Bush Official Apologizes for Slap at Guantanamo Detainees' Lawyers - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Bush Official Apologizes for Slap at Guantanamo Detainees' Lawyers

A U.S. Department of Defense lawyer apologized Wednesday for his broadcast comments suggesting that corporations boycott law firms that represent detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In a letter to The Washington Post, Charles Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said the comments, made in a Jan. 11 radio interview, "do not reflect my core beliefs." Stimson said "our justice system requires vigorous representation," citing his own his experience in the Navy JAG Corps defending unpopular clients.

His apology came two days after the Pentagon disavowed his statements, saying they did not represent Defense Department views.

The remarks had touched off a salvo of criticism. More than 145 law professors and deans issued a Jan. 15 statement calling the remarks "contrary to the basic tenets of American law" and asking the Bush administration to repudiate them.

Law students are taught "that lawyers have a professional obligation to ensure that even the most despised and unpopular individuals and groups receive zealous and effective legal representation," the letter states. "At this moment in time when our courts have endorsed the right of the Guantánamo detainees to be heard in courts of law, it is critical that qualified lawyers provide effective representation to these individuals."

The deans of New Jersey's three law schools -- Stuart Deutsch of Rutgers-Newark, Patrick Hobbs of Seton Hall University, and Rayman Solomon of Rutgers-Camden -- signed the letter.

The brouhaha began during an interview on Federal News Radio marking the fifth anniversary of the first prisoners being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Stimson broached the subject of detainee representation, pointing out that many of those lawyers work for the nation's leading law firms, the same ones that represent corporate America.

He said "it's shocking," then reeled off more than a dozen names of firms recently disclosed through a Freedom of Information Act request, including Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Hunton & Williams, Weil Gotshal & Manges, Fulbright & Jaworski, Venable, Perkins Coie, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, and Pepper Hamilton.

"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," remarked Stimson.


One of the radio hosts, Jane Norris, then asked Stimson who was funding the representation.

Stimson's response: "It's not clear, is it? Some will maintain that they're 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."

Stimson added he was not criticizing pro bono and there are "worthwhile" clients like homeless people and domestic violence victims.

Though Stimson did not mention any New Jersey-based firms, Gibbons of Newark has played a key role in securing the detainees access to the courts.

John Gibbons argued Rasul v. Bush, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that federal courts have jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus challenges by the Guantanamo detainees.

Gibbons, a retired chief judge of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, could not be reached for comment.

The firm's Lawrence Lustberg says the Rasul case represented the government's effort to create "a no-law zone" and "having been rebuffed, now they try the next best thing, a no-lawyer zone."

Lustberg, who with the American Civil Liberties Union has been litigating a Freedom of Information Act request for documents showing U.S. torture and abuse of detainees, describes the firm's paying clients as "extremely supportive."

American Judicature Society president Neil Sonnett called Stimson's comments "shameful and irresponsible," while David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, wrote in The Hill, a Washington, D.C., paper that covers Congress, that Stimson should be fired for his "blatant attempt to threaten the law firms."

Editorials in The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other papers condemned Stimson's remarks. On the other hand, one in The Wall Street Journal by editorial board member Robert Pollock named additional names -- Shearman & Sterling, Sullivan & Cromwell, Debevoise & Plimpton, Cleary Gottlieb and Blank Rome -- and said a senior administration official had speculated a scandal might erupt because "so much of the pro bono work being done to tilt the playing field in favor of al Qaeda appears to be subsidized by legal fees from the Fortune 500."

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 01:18 PM
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Yeah, so he apologised, he got his message across loud and clear, wonder how much the business revenue will be effedted, I assume alot. It is like the presecutor asking an outrageous question to the presumed innocent and then withdrawing the question, his point is made. Move along, Move along folks, shows over, nothing to see here.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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I saw this asshole's original rant on television -- it was outrageous. A U.S. Department of Defense lawyer attacking the U.S. legal system and those who participate, and he still has his job, as far as I know...

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 01:29 PM
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The guy is a disgrace, and in any other administration would be fired. But this one seeks to empower the executive by sabotaging the judicial and legislative branches.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 02:13 PM
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Gonzales blasts judges, this clown blasts lawyers who represent Gitmo prisoners, NSA ignores the law, FBI lets wiretaps go a year beyond their legal limit, the White House writes secret memos to circumvent law. So far this Administration had shown that it has absolutely no respect for the law.

But then again what do you expect from a President who does illegal drugs and avoids his military duties. The LAW is just something else this spoiled, privileged moron has broken all his life, and the people he has chosen for his Administration just continue to perpetuate that legacy.

Much thanks to the outstanding consideration of the NeoCons [NewConfused] for supporting an administration that has done more to devalue the principles of American justice, ethics and honor than any in history.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 04:48 PM
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Charles Cully Stimson
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by guage
Charles Cully Stimson
Is that suppose to be the "Thumb Up Ass" icon? If so, I agree.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 06:38 PM
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This quote taken from above article

"Lustberg, who with the American Civil Liberties Union has been litigating a Freedom of Information Act request for documents showing U.S. torture and abuse of detainees"

Why this should come as no surprise the ACLU lawyering for the terrorists.

Last edited by guage; 01-18-2007 at 07:26 PM.
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by guage
This quote taken from above article

"Lustberg, who with the American Civil Liberties Union has been litigating a Freedom of Information Act request for documents showing U.S. torture and abuse of detainees"

Why this should come as no surprise the ACLU lawyering for the terrorists.
Why this should come as no surprise that there needs to be a litigation regarding torturing ANYBODY. When did a select group of Americans stoop so low as to believe that torture, for any reason, is acceptable behavior?

We, as a country have spent decades, nearly two centuries fighting countries that torture and harm their citizens and those whom that they wish to harm. We rise in righteous indignation at despots who take the law into their own hands and harm others. We went after Hitler, we went after Stalin, the Communist Way, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier, Noriagia, Samosa, Pinochet.

Now, we have secret prisons, third party interrogators, prisoners without representation, people held years without charges. How is that different than those who we have gone after before? It is not. We wave our flags and yell 9/11 as if that makes breaking the law OK. It does not. We shout War on Terror as if that makes torture OK, it does not. Who are the small minded people supporting this type of action? Who believes that it is OK to sell our souls, our ethics, our mores for a possible improvement in our safety? When did it become acceptable for our society to approve of torture, confinement without representation and disregard of the American or World legal systems?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2007, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Why this should come as no surprise that there needs to be a litigation regarding torturing ANYBODY. When did a select group of Americans stoop so low as to believe that torture, for any reason, is acceptable behavior?

We, as a country have spent decades, nearly two centuries fighting countries that torture and harm their citizens and those whom that they wish to harm. We rise in righteous indignation at despots who take the law into their own hands and harm others. We went after Hitler, we went after Stalin, the Communist Way, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier, Noriagia, Samosa, Pinochet.

?
Pretty poor exsamples you list.
Of those listed above with the exception of "Samosa" who I've never heard of.
Only one person is serving or has served prison time, that one person being
Gen Noriega.

Now what about Saddam (hung around after his trial) Muammar Qaddafi (surrendered his arms)
Thank you President Bush.

Last edited by guage; 01-18-2007 at 10:40 PM.
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