July 8, 2010

"Lawyer Who Defended 'American Taliban' Now Heads DOJ Suit Against Arizona."

Writes FoxNews:
[Justice Department attorney Tony West] is among the seven Justice Department attorneys whose identities were revealed in March after months of hot pursuit by Republican lawmakers seeking to uncover the nine known officials who had represented terror suspects.

The attorneys were criticized by Keep America Safe, a group run by Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Debra Burlingame, whose brother was killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and Bill Kristol....
But lawyers who represented terror suspects also worked in the Bush administration, including Pratik Shah, Trisha Anderson and Varda Hussain. Cheney's campaign prompted a backlash from the right, as a number of conservative attorneys released a statement in March calling the criticism "unjust" -- the statement cited the fact that former President John Adams defended the British following the Boston Massacre....

"When you think about the worst thing that terrorists can do to this country, it is that they can make you rethink your fundamental commitments to those principles that make our nation unique and make us great," [said West, explaining why he undertook representation of John Walker Lindh.] "I really believe that in working on that case, I was recommitting myself to those principles of due process, fairness - things that separate us from most nations in this world and which make us unique."
***

And here's a new poll:
Voters by a two-to-one margin oppose the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to challenge the legality of Arizona’s new immigration law in federal court. Sixty-one percent (61%), in fact, favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state, up six points from two months ago.

27 comments:

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...

West wrote: I really believe that in working on that case, I was recommitting myself to those principles of due process, fairness - things that separate us from most nations in this world and which make us unique.

He's right but I really hope he loses.

David said...

O hopes he does a better job on this case. Defending the indefensible is never easy.

MadisonMan said...

I do not believe that the DOJ should pursue cases (or not) based on polling results.

Given the political climate, though, it would be remarkable if Lawyer West prevailed in his arguments. That would say a lot about his abilities, or about the abilities of the lawyers Arizona chooses to defend. Or both.

How can West lose, really? If he wins, he's a great lawyer, if he loses, everyone is happy.

David said...

Israel's Channel 2 News had an interview with Obama, in which Our President said the following.

During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."

"Ironically, I've got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate," Obama said.

"I think that sometimes, particularly in the Middle East, there's the feeling of the friend of my enemy must be my enemy, and the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West," Obama went on to say.

Geoff Matthews said...

Sometimes lawyers make me think of a priest-caste, determining what is moral and what is not.

The legal defense of terrorists certainly brings this up. People who reject the rules of law should not benefit from our compassion.

Quayle said...

Protecting the world from the fascist, racist nation of America.

rhhardin said...

If you don't give the bad guys the best possible defense, you can't find them guilty.

Quayle said...

..."the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West,...."

the truth of the matter is my purchasing drugs from the gang community is designed precisely to reduce the amount of drugs available on the city streets.

AJ Lynch said...

Even lawyers shound understand that some conflicts of interest never go away. I bet West and the others don't need the DOJ jobs and they should not have passed the background check [and I am not saying they are criminals or have did wrong in defending Taliban].

Imagine if Bush used DOJ attorneys who once worked in the oil industry lawyers to examine this oil well dsisater.

mesquito said...

"some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."

Can he get more condescending?

edutcher said...

Why do I have the feeling that, if you checked their DNA, most of these professional radical lawyers would have Ramsey Clark in the family tree?

holdfast said...

Sorry, but didn't Adams get paid his usual fee to defend the Brits?

I don't think any reasonably conservative argues that accused terrorists should not be entitled to legal counsel (at least to the extent they are hauled into some sort of court and not double-tapped in the field). That said, I personally question the patriotism and morals of any attorney who seeks out those sort of clients and lavishes hundreds of pro bono hours on them. I also think that they are not fit to prosecute terrorists, since in all too many case (inc Lynne Stewart) there is way too much sympathy for their clients, and their goals.

Eric said...

When you think about the worst thing that terrorists can do to this country, it is that they can make you rethink your fundamental commitments to those principles that make our nation unique and make us great

That's the worst thing he can think of? I don't think this guy understands the nature of our enemy.

Anglelyne said...

mesquito: "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."

Can he get more condescending?


Or, maybe he's just projecting his own childish thought processes onto other people. There ain't much more than simple-minded stereotyping and stale clichés about "the Other" in the standard lefty mental toolbox, so he's doing what he can with what he's got.

I mean, come on, a lot of Israelis look like Typical White People. Of course they're gonna mindlessly freak out over superficial and irrelevant attributes.

William T. Sherman said...

And after gets his ass kicked in this case he'll go play for the Washington Generals...

Dead Julius said...

Representing the Gitmo prisoners was an honorable thing to do.

But there is no virtue in pursuing a meritless lawsuit for political reasons.

Especially since he's black and that will be a subtle reminder that even though the legal action does not claim racial discrimination, race is very much an issue.

With his educational pedigree, Tony West seems like a mini-Obama... his dark-but-not-too-dark skin and his Ivy League cred make him perfectly perfectly cast for his role in the upcoming show.

Dead Julius said...
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Dust Bunny Queen said...

Can he get more condescending?

Probably.

John Lynch said...

10th Amendment!

Am I right?

Robert Cook said...

"The legal defense of terrorists certainly brings this up. People who reject the rules of law should not benefit from our compassion."

Yeah, what a waste of time, money and, yes, our compassion. On alleged law-breakers, of all the riff-raff! Why don't we get rid of those abhorrent socialist-liberal concepts of "due process of law" and "presumption of innocence."

We would never arrest or detain anybody we didn't already know was guilty.

Those founders were some bunch of radicals, ughh!!

mtrobertsattorney said...

West has a truly creative mind.

One of his arguments appears to be that those illegaly cross the border into the U.S. must be considered to be engaged in commerce. Since Arizona's law seeks to reduce (or inhibit) the number of those who are illegally crossing our borders, Arizona is, in effect, regulating commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause.

HDHouse said...

ann, a while back you went all nuts that the common guy didn't understand the limits or the entire idea of federalism. are you now equally nuts about understanding the role of the federal government at the international borders and permitting police to arrest on a federal violation?

Robert Cook said...

Regarding Obama's comments about his middle name:

"Or, maybe he's just projecting his own childish thought processes onto other people. There ain't much more than simple-minded stereotyping and stale clichés about "the Other" in the standard lefty mental toolbox, so he's doing what he can with what he's got."

It's not as if Ann Coulter and others of her ilk expended much breath and airtime referring to candidate Obama as "Barry HUSSEIN Obama" as often as they could. It's not as if they were consciously trying to instill this primitive fear of "the other" and of "Muslim terrorists" in particular into the childish minds of their childish audiences.

No. Not at all.

Anglelyne said...

Robert Cook: It's not as if Ann Coulter and others of her ilk expended much breath and airtime referring to candidate Obama as "Barry HUSSEIN Obama" as often as they could. It's not as if they were consciously trying to instill this primitive fear of "the other" and of "Muslim terrorists" in particular into the childish minds of their childish audiences.

I appreciate your pointing out my oversight, Robert. I should append "and cretinous incapacity to master any rhetorical device beyond the lamest wielding of the tu quoque fallacy" to my original statement regarding the limited contents of the standard lefty cognitive toolbox. Thank you for the correction.

AlphaLiberal said...

Conservatives sure do hate the American system of justice that is the foundation of American liberty.

* They hate presumed innocence.
* They hate the idea that accused have the right to counsel.
* They hate habeas corpus.
* They hate Miranda rights.

Ann Althouse said...

" are you now equally nuts "

Could you quote the statement I made that you are challenging? I don't know what you're talking about.