Thursday, April 22, 2010

'The Kids Are Alright'

Andrew C. McCarthy explains how Attorney General Eric Holder keeps the heat off his “kids” at the DOJ:

Holder cows Republican senators into silence on the Gitmo Bar and the CIA.

So now we know why the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in American history” continues to stonewall rather than reveal the official responsibilities of Justice Department lawyers who volunteered their services to America’s enemies during wartime. Like any good Democrat, Eric Holder says he is doing it for the children.

The attorney general bristled during Senate testimony on Wednesday that he was “not going to allow these kids” to have their reputations dragged “through the mud.” The “kids” coddled in this touching paternal display include 45-year-old Tony West, who now supervises hundreds of lawyers as chief of DOJ’s Civil Division. It’s been 17 years since Tony the Kid first served as an influential official in the Clinton Justice Department. From there, he went on to nine-year stint as a hot-shot partner at a prestigious San Francisco law firm — in his spare time running both Barack Obama’s lavish presidential campaign in California and the defense of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” convicted on terrorism charges after making war on his country.

They grow up so quickly, don’t they? Kids like 40-year-old Neal Katyal, the current deputy solicitor general who, as Byron York
observes, was a Georgetown law professor when he volunteered to represent Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s personal driver and bodyguard, who was apprehended transporting missiles in Afghanistan.

Then there’s precocious 38-year-old Jennifer Daskal. Over Holder’s dead body will anyone drag her reputation through the mud, insinuating that she spent her pre-DOJ years cheerleading for terrorists and running down her country when, in point of fact, Daskal spent her pre-DOJ years . . . cheerleading for terrorists and running down her country. When not campaigning on behalf of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (as if Bush had needed to torture him into confessing to atrocities he can’t stop bragging about) and Omar Khadr (accused of murdering an American serviceman), Daskal was pleading with the United Nations to designate the United States a rogue nation that systematically abuses prisoners, secretly imprisons suspects, applies the death penalty in a racially discriminatory manner, uses the “cloak of federalism” to conceal its serial violations of international law, invokes “the so-called ‘war on terror’” as a pretext for shredding the Bill of Rights, and, of course, harms our children — by subjecting juvenile criminals to life imprisonment when they commit murders.

Daskal also made time during her tenure at Human Rights Watch to expose a top-secret CIA program to detain high-level al-Qaeda operatives in overseas prisons. She and her HRW colleagues pooled intelligence from other fearless patriots who had volunteered to help terrorists bring lawsuits against the United States. As Tom Joscelyn and Debra Burlingame
recount, that project had nothing to do with the lawful purpose of representing the terrorists — to challenge the validity of their detention as enemy combatants — but did involve extensive violation of court orders.
See the rest here.

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