TPM did not let its readers know that the CCR is not exactly a “civil liberties” group. To be more accurate, the group, “Discover the Networks” reports, was formed in 1966 by a group of far left-wing and pro-Communist lawyers, including the Old Leftists Arthur Kinoy, Morton Stavis, William Kunstler and Ben Smith. In the old days, it would accurately have been described as a classic Communist front group.
CCR’s views on the political and psychological roots of anti-American terrorism, the Network site notes, “were summarized in March 2002 by the organization’s President, Michael Ratner, who said: “If the U.S. government truly wants its people to be safer and wants terrorist threats to diminish, it must make fundamental changes in its foreign policies … particularly its unqualified support for Israel, and its embargo of Iraq, its bombing of Afghanistan, and its actions in Saudi Arabia. [These] continue to anger people throughout the region, and to fertilize the ground where terrorists of the future will take root.”
Recently, they were in the forefront of defending extremist radical counsel Lynne Stewart, “who in February 2005 was convicted on charges that she had illegally ‘facilitated and concealed communications’ between her client, the incarcerated ‘blind sheik’ Omar Abdel Rahman, and members of his Egyptian terrorist organization, the Islamic Group, which has ties to al Qaeda. CCR called Stewart’s indictment in 2004 ‘an attack on attorneys who defend controversial figures, and an attempt to deprive these clients of the zealous representation that may be required.’” In the group’s eyes, it is more important to defend a counsel who violates the law by helping a terrorist she is supposedly representing, than seeing to it that a terrorist like the blind sheik will be prevented from ever again threatening the citizens of our country.
Other liberal media outlets have joined TPM in preparing to go on the offensive in case the Obama administration carries through with its plan to put our security before the rights of terrorists. The Nation website carries a column by Ari Melber who simply calls the plans for an executive order “a terrible idea,” and informs the President that he should know “that the executive branch operates at the nadir of constitutional power when acting without the cooperation of Congress, even in the national security area.”
Quoting Senator Russ Feingold, Melber notes that Feingold has written the President that
“preventive detention ‘violates basic American values and is likely unconstitutional,’” and that “detention without trial ‘is a hallmark of abusive systems that we have historically criticized around the world.’” And Melber adds an update from the ACLU, which accuses Obama “of parroting [Bush's] detention policies.”
If the original Washington Post article was meant as a trial balloon, the Left has acted immediately to call out its forces to swamp the White House with opposition. It behooves the rest of us, who see it as a welcome shot of wisdom as President Obama comes face to face with reality, to also let him know that not everyone shares the point of view of the ACLU and The Center for Constitutional Rights.