Keep America Safe

Gitmo’s Indefensible Lawyers; Legal counsel to some of the detainees went far beyond vigorous representation of their clients

In the Wall Street Journal, Debra Burlingame and Thomas Joscelyn ask the question “Doesn’t the public have a right to know?”

On the evening of Jan. 26, 2006, military guards at Guantanamo Bay made an alarming discovery during a routine cell check. Lying on the bed of a Saudi detainee was an 18-page color brochure. The cover consisted of the now famous photograph of newly-arrived detainees dressed in orange jumpsuits — masked, bound and kneeling on the ground at Camp X-Ray — just four months after 9/11. Written entirely in Arabic, it also included pictures of what appeared to be detainee operations in Iraq. Major General Jay W. Hood, then the commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, concurred with the guards that this represented a serious breach of security.

Maj. Gen. Hood asked his Islamic cultural adviser to translate. The cover read: “Cruel. Inhuman. Degrades Us All: Stop Torture and Ill-Treatment in the ‘War on Terror.'” It was published by Amnesty International in the United Kingdom and portrayed America and its allies as waging a campaign of torture against Muslims around the globe.

“One thread that runs through many of the testimonies from prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq, and from Guantanamo,” the brochure read, “is that of anti-Arab, anti-Islamic, and other racist abuse.”

How did the detainee get it? More importantly, who gave it to him?

Majeed Abdullah Al Joudi, the detainee in whose cell the brochure was first found, told guards he received the brochure from his lawyer. An investigation by JTF-GTMO personnel revealed that Julia Tarver Mason, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, had sent it to Al Joudi and eight of the firm’s other detainee clients through “legal mail” — a designation for privileged lawyer-client communications that are exempt from screening by security personnel. Worse, the investigation showed that Ms. Mason’s clients passed it to other detainees not represented by Paul, Weiss lawyers. In all, more than a dozen detainees received a copy. … READ THE REST

Those lawyers who formerly worked for Republican administrations and that are criticizing Keep America Safe for calling al Qaeda’s lawyers what they are, i.e. al Qaeda’s lawyers, ought to read it two or three times. This is far from the first time Debra Burlingame has written or spoken out about the lawyers waging lawfare upon our Nation, the one al Qaeda continues to attack.

Many of the lawyers who freely took on the task of defending al Qaeda’s killers or advocating on their behalf not only undermined the legal underpinnings for detaining their clients, but also endangered our troops in combat against them abroad. Some call that indefensible; I call it treason.

Lawyers, damn lawyers, and Al Qaeda; Mark Levin stands with Keep America Safe

Mark Levin stands with Keep America Safe and disputes “the group of leading conservative lawyers and policy experts denouncing as “shameful” Republican attacks on lawyers who came to the Obama Justice Department after representing suspected terrorists.”

“The isn’t the Boston Massacre. You have people in the position of defending this nation at the highest levels of the Justice Department who have represented the enemy, and their belief systems have clearly affected national security policy. … And in some cases, these lawyers were not just representing clients, they went out and found them, sought them out. They considered them some of the most important cases they ever had. “Due process rights for the enemy? Absolutely. Civilian justice for the enemy? Absolutely.” Now they’re in government making the same exact decisions except they are setting policy. … Ben Smith at Politico, why don’t you make a list of some lawyers like me, former Chief of Staff to Attorney General Meese; I side with Liz Cheney and Debra Burlingame and Keep America Safe.”

Here is the complete audio of Mark on this from last night:

On February 26, 2010, Mark Levin cited a factual account of the Boston Massacre and John Adams’ truly noble role in its aftermath. Mark added:

“[T]hese things get used to distort current events. … The Boston Massacre had nothing to do with overthrowing the United States — it was a tragedy and John Adams did not seek as his goal to confer special rights on people who were plotting to destroy American society through any means possible.”

I offer Mark’s commentary as further evidence that to cite John Adams as a comparable example to the allegedly altruistic work of the ‘Al Qaeda Seven‘ (among others) fractures American history. Worse, it unwittingly lends credibility to the ACLU’s vile use of that Founding Father and a great patriot’s name in their insidious attempt to undermine our national security and to criminalize America’s use of military force in the Nation’s defense.

“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.” — Andrew McCarthy

“If not for the vigilant work of Keep America Safe, the corruptocrat Attorney General Eric Holder’s national security stone wall on DOJ’s terror lawyers would still be standing. Asking politely, in respectful tones with bowed heads and stooped spines, did not get the DOJ to cough up the names.” — Michelle Malkin

The ‘Al Qaeda Seven’ should testify before the Senate this Friday

The critics of last week’s Keep America Safe ‘Al Qaeda Seven’ ad missed the point.

We believe the American people should be told if current DOJ lawyers once freely defended enemy belligerents, advocated for providing them full due process, and are now making detention and prosecution recommendations to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Instead, the critics attacked the messenger, Liz Cheney .

It somewhat reminded me of March 13, 2007, when the ACLU released a statement that, in part, reads as follows:

“Congress made a mistake when they supported the MCA in 2006. But the ultimate responsibility lies with us, the people. We know what America stands for, at home and abroad. We have the power and the obligation to call on Congress to correct its mistake and restore habeas corpus and all the constitutional and due process rights they took away.”

Took what, when, and from whom?

This coming Friday, March 12, Holder is again scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He should bring with him those DOJ lawyers and advocates. There is no use asking them the details of the advice they gave concerning where to prosecute Khalid Shiekh Mohammed for the 9/11 attacks; they will only go off on dissertations about lawyer-client privilege, executive privilege, and run out the 5 to 7 minutes of each Senator’s time. Instead, the Senators should ask the DOJ’s top advisers some direct questions:

1) Yes or no: We owe more legal protection to unlawful belligerents than to lawful belligerents?

2) Yes or no: As civilians were primarily targeted that day, would the 9/11 attacks have been a war crime had they been conducted by uniformed foreign soldiers, subsequent to their nation declaring war upon the United States?

3) Where in our Constitution are the avowed foreign enemies of the United States afforded rights, and

4) exactly who took those rights away from them and when were they taken? *

5) Did you recommend a military commission or a federal trial for the 9/11 conspirators?

Those are straightforward questions.

If the DOJ’s top folks can not get them right or if they avoid giving straightforward answers, each American can judge for themselves if those lawyers should be providing advice about our Nation’s defense.

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* Note: For the benefit of any ACLU lawyer reading this at home, if they answer # 3 correctly, there is no need to ask them # 4.