, including conservatives who generally share the group's views. As Radley Balko noted this morning, Michael B. Mukasey, Bush's last attorney general, has an op-ed piece in today's Wall Street Journal that defends lawyers who defend unpopular clients. On Monday the Brookings Institution released a statement signed by prominent veterans of Republican administrations—including Kenneth Starr, David Rifkin, Lee Casey, Viet Dinh, Orin Kerr, and Charles Stimson (who left the Bush administration after drawing fire for publicly suggesting that businesses should boycott law firms that have represented detainees)—that condemns Keep America Safe's "shameful series of attacks" on the lawyers the group calls "the Al Qaeda 7" as "unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications":

The American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients is at least as old as John Adams's representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston massacre. People come to serve in the Justice Department with a diverse array of prior private clients; that is one of the department's strengths.

The War on Terror raised any number of novel legal questions, which collectively created a significant role in judicial, executive and legislative forums alike for honorable advocacy on behalf of detainees. In several key cases, detainee advocates prevailed before the Supreme Court. To suggest that the Justice Department should not employ talented lawyers who have advocated on behalf of detainees maligns the patriotism of people who have taken honorable positions on contested questions and demands a uniformity of background and view in government service from which no administration would benefit.

Even John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel attorney who defended a view of executive power in prosecuting the War on Terror that was so broad even the Bush administration had to repudiate it, implicitly criticizes Keep America Safe in today's New York Times:

The Constitution makes the president the chief law enforcement officer. We had an election. President Obama has softer policies on terror than his predecessor. He can and should put people into office who share his views. [Voters] can decide whether they agree with him or not.

This is not just a matter of lawyers defending fellow lawyers for doing what lawyers do. (After all, Liz Cheney, head of Keep America Safe, is a lawyer too.) It is a matter of insisting on the distinction between defending civil liberties, including the right to counsel and the right to due process, and defending everything that anyone who benefits from those protections believes or does. This is a pretty elementary distinction, and it's hard to believe Liz Cheney does not grasp it. Yet a Keep America Safe ad, referring to Justice Department lawyers who "represented or advocated for terrorist detainees," asks, "Whose values do they share?" This is a blatant attempt to paint those who disagree with Cheney about the right approach to terrorism as disloyal to their country.

Defending Keep America Safe, Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen writes that the lawyers attacked in the ad "were not doing their constitutional duty to defend unpopular criminal defendants." Rather, "they were using the federal courts as a tool to undermine our military's ability to keep dangerous enemy combatants off the battlefield in a time of war." Surely Thiessen understands that critics of Bush's (and Obama's) detention policies disagree with this characterization of the situation. The debate is largely about whether fighting terrorism is legally akin to waging a literal war and, if so, how much additional leeway that gives the president. But by Cheney and Thiessen's logic, anyone who argues that terrorism suspects (including those arrested in the United States) should be given any sort of trial, whether before a civilian court, a military tribunal, or (as Mukasey has suggested) some amalgam of the two, is guilty of "undermin[ing] our military's ability to keep dangerous enemy combatants off the battlefield in a time of war." This is how political opponents are transformed into traitors.

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  1. The Constitution makes the president the chief law enforcement officer. We had an election. President Obama has softer policies on terror than his predecessor. He can and should put people into office who share his views. [Voters] can decide whether they agree with him or not.

    Please point out the implicit criticism there; I don’t see it. What KAS is doing is to do just that: get voters to punish Obama and the Dems.

  2. Marc A. Thiessen writes that the lawyers attacked in the ads “were not doing their constitutional duty to defend unpopular criminal defendants.” Rather, “they were using the federal courts as a tool to undermine our military police force‘s ability to keep dangerous enemy combatants criminals off the battlefield streets…”

    1. Thiessen was on the Daily Show last night. Two observations:

      1) Thiessen is a douchebag
      2) Stewart still cannot let anybody he disagrees with finish a sentence. He’s worse than O’Reilly.

      So I guess the event was douchebag v. douchebag. The douchebag won.

  3. Sounds to me like everyone has their wires crossed LOL

    Jess
    http://www.real-anonymity.eu.tc

  4. it’s hard to believe Liz Cheney does not grasp it.

    No. it isn’t.
    “If you’re not with us, you’re against us!”

    1. That phrase is also Obama’s battle cry when it comes to bending over for every program he and his administration foists upon the populace.

      1. Don’t you mean shoves down our throats? Or do Obama’s policies count as double sodomy?

        1. I don’t think the human body has enough orifices to make any sexual analogies match what Obama is doing to this country.

    2. Liz Cheney is a vile creature. Good to see her get burned on this.

  5. As others have noted, this is all well and good as long as you would defend a Justice Department that hired former mob attorneys to prosecute RICO cases, former Klan attorneys to prosecute civil rights cases, etc.

    Really, the question is, are these attorneys activists/ideologues who defended the jihadis in order to pursue their political/social/cultural goals? If the answer to that is “yes”, then I think we do have a real problem. If the answer is “no” (and the learned commentators rather assume it is), then sure, whatever.

    But shouldn’t we find out?

    1. Are you fucking serious? It is a lawyer’s job to defend their client. If you think the JD should determine whether the lawyer themselves is an ideologue before hiring them, fine, but otherwise, this is just ridiculous.

      1. You are missing an important aspect. It isn’t as if these terrorist defense lawyers were just sitting around and got assigned an Al Qaeda client. They volunteered for the job, for free (AFAIK, but that’s usually how it works).

        So R C Dean’s questions are perfectly apt, especially since we know some terrorist’s lawyers really are pro-terrorism (e.g. Lynn Stewart).

        1. Some implies >1. Please name another.

          1. One proves the point, but if you want another, go to the next meeting of the National Lawyers Guild and throw something. You’ll probably hit one.

    2. We elected a guy president that was the attorney for the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre and we didn’t end up under the crown during his presidency.

    3. RE Dean: You have it backwards. Let’s assume for a second that these lawyers are ideologues seeking to destroy America. These lawyers are defending the terrorists. In your hypo, instead of the Justice Dep’t hiring ex-mob lawyers to prosecute RICO cases, it would be like … mob lawyers defending the mob, which is what mob lawyers do, right? So why is it so bizarre that ideologue lawyers would defend their ideological brethren?

      I’ll say this: these lawyers should only be judged on their actions, not their beliefs. This is, after all, a little place called America.

  6. Really, the question is, are these attorneys activists/ideologues who defended the jihadis in order to pursue their political/social/cultural goals?

    You have pronoun trouble here.

    Whose goals are “their” goals?

    1. Good point. The referent is to the goals of the activists/ideologues who happen to be attorneys.

  7. By “Klan attorney” do you mean someone who spent their entire career defending Klansmen, or someone who at times had clients that were Klansmen? I’m not even sure there would be a problem with the former if the motivation was not to defend the Klan per se but to defend unpopular clients in general with a decision to focus on Klan defendants because they are so wildly unpopular.

    I mean, when you mention “their political/social/cultural goals” what do you think those might be? To topple the United States?

    1. I dunno what the political/social/cultural goals of activist/ideologue attorneys might be. Shouldn’t we find out?

      1. We already know what their political/social/cultural goals are.

        Are you fucking retarded?

        I really don’t need to do much of an interview to know what the political/social/cultural goals of ACLU attorneys are. Are you saying that you want all such attorneys banned from Department of Justice positions?

        Because if that’s actually your position, we should just start the civil war now and get it over with.

        1. Oh wait, I now see your real point below.

          You made the pronoun trouble worse with your explanation, not better.

          You seem to think that it’s possible that we have secret jihadi lawyers, pretending that they believe in civil liberties only as a ruse to advance jihad.

          That’s more than a bit absurd, you know.

          1. We have Lynn Stewart. Are you sure she’s the only one?

            1. It’s impossible to prove a negative. It’s your responsibility to prove the affirmative.

            2. “We have Lynn Stewart. Are you sure she’s the only one?”

              Lynn Stewart was disbarred and imprisoned, so you don’t even have her.

            3. You’d have to prove to me that Lynn Stewart did what she did specifically in order to support jihad.

              If I was one of the detainees lawyers, and you told me that I could not reveal the content of anything they said to me to anyone, I would tell you to blow yourself. Not because I support jihad, but because the state does not possess the authority to constrain either an attorney’s communication with his client, or that attorney’s communication with any third party.

      2. “”I dunno what the political/social/cultural goals of activist/ideologue attorneys might be. Shouldn’t we find out?””

        Sure maybe we could create a lawyer czar who oversees the methods to achieve your ends.

  8. I mean, when you mention “their political/social/cultural goals” what do you think those might be? To topple the United States?

    I can’t tell either.

    He either means that attorneys were defending jihadis because they wanted to advance the jihadis’ goals – which is of course absurd, but that doesn’t mean that RC doesn’t think it, since he traffics in absurdities all the time.

    Or he means that the attorneys were defending the jihadis because it advanced the attorneys’ goals of destroying the Bush administration’s policies. In which case, since they prevailed in most cases, it seems that they’re the better lawyers available, and it’s the former Bush JD lawyers whose employment that should be protested, since they were incompetent losers.

    1. He either means that attorneys were defending jihadis because they wanted to advance the jihadis’ goals

      Why is that absurd? There was the one attorney for jihadis who got busted smuggling messages from the prisoner to his terror network, if you recall.

      I’m saying we don’t know about these attorneys, but there is a non-zero chance they are, in fact, radical activists and ideologues with an agenda which is completely inappropriate for the Justice Department.

      Lets find out if they were civil libertarian technicians out to protect us all, or were actually radicals using the justice system to advance a cause that we might not want embedded in the Justice Department.

      Because those attorneys are out there, and are probably not entirely unacquainted with Holder and Obama’s radical chic academic lefty circle.

      1. I’m saying we don’t know about these attorneys, but there is a non-zero chance they are, in fact, radical activists and ideologues with an agenda which is completely inappropriate for the Justice Department.

        There is also a non-zero chance that Orrin Hatch is the Loch Ness Monster.

        Can we have hearings about that, too? And maybe strip searches and anal probes with jackhammers?

      2. In any event, this sidebar argument of yours is irrelevant to the Keep America Safe campaign, because the Keep America Safe campaign against these lawyers is specifically and openly rooted in the position that even sincere defense of the civil rights of these detainees should exclude you from service at the Justice Department.

        That’s the position you’re defending, in case you weren’t aware.

      3. “””Lets find out if they were civil libertarian technicians out to protect us all, or were actually radicals using the justice system to advance a cause that we might not want embedded in the Justice Department.”””

        How would they use our system to advance their cause?

        The terrorists want the world to believe they are warriors. By giving them military tribunals, it makes their claim correct. Treating them like warriors advances their cause because it make it look like they are warriors, which attracts those who want to be warriors. That’s why I say interfere with their ability to appear like a warrior by treating them like a common thug.

        When they claim jihad, we should say, no, you’re a thug, and treat them as such. It takes away some of their glory. A military tribunal makes them appear like they are involved with a jihad and are in fact warrors which may help with recruiting.

        There’s a major propaganda fight going on. It would do us well if we didn’t feed into their propaganda by giving the terrorist the ability to define their cause. They want to define themselves as warriors, we should deny them that ability.

    2. In which case, since they prevailed in most cases, it seems that they’re the better lawyers available, and it’s the former Bush JD lawyers whose employment that should be protested, since they were incompetent losers.

      Well that, or the law and/or the facts were on their side. A lawyer may be great, but if his client’s prints are on the murder weapon, and powder was found on his hand, the client is going to jail.

      1. Uhh…OJ?

  9. I’m with RC on this one. You don’t hire the mob lawyer to prosecute RICO cases. I don’t buy into the larger assertion that these lawyers are traitors and that the accused are not entitled to legal counsel. I simply question the wisdom of the revolving door in this instance, especially considering the case of Lynne Stewart.

    1. I’m not even sure why you wouldn’t hire the “mob lawyer” to prosecute RICO cases, especially if the lawyer has specialized in such cases and has a very good track record. Now if you mean by “mob lawyer” a lawyer who is in with and aligned with the mob maybe you have a point, but I imagine “mob lawyer” to be a lawyer who happens to defend clients accused of RICO and related charges. If the latter no prob.

    2. Are you aware there are a lot of former DAs that were public defenders and vice versa?

      1. Yeah, I would think that defense attorneys with prosecutorial experience and vice versa would be particularly effective at their (very necessary!) jobs.

    3. “”I simply question the wisdom of the revolving door in this instance, especially considering the case of Lynne Stewart.””

      She is not an apt example. She is not a terrorist lawyer picked to prosecute terrorist.

      She was a middleman, passing messages from her client to his followers. She was wrong for doing so, but it had nothing to do with the subject at hand or due process between civilian/military courts.

    4. Since the issue is supposed terrorists defending terrorists, I’m not sure why analogizing it to terrorists prosecuting terrorists makes any sense.

  10. I have but 3 questions:

    Would Hugo Chavez grant terrorists a civilian trial in Venezeula? How does this affect whose side Sean Penn is on regarding Keep America Safe? And consequently, who will be getting jailed?

    1. Actually Venezuela is better in terms of detainee rights than the US.

      http://www.salon.com/news/opin…..index.html

      1. If only the U.S. had thought to underreport detainee complaints.

  11. Um…why wouldn’t you hire a mob lawyer to prosecute RICO cases?

    They’re likely to have the most pertinent expertise available.

    Anyway, since Keep America Safe associates itself with that racist cunt Michelle Malkin, they really have no grounds to criticize anyone else for the methods they employ to choose employees, staffers, freelancers, contributors, or associates.

    1. associates itself with that racist cunt Michelle Malkin

      That’s not a fair assessment, Fluffy. She’s a really, really good looking racist cunt. Try to get these things right in the future.

      1. Watching Malkin queef the entire “Star Spangled Banner” was more moving that your little mind can possibly grasp.

        1. Do you have the video, you sublime pervert?

          1. Live performance only. They took my cellphone before going in. Her cunt farts smelled like spicy pineapple.

            1. Fruitist

              1. I’m no fruitist! Some of my best friends are fruits!

      2. She’s a really, really good OK looking racist cunt ewok.

        1. Thanks for writing what I was thinking

      3. You think Malkin is good looking but Linda Hamilton is not? Epi, those are some potent drugs you enjoy…

        1. Are you sure you’re a dude, dude? I mean, dude, seriously.

    2. racist cunt Michelle Malkin

      Here you lost me. I guess I’m not up to speed with all the leftist talking points. What did she do to be called a racist?

      1. She wrote a book called, I, Michelle Malkin, Am A Fucking Racist.

        OK, so actually it was called In Defense of Internment.

        You can see it here:

        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0895260514/reasonfoundation-20/

        In it, she argues that because one of the Japanese-Americans interned during WWII was in fact a spy, the internment of ALL of the Japanese-Americans was justified.

        If you believe that because one person of a given race is guilty of a crime, you are entitled to punish all other members of that race, you are a fucking racist cunt.

        She’s such a racist cunt that she apparently can write an entire book without realizing that to justify the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, it’s not sufficient to prove that one of them might have been a spy – you have to prove that they ALL were.

        1. Oh ho! Reason now adds their referrer code to Amazon links automatically!

          This way Reason can now profit off of Malkin’s racist work, if someone uses that link to buy her book.

          I should post all sorts of links to Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries and such so that Reason can make money off of those books too.

          Well played, gentlemen!

            1. I will kill you for using the “+1”. KILL.

                1. Exactly.

                    1. OK, now you’re pushing it, Short Round.

        2. If you could prove that, say, 90% of a certain segment of the population were spies, I could see internment being justified during a war. They shouldn’t have their property confiscated though, which of course happened during the WW2 internment.

          1. Their property should be protected but not their liberty? That seems odd to me. Or is it just the finalty of confiscation of property that’s the problem?

  12. Even a goddamn werewolf is entitled to legal counsel.

    1. Even if they mutilated a little old lady late last night? And their hair was perfect?

      1. Hearsay, Epi. He was looking for a chinese place, not mutilating little old ladies. You gotta prove that shit.

  13. fluffy != leftist.

    suggestion: change the “grri” in your name to b, drop the ly, and play that sound.

    then take “outer planets” for $300. carry on. now

  14. Some problems with the “John Adams defended the British soldiers so that means it must be OK for these lawyers to defend Gitmo detainees” argument.

    The United States was a colony of Great Britain at the time of the Boston Massacre and was not at war. They were uniformed soldiers there by order of the king, not un-uniformed terrorists captured on foreign battlefields. They were charged with murder in a criminal court so of course they would have representation. The Gitmo detainees have no such rights yet these lawyers voluntarily worked – for free – to afford them the same right as American citizens.
    There’s a big difference between providing counsel to defendants in a criminal case and trying to garner unprecedented access to our courts for foreign-born and foreign-captured terror suspects.

    1. “The Gitmo detainees have no such rights”

      The Supreme Court disagrees with you.

      This legal clusterfuck has caused way more problems than it’s solved. The civil system has been far more successful at prosecuting and punishing terror suspects than the military system–under which, I might add, defendants are given access to a lawyer and other civil rights.

      So how about we stop having political piss matches over national security? Let’s start with allowing some room for facts, how about?

      1. Could you provide examples of the military system being unsuccessful at prosecuting and punishing terror suspects?

        1. Bush administration: prosecuted 828 people on terrorism charges in civilian courts. Minus cases still pending, there has been a conviction rate of about 88%.

          The Bush administration started 20 cases in the military system, with 3 convictions to date, including Salim Hamdan, sentence to 5.5 years, given credit for time served, and now resides in Yemen.

          1. PapayaSF? Response?

            1. What does “started 20 cases in the military system with 3 convictions to date” mean, exactly? Does that mean 17 were found innocent, or 17 are still being tried, or some combination, or something else?

    2. There’s a big difference between providing counsel to defendants in a criminal case and trying to garner unprecedented access to our courts for foreign-born and foreign-captured terror suspects.

      Not really. In both cases the lawyer is trying to get their client released.

      If allowing terror suspects to have their day in civilian court is such an absurd concept, then the courts should have no trouble summarily dismissing any attempt to do so. The lawyers are powerless to do anything for their clients unless the judges agree with them.

    3. “””There’s a big difference between providing counsel to defendants in a criminal case and trying to garner unprecedented access to our courts for foreign-born and foreign-captured terror suspects.”””

      It’s not unprecedented. We’ve done it before with at least one of the chumps that attacked the WTC in 1993

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmud_Abouhalima

    4. I don’t recall a declaration of war on the amorphous “terrorists” either.

  15. Lots of Sturm und Drang here, but I think there’s reason on both sides, even if both sides aren’t being reasonable. Naturally, attorneys should be free to represent any client whatsoever, as zealously as the law and ethics permit.

    On the flip side, these are policy positions. Hiring people without regard to their views on the policies they’re hired to enforce is silly. To illustrate the point, if I were elected president, one thing I might do to undermine the war on drugs would be to appoint Keith Richards as Drug Czar.

    1. You are a lawyer, so your evil, snake-like opinions will be ignored.

      1. We are the priests of the temple, bitch. Obey or die on the altar of human sacrifice.

        You know that we control all three branches of government, don’t you? Checks and balances–ha!

        1. Watch it there pro. Don’t be flaunting too much power around the proles.

          1. See you at the secret meeting, dude.

    2. Thank you, Pro L, for trying to drag this back from the “you’re pro-terrorist” v. “you’re pro-torture” mudfest.

      1. Well, of course, I’m pro not-being-terrorized-or-tortured.

        See you at the secret meeting of the cabal as well. I understand the plans to introduce a bill mandating legal services insurance are well underway. Along with a bill equating paralegal work with terrorism, selling drugs to minors, and child pornography.

  16. Washington Post columnist Torture enthusiast Marc A. Thiessen.

    FTFY.

  17. People who defend mobsters defend civil liberties to. But I wouldn’t want them running the organized crime division of the Justice Department. This is not about disbarring or jailing these people. It is about finding out who they are and what they are doing. I think their representation of detainees ought to ethically disqualify them from doing counter terrorism work for the government.

    Further, liberals and all lawyers love to wax philosophical about standing up to the mob and defending the unpopular. Fine. There is something to be said for that. But if you are going to do that, don’t whine when some people hate your guts. That is after all what makes it courageous isn’t it?

    1. Ever hear of this guy?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Abagnale

      Sometimes the best asset you can have is someone who was on the other side.

      1. We have all seen Catch Me If You Can. And the analogy doesn’t work. If you want to get a former Al Quada terrorist to work with the FBI catching other terrorists, that is one thing. But, hiring some scumbag lawyer who dropped his pants in Yemen over the “searching of Muslim prisoners” doesn’t accomplish much.

        1. It does if you want to know what arguments the guy may use, what sort of things that may be said or hidden due to attorney/client privilege, etc.

          1. Nice try. But no. And that is not why these guys were hired. They were hired as political pay back for the damage they did to the country and the Bush Administration. It is not like they are hiring people who used to defend drug dealers to run the drug enforcement program.

            1. Or maybe they were hired because they were good lawyers that agree with the current administration on certain legal doctrines, including the right to representation for combatants. Even war criminals get attorneys, FFS.

    2. I think their representation of detainees ought to ethically disqualify them from doing counter terrorism work for the government.

      Do you think that anyone who ever worked as a prosecutor at any level should similarly be ethically barred from working as a private defense attorney, either in criminal or civil court?

      Hey, that might not be a bad trade.

      1. Or as a judge. You don’t want the judge to favor the prosecution. So all lawyers that acted as prosecutors or defense attorney should be precluded from being judges in criminal courts.

      2. NO. It might not be.

  18. What are you people arguing for? Liz Cheney’s whole deal is to undermine President Urkel as someone who is weak on defense by hiring jihadi-sympathizers. I’m not buying, but my endgame is Barry packing his red samsonite bags in 2012, so I don’t mind what Cheney’s blabbing about (for the moment).

    Yes, I know. We’re libertarians. Everyone has the right to a defense, etc.

    1. EDITED FOR THE SAKE OF CLARITY — Liz Cheney’s whole deal is to undermine President Urkel by painting him as someone who is weak on defense. And she concludes this because of Obama’s hiring of lawyers who she implies are jihadi-sympathizers.

  19. And the right is getting crazy again……

  20. By the way, this has to be entered into the Fluffy Memory Project:

    When these people come around trying to make kissy face with us in 2012, and tell us about how the GOP is the party of small government, we must all commit to remember the fact that they are today declaring that anyone who believes in civil liberties is such scum that they should not be allowed to hold a government job.

    Remember that.

    Thanks.

    1. Nah, they don’t believe that crap. It’s just politics. Zealous advocacy is not a liberal thing; it’s a lawyer thing.

    2. And please note, John thinks that too.

      Thanks.

    3. Er, the original post was about how prominent Republicans are condemning the “Al Qaeda 7” business.

  21. Just when the GOP was rebounding, Liz Cheney talks a walk on the asinine side. Paranoia isn’t going to win the next election, Liz.

    1. The only thing going for the GOP is the not-the-fucking-Democrats feature.

      1. The problem I have is that they are relying too heavily on not being Democrats. Whenever they don’t get enough traction on the “I’m not a Democrat” angle, they get into calling everybody a traitor or a terrorist lover, or some other nonsense.

        1. Oh, I agree. Rather than seizing on the general dissatisfaction with government (the previous one hasn’t been completely forgotten, after all), they’re just twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the Democrats to fall.

          Unfortunately, with this two-party system, that strategy will work just fine, it appears.

          1. I hope so, because if it doesn’t, we’re in for some interesting financial times.

            1. I think that’s true regardless. We’re still strong enough economically to bounce back, even with this ridiculous government, but if we could reduce the friction created by a meddling government, we might experience a real recovery.

  22. Thinking it through, I don’t see what the big deal is.

    1) As a bunch of people have pointed out, it’s might be like hiring seven Sierra Club lawyer at the EPA. They have some subject matter expertise, but the fact that they took that job tells you something about their priorities and outlook.

    2. If the fact that the 7 took the cases they did indicates that they thought that Bush was wrong to push the war on terror, then it’s probably appropriate for Obama to hire them and for Bush’s people people to complain, since it means that their viewpoint is one that Obama people are likely to like and Bush people are likely not to.

    3. On the other hand, sometimes a case is just a case. If you tried to judge my viewpoints based on the pro bono cases I took, you would be wrong — I basically take the most interesting one available when I have the time, or the one that will best improve the skills that I want.

    1. If I were calling the shots, I wouldn’t refuse to hire someone simply because they represented a terrorist suspect, but I might take a closer look at how they conducted the defense. The mob lawyer analogy is apt: Did the attorney get in bed with the terrorist or did he operate above board? It’s usually pretty obvious from the record.

      1. Yeah, there’s a big difference between the lawyer who’s spent the past 20 years writing contracts and handling tax issues for Corleone Family Olive Oil Imports and the lawyer who’s been representing a wide range of criminal defendants and recently took the case of a high profile Mafia defendant.

  23. The Keep America Safe site links to a Weekly Standard article which makes the neocon case against these lawyers.

    The accusations are summarized in the final page of the article:

    ‘Now, we don’t know what assignments these lawyers have taken on inside government. But we do know that they openly opposed the American government for years, on behalf of al Qaeda terrorists, and their objections frequently went beyond rational, principled criticisms of detainee policy.’

    Please observe that there is no accusation that these lawyers have committed felonies like Lynne Stewart. They have represented alleged terrorists – terrorists! – and they have said totally false and unfair things about the glorious Bush administration which was trying to keep us safe.

    Nothing about felonies, nothing about getting into bed with clients like the stereotypical mob lawyer. Just that their clients are awful, awful people, and they said false things about the Bush administration.

    (I don’t see how a lawyer can litigate and advocate against a controversial policy without the supporters of that policy saying that he’s being false and unfair. Oh no, that lawyer said such mean things about us!)

    The article also criticizes these lawyers for winning the Boumedienne case. That exposes their true complaint – the Supreme Court was wrong and these crafty lawyers represented the winning side in the Supreme Court!

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