People for the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said In a statement issued today, referring to an ad released by Ms. Cheney's group, "Keep America Safe":
"The content of this ad is repugnant. To imply that people who defend the Constitutional right of detainees to seek habeas corpus relief are aligned with Al Qaeda is preposterous and offensive. All Americans have a responsibility to defend the core values of the Constitution, and that some of the lawyers who stood up for those values are now in the Department of Justice is a credit to President Obama and Attorney General Holder."
I've been hearing comments about providing Constitutional protections quite a bit lately from the right hand side of the political spectrum and the Tea Party folk. They appear to believe that defending anyone who they believe is a member of Al Qaeda is wrong. I hear a lot about wanting to return to the way it "should" be, the way the founders meant it to be, and hearing the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin wave the Constitution around whenever the President or Democratic Congress wants to do something they don't like. They complain about the loss of our freedoms until someone commits an act of terrorism or terrible crime, and then immediately forget what freedom means.
Whenever someone commits a particularly heinous crime, there are many, many people--typically the law & order types on the right--demanding that we stop wasting "their" tax dollars and execute the suspected wrongdoer. I've known some defense attorneys. There were times when they have said they did not like knowing that the person they were defending might go free, but that in order for our system to work, that individual was entitled to the best defense they could give them. After all, how many innocent people have been released from prison?
Perhaps Liz Cheney and her crowd should to sit down and actually read the Constitution. Wonder how they would feel if they were the one to be wrongfully accused or convicted? Not to say that this is the case in this situation, but until a court of law has made that determination, I certainly wouldn't want a Tea Party rally crowd making that decision about me.
TPM is reporting that we can thank Sen. Grassley for getting this one started.
"An attack on Justice Department officials who previously represented detainees at Guantanamo was spawned by Sen. Chuck Grassley at a hearing last November, ricocheted around the right-wing media, and culminated today in a video release by Liz Cheney's group that all but accuses the lawyers of being terrorists."
"The attack began at a Nov. 18 Judiciary Committee hearing. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, raised the issue with Attorney General Eric Holder, asserting that Katyal and Daskal have a conflict of interest. A couple weeks later, Grassley and the other committee Republicans asked the DOJ to produce a list of names of officials who previously worked with detainees. The department responded Feb. 18 with a letter from one of Holder's deputies that said nine officials fit Grassley's criteria. But the letter did not give the names."Sigh.
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