Thursday, March 04, 2010

"Defending terrorists"


The latest neoconservative idee fixe is that certain of President Barack Obama's appointees to Department of Justice positions have previously "represented, or advocated on behalf of, al Qaeda and Taliban members."

The implication, of course, is that any lawyer who would defend, e.g. Osama bin Laden, is a traitorous, un-American rat bastard sonofabitch who shouldn't under any circumstances be added to a government payroll, get a government desk, etc.

Of course, I'm against anyone being on a government payroll or getting a government desk, but as such foofooraws go this one is just plain stupid, for two reasons:

First of all, in most of the cases involved here, it has yet to be proven that the people in question are members of al Qaeda or the Taliban. That's the whole point of lawyers and trials and such -- to discover the truth. The Busheviks/neoconservatives, for whatever reason, desperately want the truth to remain undiscovered. Three guesses as to why.

Secondly, lawyers represent clients. That's what they do. It's a mistake to assume that because Lawyer A represents Client B, he approves of whatever it is that Client B was accused of. He may genuinely believe that Client B is innocent. Even if he doesn't, he almost certainly believes that Client B is entitled to a fair trial to establish his guilt or innocence. And he absolutely believes that he wants to collect his paycheck, in return for which he must do what he does, which is represent clients (by either personal hiring or government appointment to the job).

According the Bushevik/neoconservative "logic" that The Weekly Standard preaches versus the Obama administration on "lawyers who have represented people we think are bad," Rudy Giuliani should never have been anywhere near the 2008 contest for the GOP's presidential nomination -- his law firm represented the regime of Venezualan dictator Hugo Chavez. But as long as Giuliani stuck to "a noun, a verb, 9/11," Bill Kristol's rag was happy to ignore this "one degree of separation from the Axis of Evil."

This whole thing isn't actually about any real, significant issue. It's just the neocons' latest lame attempt to panic America with "terrorists are under your bed! The chatter is coming from inside the house!" BS.

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