Wednesday, January 17, 2007

cully and alberto on detainees and lawyers

Pentagon official Cully Stimson says "so sorry" for his slander of major law firms who represent Guantanamo detainees pro bono. Stimson says his comments didn't reflect his "core beliefs." Pardon me for doubting the sincerity of the apology.

Remember, STIMSON was the one who raised the topic, out of the blue, during his radio interview. Most GOP political appointees really aren't that spontaneous on their own -- you know this was a planted idea, not just Stimson free-associating on the air.

Stimson also said, in his apology,"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." "Left the impression?" Nope. Stimson was pretty damn clear in impugning the patriotism of those lawyers during his interview. He left the impression that he thought those lawyers were bad people the way slamming a Louisville Slugger into your car door will leave an impression. Not very subtly.

Stimson, and then on cue the Wall Street Journal, have already smeared these law firms, and implied that they are in the pay of foreign terrorists. Finding the reaction a bit hotter than expected, or satisfied that the slander has been planted, old Cully has been ordered to walk it back a bit with what is essentially a non-apology.

Meanwhile, torture advocate and Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales said that the legal challenges of these lawyers has delayed the administration of justice for the Guantanamo detainees.

We call that "due process," Mr. Attorney-General. It is legal, it is a good thing, and it isn't limited only to the Scooter Libbys and Ken Lays of the world.

What has really detained the administration of justice for these detainees is the de facto Bush Administration's repeated efforts to create a special legal structure that it can control 100%, to make damn sure anybody they prosecute will be found guilty without the Administration having to release any evidence.

Certainly, part of the reason is the case against some (many?) of these guys will likely turn out to be incredibly weak, since many of the detainees (many have been quietly released and repatriated) have turned out to be not terrorists, but victims of personal vendettas, fingered by their enemies in Afghanistan just to settle a score -- and maybe collect a few thousand dollars in reward money -- with no followup to see whether they really were terrorists.


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