Thursday, March 04, 2010

Kristol and Cheney Hunt "The Al Qaeda 7".

This advert is truly revolting.

The ad brands Eric Holder's DOJ the "Department of Jihad" because it employs 9 lawyers who previously represented Guantanamo detainees (including Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who successfully represented the Guantanamo-plaintiffs in the 2006 Hamdan case before the U.S. Supreme Court). The ad darkly asks of these lawyers: "whose values do they share?," and labels 7 of those unidentified DOJ lawyers "The Al Qaeda 7."

The premise of the ad is as clear as it insidious: any lawyers representing
accused Terrorists are of suspect loyalties and allegiances, are devoted to "jihad," and are sympathetic to, if not part of, Al Qaeda (this profoundly ugly smear campaign began with the always-unhinged Andrew McCarthy in National Review, who branded such lawyers "terrorist sympathizers").

This slander encompasses scores of
American military lawyers, who have vigorously, passionately and often successfully defended numerous Guantanamo detainees, including those accused of being Al Qaeda operatives.
It's been produced by a group run by Dick Cheney's daughter and Bill Kristol.

The use of the phrase "The al-Qaeda 7" is clearly intended to imply that there is something criminal or suspicious about what these military lawyers have been doing.

The truth, of course, is that these lawyers have simply been doing their jobs and ensuring, as is supposed to be the American way, that the men they represented got as fair a trial as was possible during the days of the Bush administration. And the men they represented were not "terrorist detainees" as this scurrilous ad claims, they were suspected terrorists. And we all know that the vast majority of these detainees were released due to the lack of evidence against them.

And yet, Kristol and Cheney are now launching this attack on these people, implying that these men and women might possibly share values with al Qaeda.

It's about as irresponsible and reprehensible as any advert could possibly be.

John Adams famously represented the British soldiers who took part in the Boston massacre. Would Cheney and Kristol impugn his loyalty and wonder whose values he shared?


The seven have now been named by a Justice Department spokesman, who said "politics has overtaken facts and reality" in a tug-of-war over the lawyers' identities.

Although the Fox News article contains some interesting facts:
The Obama Administration is not the first to hire lawyers who represented or advocated for terror suspects.

Pratik Shah, an assistant to the Solicitor General hired by the Bush Administration, was part of the WilmerHale team that put together arguments for the Boumediene v. Bush case.

Trisha Anderson, an adviser in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel who was also hired by the Bush Administration, was previously an attorney at Attorney General Eric Holder's former firm, Covington & Burling, where she helped represent 13 Yemeni detainees.

Varda Hussain, an attorney hired in 2008 with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, was an associate with the Washington-based firm Venable when she helped represent three Egyptians being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Cheney and Kristol were strangely quiet when George Bush and Cheney's father were hiring people who possibly shared al Qaeda's values....


Here this reprehensible woman is interviewed by O'Reilly, and I note that O'Reilly utterly skips over the fact that Liz Cheney's father was also part of an administration which hired people who had previously defended suspected terrorists. O'Reilly decides that the Obama administration must be "clearly worried about this issue" rather than acknowledge that Cheney's claims have been exposed as the partisan rubbish which they are.

She goes on here to state that these 9 people have "previously voluntarily represented terrorists". Again, as I have said before, they were suspected terrorists, a distinction which this awful person finds impossible to make. And she is clearly implying that the voluntary status of their work makes them somehow suspicious, or why would she even bring that up?

Nor does she step back from demanding that the American people have the right to know whether or not lawyers who "used to represent and advocate on behalf of terrorists" are working inside the Justice department.

She is clearly continuing to imply that there is reason to suspect such people.

And she gets away with doing all of this without even being asked by O'Reilly about the Bush administration also hiring people who had previously worked to try to get justice for Guantanamo detainees.

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