Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Liz Cheney and the AQ 7 Stuff

Eugene Robinson might as well have called Liz Cheney a traitor:
If Cheney and her group object, they should prepare a blanket denunciation of the federal judiciary. Or maybe what they really don't like is that pesky old Constitution, with all its checks, balances and guarantees of due process. How inconvenient to live in a country that respects the rule of law.
Perhaps Robinson has lost track of the facts here or perhaps this was just his script for tonight's appearance on Olbermann. Whatever the case, he's slightly off track.

The beef here is not representation, it's whether the several lawyers who defended terrorists pro-bono at Gitmo (and who now have positions in the Justice Dept) were really advocates of the constitution or advocates of anything that would bash Cheney's father and his boss, and whether their selections represented a mindset of the administration.

Robinson has fun calling Cheney a partisan hack (which is a bit presumptuous based on his rep) yet he's apparently forgotten about all the hysteria surrounding detainee treatment and the effort from most of the left to make her father and Bush appear as monsters. The lawyers were part of that act.

That's not to say it was all an act. No serious person on the right believes these terrorists should not have at least some form of representation if they get locked up (remember, only terrorists running from hellfire missiles have no rights). Those who don't are non-serious. And is Liz Cheney's site political? Yep. Robinson is correct--they are pointing out Obama's approach to the man-caused disasters that have produced our Global Contingency Operation.

But Robinson is also playing politics here, grouping everyone into a box so he can bash them with a Cheney torture stick. Bernard Goldberg was on O'Reilly last night and put it this way--if a conservative president chose an Attorney General who then selected a bunch of lawyers who had just defended Ayrian Nation or KKK members pro-bono would the reaction be the same? From Robinson?

MORE 3/9/10

Thiessen had the op-ed yesterday, where he made the point that Yoo and Bybee were certainly not given respectful treatment by simply working for Justice and providing opinions. That's sort of a 'pointing to other bad behavior' argument, though.

The bottom line here is that accused terrorists should get representation; the act of representing them, even pro-bono, is a noble tradition of the US system; there is no tradition for giving legal representation to illegal combatants/those picked up on the battlefield during a war, especially when it's likely those persons would return to the battlefield (and this is an area where the commander-in-chief should have some authority); and the public deserves to know the backgrounds and duties of these lawyers as they fulfill their roles in the Justice Dept, especially if they are tasked with terrorism cases. I think Liz Cheney went too far in painting them as al Qaeda lawyers but on the flip side, the left always knew those lawyers were mainly there to bash Bush.


Debbie said...

Perfect example in your last paragraph. It's not that we don't want them to have representation, we just don't want them to have sympathizers representing them.

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

Right. Lynne Stewart is the perfect example--she became sympathetic to the cause to the point of becoming an enabler. That's a fair point to consider, even if Cheney might have gone a little too far.