Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Justice and the al-Qaeda seven

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) set off a firestorm when, in his role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he requested information from Attorney General Holder on Justice Department lawyers who previously represented terrorist detainees.  After almost three months of stonewalling, Eric Holder admitted that there were nine such lawyers in the department, but only revealed the names of two.  This prompted the conservative advocacy organization Keep America Safe to release the following video:

The video ad and the organization's leader, Liz Cheney, have been met with scathing criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.  Bush adminstration Solicitor General Ted Olson, former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and conservative Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff are just a few of the respected conservatives who have come out publicly in defense of these DOJ lawyers.  I have immense respect each of these men, but they have one thing in common.  They are all lawyers.  I think there is a bond among members of the legal profession just as there is a bond between medical doctors. 

I also think they miss the point of the ad.  Keep America Safe only launched the video after Eric Holder refused to release the identities of the seven DOJ employees leaving the appearance that there was something to hide.

Marc Theissen points out the clear double standard pervading the mainstream media's presentation of the controversy:
Would most Americans want to know if the Justice Department had hired a bunch of mob lawyers and put them in charge of mob cases? Or a group of drug cartel lawyers and put them in charge of drug cases? Would they want their elected representatives to find out who these lawyers were, which mob bosses and drug lords they had worked for, and what roles they were now playing at the Justice Department? Of course they would -- and rightly so.
In fairness to Ted Olson, he, too pointed out the selective outrage and double standard in the treatment of government lawyers.

Bernie Goldberg put in his two cents on the MSM double standard in his analysis of the predictable New York Times editorial "Are You or Have You Ever Been a Lawyer? " on Bill O'Reilly:

My favorite response to the kerfuffle would have to be that of Rush Limbaugh today on his radio program.  To paraphrase, Rush's only problem with the al-Qaeda 7 ad, is that he didn't think of it first.  I'll post his exact phraseology when today's transcript goes up tomorrow.

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