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DOJ’s Systemic Risks

March 5, 2010

Watch Victoria Toensing totally win this debate against the hoarse-voiced CNN analyst:

First the CNN analyst fights a strawman – that the terrorist lawyers are said to sympathise with their defendants’ views – and then she gives away the game by making the death-penalty analogy:

But a lot of people do pro bono cases. For example in the death-penalty area because they’re opposed to the death penalty. It doesn’t mean that they’re in favor of rape or murder or whatever the underlying crime was. And people who represent terrorists in our system, I say, God bless them for representing the despised.

As Mme Toensing then points out, this is exactly the point: lawyers who have defended terrorists in the past because they were opposed to the court system itself should not be brought to the DOJ where they would have to work within that system, not against it. It is not a question of those attorneys being “in favour” of terrorism or not, but of whether they fundamentally disagree, for instance, with the use of military tribunals to prosecute terrorists while they’re in charge of upholding those prosecutions. The fact that many of the terrorist lawyers have worked on a pro bono basis makes it hard to believe that ideological considerations had no part in their decision to take those cases.

And as for the difficulty for “despised people” to get attorneys that Mme Bloom mentions in response to the final question, the French Cowboy would like to point out that Gitmo terrorists, so far, didn’t exactly have a hard time finding legal professionals to defend them. There is an entire army of top attorneys more than willing to defend these people, and on a pro bono basis at that.

Monsieur Krauthammer asks (and answers) why those lawyers, whom Mme Bloom wants to be blessed for their altruism, from the large pool of “despised people” chose to represent terrorists over souls more worthy of compassion (and who probably don’t have first-class lawyers standing in line to defend them):


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