Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Legitimate Fury Over Obama’s Dept of Justice Gitmo Lawyers

There’s a significant controversy (link; link; link) raging about Obama’s Attorney General Holder’s resistance to releasing the names of lawyers he has hired to work in the Obama Justice Dept. who previously represented Gitmo detainees. By now, some names have been released. Defenders of the Holder and Obama have asserted that all “defendants” are entitled to representation and as such questions about past legal work of Obama/Holder Justice Dept. attorneys are inappropriate. But this response is a “straw man”, since no one critical of Holder has argued that “defendants” are not entitled to representation.

The invaluable Andy McCarthy at National Review Online explains that the concern is that these attorneys, while almost certainly not agreeing with the terrorists’ use of violence, may broadly agree with the terrorists’ view about the evils of Western culture, rooted as it is in such principles as individual liberty, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and freedom of speech. These principles are in conflict with the fundamentals of Islam, in which Islamic law is the organizing principle of society, devoid of such Western concepts as separation of church and state and freedom of speech.

The deep concern is that attorneys who have been an active part of what David Horowitz has called the “Unholy Alliance” between radical Islam and the American left are now in senior positions in the Obama Justice Department. Andy McCarthy writes (link):
…[J]ihadist terrorists, and Islamist ideology in general, hold that the United States is the root of all evil in the world, that it is the beating heart of capitalist exploitation of society’s have-nots, and that it needs fundamental, transformative change. This … is why Islam and the Left collaborate so seamlessly. They don’t agree on all the ends and means….. But before they can impose their utopias, Islamists and the Left have a common enemy they need to take down: the American constitutional tradition of a society based on individual liberty, in which government is our servant, not our master. It is perfectly obvious that many progressive lawyers are drawn to the jihadist cause because of common views about the need to condemn American policies and radically alter the United States.
That doesn’t make any lawyer unfit to serve. It does, however, show us the fault line in the defining debate of our lifetime, the debate about what type of society we shall have. And that political context makes everyone’s record fair game. If lawyers choose to volunteer their services to the enemy in wartime, they are on the wrong side of that fault line, and no one should feel reluctant to say so.
Americans have a right to know and should want to know about the past activities and current beliefs of attorneys who are now in senior positions in the Obama Justice Department.

John M Greco