Different Types Of Lawyers

Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs:

In a repellent interview yesterday with Federal News Radio, Mr. Stimson brought up, unprompted, the number of major U.S. law firms that have helped represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

“Actually you know 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 [Freedom of Information Act] 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,” he said.

Mr. Stimson proceeded to reel off the names of these firms, adding, “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, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out.”

Asked who was paying the firms, Mr. Stimson hinted of dark doings. “It’s not clear, is it?” he said. “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 monies from who knows where, and I’d be curious to have them explain that.”

Rightly excoriated by just about everyone for these remarks, Stimson later apologized. But here’s Alberto Gonzalez on a similar subject:

The track record of the Guantanamo detention program “can be summed up quite simply: five years, zero convictions.” More than 770 captives have been held there and just 10 have been charged with crimes.

But in an interview today with the Associated Press, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “blamed delays in trying terror detainees at Guantanamo Bay on legal challenges filed by their lawyers“:

“It’s not for lack of trying,” Gonzales said, when asked about the legal fate of detainees who have been held at the military facility, in some cases for five years. “We are challenged every step of the way.”

“We are trying as hard as we can to bring these individuals to justice,” he said.

So who are these terrorist loving, America hating, justice delaying, scumbag lawyers? Kathy highlights Angela Campbell:

I went to Afghanistan in February of 2006 with four other U.S. lawyers. I went for one reason — to find my clients’ families.

Reports and rumors had filtered in about the horrible abuses that detainees had suffered in Guantanamo. One of the tactics that interrogators at Guantanamo had used was to pretend to be defense attorneys. The interrogator would go in and interview a detainee and tell them he was there to defend him and to get him out of custody, in an attempt to gain the detainee’s confidence.

Of course, these betrayals added an additional burden when real defense lawyers went to meet their clients for the first time. Not only was there a language barrier, a cultural barrier, an “I’m from the country that tortures you and I’m here to help you” barrier. There was now a “No, really, I’m a defense lawyer, unlike the last guy” barrier. So I decided I needed to meet family members. I wanted to find out as much as I could about my clients to try to make a connection with them when I met them for the first time.

We went to Afghanistan without an escort. We went without a guard. We went to a war-torn country in the midst of active conflict, against the advice of the State Department, on our personal travel documents, not government-issued. We went to try to find the family and friends of “the most dangerous, best-trained vicious killers on the face of the earth” (as the government claimed). And we were graciously received.

Everyone goes to law school dreaming of becoming a lawyer like Angela Campbell. Unfortunately for the profession and the country, too many of us end up like Stimson and Gonzalez.

Explore posts in the same categories: War on terror

4 Comments on “Different Types Of Lawyers”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Thanks for the link. I’ll link back to you. Contrasting these attorneys highlights yet again the Bush administration’s disregard for the Constitution — and human rights in general.

  2. […] with Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, who recently issued veiled threats aimed at US law firms representing Guantanamo detainees, essentially accusing them of […]

  3. walt moffett Says:

    Riffing on the last few lines. Or, wind up on early AM infomericals.

    FWIW, Stimson, appears to be using the pound on the table routine.

  4. wheeler Says:

    “Or, wind up on early AM infomericals.”

    call goldberg . . . .

    oh, i’d stand in line at a soup kitchen before i did something like that.

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