War On Terror: The Justice Department employs nine lawyers previously involved in the defense of terrorist detainees. This is a colossal conflict of interest. Just whose side are they on?
From the dropping of a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party to the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammed in a civilian court within blocks of where the World Trade Center once stood, the actions and attitudes of the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder toward the thugs and terrorists who threaten us has grown curiouser and curiouser.
We may now have a clue as to why. Last November, Sen. Charles Grassley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Justice Department how many of its lawyers had defended terrorist detainees over whom the department holds sway.
Grassley knew from earlier press reports of two such lawyers who worked on behalf of detainees at the liberal organization Human Rights Watch. He wanted to know how many more there were. Last Friday, Holder answered nine.
“To the best of our knowledge, during their employment prior to joining the government, only five of the lawyers who serve as political appointees in those components represented detainees,” Holder said in a letter dated Feb. 18. “Four others contributed to amicus briefs in detainee-related cases involved in advocacy on behalf of detainees.”
So the decision to Mirandize the Christmas bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, and to quickly get him lawyered up was made by a department populated by leftist lawyers who believe terror is a law enforcement matter and who have tried to get off those actively trying to kill us.
We still have no official answer to what the Justice Department would do if Osama bin Laden were captured.
“It’s like they’re bringing al-Qaida lawyers inside the Department of Justice,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the plane driven by terrorists into the Pentagon, following KSM’s plan.
We still have not been told all the lawyers’ names. Like the detainees they represented, presumably they have the right to remain silent. So much for transparency.
Lawyers in private practice are free to choose their clients and their reasons for defending them. But these lawyers are in the employ of the American people and have the task of prosecuting those who try to kill them. Some chose to defend enemies who are making war on America. We have a right to know who they are, who their clients were and why they defended them.