Monday, January 15, 2007

Offensive defense

Josh Marshall comments on another disgraceful story of BushCo malfeasance that TPM has been following.

Over the weekend, David Kurtz kept you up to speed about the story of Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, who is calling on corporate America to boycott law firms who are providing legal defense to detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Subsequently, the Pentagon disavowed Stimson's comments and said they don't represent the Pentagon's views.

As fas as I know, however, Stimson himself has not retracted his comments. And he is hardly some random official. He is the Defense Department appointee charged with overseeing "detainee affairs". He runs it.

We've become greatly desensitized in recent years to shocking abuses of civil liberties and administration contempt for the rule of law. Even in that context though this stands out as an outrageous attack on the rule of law in this country. When high level Defense Department appointees are publicly calling for blacklisting lawyers defending clients in the civilian justice system you know we've gotten to a very bad place.

This story should not end here. Stimson should be fired immediately. And if the White House won't, the Congress should investigate his activities.

Josh also has this ironic follow-up:

As David's been discussing, Charles Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, says there should be a boycott of law firms defending Gitmo detainees. Too bad one of those firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is representing Scooter Libby in his trial that starts Monday.

Guess Scooter won't be honoring the boycott.


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