First, Let's Kill All the Lawyers!

Courtesy of Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol comes one of the lamest examples of anti-lawyer agitprop we've come across in some time.

It's not a big mystery anyways -- I'm pretty sure the "Al Qaeda Seven" was the house band in the Napoleon Ballroom at the old Deauville back in the day.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I don't think it's "anti-lawyer" to question conflicts of interest in the DoJ. Holder has admitted that former lawyers for Gitmo detainees are now making decisions on policy involving the treatment of captured terrorists. He won't name them. It's a legitimate issue, especially considering all of the brouhaha that was made over Bush's "politicization" of the DoJ and the fact that Holder has never enunciated a clear rationale for his decisions on the treatment of such detainees.

    If you don't want to get run over, don't play in traffic.

  3. So, according to this scabby bitch who's daddy is a war criminal, a lawyer who defends a murderer condones murder? Ayn Rand and William Buckley must be turning in their graves to see how far apart conservatism and logic have grown.

  4. Godwhacker, I assume you're not a lawyer because your comment is idiotic.

    If you want to talk about who is "anti-lawyer," just imagine yourself in the role of WH counsel in the weeks after 9/11. The country has just suffered its worst attack to the homeland, ever, by an enemy that has demonstrated a complete lack of moral boundaries. No one knows whether the terrorists have access to WMD, but there have been recent anthrax attacks from an unknown source, and clearly the consequences of the terrorists obtaining a WMD device would be too horrible to contemplate. The military is launching operations in Afghanistan, and enemy combatants are being captured and segregated for further questioning.

    You are asked to provide a legal opinion on what interrogation techniques are acceptable under the Convention Against Torture when seeking information from illegal enemy combatants (in other words, are there techniques that are more enhanced than what is usually permissible for criminal interrogations, but which fall short of "torture" as the term is understood under application international norms?). You put your team of researchers to work and start drafting.

    What lawyer hasn't been assigned the task of researching and rendering an opinion on where to draw lines in a previously grey area of the law? But imagine doing that in wartime, and also imagine that -- assuming the gift of incredible foresight -- you have to worry whether a successor administration will prosecute you for rendering what they perceive to have been the "wrong" advice.

    That is precisely what happened to John Yoo. While the identity of the person or persons who sought to prosecute Yoo may not be known for years, the threats of prosecution occurred under Holder's watch. Thus, Holder will be responsible for the future chilling effect on the ability of government attorneys to render forthright advice on difficult questions.

    Throwing Yoo to the wolves may have been good red meat for the left-wing base, but it's a childish way to govern.

  5. swlip is it? S.W. lip? Don't trip. Reminds me of my cousin Stip. He walked with a limp. Dude,your brains the gimp.

    Poor John Woo, they got him too. Made him step in do do do do.

    So tell me neoclown, does your groin tingle when you see the torture videos? Does the sweat accumulate on your inner thigh when you picture Ms. Cheneny in her leather outfit, strap-on poised to ass rape some terrorist?

    So the pro-torture deviants have a problem with poor little me. I'd worry about that, but hell is waiting for you brother, and I'd rather scratch my balls.

  6. some common ground

  7. Sure, Godwhacker. Put that in your next memo. I'm sure it will go over well with the Daily Kos kids.

  8. fake Glenn GreenwaldMarch 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    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. Adam Serwer and Spencer Ackerman both have excellent pieces on this ad, featuring quotes from several military officers who have defended accused Terrorists, including retired Col. Morris Davis, who was once a lead prosecutor in Guantanamo's military commissions only to became a vocal critic of that system. Watching as their integrity and character are smeared by the likes of Dick Cheney's daughter and Bill Kristol is really revolting.

    But that disgusting duo is also smearing countless civilian lawyers whose work since 9/11 has been nothing short of heroic: representing the most demonized and despised group of individuals, and devoting massive amounts of time, energy and resources to doing so, almost always for free and -- particularly in the early aftermath of 9/11 -- at substantial risk to their reputations and professional relationships. They did so to defend the most basic Constitutional liberties of all of us -- as Lt. Col. David Frakt told Serwer: "What we have seen over and over and over is that the vast majority of detainees at Guantanamo are innocent" -- and there are no words in the English language sufficient to describe how low and odious are the people responsible for this "Department of Jihad/Al Qaeda 7" campaign.

  9. swlip (sex with limp inoperable penis) ~

    I really hope I offend you, because you certainly offend me, as does anyone who, despite years of education, can still rationalize the abandonment of the enlightenment and a return to the dark ages of torture chambers.

    I've seen pictures, banned in this country, of prisoners in U.S. custody sodomized with table lamps. How does that work? "Well, I wasn't going to tell you about the terrorist plot before, but now that I've got this lamp in my ass... "

    No, I'm not a lawyer. But let me offer you my layman's opinion. IF we put people to death for doing something at Nuremberg, THEN it's probably safe to say that we shouldn't be doing it ourselves today.

    But finding a legal opinion wasn't butt-boy Woo's job. His job was to provide legal cover for the Cheney wing of the White House while they lived out their sadistic fantasies.

    And fantasies is the right word for it. In all of your sycophantic defense of the indefensible, you miss the part -- the thousands of years of experience -- that tells us torture doesn't work.

    Jesse Ventura said, "Give me a water-board, Dick Cheney and an hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders."

    I'd like to see him try that with you.

  10. fake Greenwald:

    You're mixing apples and oranges, and you know it. If you were being intellectually honest, you would acknowledge that the issue is over conflicts of interest, not the integrity of lawyers who have defended Gitmo detainees.

    Indeed, mentioning Jag Corps defense lawyers is a double-strawman, since Obama-ites have sought to end prosecutions by military tribunal; the suggestion being that a Jag is incapable of presenting a sufficient defense before such a tribunal.

    And if anyone disputes this, I challenge that person to articulate precisely what the current administration's policy is on this.

  11. Godwhacker:

    You are such an intellectual midget that you must have to wear a bicycle flag to avoid being stepped on at cocktail parties.

    I challenge you to find anything in Yoo's memo that authorized sodomizing prisoners, or any such treatment. Yes, individual soldiers and units did some despicable things, for which they were summarily investigated and prosecuted. The fact that such things happened is different from what was determined to be official policy.

    But I'm not telling you anything you don't know, already. It must be nice to live in a world where you never have to take responsibility for answering difficult questions.

  12. "midget"

    Yo swilp -- refer to us as "little people" you mental moron.

  13. swlip (stupid warmonger with little itty-bitty penis)

    OOOOOOHHHHH! You answer the HARD questions!! OOOOOHHHH! Can I touch you? You, you're just soooo butch and manly. Ohhh. To be in your presence...

    What a fracking joke.

  14. Game. Set. Match.

  15. I can see no one has any interest in en haec verba.

  16. Actually, Godwhacker, looking at your blog I think that we would agree on a lot of things. I'm definitely a libertarian on domestic matters, but find that the Big-"L" Libertarians cannot be taken seriously on matters of war and foreign policy. These are matters that merit serious, informed discussion, not name-calling.

  17. SFL - Sorry to hijack your comments, again.

  18. What conflict of interest? Would a PD be conflicted out of working for the State?

  19. en haec testicoli is what has Godwhacker's interest


  21. godwhacker - well said

  22. swlip - youre a hack

    you are trying to justify a low water mark in american history and jurisprudence

    woo and you have no character, for suggesting the pressure justifies the perversion that resulted

    really small and sad

  23. swlip -- for all your self-lauded intelligence, you can't even tell the difference between Jack Bower style fantasy and the real world.

    Torture doesn't work. It's illegal. It's primitive. It's barbaric. And those who advocate it are far more interested in fulfilling repressed sexual urges of dominance then they are with protecting national security.

    Libertarianism begins with the premiss that a moral government only exists to protect inalienable individual rights. You side step that, in favor of... whatever it is that you believe. I can assure you with absolute certainty that you and I agree on NOTHING.

  24. 12:48- The correct term is "dwarf"

  25. Emergent threats always serve as the justification for civil liberty crackdowns and the resultant "enhanced" interrogations approved by these lawyers.

  26. Godwhacker:

    I can see that your obsession with sexual organs leads you to rely on what can only be politely termed as odd analogies. You assume that I'm in favor of torture. I am not. I am, however, in favor of doing all that can be legally done to defend our country.

    Your argument assumes that torture was the official policy of the Bush administration. It was not. They tried very hard to draw the line in the right place. That others disagree with their conclusions does not mean that they acted viciously or in bad faith.

    The fallacy of your argument is belied by your bald assertion that torture doesn't work. Well, maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't. You don't bother defining torture, so we don't have the benefit of knowing the full context of your argument. However, enhanced interrogations were done, and everyone who was involved agrees that they produced real, actionable intel. Intel that saved lives.

    The childishness of your argument is belied by your insistence that the Bush administration took pleasure in inflicting pain on detainees. That is so silly as to be unworthy of a response. If you have evidence for such an outrageous assertion, please provide it. I am still operating under the assumption that we're trying to have a serious discussion, here.

    Finally, I agree that the proper role of government is to secure liberty, and that liberty is best secured by protecting the rights of all citizens and persons entitled to such protection under the Constitution. But you provide no argument for why terrorists - who violate every tenet of the traditional laws of warfare - are entitled to such protection. Thus, your point relies on a conclusory assertion that has no apparent basis in fact or law. Lawyers call this manner of argument "frivolous". Since you are not a lawyer, I will cut you some slack and just say that you are out your depth when discussing the issue.

  27. vom Rath:

    So, are you willing to allow a large, American city to be blown up by a nuclear device in order to preserve a principle? Assume you are the President. You have a constitutional obligation to protect and defend the U.S. Where do you draw the line?

  28. swlip has been and will always be a prick.

  29. swlip -- One cannot look at the torture photos, banned by both Bush and Obama, and not see an obvious connection to BDSM fantasies.

    If there is no reliable information gained by torture, then it's logical to assume other motives.

    Play with semantics all you want, but I grew up in an America that called waterboarding "water torture". Waterboarding is torture. Waterboarding was the policy of the Bush administration, ergo torture was the policy of the Bush administration.

    Please, I have no intention taking lessons on logical fallacies from a person who can't follow a simple "A = A" equation.

    Your attempt to create sub-classes of humans (terrorists), deserving lesser rights, is right in keeping with Hitler.

    Your attempts to demean me fall flat. I have no respect for you and could care less what you think. There will be a judgement day for those who have abandoned moral certitude in favor of barbarianism and cruelty -- be it at the hands of a court, the journals of history, or God herself.

    I'm on the right side here, and if your weren't so pumped full of mind-numbing propaganda and hate, you would know just where you are too.

    I will not respond to you any more. The readers here can decide what they think of this little joust.

  30. "this little joust" -- there you go with the BDSM stuff again.

  31. Godwhacker:

    If waterboarding is torture, then why is it used on all of our special forces in helping them train for resisting interrogation? Do you even have a legal definition for torture?

    Actually, the relegation of terrorists as illegal combatants is designed to protect civilians. Do you know why?

    What was the purpose of the Geneva Conventions? Can you generally describe their historical foundations?

    I doubt that you have answers to any of these questions, so you will fall back on your ad hominem remarks which, by the way, reflect a somewhat distressing obsession with BDSM imagery. I am coming 'round to the conclusion that what we have here is a massive case of projection - i.e., you accuse our government of engaging in BDSM fantasies because, ahem, given the power and the opportunity, that is precisely what you would do.

    Am I right, or what?

  32. SFL - Funny.

    Godwhacker - Once the name "Hitler" has been invoked in a debate, the invoker has to buy a round of beer.

    That's just the rule. Sorry.

  33. 3:48, Am I right, or what?

    -In that you are a mental dwarf moron with the IQ of a rooster– YES!!!!

  34. We're the United States, we don't torture.

  35. Never underestimate a rooster. Wiley critters, they are - always watching you, sizing you up.

  36. SFL -- I embraced my inner freak a long, long, time ago. Tantalizing? Yes, but it's so hard to keep the leather clean. I'm rather vanilla these days. But I still submit that there is little wrong with the GOP that a few days in Mistress Heather's Dungeon and a couple hits of Ecstasy couldn't cure.

  37. And swlip -- your arguments have more holes then a French brothel. I could respond to you, but as I said -- I'm done. I don't like you. It is impossible to reason with you, because you're incapable of acknowledging the shear depravity of the leaders you look up to.

    This isn't a joke. I'm not laughing. The Hitler comparison is quite accurate. You're going to hell -- real or metaphor.

  38. Heh. Remember, Godwhacker, it's a thin line between love and hate.

    You'll be back for more. It's in your, ahem, nature.

  39. If you kids keep wrestling like this I'll have to bring George L. Metcalfe in here to sort things out.

  40. SFL:

    You. Wouldn't. Dare.

  41. georgie likes it old school

  42. hey look you sick f*&^

    its nice that you've come out of the closet

    but your position is unholy and not supportable

    torture is not defensible

    and waterboarding you moron is tortue

    and godwhacker as for you....

  43. The Nazi comment is apt. The populace was not informed as to the horrors, just the exigent dangers requiring 'decisive' if brutal measures to preserve 'educated Europe.'

  44. from the Soviet hordes, please be clear!!

  45. SFL's jazz band has been revealed: extensive review of court documents and media reports by Fox News suggests many of the seven lawyers in question played only minor or short-lived roles in advocating for detainees. However, it's unclear what roles, if any, they have played in detainee-related matters since joining the Justice Department.


  47. On Tuesday, all attempts at subtlety were abandoned. Keep America Safe, the conservative advocacy group which was founded by Liz Cheney to defend torture and oppose civilian trials for suspected terrorists and which has close ties to McCarthy, turned the "Gitmo Nine" into the "al-Qaeda Seven." The group put out a Web video demanding that Holder name the other Justice Department lawyers who had previously represented terrorist detainees or worked on similar issues for groups that opposed the Bush administration's near-limitless assumption of executive power. "Whose values do they share?" a voice asks ominously. "Americans have a right to know the identity of the al-Qaeda Seven." The ad echoed McCarthy's references to the "al-Qaeda bar" from months earlier.

    "This is exactly what Joe McCarthy did," said Gude. "Not kind of like McCarthyism; this is exactly McCarthyism."

    The attorneys who secured greater due process rights for detainees weren't attempting to prevent terrorists from being punished -- they were attempting to prevent the government from assuming limitless power to imprison people indefinitely based on mere suspicion. Not all of those fighting the Bush administration's policies even believed that terrorists should be tried in civilian courts. Katyal, who litigated the 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case in which the Supreme Court decided in the detainees' favor, advocated for using military courts martial -- and later, authored an op-ed for The New York Times alongside former Bush lawyer Jack Goldsmith arguing for a new "national security court" to try terrorists. Still, Katyal held that Bush's general policy for trying terrorists "closely resemble those of King George III."

    For human-rights advocates, there's something bitter about conservatives targeting those attorneys who worked to curtail the Bush administration's abuses of power. Two weeks ago, the government released a long-awaited Office of Professional Responsibility report recommending professional sanctions for John Yoo and Jay Bybee, two former lawyers in the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel who gave the green light for the use of torture in interrogations. OPR's recommendations were overruled by David Margolis, a high-ranking Justice Department official. Margolis nevertheless acknowledged that Yoo and Bybee exercised "poor judgment," and said that it was a "close question" as to whether Yoo "intentionally or recklessly provided misleading advice to his client."

    Conservatives have since claimed that Yoo and Bybee were "exonerated" by the report. Last week, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the OPR report, Sen. Jon Cornyn of Texas said that "the Department's decision in this matter should once and for all put to rest any notion that John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and their associates deserve anything other than the thanks of a grateful nation for their service."

    "The right is treating the lawyers who came up with the justification for torture as heroes, and the lawyers like Katyal who helped restore the rule of law as villains," says Frakt. "They've just got their heads screwed on backwards."

  48. From Glenn Greenwald ~ "John Adams, as a lawyer, defended British soldiers accused of brutal crimes committed during the Boston Massacre. Adams called his defense of those enemy soldiers "one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country." Imagine the ads Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol would have produced about him. As always, those who most flamboyantly and shrilly anoint themselves Arbiters of American Patriotism wage the most vicious wars on its core principles."


    Hahahahahahaaaaa! Surrendered faster than the French.

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