William Kristol and Elizabeth Cheney are despicable

Friday, March 05, 2010

Walter Dellinger, former head of the OLC under Clinton, has an excellent op ed in the Washington Post on that latest episode, in what is being called the New McCarthyism (h/t to Streak). I agree with the outrage directed towards Cheney et al. This is absolutely disgusting. There has been a long tradition in this country of both popular and unpopular causes receiving adequate representation. Much of our legal system is built upon the idea that in order for someone to receive a fair trial, they must be represented. This doesn't mean that the person that represents people accused of bad acts is sympathetic in any way to that person. A lawyer that represents an accused murderer is ok with people murdering other people. Most people understand this.

Except for Kristol and Cheney and any other moron accusing Obama's Justice appointees of being traitors or similar. Dellinger points out in his article:

Thompson's assistance to the military officers who had been assigned to Khadr's case seemed to me to be not only part of a lawyer's professional obligation but a small act of patriotism as well. The other Justice Department lawyers named in this week's attack came to provide assistance to detainees in a number of ways, but they all deserve our respect and gratitude for fulfilling the professional obligations of lawyers. This sentiment is widely shared across party and ideological lines by leaders of the bar. As former Solicitor General Ted Olson wrote in response to previous attacks on detainee lawyers, "The ethos of the bar is built on the idea that lawyers will represent both the popular and the unpopular, so that everyone has access to justice. Despite the horrible Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, this is still proudly held as a basic tenet of our profession."

He concludes with a sentiment that I couldn't have phrased better:

That those in question would have their patriotism, loyalty and values attacked by reputable public figures such as Elizabeth Cheney and journalists such as Kristol is as depressing a public episode as I have witnessed in many years. What has become of our civic life in America? The only word that can do justice to the personal attacks on these fine lawyers -- and on the integrity of our legal system -- is shameful. Shameful.


Bob 11:13 AM  

Lawyers who represent the unpopular are patriotic, true believers. Those who condemn them have no respect for our system of justice and have put their own loyalty to our country and constitution into question.

Smitty 5:01 PM  

The things that Cheney and Kristol are doing make me so furious that I can hardly write anything rational about it.

The notion that an "honest" lawyer should either refuse distasteful cases or "throw" a distasteful case is simple-minded idiocy. These folks are using it for political gain. I beg that they fail in that goal. I fear they won't.

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