This story concerns the outrageous statements by the Bush Administration's deputy assistant secretary of defense Charles "Cully" Stimson, disparaging attorneys who provide pro bono legal representation to detainees at Guantanamo. Last week, the Times and other reports revealed that Mr. Stimson willingly participated in a effort, echoed later by Robert Pollock of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, to expose the names of the attorneys and their private law firms and to insinuate that the attorneys were unprincipled and disloyal by representing "terrorists." The apparent goal of these fine folks was to intimidate these and any other attorneys who might seek to represent the detainees by smearing the attorneys' reputations and encouraging their firms' corporate clients to find other counsel.
In a clear sign of an Administration-wide attack on the ability of the legal system to provide any accountability to the Administration in its handling of detainees, Attorney General Gonzales did his part on Tuesday by blaming the detainees' attorneys for any delays in bringing the detainees to trial. On Wednesday, he also criticized federal judges for presuming to interfere in these cases involving terrorists.
... By Wednesday, the National Lawyers Guild and others called for Stimson's censure, and dozens of law school deans, as well as numerous editorials (e.g. WaPo), were calling for a retraction — and apparently many decent attorneys in the Defense Department were disavowing Stimson's comments. Wednesday, the protesters got a formal written apology from "Cully" in a letter to the Washington Post. But an apology is not enough; Mr. Stimson should be fired. I'll let the Boston Globe's lead editorial, Another Pentagon Smear, make the obvious case...
Saturday, January 20, 2007
More on the Charles "Cully" Stimson controversy from Firedoglake:
-Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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