There has been a fair amount of push to derail the Justice Department from doing their job. And one of the culprits of this idiocy has been Liz Cheney. Her latest efforts to keep her father’s involvement in less than savory practices during the last Administration has come from a web based attack on our own Justice Department.
Keep America Safe is ironically named, because its rasison d’etre is to keep American justice from playing out. By targeting attorneys doing pro bono work and providing the legal counsel that is every accused’s right in this country, she condemns not only these attorneys, but our entire system of justice.
I am hardly the only Republican who thinks her witchhunt is a bad idea. I join Ted Olson, Bush’s own Solicitor General, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, David Rivkin, Lee Casey, and even Kenneth Starr.
Politico has this:
“I of course think it’s entirely appropriate for members of the legal profession to have provided legal services to detainees. It is a part of the responsibility of lawyers and in the finest tradition of the profession to represent unpopular persons who are caught up in the criminal justice system or even in the military justice system. I think that people who do so, do so honorably.
“But I also think that some of the people being highly critical now of the criticism of the lawyers in the Justice Department, have been completely silent when it came to attacks – vicious attacks – on lawyers in the Department of Justice and the Defense Department who were providing legal assistance and advice to the United States of America during the last administration in connection with the attacks on the United States by terrorists.
“So lawyers should be encouraged to provide legal advice conscientiously to their clients. And that goes for people in the Bush administration and the Obama administration.”
Mind you, Liz Cheney is hardly alone in this effort, and her partner in all this, Bill Kristol, has long been an opponent of reason, or justice. Sadly, Bill Kristol has best been summed up in his career as of late by Jon Stewart: “Oh Bill Kristol, are you EVER right?”
Inherent to our justice system is the right to counsel. Even the worst has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. That is how our system of justice works, it is that assumption that is the cornerstone of our courts. While the public, and those in the military, and even our own agents may know and have witnessed folks doing horrible things, even the worst get their day in court. At least, that is the promise that we have made to ourselves. That we will apply justice fairly and evenly, and that the attacks on attorneys who are providing defense for those accused is very much in keeping with the tradition of our courts. Even going back to our Revolutionary days, when John Adams defending British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.
What bothers me about this idiocy, isn’t that Liz and Kristol and the rest of her band of insincere asshats think that folks are guilty–they may very well be–but that they wish to interfere with the justice process, and short circuit it.
“They hate us for our freedoms!” is a common tirade for our War On Terror. The problem being, when we short circuit our system of justice for short term gain, we lose any hint of a moral or ethical high ground, and it only proves that terrorists can cow the greatest nation on Earth. When we pull back from the principles that this nation is founded upon to tuck our tails between our legs out of fear–or worse, out of expediency–we only give those enemies ammunition for their cause.
Moreover, that Liz Cheney’s involvement is a thinly veiled attempt to shield her own father’s possible malfeasance and to throw folks off the trail to track down how badly our own legal and ethical standards were skewed in the capture of many of our detainees is not lost. The raft of appearances to shed investigations and introspection at the policies that have ballooned Gitmo, and other holding facilities, and often without the process of law place the Cheneys and their supporters at the AEI on not only the wrong side of the law and history, but against the very foundations of our rule of law.
Liz: why do you hate America so much?