Cully Stimson, former deputy assistant secretary for detainee affairs in the Bush administration, raised the question whether big law firms like Jenner and Block and Covington and Burling should devote so many millions of dollars to terrorist causes without raising legitimate questions for other paying clients who were effectively subsidizing the terrorist work. Stimson was right, even if those who should have defended him didn’t. But the question first raised by Stimson years ago has grown even more acute.
Should lawyers who represented America’s terrorist enemies be allowed anywhere close to government jobs that set terrorist policies?
Should attorneys like Ian Gershengorn get a free pass for possible failures to properly recuse themselves from terrorist cases?
And why shouldn’t representing the mortal enemies of America ultimately disqualify you from serving as counsel for the United States, especially counsel over terrorist policy?
In another era, representing the most dangerous enemies of America would not have served as a ticket to a high ranking job as it seems to in President Obama’s Justice Department. As I told Fox on Sunday, “it would have disqualified you.”
But watch the reactionary defenders crow how inappropriate it is to ask these questions, as they have since the 1930s anytime someone asks.
Such moral equivocation has been used to justify a long line of apologists for America’s enemies. Among the favorite fables of the Left is that America’s enemies aren’t as bad as many think, and (usually) left-leaning Americas surely aren’t in league with these enemies. We heard this about the Rosenbergs for decades – until the poor innocent husband and wife team were revealed in KGB files to be anything but.
None of this is to suggest that Tony West is in league with al-Qaeda. I raise the history of enemy infiltration, and more importantly how the infiltrator’s advocates behaved, for the singular purpose of reminding us of the reflexive left-wing defense that has long protected those working with our enemies. Expect more of the same.
The New York Times even had a Pulitzer Prize-winning defender on staff.
But why would President Obama elevate to the #3 position at the Justice Department a person who has Tony West’s background? Even more disturbing, why would Obama place such a person in charge of GITMO policy?
For other examples of radical attorneys Eric Holder has brought into the Department of Justice, I name many names in my book Injustice. The Pulitzer-nominated PJ Media Every Single One series provides the backgrounds of 113 attorneys hired into the Obama Civil Rights Division. You’ll see that the West promotion is nothing unusual inside this DOJ.