Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Organization Launches Campaign Questioning Motives of DOJ Lawyers

Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol's organization, Keep America Safe, has produced a new video that criticizes Attorney General Eric Holder and other Justice Department lawyers. Take a look:

This campaign is an extension of actions being advanced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for the Obama Administration to disclose potential "conflicts of interest" in the Justice Department surrounding detainee policies. Grassley has said:

“The decisions to bring detainees into the United States and afford them civilian trials are highly questionable. I want to know more about who is advising the Attorney General. I understand that there are attorneys at the Justice Department working on these issues who either represented Guantanamo detainees or worked for groups who advocated for them. This prior representation creates apparent conflicts of interest,” Grassley said. “My request is about establishing transparency and holding the Administration to its word to make the Government’s business public.”

When Eric Holder disclosed that 9 Obama Administration appointees had represented Guantanamo detainees, Grassley demanded to know their identities. Holder released the names of two of the nine and now the other seven are being portrayed by Cheney's organization as having questionable motives...even being labeled "The Al Qaeda Seven".

Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress weighs in:

Many on the right have conveniently neglected to mention that the United States Supreme Court sided with the Obama attorneys. One of the targeted attorneys is Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, the lawyer who won Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the case that struck down the Bush administration’s military commissions system. Another target, Justice Department lawyer Jennifer Daskal, had signed her name to an amicus brief in the Boumediene v. Bush case arguing that Gitmo detainees be accorded habeas corpus rights to challenge their convictions. The Supreme Court sided with Daskal’s position.

So now we have an organization attacking DOJ lawyers because they have represented detainees in accordance with the rule of law. Earlier today, Glenn Greenwald posed an interesting view on his Twitter feed. He stated:

Many GITMO detainees have been represented by military lawyers - would like to hear Cheney/Kristol call them part of the "Al Qaeda Seven"

How far will Cheney's "Keep America Safe" go?

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