Unwarranted Attempt to Chill Legal Rights of Detainees

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Unwarranted Attempt to Chill Legal Rights of Detainees

Post by Ralph » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:39 am

This man's remarks are truly repulsive. If someone is entitled to legal counsel, repercussions for engaging in such representation are wrong (but, of course, possible). Stimson may be a lawyer but he doesn't understand the most fundamental concept of owing a duty not only to a client but to those who find it hard or impossible to engage competent counsel because of their views, alleged crimes or notoriety.

No doubt if Mr. Stimson had been an English official in the time of the so-called Boston Massacre he would have inveighed against John Adams for his zealous defense of Captain Preston and the other accused Redcoats.

*****

From The New York Times:

January 13, 2007
Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees
By NEIL A. LEWIS

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble.

“This is prejudicial to the administration of justice,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University and an authority on legal ethics. “It’s possible that lawyers willing to undertake what has been long viewed as an admirable chore will decline to do so for fear of antagonizing important clients.

“We have a senior government official suggesting that representing these people somehow compromises American interests, and he even names the firms, giving a target to corporate America.”

Mr. Stimson made his remarks in an interview on Thursday with Federal News Radio, a local Washington-based station that is aimed at an audience of government employees.

The same point appeared Friday on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, where Robert L. Pollock, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, cited the list of law firms and quoted an unnamed “senior U.S. official” as saying, “Corporate C.E.O.’s seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists.”

In his radio interview, Mr. Stimson said: “I think the news story that you’re really going to start seeing in the next couple of weeks is this: As a result of a FOIA request through a major news organization, somebody asked, ‘Who are the lawyers around this country representing detainees down there?’ and you know what, it’s shocking.” The F.O.I.A. reference was to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Monica Crowley, a conservative syndicated talk show host, asking for the names of all the lawyers and law firms representing Guantánamo detainees in federal court cases.

Mr. Stimson, who is himself a lawyer, then went on to name more than a dozen of the firms listed on the 14-page report provided to Ms. Crowley, describing them as “the major law firms in this country.” He said, “I think, quite honestly, when corporate C.E.O.’s see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those C.E.O.’s are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out.”

Karen J. Mathis, a Denver lawyer who is president of the American Bar Association, said: “Lawyers represent people in criminal cases to fulfill a core American value: the treatment of all people equally before the law. To impugn those who are doing this critical work — and doing it on a volunteer basis — is deeply offensive to members of the legal profession, and we hope to all Americans.”

In an interview on Friday, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said he had no problem with the current system of representation. “Good lawyers representing the detainees is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases,” he said.

Neither the White House nor the Pentagon had any official comment, but officials sought to distance themselves from Mr. Stimson’s view. His comments “do not represent the views of the Defense Department or the thinking of its leadership,” a senior Pentagon official said. He would not allow his name to be used, seemingly to lessen the force of his rebuke. Mr. Stimson did not return a call on Friday seeking comment.

The role of major law firms agreeing to take on the cases of Guantánamo prisoners challenging their detentions in federal courts has hardly been a secret and has been the subject of many news articles that have generally cast their efforts in a favorable light. Michael Ratner, who heads the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based human rights group that is coordinating the legal representation for the Guantánamo detainees, said about 500 lawyers from about 120 law firms had volunteered their services to represent Guantánamo prisoners.

When asked in the radio interview who was paying for the legal representation, Mr. Stimson replied: “It’s not clear, is it? Some will maintain that they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart, that they’re doing it pro bono, and I suspect they are; others are receiving moneys from who knows where, and I’d be curious to have them explain that.”

Lawyers expressed outrage at that, asserting that they are not being paid and that Mr. Stimson had tried to suggest they were by innuendo. Of the approximately 500 lawyers coordinated by the Center for Constitutional Rights, no one is being paid, Mr. Ratner said. One Washington law firm, Shearman & Sterling, which has represented Kuwaiti detainees, has received money from the families of the prisoners, but Thomas Wilner, a lawyer there, said they had donated all of it to charities related to the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Mr. Ratner said that there were two other defense lawyers not under his group’s umbrella and that he did not know whether they were paid.

Christopher Moore, a lawyer at the New York firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton who represented an Uzbeki detainee who has since been released, said: “We believe in the concept of justice and that every person is entitled to counsel. Any suggestion that our representation was anything other than a pro bono basis is untrue and unprofessional.” Mr. Moore said he had made four trips to Guantánamo and one to Albania at the firm’s expense, to see his client freed.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Bush on Friday asking him to disavow Mr. Stimson’s remarks.

Mr. Stimson, who was a Navy lawyer, graduated from George Mason University Law School. In a 2006 interview with the magazine of Kenyon College, his alma mater, Mr. Stimson said that he was learning “to choose my words carefully because I am a public figure on a very, very controversial topic.”
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Post by Werner » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:31 am

An attempt to carry the abuses of the Bush Administration to another level.
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Post by Donald Isler » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:13 am

I have my doubts that Leahy will get a response from Bush. It would require something Bush doesn't have. Character.

Also, is Stimson perhaps implying that these prisoners shouldn't get decent legal representation because the government's cases against them are so weak?
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Post by pizza » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:47 pm

The usual partisans who use any and every excuse possible to bash the Bush administration either didn't read the entire article or if they did, deliberately ignored information that doesn't comport with their prejudices:

"In an interview on Friday, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said he had no problem with the current system of representation. “Good lawyers representing the detainees is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases,” he said.

And:

"Neither the White House nor the Pentagon had any official comment, but officials sought to distance themselves from Mr. Stimson’s view. His comments “do not represent the views of the Defense Department or the thinking of its leadership,” a senior Pentagon official said."

It seems that the current controversy is just another tea-pot tempest induced by the personal opinion of a DOD employee.

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Post by Werner » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:57 pm

I did read the Gonzales and DOD statements, but my doubt about the character of the Administration remain.

Any Attorney General who failed to say what Gonzales said would be taking a strange position, indeed - with due credit on my part to all those CMGers more legally qualified than I.

That said - and considering that Mr. Gonzales must be thinking of his future in the legal profesion when this Administration is history - I believe history will not treat Mr. Bush's regard for legal requirement in the treatment of detainees kindly. Or is there a precedent, Pizza, for conviction without trial?
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Post by Ralph » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:47 pm

Pizza,

You're being disingenuous. The "DOD employee" is the deputy assistant secretary of defense. Certainly, Gonzales wouldn't have said anything like Stimson did - there is an institutional memory of AGs like John Mitchell. But for all not to be bothered, not just lawyers, at this attempt to chill representation for detainees is a big mistake.

The Bush administration hasn't done well at the Supreme Court with its claims of largely unfettered executive power. Attacking the lawyers who fight these claims is hardly unexpected but it is very, very wrong.

The Bush administration should formally and publicly repudiate Stimson's statement.
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Post by pizza » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:04 pm

Werner wrote:I did read the Gonzales and DOD statements, but my doubt about the character of the Administration remain.

Any Attorney General who failed to say what Gonzales said would be taking a strange position, indeed - with due credit on my part to all those CMGers more legally qualified than I.

That said - and considering that Mr. Gonzales must be thinking of his future in the legal profesion when this Administration is history - I believe history will not treat Mr. Bush's regard for legal requirement in the treatment of detainees kindly. Or is there a precedent, Pizza, for conviction without trial?
What nonsense, Werner. It's typical of Bush bashers to pounce on every nonsensical statement by any government official and attribute it to the President, while belittling any opposing statement by the administration, even when it originates with the Attorney General, the top government lawyer.

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Post by pizza » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:15 pm

Ralph wrote:Pizza,

You're being disingenuous. The "DOD employee" is the deputy assistant secretary of defense. Certainly, Gonzales wouldn't have said anything like Stimson did - there is an institutional memory of AGs like John Mitchell. But for all not to be bothered, not just lawyers, at this attempt to chill representation for detainees is a big mistake.

The Bush administration hasn't done well at the Supreme Court with its claims of largely unfettered executive power. Attacking the lawyers who fight these claims is hardly unexpected but it is very, very wrong.

The Bush administration should formally and publicly repudiate Stimson's statement.
Stimson is not the "deputy assistant secretary of defense". He is a deputy assistant in the Office of Detainee Affairs of the DOD that's responsible for strategy development and policy recommendations. The Principal Deputy Undersecretary is C. Ryan Henry.

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Post by Ralph » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:21 pm

Dear Pizza,

Here is how Mr. Stimson is listed on the Department of Defense website:

Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Stimson, Office of Detainee Affairs

I'm on my way out the door now - can you please contact the DoD and inform them they have incorrectly listed Mr. Stimson's rank and position? Thanks.
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Post by pizza » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:37 pm

Dear Ralph:

Stimson is not the "deputy assistant secretary of defense" as you originally described him. There is no need to correct the DOD website as it is defines Stimson's role exactly as I did; he is deputy assistant sec'y in the Office of Detainee Affairs of the DOD.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:17 pm

Dear Pizza,

Here is just one item from the DoD website:

Guantanamo Still Important, Relevant, Official Says
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2007 – The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, remains a valuable asset in the war on terror as a place to hold enemy combatants and a source of useful intelligence to prevent future terrorist attacks, a top Defense Department official said here today.

“It’s important during a time of war to have a place where, number one, you can take people off the battlefield and not allow them to go back to the battlefield … but also, exploit intelligence that they may possess,” Charles Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said in an interview on C-SPAN. “Guantanamo today remains the key strategic intelligence platform in the war on terror.”

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the first arrival of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. About 395 detainees are now in the detention facility, which is co-located on the island with Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.

The detainees at Guantanamo Bay are terrorist trainers, financiers and supporters, and it is important for the U.S. to have a place to hold them until the war on terror is over, Stimson said. He stressed that the law of armed conflict allows any country under the Geneva Conventions to hold enemy combatants, without charging them with crimes, to keep them off the battlefield.

The U.S. has released or transferred 377 detainees to other countries since the detention facility opened, Stimson said. About 100 more are cleared for release and waiting for diplomatic negotiations with their home countries. These detainees were either deemed to no longer be a threat, or other countries agreed to accept them for further detention.

“As the president has said, we don’t want to be the world’s jailer,” Stimson said. “We want other countries to step up and accept responsibilities for detainees during this time of war.”

The conditions at Guantanamo are safe and humane, Stimson said. The detainees get to exercise regularly, are fed culturally and religiously appropriate meals, receive excellent medical and dental care, have access to mail and a library, and have the opportunity to practice their religion. Also, the International Committee of the Red Cross has unfettered access to the detainees.

Stimson pointed out that even though unlawful enemy combatants aren’t protected by the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. has adopted a high standard of treatment for all detainees. “I think we should be proud as a country that we established that,” he said. “We can’t lower ourselves to where the enemy would take us; we have to remain the paragon of human rights that we are.”

Intelligence yielded from the interrogations continues to be valuable in the war on terror, he said. He gave as an example one incident where Guantanamo detainees identified a high-level Al Qaeda leader.

The Defense Department is slated to submit a manual on military commissions to Congress Jan. 15 that will outline the rules and procedures to be followed in trying detainees charged with war crimes. Once the manual receives approval, military commissions at Guantanamo Bay are expected to continue, Stimson said.
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Post by Ralph » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:21 pm

And here's anudder:

Seal of the Department of Defense U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Transcript
On the Web:
http://www.defenselink.mil/Transcripts/ ... criptID=23
Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132 Public contact:
http://www.dod.mil/faq/comment.html
or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1
Presenter: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Prisoner Affairs, Charles Stimson June 20, 2006 03:00 PM EDT
Radio Interview with Deputy Assistant Secretary Stimson on the Washington Post Radio, 1500 AM, 107.7 FM, Washington D.C.

Kur: (In progress) – on the new Washington Post Radio 1500 AM, 107.7 FM.



We’re going to turn our attention now back to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.



A little over a week ago, three detainees there hanged themselves there at the facility that holds about 450 men that the government says are enemy combatants. Now they were captured during hostilities in and around Afghanistan after 9/11. Now of the roughly 450 at Guantanamo, only 10, apparently have crimes.



Twenty-four hours ago on this very program, Washington Post columnist Gene Robinson argued, as he does in his column today, that, quote, “Anyway you look at it, arbitrary indefinite detention without formal legal charges is an abandonment of the very ideals that the U.S. is supposedly fighting to spread throughout the world.”



Today, a response. We’re going to get it from the Pentagon: the deputy assistant secretary of Defense, Cally Stimson, is here with us now.



Mr. Stimson, good to have you with us.



MR. STIMSON: Thanks for having me, Bob.



Kur: Well, if it is true at this time that only 10 detainees are at Gitmo – only 10 of the 450 or so have been charged, why is that?



MR. STIMSON: First off, there’s approximately 460. And you know, during a time of war, which we’re at war – we need to remind all our listeners that we are at war – any nation who detains its enemy is entitled to keep the enemy detained throughout the duration of the conflict.



And what Mr. Robinson is doing in his article is he’s conflating or mixing or melding two very important different concepts. One concept being a criminal law context: charges, rights, Miranda, courts; and the law of war context, which is detain the person throughout the duration of the conflict until the conflict is over. There are two purposes served in both of those –



Kur: I guess that what he and others have said is that this is a war that, at least for now, doesn’t seem like other wars. I think everybody has conceded that. And you know, you say for the duration of the conflict. Who knows how long that’s going to be?



MR. STIMSON: Yeah, that’s the tough issue. And what that does not entitle the opponents of the war to do is to create out of thin air a law, a rule – which doesn’t exist, by the way – that says, well, since we don’t know when it’s going to end, then we get to meld the law of war and meld that with a criminal law context.



I mean, let me give you a perfect example: In World War II, when we were lucky enough to detain our enemy – let’s say the Nazis, for instance – those detainees, those prisoners, they didn’t know when the war was going to end. They didn’t get a nickel to call their lawyer. They weren’t even given lawyers, because you don’t give your enemy a lawyer for a trial because it’s understood – and it has been understood for over 50 years in the Geneva Convention – you don’t get a trial and get a lawyer, a Johnnie Cochran, to try to pop you out of a detention facility.



And so there’s this constant mantra, this drumbeat that, oh, they need charges, they need lawyers, they need a trial because we don’t know when the end of the war’s going to be. Well, that’s the way wars are.



Kur: We’re talking to Charles “Cully” Stimson. He’s the deputy assistant secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. He looks after detainee affairs.



And Charles, you’re actually here in part because Gene Robinson of the Post was here 24-hours ago saying things like this:



GENE ROBINSON (Washington Post columnist): (From audiotape) – calls into question, really, the United States’ commitment to the values and ideals that we said we want to spread throughout the world, such as due process and rule of law. And Guantanamo seems to mock those values.



Kur: How do you answer that?



MR. STIMSON: He’s wrong. That doesn’t mock those values at all. Indeed, we’re giving more rights to these terrorists than our own soldiers got during any conflict when they were detained or the Nazis got when they were detained during World War II.



During war, you’re not entitled to a trial. You’re not entitled to criminal charges. I mean, Mr. Robinson just has it wrong. He doesn’t understand his history. What happens is – I’ll tell you what’s happening in Guantanamo.



Kur: Sure.



MR. STIMSON: Even though they’re not entitled to a trial and they’re not entitled to anything more than determining whether they’re enemy combatants or not, which we’ve done, we are annually reviewing them during the annual review process. And we are, as you know, transferring certain numbers of detainees, almost every month or every other month now, back to their home countries. We don’t have to do that. There’s no rule that says we have to do that, but we’re doing it anyway. Why? Simply because we don’t want to be the world’s jailers. And more importantly, or as importantly, is we believe other countries need to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for the people that came from their country and then waged war against us and our allies.





Kur: And apparently –



MR. STIMSON: And so Mr. Robinson has it wrong.



Kur: Apparently that’s proved to be a bit problematic, getting them out of there, even in some cases.



Let me ask you this, in the seconds we have remaining –



MR. STIMSON: Sure.



Kur: Can you update us at all – is there anything new on the investigation of the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of those three detainees a little over a week ago?



MR. STIMSON: I can’t tell you anything more other than the investigation is ongoing. But you can be darn sure that when the investigation is over we will be telling everybody about the investigation and what the findings. Just like – unlike what Mr. Robinson said in his piece – we’re transparent about everything else we do in Guantanamo.



I mean, over a thousand – a thousand different media outlets have been to Guantanamo in four years, representing 41 different countries. I mean, that place is the most transparent detention facility in the world.



Kur: I suspect that there’s only so much you can see even when you visit, and unless you stay for a long time and mingle with the detainees and actually get their stories, you know, you can go see it, you can get a tour, but I don’t know how much you really learn about the place.



MR. STIMSON: Well, when you consider that, for instance, in the D.C. jail – I used to be a U.S. -- an assistant U.S. attorney here in Washington. There’s media there every day. There’s no media every day or almost every day in most detention facilities that are within our country.



Kur: (Off mike) -- talking about the circumstances under which the media gets to go or the ground rules. And I mean, I know it would be problematic to let reporters into the cells and all that.



MR. STIMSON : Well, actually, in Guantanamo – I mean, have you been?



Kur: I have not.



MR. STIMSON: Come on down.



Kur: (Chuckles.) Come on down.



MR. STIMSON: I’ll take you myself with other reporters. I mean, they go down. They come there in the morning. They leave in the afternoon. For the last four years there’s been a virtual constant presence of the media down there. And you know, we’ve taken two different European parliamentarian groups down there. I’ve taken them. They have all said very favorable things about the treatment conditions under which the detainees are living – much to the consternation of some of their fellow colleagues in Europe. They don’t want to hear good news. They only want to hear the outrageous bad news.



So I mean, no, we don’t have a 24-hour camera cable channel where you can just click on your computer and watch detainees, but we don’t have that in any jail or prison in the United States either.



Kur: All right. We’re going to have to let it go there. I appreciate your coming by today to talk us through this and to respond to Gene Robinson.



MR. STIMSON: I’ll come back anytime you invite me.



Kur: Charles “Cully” Stimson. He’s the deputy assistant secretary of Defense, the Office of Detainee Affairs at the Pentagon
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Post by Werner » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:04 pm

A couple of sidelights: I don't think we ever captured Nazi prisoners in World War II except under the rules applying to the treatment of prisoners of war - a category quite separate from what Stimson is trying to justify here. Certainly the rules applying to prisoners of war are not followed here - undoubtedly because Mr. Stimson and/or his cohort don't find them applicable.

He states that the detainees are terrorists and enemy combatants. Do we know that, or are we guessing?

And how come we hear of people being released after years of captivity when it turns out they were there for some other reason - like having been caught up in the net by happenstance?

As to the vaunted process of collecting intelligence, how much information of value do you - or Stimson and his bunch - think you get out of prisoners in this way? Has anyone published anything regarding the value of intelligence obtained? Of course, that's legitimately a secret - but I do wonder.

This interview is not a picture of your Government protecting you effectively. Why am I not surprised?
Werner Isler

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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:15 pm

To paraphrase Ralph on a thread where I deserved what I got, the bear who s*its in the woods on my mother's property knows that there is a crucial function in US law practice called pro bono. It doesn't really make much difference what level this guy functions at or what title he holds, does it? Unlike the local yokels who still bend one elbow over the bar with the other on the cracker barrel, he has a responsibility. He is a dope, and should be fired.

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Post by pizza » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:46 am

Dear Ralph:

I'm sure you realize that just because others have elevated Stimson to "deputy assistant Sec'y of Defense" without describing his jurisdiction as limited to Detainee Affairs, it won't give him an increase in pay. :wink:

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Post by Ricordanza » Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:26 am

MR. STIMSON: First off, there’s approximately 460. And you know, during a time of war, which we’re at war – we need to remind all our listeners that we are at war – any nation who detains its enemy is entitled to keep the enemy detained throughout the duration of the conflict.
And what Mr. Robinson is doing in his article is he’s conflating or mixing or melding two very important different concepts. One concept being a criminal law context: charges, rights, Miranda, courts; and the law of war context, which is detain the person throughout the duration of the conflict until the conflict is over. There are two purposes served in both of those –

Kur: I guess that what he and others have said is that this is a war that, at least for now, doesn’t seem like other wars. I think everybody has conceded that. And you know, you say for the duration of the conflict. Who knows how long that’s going to be?

MR. STIMSON: Yeah, that’s the tough issue.
Indeed, that's the "tough" issue. The rationale presented by Stimson and others in the administration for denying basic legal rights of the detainees is flawed because they are using the framework of wars that have a beginning and an end. The "war on terror" simply doesn't fit into that framework, so he really doesn't have an answer to Mr. Kur's question.

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Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:04 am

pizza wrote:Dear Ralph:

I'm sure you realize that just because others have elevated Stimson to "deputy assistant Sec'y of Defense" without describing his jurisdiction as limited to Detainee Affairs, it won't give him an increase in pay. :wink:
*****

Dear Pizza,

You have fallen apart without Lilith! :(

Your very concerned colleague,

Ralph
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Post by pizza » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:27 am

Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:Dear Ralph:

I'm sure you realize that just because others have elevated Stimson to "deputy assistant Sec'y of Defense" without describing his jurisdiction as limited to Detainee Affairs, it won't give him an increase in pay. :wink:
*****

Dear Pizza,

You have fallen apart without Lilith! :(

Your very concerned colleague,

Ralph
Dear Ralph:

Why your sudden preoccupation with Lilith? Methinks it's you who misses her! :roll:

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Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:32 am

pizza wrote:
Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:Dear Ralph:

I'm sure you realize that just because others have elevated Stimson to "deputy assistant Sec'y of Defense" without describing his jurisdiction as limited to Detainee Affairs, it won't give him an increase in pay. :wink:
*****

Dear Pizza,

You have fallen apart without Lilith! :(

Your very concerned colleague,

Ralph
Dear Ralph:

Why your sudden preoccupation with Lilith? Methinks it's you who misses her! :roll:
*****

Dear Pizza,

Well, yes, in a way you're right (of course you're almost always "right"). That lass had a way of rattling your chains that, I hoped, gave you added zest in life. But I know I can't take her place and neither can the deputy assistant secretary of defense.
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Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:17 pm

Published on AfterDowningStreet.org (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org)
First They Came for the Lawyers

Created 2007-01-15 03:57

By Marjorie Cohn

In one of the most severe blows the Bush administration has dealt to our constitutional democracy, the Pentagon attacked the lawyers who have volunteered to represent the Guantánamo detainees. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Stimson threatened corporate lawyers who agree to defend the men and boys imprisoned there. Flashing a list of corporations that use law firms doing this pro bono work, Stimson declared, "Corporate C.E.O.'s seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists."

In 1770, John Adams defended nine British soldiers including a captain who stood accused of killing five Americans. No other lawyer would defend them. Adams thought no one in a free country should be denied the right to a fair trial and the right to counsel. He was subjected to scorn and ridicule and claimed to have lost half his law practice as a result of his efforts. Adams later said his representation of those British soldiers was "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."

Federal Judge Green, who has handled the many habeas corpus petitions filed by the Guantánamo detainees, expressed appreciation for the lawyers: "I do want to say we are very grateful for those attorneys who have accepted pro bono appointments. That is a service to the country, a service to the parties. No matter what position you take on this, it is a grand service."

More than 750 men and boys have been held like animals in cages during the last five years at Guantánamo. Many were picked up by warlords and sold to the US military for bounty. None has been tried for any crime. Very few even have any criminal charges against them.

Ironically, there were no alleged terrorists connected with 9/11 there until Bush recently transferred 14 men from his secret CIA prisons to Guantánamo. Meanwhile, hundreds of detainees languish in custody, aided by 500 courageous lawyers from 120 firms who have volunteered countless hours to represent them.

Under the Military Commissions Act Bush just rammed through Congress, the Guantánamo prisoners could be held for the rest of their lives without ever seeing a judge. Those who decide that death could not be worse than life at Gitmo have participated in a hunger strike. Rather than subject the Bush administration to embarrassment when prisoners die in US custody, military guards force feed them. Thick plastic tubes are forced down their throats with no anesthesia. Tubes are not sterilized before being reused on other prisoners. The UN Human Rights Commission called the force-feeding "torture." Many prisoners also report being tortured during interrogations.

Guantánamo has become the symbol of US hypocrisy. While fighting the "war on terror" and attacking other countries for their human rights abuses, the officials in the Bush administration have become war criminals. Torture and cruel or inhuman treatment are punishable as war crimes under the US War Crimes Act.

The Supreme Court held in Rasul v. Bush that the Guantánamo prison is under US jurisdiction, so prisoners there are entitled to the protections of the Constitution. The Sixth Amendment mandates that every person charged with a crime has the right to be defended by an attorney. The government is forbidden by the Fifth Amendment from denying any "person" - US citizen or not - due process of law. The presumption of innocence is enshrined in our legal system.

Bush's attack on lawyers is the latest assault on our civil liberties, which now includes warrantless surveillance of our phone calls and email, and most recently, our US Mail. Although Bush says he's spying on the terrorists, those who criticize his policies, including his illegal and immoral war on Iraq, are also invariably in his cross hairs.

All Americans should heed the words of Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left who could stand up for me."

George W. Bush must immediately renounce Stimson's threats and relieve him of his duties. A country that would sacrifice its own values under the guise of protecting them has no moral authority in this world.

Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, is president of the National Lawyers Guild and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. Her book, "Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law," will be published in June.
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Post by pizza » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:23 pm

Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:
Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:Dear Ralph:

I'm sure you realize that just because others have elevated Stimson to "deputy assistant Sec'y of Defense" without describing his jurisdiction as limited to Detainee Affairs, it won't give him an increase in pay. :wink:
*****

Dear Pizza,

You have fallen apart without Lilith! :(

Your very concerned colleague,

Ralph
Dear Ralph:

Why your sudden preoccupation with Lilith? Methinks it's you who misses her! :roll:
*****

Dear Pizza,

Well, yes, in a way you're right (of course you're almost always "right"). That lass had a way of rattling your chains that, I hoped, gave you added zest in life. But I know I can't take her place and neither can the deputy assistant secretary of defense.
Dear Ralph:

My chains haven't been rattled since the last time the Hon. Julius J. Hoffmann rattled them, and that was a long time ago.

There are about a dozen deputy assistant secretaries of defense and about an equal number of lasses who add zest to my life. Neither of the ones you mention qualify since neither are nearly as important as you make them out to be. Omitting Stimson's full title in order to imply that he's more important than he really is adds nothing to either his stature or your argument.

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:29 pm

pizza wrote:There are about a dozen deputy assistant secretaries of defense and about an equal number of lasses who add zest to my life.
No overlap, I earnestly hope.

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Post by pizza » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:04 pm

Marjorie Cohn's distortions concerning the administration's position on Stimson's statement is fairly typical of the National Lawyers Guild's anti-American stance on just about every controversial issue.

See:

http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/group ... grpid=6162

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Post by Ralph » Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:46 pm

Note that Pizza weaves about but doesn't acknowledge that he was simply wrong about Stimson's title and position. And while he finds the article I posted as reflective of an "anti-American" stance, the fact is that as of this afternoon virtually every law dean has signed on to a protest to Secretary Gates and lawfirms large and small are making their voices heard. In fact, only Pizza, as far as I know, is dismissive of Stimson's outrageous comments.

Pizza and I disagree about many issues but I'm genuinely surprised that this one doesn't bother him (apparently).
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Post by pizza » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:35 am

Ralph wrote:Note that Pizza weaves about but doesn't acknowledge that he was simply wrong about Stimson's title and position. And while he finds the article I posted as reflective of an "anti-American" stance, the fact is that as of this afternoon virtually every law dean has signed on to a protest to Secretary Gates and lawfirms large and small are making their voices heard. In fact, only Pizza, as far as I know, is dismissive of Stimson's outrageous comments.

Pizza and I disagree about many issues but I'm genuinely surprised that this one doesn't bother him (apparently).
I don't know who you're trying to convince, but if you look at your first description of Stimson's title and position and several more of others that you've posted, they omit the part of his title that shows his position is limited to detainee affairs.

Stimson's informal interview expressed his personal opinion, not a government position, and that fact remains uncontroverted regardless of the tumult the left is raising about it. The attempt by academia and others to elevate and thus transform his personal opinion into the administration's position in order to embarrass the government is despicable. The Attorney General of the United States -- the government's top lawyer -- as well as others in the Department of Defense have already publicly disagreed with him.

Marjorie Cohn's distortions of fact -- "Bush's attack on lawyers is the latest assault on our civil liberties" -- for one, and her statement that Stimson should be fired for expressing his personal opinion are equally outrageous. Why Stimson should lose his only client because of his political views while the lawfirms who choose to represent terrorists should retain all of theirs despite their views remains a mystery. She should review the First Amendment. It applies to everyone, including government employees -- even those who informally express unpopular opinions.

What Stimson suggested, namely economic pressure on those who represent causes inimical to their own is nothing new and is a perfectly legitimate political tool. It was used in the '70s against the ACLU and their attorneys for representing the American Nazis in their attempt to march in Skokie. As a result, the ACLU lost membership and substantial funding. There were government employees from the entire political spectrum, including lawyers and judges who criticized the ACLU lawyers for representing the Nazis and expressed their anti-ACLU opinions on the matter with impunity.

Most of the lawfirms named in Stimson's interview are large professional corporations earning multi-million dollar annual fees. Any client of any of them has the right to decide whether to continue with their representation for any reason whatsoever, including their representation of those who are offensive to them. They also have the right to express their opinions about the matter and to influence others to reconsider their position as well. Stimson has an absolute First Amendment right to take that position and to publicly express it.

Never have I indicated my opinion on the substantive propriety of Stimson's statements as they relate to the question of the right of detainees to legal representation and so I find it odd that you find it "dismissive". What I find appalling is the left's pretense that Stimson's expression of opinion constitutes a threat to civil liberties, and its concerted effort to take an informal, personal opinion of a relatively minor figure who hasn't the slightest ability or power to implement anything he suggested and raise it to the level of a formal administration position.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:24 am

Government employees and those holding sub-cabinet rank have a different responsibility than many others and I suggest that applies especially when that person is a lawyer and he/she comments in a way that may chill attorneys from taking on controversial clients.

There is nothing new about a government official uttering beliefs that for official purposes are disavowed by superiors. Often, the harm has already been done or, at the least, made possible.

No amount of rationalizing will make anyone see the attack on Stimson as coming solely or even largely from the left. Bar associations across the country seem united in condemning the attempt by the administration - yes, the administration - to curb representation for detainees.

Of course the large firms are very affluent and their top partners earn major incomes, almost entirely from corporate clients. But these firms on a pro bono basis provide a level of commitment and competence to causes and cases where less prestigious firms and attorneys will not, or dare not, tread. There's a reason why some of the most egregious death penalty issues have been litigated by these powerful, resource-rich firms and the detainee issue is an example of where they can often persevere where others may not.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:40 am

Attorneys for the damned Chicago Tribune January 16, 2007 Tuesday


Chicago Tribune

January 16, 2007 Tuesday
Chicagoland Final Edition

SECTION: EDITORIAL ; ZONE C; Pg. 12

LENGTH: 443 words

HEADLINE: Attorneys for the damned

BODY:


It's an axiom of the American justice system that the accused is entitled to a vigorous defense--no matter how heinous the charge. But Charles Stimson apparently missed class the day his law school prof explained that concept. The deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs bitterly resents that some attorneys have agreed to represent inmates held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Not only that, he thinks they and their law firms deserve to be punished.

In an interview last week with Federal News Radio, a station in Washington, Stimson noted that thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, it's now public knowledge that major U.S. law firms have assisted these detainees. He read off a list of firms, characterized their conduct as "shocking" and suggested that a boycott is in order: "And I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms."

But Stimson was not done questioning the integrity of these lawyers. When asked who might be paying them, he replied: "It's not clear, is it? Some will maintain that they're doing it out of the goodness of their heart, that they're doing it pro bono, and I suspect they are. Others are receiving monies from who knows where, and I'd be curious to have them explain it."

It's Stimson who owes an explanation, and an apology. First, for claiming there is something wrong with a lawyer who would shoulder the task of assuring that those held behind bars can fully exercise the right to challenge their detention. Second, for implying that these attorneys are profiting from unsavory associations.

As it happens, almost all of the detainees who have help are getting it for free. The Center for Constitutional Rights, which is directing the effort, says all of the some 500 lawyers it works with are doing the job without payment--apparently in the belief that even people accused of terrorism deserve legal assistance. One firm was paid by the families of the Kuwaiti inmates it represented, but donated the funds to charities doing work related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. If Stimson knows of attorneys who are getting rich off blood money, he should identify them and their paymasters.

It's a relief that after some initial dithering, the Pentagon distanced itself from his remarks, which a spokesman said "do not represent the views of the Department of Defense or the thinking of its leadership." But it's worth wondering how someone with such reprehensible views rose so high there.

LOAD-DATE: January 16, 2007
Last edited by Ralph on Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:41 am

Too quick to judge; A Pentagon official's criticism of Gitmo lawyers is consistent with a bad strain of White House thought. Los Angeles Times January 16, 2007 Tuesday



Los Angeles Times

January 16, 2007 Tuesday
Home Edition

SECTION: MAIN NEWS; Editorial Pages Desk; Part A; Pg. 14

LENGTH: 546 words

HEADLINE: Too quick to judge;
A Pentagon official's criticism of Gitmo lawyers is consistent with a bad strain of White House thought.

BODY:


THE PENTAGON has disavowed some offensive criticism by one of its officials regarding American lawyers who have represented accused terrorists imprisoned at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the crankish comments of Charles "Cully" Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for detainee affairs, reflect a more pervasive reluctance by the Bush administration to acknowledge that injustices have occurred at Guantanamo.

Sounding more like a first-time caller than a government official, Stimson told a radio interviewer last week that "when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms." Not content to float the idea of a boycott, Stimson, a lawyer too, speculated darkly that although some attorneys representing detainees may be doing so as a public service, "others are receiving monies from who knows where, and I'd be curious to have them explain that." In an earlier period in U.S. history, that sort of hit-and-run insinuation was called McCarthyism.

Amid condemnation of Stimson's remarks from the legal profession, a Pentagon spokesman said they "do not represent the views of the Department of Defense or the thinking of its leadership." (Apparently a deputy assistant secretary is not part of the leadership.) For good measure, Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales said that "good lawyers representing the detainees is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases."

But contradicting Stimson -- or, even better, firing him -- can't alter the fact that his comments in one sense reflect the administration's attitude. Stimson referred not to "accused terrorists" or "suspected terrorists" but to "terrorists." From President Bush on down, the administration has downplayed the possibility that some of the more than 700 people who have been confined at Guantanamo were imprisoned unjustly (not to mention treated inhumanely). Never mind that about half of the original detainees have been released.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled otherwise, the administration insisted that detainees at Guantanamo had no right to challenge their confinement in a U.S. court. The administration devised its own rules for military commissions to try them for alleged war crimes, until the high court ruled that Congress had to be involved. (Even then, the administration was able to convince Congress that detainees shouldn't be allowed to file habeas corpus petitions.)

These policies bespoke an exaggerated understanding of executive power, even in wartime, but they also reflected a certitude bordering on smugness that has characterized too much of the administration's conduct of the war on terror.

Many of the lawyers involved in detainee issues on a pro bono basis are motivated by loyalty to the Constitution, which the administration has sometimes appeared eager to overlook. Advocacy on behalf of due process is a form of patriotism and public service. Criminal prosecutors aren't usually in the business of tarnishing defense attorneys, for good reason, and it's important that the government maintain the same professionalism when prosecuting the war on terror.

LOAD-DATE: January 16, 2007
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:42 am

An appalling threat USA TODAY January 15, 2007 Monday


USA TODAY

January 15, 2007 Monday
FINAL EDITION

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 10A

LENGTH: 546 words

HEADLINE: An appalling threat

BODY:


In the sorry mess that is the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, one often-ignored element shows the American system at its best. About 500 U.S. lawyers have volunteered to represent terror suspects held there, surely an unpopular task.

America can be quietly proud that, in our legal system, even those viewed as pariahs are receiving quality legal representation.

So it's particularly appalling when a top Pentagon official derides these lawyers and encourages U.S. corporations to retaliate against their firms.

In a radio interview last week, Charles "Cully" Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, brought up the issue, cited many of the law firms by name and suggested that corporate CEOs "make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms."

It's easy to understand how annoying these pesky lawyers and their challenges must be to the Pentagon, which runs a prison camp that has given America an international black eye. Deriding their firms, many of which represent Fortune 500 companies, and trying to instigate retribution is certainly one way, albeit a pretty sleazy one, to discourage more challenges.

Perhaps a few facts need to be called to Stimson's attention.

While holding hundreds of prisoners in Kafkaesque legal limbo at the camp, the U.S. government has transferred or released about 380. After labeling prisoners the "worst of the worst," it has admitted that some pose no long-term threat. No doubt, defense lawyers helped bring about some of those just releases.

But Stimson, a lawyer who should know better, doesn't seem much bothered by facts. In his interview with Federal News Radio, he suggested darkly that some of the firms "are receiving monies from who knows where, and I'd be curious to have them explain that."

Oh, really?

According to a spokesman for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which recruited the lawyers, the firms are donating their time and expenses; one firm representing Kuwaiti detainees has received some payment and donated it to 9/11 charities.

Encouragingly, even some Bush administration hardliners are distancing themselves from Stimson's comments. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told The New York Times on Friday that "good lawyers representing the detainees is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases." And a Pentagon spokesman said Stimson wasn't speaking for the Defense Department.

Stimson's boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, needs to personally repudiate Stimson's remarks, which raise grave doubts about whether Stimson should be running the detainee program at all.

Since its opening in 2002, the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has become a symbol of un-America behavior, fueling cries for its closure, including from close ally Britain. Reports from the United Nations and others allege treatment tantamount to torture at the prison camp.

If the department's point man on detainees thinks the best use of his time and pulpit is stirring up resentment for detainee lawyers, he has a seriously skewed view of reality. America has huge problems at Guantanamo Bay. The presence of pro bono lawyers trying to ensure justice for detainees is not one of them.

---

Charles Stimson did not respond to a request to reply to this editorial.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:43 am

Too many -- or too few lawyers? THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (California) January 16, 2007 Tuesday


THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (California)

January 16, 2007 Tuesday
FINAL Edition

SECTION: EDITORIAL; EDITORIALS; Pg. B6

LENGTH: 329 words

HEADLINE: Too many -- or too few lawyers?

BODY:


AMERICA'S terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay is a source of shame to its top Pentagon policy-maker. Because inmates are mistreated? Trials afforded to so few? Or world leaders want it closed?

No. What eats at Charles Stimson, the Defense Department's assistant secretary for detainee affairs, is the free lawyering supplied by a string of the nation's top law firms. It's "shocking'' that these top-drawer practices offer pro bono advice to prisoners at the remote U.S. base on the southern tip of Cuba.

His remarks during a radio interview last week included a not-so-subtle suggestion that U.S. businesses yank their legal work from the firms as punishment. He even ventured the suggestion that the legal help wasn't entirely donated and was partly paid for with money "from who knows where.''

His jaw-dropping allegations couldn't come at a worse time. This month, the Guantanamo brig hit its five-year anniversary. The lockup and interrogation center houses 395 inmates, most of them seized in the Afghanistan war zone. Another 377 were transferred to home-nation jails or released because the United States began flying in prisoners for intense questioning.

Guantanamo remains a legal twilight zone. The offshore base is out of sight and mind for most, and beyond the reach of protests or oversight. Visits are strictly limited with no direct interviews with inmates.

Only several dozen prisoners are given the kind of legal help that infuriates the Pentagon's Stimson. Most are locked up for months or years, classified as captured soldiers with few rights.

The law firms should be saluted, not condemned, for taking action. Preparing a case in such a remote, inhospitable place is beyond the reach of most lawyers.

Stimson's intimidating conduct proved too much for even the Bush administration. Within days of mouthing off, he was rebuked when the Pentagon disavowed his thoughts.

If only the Guantanamo gulag could be repudiated as well. That would be a genuine pro bono act.

LOAD-DATE: January 16, 2007
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Post by pizza » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:22 am

Repeating ad nauseum the absolute nonsense that Stimson's opinions are those of the president and his administration by posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find that would like to have it that way, none of whom offers a speck of evidence that such is the case simply shows how intellectually bankrupt and devoid of meaningful criticism the left is.

There is room for legitimate disagreement concerning whether combatants captured in battle during wartime are entitled to the constitutional protections afforded those charged with crimes, and that includes the right to counsel. There is nothing "chilling" about Stimson expressing his opinion, and there is absolutely no evidence that any lawyer or lawfirm has been intimidated by it. It's much more likely that the media uproar in response to this non-event is designed to have a chilling effect on government personnel who disagree with them.

Any lawyer with skin thin enough to feel threatened by Stimson's opinions as expressed in the interview should find another line of work.

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Post by Ralph » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:04 am

pizza wrote:Repeating ad nauseum the absolute nonsense that Stimson's opinions are those of the president and his administration by posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find that would like to have it that way, none of whom offers a speck of evidence that such is the case simply shows how intellectually bankrupt and devoid of meaningful criticism the left is.

There is room for legitimate disagreement concerning whether combatants captured in battle during wartime are entitled to the constitutional protections afforded those charged with crimes, and that includes the right to counsel. There is nothing "chilling" about Stimson expressing his opinion, and there is absolutely no evidence that any lawyer or lawfirm has been intimidated by it. It's much more likely that the media uproar in response to this non-event is designed to have a chilling effect on government personnel who disagree with them.

Any lawyer with skin thin enough to feel threatened by Stimson's opinions as expressed in the interview should find another line of work.
*****

I've seen lawyers scared off by a lot less at the local level - and so have you. That doesn't justify or excuse professional cowardice but as I've said in many a First Amendment case "We aren't a nation of Tom Paines. All must be zealously protected."
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Post by Ralph » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:43 am

FYI,

An Apology to Detainees' Attorneys

Washington Post
Wednesday, January 17, 2007; A18

During a radio interview last week, I brought up the topic of pro bono
work and habeas corpus representation of detainees in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba. Regrettably, my comments left the impression that I question the
integrity of those engaged in the zealous defense of detainees in
Guantanamo. I do not.

I believe firmly that a foundational principle of our legal system is
that the system works best when both sides are represented by competent
legal counsel. I support pro bono work, as I said in the interview. I
was a criminal defense attorney in two of my three tours in the Navy
Judge Advocate General's Corps. I zealously represented unpopular
clients -- people charged with crimes that did not make them, or their
attorneys, popular in the military. I believe that our justice system
requires vigorous representation.

I apologize for what I said and to those lawyers and law firms who are
representing clients at Guantanamo. I hope that my record of public
service makes clear that those comments do not reflect my core beliefs.

CULLY STIMSON
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs
Defense Department
Washington

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01383.html
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Post by pizza » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:55 pm

I think his apology is gratuitous. It was clear from the outset that Stimson wasn't questioning the integrity of the lawyers doing pro-bono work; he simply raised a question concerning whether any of the lawyers representing detainees were being paid and if they were, by whom.

The issue isn't whether our "legal system works best when both sides are represented by competent legal counsel". The issue is whether enemy prisoners captured during wartime are entitled to the protections of our legal system in the first place.

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Post by Ralph » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:09 pm

pizza wrote:I think his apology is gratuitous. It was clear from the outset that Stimson wasn't questioning the integrity of the lawyers doing pro-bono work; he simply raised a question concerning whether any of the lawyers representing detainees were being paid and if they were, by whom.

The issue isn't whether our "legal system works best when both sides are represented by competent legal counsel". The issue is whether enemy prisoners captured during wartime are entitled to the protections of our legal system in the first place.
*****

His "apology" is asinine - he states that his comment didn't reflect his core values but he went to the trouble of compiling a list of law firms representing detainees. Or maybe it was no trouble.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:46 pm

Pizza Wrote:
Repeating ad nauseum the absolute nonsense that Stimson's opinions are those of the president and his administration by posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find that would like to have it that way,
Pizza
Are you being silly or are you are in some kind of state of dementia?
To accuse Ralph of posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find is simply outrageous coming from you -- the king of posting column after column (actually volumes) of right-wing claptrap

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:52 pm

Ted wrote:To accuse Ralph of posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find is simply outrageous coming from you -- the king of posting column after column (actually volumes) of right-wing claptrap
Ralph has worked particularly hard on this thread when he normally lays back and treats Pizza as a colleague. Pizza's reaction is not outrageous, considering that it is coming from him.

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Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:56 pm

John
For Pizza to excoriate anyone for posting articles written from obviously partisan perspectives is as outrageous as it gets

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:15 pm

Ted wrote:John
For Pizza to excoriate anyone for posting articles written from obviously partisan perspectives is as outrageous as it gets
\

Ted, go back and read my post and interpret it the "other" way. It is not outrageous, coming from him.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:31 pm

Bingo JB
My apologies
:(

pizza
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Post by pizza » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:13 pm

Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:I think his apology is gratuitous. It was clear from the outset that Stimson wasn't questioning the integrity of the lawyers doing pro-bono work; he simply raised a question concerning whether any of the lawyers representing detainees were being paid and if they were, by whom.

The issue isn't whether our "legal system works best when both sides are represented by competent legal counsel". The issue is whether enemy prisoners captured during wartime are entitled to the protections of our legal system in the first place.
*****

His "apology" is asinine - he states that his comment didn't reflect his core values but he went to the trouble of compiling a list of law firms representing detainees. Or maybe it was no trouble.
You should read and digest your own posts a bit more carefully before you make statements that are just plain wrong.

According to the NY Times article you posted, a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Monica Crowley, a conservative syndicated talk show host, asking for the names of all the lawyers and law firms representing Guantánamo detainees in federal court cases was provided to Stimson, who " then went on to name more than a dozen of the firms listed on the 14-page report provided to Ms. Crowley . . ."

Stimson neither compiled nor ordered the list.

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Post by pizza » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:26 pm

Ted wrote:John
For Pizza to excoriate anyone for posting articles written from obviously partisan perspectives is as outrageous as it gets
No it isn't. Just wait . . . :P

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Post by Ralph » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:12 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Ted wrote:To accuse Ralph of posting column after column by every left-wing, liberal media hack you can find is simply outrageous coming from you -- the king of posting column after column (actually volumes) of right-wing claptrap
Ralph has worked particularly hard on this thread when he normally lays back and treats Pizza as a colleague. Pizza's reaction is not outrageous, considering that it is coming from him.
*****

Pizza is my colleague. The sad thing is that he can't be my full-time student. What I could do with and for him. :) :)
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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:24 pm

Ralph wrote: Pizza is my colleague. The sad thing is that he can't be my full-time student. What I could do with and for him. :) :)
The same claim I make, to date quite in vain, for the half of the population who by definition are below the 50th percentile. However, like you, I never give up hope. 8)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:18 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote: Pizza is my colleague. The sad thing is that he can't be my full-time student. What I could do with and for him. :) :)
The same claim I make, to date quite in vain, for the half of the population who by definition are below the 50th percentile. However, like you, I never give up hope. 8)
Ralph's educational talents could be put to better use by teaching the peanut gallery the difference between endless idle chatter and serious discussion. :idea:

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Post by Ralph » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:26 am

pizza wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote: Pizza is my colleague. The sad thing is that he can't be my full-time student. What I could do with and for him. :) :)
The same claim I make, to date quite in vain, for the half of the population who by definition are below the 50th percentile. However, like you, I never give up hope. 8)
Ralph's educational talents could be put to better use by teaching the peanut gallery the difference between endless idle chatter and serious discussion. :idea:
*****

I have an increasingly strong hunch that Pizza puts on his Buffalo Bob costume when he posts here. :). Sorry if you're too young to know about that.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:39 am

Ralph wrote:
pizza wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote: Pizza is my colleague. The sad thing is that he can't be my full-time student. What I could do with and for him. :) :)
The same claim I make, to date quite in vain, for the half of the population who by definition are below the 50th percentile. However, like you, I never give up hope. 8)
Ralph's educational talents could be put to better use by teaching the peanut gallery the difference between endless idle chatter and serious discussion. :idea:
*****

I have an increasingly strong hunch that Pizza puts on his Buffalo Bob costume when he posts here. :). Sorry if you're too young to know about that.
Over the years I have found that younger people with sponge brains who simply can't snarf up enough knowledge (in some cases trivia) can surprise me to the nth degree. (Remember, I was my school's It's Academic coach for ten years and it would have been a rare thing if my very best player at any given time had not known about Buffalo Bob without ever seeing that show.) I watch Jeopardy every night because my mother still cannot believe how much useless knowledge I acquired in the course of my alleged education that she paid for, and the surprising moments are when these 30-something people do not know something that only a 50+ something person should know (it happens, but not very often).

Buffalo Bob, Ralph? He was pretty with it. I'm thinking more in the range of, oh, I don't know, Clarabel the Clown. Maybe even Howdy Doody himself. After all, his name is Pizza.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by pizza » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:56 am

Interesting how one academic avoids the real issues of this thread like the plague and prefers to engage in meaningless banter about the personalities of those with whom he disagrees. You think this thread is about pizza? Or even Cully Stimson? It ain't by a long shot. The real issues are:

Should enemy combatants captured during wartime be entitled to the constitutional protections afforded those charged with crimes, including the right to counsel? And should government officials have the freedom to publicly disagree with those who think they should, including lawyers representing them by suggesting private economic sanctions against them? And if you can get beyond that one, how about trial by jury? And what about civil remedies for detainees for false imprisonment, and personal injury suffered in combat; and should a civil remedy for wrongful death be available to the estates of those killed in combat?

What's the matter, John Boy?; can't you give it a shot? You're a teacher with an opinion about everything under the sun and beyond. Have you nothing to say about the core issues underlying the subject of the thread? No interest? No ideas? Tsk! tsk! Check with your friends Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody. Maybe they can help you! :wink:

And maybe Ralph will be a good sport and let you try if you're so inclined before he responds :!:

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:29 am

All persons under the jurisdiction of the US justice system are entitled to due process. I know of no phrasing in the Constitution, either literal or implied, that permits an exception.

This principle has, of course, been violated and quite severely many times. One example that is not often cited is the treatment of alleged AWOL or deserter defenders during WW II, who were often almost literally locked up with the key thrown away. These regrettable precedents do not excuse mistreatment of those under current custody, who are entitled to counsel as a matter of absolute right.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:40 am

"All persons under the jurisdiction of the US justice system are entitled to due process."

The problem with Jbuck's statement is that it is a tautology that does not address the real issue - that someone is in U.S. custody does not mean that he/she is within the "US justice system." That issue is at the crux of the detainee matter, at least with regard to some of the affected persons.

Pizza is wrong in saying THIS thread isn't, or perhaps wasn't, about Stimson. He incorporates another issue which we have discussed on numerous other threads. Stimson's inappropriate remarks are a discrete subject and can be discussed without exploring complex and extraneous constitutional dilemmas.

And while I'm very proud to be an academic, I'm also a litigator with, I suspect, more federal court experience than Pizza although certainly less expertise in slip and fall cases. :)
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