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Gideon's Strumpets?
March 11, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Former Second Daughter Liz Cheney (who, it should be noted, received her JD from The University of Chicago Law School in 1996) and her Keep America Safe 501(c) posted a video demanding that the Justice Department publicly release the names of its "Al Quaeda Seven," seven Justice employees who served as counsel for Guantanamo detainees. Reaction has been swift and fierce.

Fox News managed to "uncover" the names of the Seven after "an extensive review of court documents and media reports."

Cheney and Keep America Safe are facing opposition from lawyers and non-lawyers on both the left and right wings of the political spectrum, including former University of Chicago Law professor Richard Epstein ("There's something truly bizarre about this...I don't know what moves her" and "I am not...one of those lefties"), People for the American Way president Michael Keegan ("Joseph McCarthy himself couldn’t have done a better job"), and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. The Brookings Institution put out a letter (signed by notable conservative figures including former Independent Counsel Ken Starr) calling Cheney's campaign a "shameful series of attacks...both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications" and reminding Cheney of "the American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients," including John Adams' defense of British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre, and more.

Yesterday, former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy, an ally of Cheney's, told Politico “People are awfully prissy."
posted by sallybrown (114 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
She's trying to keep her dad out of a war crimes trial.
posted by empath at 11:53 AM on March 11, 2010 [18 favorites]


She is just as evil as her father. Another truly despicable human being.
posted by ericb at 11:53 AM on March 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


What I don't get is why anyone gives a fuck about what Liz Cheney has to say? How many demagogues does the US need?
posted by chunking express at 11:53 AM on March 11, 2010 [18 favorites]


Yesterday, former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy, an ally of Cheney's, told Politico “People are awfully prissy."

I notice the curious absence of a "no relation" disclaimer next to this man's name.
posted by [citation needed] at 11:54 AM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


that's the kind of patriotism that America can do without.
posted by Chris4d at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Better to be prissy than butt-ignorant and morally bankrupt.

Rachel Maddow did a hilarious rant on this, in which she tied the whole thing back to Liz Cheney herself. Yes, Liz Cheney is Al Quaeda!
posted by rtha at 11:55 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I don't get is why anyone gives a fuck about what Liz Cheney has to say? How many demagogues does the US need?

As many as it takes to fill the airwaves. They're fun as hell to watch and complain about, which is why they keep getting more air time. A self-fulfilling fucked up media environment.
posted by Think_Long at 11:56 AM on March 11, 2010


Any time you've got Ken Starr calling your campaign a "shameful series of attacks" you should know you've fucked up.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:56 AM on March 11, 2010 [57 favorites]


There is speculation that Liz Cheney is going to run for office, so I guess we'd better get ready to hear more.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 11:57 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know about Gideon's Trumpet, and perhaps I'm unfamiliar with another reference you're making in the title. But would you mind explaining just why you called Liz Cheney a strumpet?
posted by zarq at 11:57 AM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is merely a continuation of the Cheney family's post-Bush actions trying to justify the dehumanization of suspected terrorists and not have to have any hard questions asked during any possible trials. It only serves to underscore, in my mind, how much they have to hide (and fear) from having tough questions asked during any court cases. It also feels quite borderline totalitarian to me, the notion that lawyer defending people who may have committed crimes can themselves have their own moral center questioned on grounds of "treason" or whatever.

Cheney and his ilk make great claims about national security, but they threaten our freedom and ways of justice more than anyone else.
posted by hippybear at 11:57 AM on March 11, 2010 [26 favorites]


Jon Stewart interviewed Marc Thiessen on this very topic just two days ago. Parts one, two, and three.

(May not be...ahem...accessible outside the US.)
posted by aheckler at 11:58 AM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I suspect she's just trying to drum up publicity so that when the 2010 elections take over the news cycle in a few months she can make slightly less batshitinsane statements on the topic of American security and hope to influence the public discourse. Nothing to see here.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 11:58 AM on March 11, 2010


What I don't get is why anyone gives a fuck about what Liz Cheney has to say? How many demagogues does the US need?

Indeed. Moreover, its hereditary demagogues.

If this were Liz Johnson, successful businessperson, no one would give a shit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:01 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


How many demagogues does the US need?

As many as the market will bear.
posted by blucevalo at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I know it's not kosher to comment on someone's looks, but that fucking curled lip sneer that makes her father so easy to hate is really unbelievably hideous on a woman. Just seeing her makes my blood run cold.
posted by fixedgear at 12:02 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


No doubting her lineage, she is definitely her father's child.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:04 PM on March 11, 2010


Yesterday, former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy, an ally of Cheney's, told Politico “People are awfully prissy."

Presumably he wouldn't be so prissy as to object if we start referring to McCarthy, Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, and Keep America Safe as the KGB Communist Torture Fan Club.

Why won't Liz Cheney release a list of the names of people who belong to her KGB Communist Torture Fan Club?

posted by straight at 12:06 PM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wow, People for the American Way. Haven't heard about them in a long time. They're actually good guys, despite having the kind of name you expect a wacko right wing group to have. They were huge back in the days of the Blue Ribbon Campaign against the CDA. I remember being so proud to have that blue ribbon on my website which nobody ever saw outside maybe 3 buddies.
posted by kmz at 12:07 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't like her.
posted by Mister_A at 12:09 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know about Gideon's Trumpet, and perhaps I'm unfamiliar with another reference you're making in the title. But would you mind explaining just why you called Liz Cheney a strumpet?

First, I was referring to Cheney (and the Keep America Safe foundation, which is why it's plural) because, being a lawyer, she should know better than to conflate a lawyer's patriotism with her client's, which makes it hard for me to believe her feelings as laid out are sincere as opposed to an attempt to "sell herself" for some conservative political capital or notoriety or whatever else. However, as I'm not actually Liz Cheney, I added a question mark: Cheney, perhaps whoring herself in preparation for a run at office, perhaps just sadly deluded.

Second, I was referring to Cheney's attitude about the "Al-Quaeda Seven"--that they're serving "evil people" rather than their country, that they are strumpets for the terrorists, which is a lot of hogwash, if you ask me.

Really, I thought about this too hard, and the pun was too great to resist.
posted by sallybrown at 12:09 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Cheney family is a deeply rotten one... no doubt because of the malign influence of their twisted patriarch.
posted by The Thnikkaman at 12:12 PM on March 11, 2010


Yesterday, former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy, an ally of Cheney's, told Politico “People are awfully prissy."

I notice the curious absence of a "no relation" disclaimer next to this man's name.


It's OK, he's not the actor. I mean, how many crimes against humanity can one man commit?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:13 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's a despicable human being. She was instrumental in convincing, unfortunately, quite a few people in the LGBT community that the Bush presidency is OK to vote for, because "wink" they are really going to be pretty tolerant on LGBT issues despite the official rhetoric - "look at me, and my dad would never acquiesce in anything harmful to our community". The reality of course transpired to be quite different, as even the die hard Log Cabin types had to admit (and withheld their endorsement in 2004). And she's long since shown her true colors - with this latest thing being icing on the cake - a vicious right wing demagogue. Every time she wins, America loses.
posted by VikingSword at 12:14 PM on March 11, 2010


There is speculation that Liz Cheney is going to run for office, so I guess we'd better get ready to hear more.

Please let it be Wyoming, please let it be Wyoming, please let it be Wyoming.
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:14 PM on March 11, 2010


I think that when all is said and done “we need to look forward and not backwards” will be what Obama is remembered for.
posted by ennui.bz at 12:16 PM on March 11, 2010


She's a despicable human being. She was instrumental in convincing, unfortunately, quite a few people in the LGBT community that the Bush presidency is OK to vote for, because "wink" they are really going to be pretty tolerant on LGBT issues despite the official rhetoric - "look at me, and my dad would never acquiesce in anything harmful to our community". The reality of course transpired to be quite different, as even the die hard Log Cabin types had to admit (and withheld their endorsement in 2004). And she's long since shown her true colors - with this latest thing being icing on the cake - a vicious right wing demagogue. Every time she wins, America loses.


You're confusing her with her sister Mary.
posted by gyc at 12:16 PM on March 11, 2010


Fundamental Attribution Error, the Movie Media Circus.
posted by Scattercat at 12:17 PM on March 11, 2010


I know about Gideon's Trumpet, and perhaps I'm unfamiliar with another reference you're making in the title. But would you mind explaining just why you called Liz Cheney a strumpet?

Oh, and I'm an idiot--I just realized you may have been talking about the biblical Gideon's Trumpet? Gideon's Trumpet is also the name of a book and movie made about the 1963 Gideon v. Wainwright decision, which held that "The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a fundamental right applied to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause, and requires that indigent criminal defendants be provided counsel at trial."
posted by sallybrown at 12:18 PM on March 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


You're confusing her with her sister Mary.

OK, never mind then - though I seem to remember that whichever sister it was, she was unrepentant about her deception once the reality became known. Sorry for confusing them, though. Whew, what a family. Then there's the Bush family. Can you imagine those families interbreeding? It might cause a kind of black hole of Evil and spell the end of humanity /jk/.
posted by VikingSword at 12:20 PM on March 11, 2010


She's a despicable human being. She was instrumental in convincing, unfortunately, quite a few people in the LGBT community that the Bush presidency is OK to vote for, because "wink" they are really going to be pretty tolerant on LGBT issues despite the official rhetoric - "look at me, and my dad would never acquiesce in anything harmful to our community"

You're think of her sister, Mary Cheney. Liz Cheney is presumably straight, with children, and would go back in time Terminator-style to kill her sister in the womb if it were in any way possible.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:21 PM on March 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


On the possibility that she might run: "I'd love to see her run for office someday," said her father, 69, recently. "I think she's got a lot to offer, and it's been a great career for me, and if she has the interest, and I think she does, then I would like to see her embark upon a career in politics."

"it's been a great career for me." Gross.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 12:22 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, if you support anti-equality legislation in California your identity needs to be protected because you might be harassed, but if you observe one of the fundamental principles of the American legal system your identity should be published in order for people to be able to harass you.

Way to be consistent right-wingers.
posted by oddman at 12:22 PM on March 11, 2010 [22 favorites]


It's weird to see that her evil apple didn't fall far from the twisted, gnarled branches reaching up like fingers to tear down the sky and rend the world apart evil tree that is her father.

I wonder if they sit around the dinner table at holidays, and try to out-maniacal-cackle one another.
posted by quin at 12:28 PM on March 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Rachel Maddow: - Conservatives vs. Liz Cheney
posted by adamvasco at 12:30 PM on March 11, 2010


> I wonder if they sit around the dinner table at holidays, and try to out-maniacal-cackle one another.

I doubt it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:30 PM on March 11, 2010


Gideon's Trumpet is also the name of a book and movie made about the 1963 Gideon v. Wainwright decision, which held that "The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a fundamental right applied to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause, and requires that indigent criminal defendants be provided counsel at trial."

Ah! I had never heard of it.

Thanks for the explanations. Much appreciated.
posted by zarq at 12:30 PM on March 11, 2010


Why does Liz Cheney hate America so much?
posted by vibrotronica at 12:33 PM on March 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm rarely shocked by inanity on TV, but that Thiessen interview was just jawdropping. What a disingenuous little whiner that sumbitch is.
posted by Rat Spatula at 12:42 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Guideon's Strumpets?

I wish you guys would quit equating lawyers with whores. It's really unfair to the whores.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:42 PM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


“I was excited about Palin; I’m more excited about Liz. The same sort of excitement you get when you hear her father, except she’s this petite blonde with five kids … There’s just something about her… You have a little crush on her. It’s hard not to.”
posted by empath at 12:42 PM on March 11, 2010


I'm more afraid of the "conservatives" now than when they were in power. I wrote "conservatives" bc these people give conservatism a bad name.
posted by Neekee at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2010


Jon Stewart interviewed Marc Thiessen on this very topic just two days ago. Parts one, two, and three.

I started to watch that the other day, but just couldn't stomach it.

Thiessen seems not to grasp the concepts of "innocent until proven guilty" or "equal representation." He seems totally befuddled that anyone (an alleged mobster, an alleged pedophile, an alleged terrorist, to use the three examples in the interview) accused of a crime has to actually, you know, go through a process in which evidence is weighed and a verdict is rendered. He seems to think that just accusing someone of being a mobster, terrorist, pedophile is enough, and that no actual, you know, proof through due process, is required. It's insane.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


Let me try to apply some logic to her actions.

The United States is a young country, relatively speaking. We've had one government lo these 220 years, and things have by-and-large been stable, the Civil War excepted. But you have to figure that at some point, the US will at least mirror Europe in its ideological, economic, and social divisions. Those divisions tore Europe apart, united it under any of at least a dozen empires, and triggered countless, devastating wars.

So you have to figure that at some point in the future, even if you think it's 1000 years from now, that stuff will happen here. We'll have our fascist state, we'll have other civil wars, the states will secede and rejoin variously over the centuries. It's inevitable.

So front Cheney's point of view, if that stuff is going to happen eventually anyway, why not secure your place in history as the one who sets it in motion. That way, you be the one who drives history rather than yet another political figure who is forgotten when the Big Change eventually comes.

Think of it another way. In all aspects of life, things exist on a continuum and are evaluated in relation to their opposites. Music must have high notes and low notes, soft notes and loud notes. When the music of an era becomes too much of one thing, the next era of music is inaugurated when someone goes to the other end. That re-establishes the dynamic equilibrium. It defines not only the new thing, but also the old thing.

Likewise in art. Beginning in the Renaissance, painters tried to paint more an more accurately, and more realistically. But as the centuries passed, it became increasing repetitive. They didn't know at the time that they were just the realistic painters, they thought they just thought they were being really good painters. When the impressionists came along, it because clear that you could be a good painter and paint completely unrealistically. It meant that the new thing was distinctly unrealisitic and emotional, but the impressionists also defined their predecessors as too formal and literal just as they closed the book on them.

It's the same in politics, law, and everything else. Everyone knows that our system requires lawyers to defend the people everyone hates, so no one has ever really criticized that before. We all expected Moussaoui, the DC sniper, and OJ to get defense lawyers, and when they did, it was unremarkable.

But what if you decide to demonize those kinds of lawyers? Then you can intimidate and discourage lawyers from ever wanting to fill that role. This way you can ensure that people the public hates do not get a fair trial not by rigging the trial or doing any of the conventionally corrupt things, but instead you change the culture so that no one fills the role that the system assumes at least one person will fill in order for the system to be valid.

You can effect all kinds of social change this way. And what change do you effect by challenging this long standing institutional tradition? You try to reverse the long standing historical trends. The trend is that freedom and prosperity have been increasing for centuries because of science and technology. The only thing you can do to make a name for yourself is to reverse that trend. You define the new era as the antithesis of the previous era. You use science and technology to make people less free and less prosperous.

If you are alive today and you want to be a somebody in the pages of history, this is want you have to do. The Cheneys couldn't pick when they were born, and they didn't set the course of human civilization over the last few centuries. If the centuries long trend was that human existence was more miserable with each generation, then the Cheneys would be out in the streets leading the revolution.

They want to be known. They want to be remembered generations after they are dead. You don't get that by curing disease or doing something amazing. Can you name the inventor of chemotherapy, the microchip? Did you even know they have a chicken pox vaccine now?

The best way to be great in the eyes of history is to seize the machinery of civilization and throw it into reverse. To do so implies that you are one of the few in the world who sees and understands the machinery. It further implies that you are one of the few among the few who has seized the machines lever of control. And finally, it means that you are the singular one of the fewest of the few with the courage--or insanity--to dare to pull that lever knowing full what what will happen.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:57 PM on March 11, 2010 [29 favorites]


Agreed, Thiessen looked like the worst kind of spineless, fear-mongering hypocrite. Kudos to Jon for not utterly blowing his top -- I would have punched him in the snoot.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 12:57 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I started to watch that the other day, but just couldn't stomach it.

Yeah, I've only caught the aired version, but what I saw irritated me to no end. At the close of the interview where he barely allowed Stewart to get a word in edgewise, he claims that he wasn't allowed to make his points.

I absolutely hate this discourse style that Fox has seemed to perfect and disseminated: be loud, stick to talking points, ignore facts, be belligerent when someone refutes your point, claim victim status.

Fuck these guys. They make having a reasonable discussion impossible.
posted by quin at 1:00 PM on March 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


The best way to be great in the eyes of history is to seize the machinery of civilization and throw it into reverse.

So in essence you're saying the Cheneys have the same reactionary mindset as--gasp!--the terrorists, and that they, like the "terrorists," hate America for its freedoms and its system of laws? I'm shocked, just shocked by the analogy. It's also spot on.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:03 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Guideon's Strumpets?

I wish you guys would quit equating lawyers with whores. It's really unfair to the whores.


And really unfair to women in general. Speaking as the brother to four sisters and the father of one daughter, and fan of all things female, I don't like these words - strumpet, whore - being used in connection with any woman. Can we not please take gender out of this completely? Liz Cheney is an ass. Full stop. The fact that she is a woman shouldn't be of interest and has nothing to do with it.

Otherwise excellent post sallybrown. Well-researched and well-supported and you hit the major points of debate on the matter.

including John Adams' defense of British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre

One would think this would have resonance with the right wing Constitution-thumpers whose reverence for the "founding fathers" borders on religious devotion. IIRC from my history, Adams didn't even struggle with his decision - for him it was his duty as a lawyer - even though he knew it would not make him popular with the public.
posted by three blind mice at 1:05 PM on March 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


'Liz Chevey has never been one of my favorite people anyway. For years I've regarded her existence as a monument to all the rancid genes and broken chromosomes that corrupt the possibilities of the American Dream; she was a foul caricature of herself, a woman with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad. The Cheney I remembered was absolutely humorless; I couldn't imagine her laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn't quite reach the lever on the voting machine.'

After Thompson
posted by Relay at 1:07 PM on March 11, 2010


Am I a reactionary for loving throwback Mountain Dew? Did I somehow throw the lever of progress back to the '70s? Because that would be awesome.

pastabagel could've just educated the populace that the Cheyney's are attention whores and left it at that, but all good otherwise. I'm not one to forgo a long-winded rant for brevity's sake.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:08 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


How can I start a tax exempt organization to spread my batshitinsane political views? I don't want anything as crazy as fighting human rights for POWs. I just think it'd be nice to make it a felony to tailgate, since it really gets on my nerves when people do that.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:10 PM on March 11, 2010


Thiessen was thoroughly irrational. Is he what represents a thinker on the right? He dismisses anything Stewart says as hypothetical, but then won't conceded how many of his points are rooted in hypotheticals. He won't even answer a yes or no question, probably because he knows it would expose that his reasoning is rooted in hypotheticals.

And then he whines that he doesn't get to make his points. He made them. He was just unhappy they were rebutted, and that he wasn't simply given a forum to babble on and on and on about how we'd all have dies were it not for torture.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:14 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's a despicable human being. She was instrumental in convincing, unfortunately, quite a few people in the LGBT community that the Bush presidency is OK to vote for, because "wink" they are really going to be pretty tolerant on LGBT issues...The reality of course transpired to be quite different...
posted by VikingSword at 3:14 PM on March 11


In the pursuit of understanding, or at least comprehesion, let's set aside the issue of her despicable character, because I think it clouds intelligent people's judgment. Let me ask you a question:

Do you think she, or her father, knew that the republicans were going to make gay marriage such a huge issue back in 2000?

Think very carefully about the timeline on this issue. Vermont approved same sex marriages in 2000. Before Bush was elected. But it wasn't really a campaign issue. Log Cabin Republicans was a name that gay republicans used to identify themselves in that election. Andrew Sullivan was ostensibly a Bush supporter.

So why did it become an issue in 2004? Because the Mass. Supreme court in late '03 and early '04 said that only marriage rights for same sex couples would provide equal protection under the state constitution. Civil unions don't count.

The issue was cast in legal terms as an unwinnable fight. Unwinnable for the opponents of gay marriage. Because there is no reasonable argument outside of religion that can be made to deny those rights. So the only arguments you hear today against it are religious.

She's no dummy, and she's not a self-hating lesbian the way some of the more prominent and recently-outed gay republicans and preachers have been self-hating. You can fight for what you believe and you might lose. Or you can assume the role of your opponent, and throw the fight, thereby ensuring yourself victory.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:18 PM on March 11, 2010


Is he what represents a thinker on the right?

Thiessen's main claim to fame appears to be that he was a key speech writer for Bush 2. So reasoned argument and logical exposition naturally take a back seat to hysteria, fear mongering, distortion of the facts, and jingoism.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


quin: As you know, that is the whole point.
posted by GrammarMoses at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2010


These people don't love America, as in "America, the country spelled out in the Constitution, particularly the bill of rights." They love America, as in Christianity, apple pie and the flag. They love the symbols, and they think those symbols are what make America America, even though they change constantly while the principles of the constitution remain fairly static. They think it's okay to shed the principles the nation was founded on, if it means we'll be one degree safer.

There's no cognitive dissonance in fighting against habeas corpus, "innocent until proven guilty," or even the right to a fair trial, because those things mean nothing to them. They need to see how those concepts are what caused America to endure and become the nation it is today.

I hate to sound like Glenn Beck, but the American experiment will not do so well if we lose these principles. The constitution is a carefully made system of checks and balances, and once they're out of whack, it's easy for corruption and tyranny to thrive. Fair courts are needed to keep the government and criminals in check.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2010 [14 favorites]


quin: As you know, that is the whole point.
posted by GrammarMoses at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2010


[comments removed - we do not do that death threat retribution grar thing here, thanks]
posted by jessamyn at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2010


I think that Liz Cheney is spot on and that anyone who’s acted as a defense attorney should be imprisoned. I mean, these people are defending thieves, rapists, and murderers, so it must mean that they’re in league with the criminal element!

When Marc Thiessen intimated in the Daily Show interview that someone who defends pedophiles is obviously sympathetic to pedophilia (because, c’mon, why else would you defend these people, right?) I wanted to put my fist through the TV. And Jon completely slipped up with his analogy because his counterpoint example is a lawyer who is defending pedophiles, which is not analogous to the Gitmo detainee situation. Calling someone a pedophile indicates that they have actually been convicted of pedophilia – none of the Gitmo detainees have actually been convicted of anything so we don’t know if these people are genuinely terrorists or not. That’s the thing that really pisses me off about this whole debate – so many people are so quick to slap the detainees with the label of ‘terrorist’ based solely on the fact that they’ve been accused of terrorism. If we’re going to automatically condemn someone based just on an accusation, how can we claim to have a rule by law?
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


right wing Constitution-thumpers whose reverence for the "founding fathers" borders on religious devotion

I don't think this is true. I think that just like with religion or lots of other things, it's at best reverence is for a modified, personalized version that fits their needs at the time, and not for the real thing. In the cases of the leaders and pundits, I think it's not even that. It's probably nothing more than cynically hijacking something that others revere, in order to exercise control or influence over them.
posted by freecellwizard at 1:24 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


'it's been a great career for me.' Gross.

Well, he has made metric shit-tonnes of money. And the money spends just fine once you get the blood and oil out.

signed by notable conservative figures including former Independent Counsel Ken Starr

He does non-evil stuff from time to time, but he's earned a permanent place on my shit-list for impeaching Clinton. See also: Bothersome Bob Barr, Lindsey Graham, et al.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:24 PM on March 11, 2010


Liz makes Ann Coulter seen almost sane.
posted by Postroad at 1:25 PM on March 11, 2010


So in essence you're saying the Cheneys have the same reactionary mindset as--gasp!--the terrorists, and that they, like the "terrorists," hate America for its freedoms and its system of laws? I'm shocked, just shocked by the analogy. It's also spot on.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 4:03 PM on March 11


The same mindset, maybe. But the terrorists neither see the machine nor do they have any control of it whatsoever. Furthermore, the Cheneys have adopted the reactionary mindset, but their heart isn't in it. They didn't come to it emotionally. I think the terrorists really hate western values, globalism, etc. The Cheneys don't hate the trend.

The Cheneys approached their role in history first in the abstract. How do you get power? You amass wealth and influence. You make overtures to people and be generous at the outset so that people will feel they owe you. When you get power, you have to keep it. You maintain power through loyalty and fear. Once you have power, get some intellectuals to give you cover, and then you can do something at once heinous and great.

They start with the high-level framework, and fill in the details in the most expeditious and efficacious manner. The same model would have yielded completely different results 20 years ago or 200 years ago. But it's not based on what they hate or love. They'd be baffled at the suggestion that those notion control their lives. This is a family that excels at planning and calculation. They are reactionary because these are times that reward that.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:30 PM on March 11, 2010


If we’re going to automatically condemn someone based just on an accusation, how can we claim to have a rule by law?

Exactly. Cheney, Thiessen, Yoo, and all the rest of these fear-mongering demagogues are playing a really, really dangerous game. By politicizing this in such a way so as to demonize the very ideas of equal representation and due process, they effectively undermine our justice system. It's nuts.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:30 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Cheney, Thiessen, Yoo, and all the rest of these fear-mongering demagogues are playing a really, really dangerous game.

I think probably more dangerous for themselves than they think. At some point, we're going to have to prosecute them.
posted by empath at 1:41 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This whole thing should be no surprise. We have seen these 'fear mongering' campaigns escalate exponentially over the past decade.

Years ago (many) a one-issue mob of slogan-shouting, hate-ranting vigilantes ('patriots'?) would have been called 'fringe movement.' Now they seem to be standard fare - even mainstream. These campaigns used to print and pass out awkward tracts; now, with the internet, mobile connections, videos ... their slick media kits to enlist cohorts in "[insert hyper-verb]" can be instantly proliferated across the world.

The biggest questions are not 'where do they come from/why do we have this happening' but, 'What rebuttal can possibly be heard over the shouting --- and can our democracy survive this?'

Comedy Central can't be the only place where a person is willing to unveil the lack of complexity and lack of reason in these demagogue's rants.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:52 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like father, like scum.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:53 PM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now that they have been 'outed' and their DOJ careers assumingly ruined, can some high-powered private legal firms bring them in as highly-paid full-partners as an incentive for other Justice employees not to shirk their duties and provide competent legal service to all accused?

Anything else to establish these lawyers as True American Heroes to anybody not on FauxNews would be appreciated...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:53 PM on March 11, 2010


At some point, we're going to have to prosecute them.
Oooh ooh, can it be nownowNowNOW?
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 1:54 PM on March 11, 2010


If Obama was half the Islamofacist Communist thug these guys make him out to be, wouldn't all the big name right wingers be in jail already?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:54 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


>These campaigns used to print and pass out awkward tracts; now, with the internet, mobile connections, videos ... their slick media kits to enlist cohorts in "[insert hyper-verb]" can be instantly proliferated across the world. The biggest questions are not 'where do they come from/why do we have this happening' but, 'What rebuttal can possibly be heard over the shouting --- and can our democracy survive this?'

Oh God, don't tell me America is part of the old media and thus doomed to the same fate as the papers.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:58 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


right wing Constitution-thumpers whose reverence for the "founding fathers" borders on religious devotion

I don't think this is true.


Some Mormons I know have told me that the "founding fathers" were inspired/guided by God and the U.S. Constitution in their view is scripture. Don't know if that was the company line, or personal opinion, but they seemed sincere about it.

It's probably nothing more than cynically hijacking something that others revere, in order to exercise control or influence over them.

You're selling people short. Some people believe bad things for good reasons. It's best to give 'em the benefit of the doubt.
posted by three blind mice at 2:01 PM on March 11, 2010


What total human garbage.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now that they have been 'outed' and their DOJ careers assumingly ruined, can some high-powered private legal firms bring them in as highly-paid full-partners as an incentive for other Justice employees not to shirk their duties and provide competent legal service to all accused?

The funny thing (and the thing that made Cheney Jr.'s schtick stick in my craw) is that most lawyers at some time or another work for a group or person they disagree with, or even find morally errant. Liz Cheney worked in private practice for a major law firm--I highly doubt she agreed 100% with her clients' various choices.

So these lawyers aren't in any real danger of rejection from the larger legal community (unlike Alberto Gonzales, for example, who had trouble finding a job--more info here), especially from high-powered private legal firms (a.k.a. Big Law), at least according to this: of the "50 largest firms in the United States, at least 34 have either represented detainees or filed amicus briefs in support of detainees."

I worry a lot more about crazies getting all stirred up and coming after them.
posted by sallybrown at 2:05 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


So why is Bill Kristol getting a free ride on this? That weaselly little prick deserves scorn for this shit, too. Don't get me wrong; everybody should keep baggin on Liz, I just hate to see an opportunity to smack Bill around go wasted.
posted by effwerd at 2:06 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


If Obama was half the Islamofacist Communist thug these guys make him out to be, wouldn't all the big name right wingers be in jail already?

He's duping them into a false sense of security before he snatches them up into Allah's Red Net.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:08 PM on March 11, 2010


I'm in "the Constitution means different things to different people" camp. It's not that they hate the Constitution. It's that they think they can pick and choose which parts matter, and which parts were poorly thought out, or that the mainstream "misinterprets."

It's rationalization and selective attention, just like how both Michael Moore and Glenn Beck can quote 1984 as though Orwell endorsed their views.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:08 PM on March 11, 2010


Is there any reason Cheney and her crack team of investigators couldn't have found out who the "al Qaeda Seven" were in a couple of hours, using a government phone directory and a few well-constructed Lexis/Nexis queries? Or were they just feigning ignorance to prolong the idiotic controversy?
posted by steambadger at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2010


The question Americans need to ask is not whether a Justice Department lawyer in an earlier job defended the Constitution on behalf of an unpopular client. Rather, we should be asking why the government adopted a deliberate program of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and has not held anyone accountable, apologized to the victims or acknowledged its wrongdoing. That is the real scandal. Lawyers, Terror & Torture by David Cole
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 2:17 PM on March 11, 2010



Liz makes Ann Coulter seen almost sane.

not really
posted by notreally at 2:24 PM on March 11, 2010


Hey nerds, what would Phoenix Wright do in this situation?

And how can I hack a ROM so that I can have Ace Attorney: Guantanamo?
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


not really
posted by notreally at 2:24 PM on March 11 [+] [!]


eponidentical
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


So why is Bill Kristol getting a free ride on this? That weaselly little prick deserves scorn for this shit, too. Don't get me wrong; everybody should keep baggin on Liz, I just hate to see an opportunity to smack Bill around go wasted.

Part of the reason might be that Bill Kristol is the anti-prophet. With uncanny accuracy, policies he supports will fail miserably, candidates he endorses will lose and events he predicts will not happen.

Having him on the side this particular evil is a beacon of hope.
posted by uri at 2:37 PM on March 11, 2010


Hey nerds, what would Phoenix Wright do in this situation?

In the Phoenix Wright games, you draw logical conclusions based on the available facts. That has so little to do with this situation that we might as well wonder what Mario would do.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:40 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


what Mario would do.

Eat mushrooms?
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:47 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still want to see what would happen to Phoenix Wright were he outed while defending a terror suspect and hated by thousands of angry wingnuts.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:47 PM on March 11, 2010


Part of the reason might be that Bill Kristol is the anti-prophet.

It's not for nothing that he was once known (unironically!) as "Quayle's Brain."
posted by EarBucket at 3:05 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, he did call Sarah Palin. Although it's easy to argue that her nomination has been a net-loss for the GOP, and certainly for John McCain, so he's still a miserable person to have.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:09 PM on March 11, 2010


I apologize for the earlier post. I believe it was poorly worded and could easily have been misunderstood.

The point was basically to stress the fact that by releasing the names it would open up these people's families to retribution.

I would never condone violent acts against anyone including current/former public figures.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 3:24 PM on March 11, 2010


I worry a lot more about crazies getting all stirred up and coming after them.

This.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 3:25 PM on March 11, 2010


IIRC from my history, Adams didn't even struggle with his decision - for him it was his duty as a lawyer - even though he knew it would not make him popular with the public.

You are right.
"John Adams, in his old age, called his defense of British soldiers in 1770 'one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.' .... The day after British soldiers mortally wounded five Americans on a cobbled square in Boston, thirty-four-year-old Adams was visted in his office near the stairs of the Town Office by a Boston merchant , James Forest. 'With tears streaming from his eyes' (according to the recollection of Adams), Forest asked Adams to defend the soldiers and their captain, Thomas Preston. Adams understood that taking the case would not only subject him to criticism, but might jeopardize his legal practice or even risk the safety of himself and his family. But Adams believed deeply that every person deserved a defense, and he took on the case without hesitation. For his efforts, he would receive the modest sum of eighteen guineas....Initial reaction to Adams role in the case was hostile. His law practice dropped by over half. In the long run, however, the courageous actions of Adams only enhanced his growing reputation."*

posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on March 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


BTW -- the Boston Massacre was reenacted (as it is every year) this past weekend to honor its 240th. anniversary.
posted by ericb at 3:43 PM on March 11, 2010


As someone who isn't a fan of the government doing much of anything in secret, I'm on Cheney's side. (Jesus, did I just write that?)
posted by coolguymichael at 3:50 PM on March 11, 2010


coolguymichael -- on one hand, sure that's a fine thing to agree with (I'm not sure what all the reasons for not specifically naming the lawyers are). The real problem is Cheney's assertion that these people are somehow unpatriotic for doing their jobs as legal advocates.
posted by Think_Long at 4:30 PM on March 11, 2010


As someone who isn't a fan of the government doing much of anything in secret, I'm on Cheney's side. (Jesus, did I just write that?)

No one was doing this in secret. Cheney could have found the information she apparently so desperately wanted if she had pursued the same course as Fox News--look up legal briefs and court papers to see the lawyers listed, etc. And I doubt it's the "secrecy" of the thing Cheney is after--she's using that more palatable argument as the shield for her attempt to shame people for doing their jobs.
posted by sallybrown at 4:33 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


The real problem is Cheney's assertion that these people are somehow unpatriotic for doing their jobs as legal advocates.

This is a nit I feel compelled to pick: "Department of Jihad" "Who's values do they share?" "Al Qaeda Seven" is more than just calling them unpatriotic.

It is one thing to imply that those who defend clients who are enemies of the state are unpatriotic; it is another thing to imply that those who defend clients who are enemies of the state are also enemies of the state. Both are clearly wrong, but the former can be brushed off as rhetoric, while the latter appears to verge on fomenting a witch hunt. Cowards that they are, Cheney and her ilk don't have the balls to come right out and accuse them of being Al Qaeda operatives or sympathizers, but they aren't bashful about stepping right up to that line.
posted by effwerd at 4:55 PM on March 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Liz makes Ann Coulter seen almost sane.

This is not true. False. Not sane. No.
posted by straight at 5:04 PM on March 11, 2010


Jesus Christ, Marc Thiessen is a tool.
posted by phaedon at 5:24 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Innocent man helped by Gitmo Attorney: the case Liz Cheney doesn’t want you to read about
posted by homunculus at 5:35 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I should not have surfed over to freerepublic to see what they think about this. That was shockingly disappointing.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:14 PM on March 11, 2010


This is a great example of why George Lakoff's in Thinking Points was absolutely, 100% right about "framing" and how good Republicans are at it.

Look at the Jon Stewart interview. Right off the bat, Stewart is drawing comparisons to lawyers with "bad" defendants who we don't normally crucify in public - but this is wrong you see, he doesn't get it.

The point of the "AQ7" manufactured controversy is not really to slander these attorneys or undercut respect for due process and the right to counsel. It's this: in the short term, stir up frouthy-mouthed anger at Obama and liberals for supporting "terrorist-lovers"; and in the long term to provide material for campaign ads and propaganda - "remember how Obama hired terrorist-loving attorneys, and liberals backed him?" The point isn't to criticize Obama's DOJ for hiring conflicted attorneys, it's to plant yet another example of Al Qaeda coddling in the right wing base's collective minds.

What Stewart should have done is called Thiessen on this as content-free PR bullshit from the get-go. Don't argue about the underlying issue, because it's not real! Thiessen/Cheney/et al. don't actually care about conflicts of interest in the DOJ! They understand perfectly well that the moral repugnance of a lawyer's clients doesn't - and can't - transfer to their lawyers. The whole enterprise is disingenuous from the get-go. And once you're talking about it, you've already lost. By defending the "AQ7" Stewart (and even more importantly: his fans) become part of the problem.

So it's already too late! By citing John Adams, habeas corpus, right to counsel, blah blah blah - do you think anyone really cares about that? - we're already talking about this faux-traversy on Liz Cheney's terms. It's being discussed as though it really were an ethical critique of some lawyers who chose to represent clients who they probably knew were evil, when it should be thrown in their face as the content-free propaganda bullshit that it is. It's liberals on the side of the Al Qaeda 7 and conservatives on the side of freedom and (ha!) transparency. That's why McCarthy's article opens with this: "Lawyers think they are more important than everyone else" and not something, you know, relevant. Because it's not about the lawyers' morals or DOJ's stonewalling - it's about hating liberals.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:30 PM on March 11, 2010 [20 favorites]


Typical "best defense is a good offense" crap but ...HAHA... she's simultaneously shooting herself in the foot. If her father were ever tried for his war crimes, she would have to add his lawyer's name to her list. Sweet.
posted by chance at 6:33 PM on March 11, 2010


Cheney and her ilk don't have the balls to come right out and accuse them of being Al Qaeda operatives or sympathizers, but they aren't bashful about stepping right up to that line.

Well, right. Because this is just more of their "if you aren't with us you're against us" bullshit that was started in national speeches starting in 2002.

It's being discussed as though it really were an ethical critique of some lawyers who chose to represent clients who they probably knew were evil

Right. And yet, she's not calling for Tim McVeigh's lawyer Stephen Jones to be persecuted, when under her logic, he should be. Nor is Kaczynski's lawyer Michael Donahoe being heckled in this witchhunt. Yet both McVeigh and Kaczynski probably wreaked more damage through terrorism than any of the people that were represented by any of this group of lawyers that Cheney is pursuing.

And the allusion of the post title is exactly correct, in that we have decided under our system of justice that ALL people should have defense representation and council when they are in our system. And like it or not, Gitmo and its procedures ARE part of our system.

Someone just sort of needs to slap Liz across the face and say "shut the hell up".
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dropped in on the freerepublic threads BrotherCaine mentioned and now I can't stop singing "I'm Afraid of Americans" to myself.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 11:39 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have encountered more than a few reasonable people on that site, but they don't venture into the hate fest echo chamber threads.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:52 AM on March 12, 2010


Calling someone a pedophile indicates that they have actually been convicted of pedophilia – none of the Gitmo detainees have actually been convicted of anything so we don’t know if these people are genuinely terrorists or not.

Pedophilia isn't illegal. Having sex with kids is illegal.

Hoping someone flies a plane into a building isn't illegal. Flying a plane into a building is.
posted by vbfg at 2:10 AM on March 12, 2010


Pedophilia isn't illegal. Having sex with kids is illegal.

Child porn is also illegal.

Hoping someone flies a plane into a building isn't illegal. Flying a plane into a building is.

Providing material support to people who fly planes into buildings is also illegal.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:52 AM on March 12, 2010


Thiessen’s Inconsistency Undermines Claim That Detainee Lawyers Can’t Be Compared To John Adams
posted by homunculus at 8:41 AM on March 12, 2010


Child porn is also illegal.

Providing material support to people who fly planes into buildings is also illegal.

People are innocent until proven guilty.

People have the right to due process.

Harassing defense lawyers undermines due process and the rule of law and is treasonous.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on March 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't disagree with you at all Blazecock, nothing I said should indicate that I don't.


The people that are in Gitmo are not the people that flew planes into buildings. Despite that they may or may not be guilty of other crimes that are associated with terrorism more than just "hoping someone flies a plane into a building." Only a fair trial will tell AND defeat the aims of the terrorists.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:40 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't disagree with you at all Blazecock, nothing I said should indicate that I don't.

Sorry, I just felt the need to clarify the matter. The definitions or distinctions of the crimes of the accused is perhaps not as important as recognizing their rights in the first place.

It gets away from the heart of the matter, to be arguing about the distinctions between supposed offenses, which in the end have little to do with the seditious behaviors of Cheney et al.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:52 PM on March 12, 2010


Only a fair trial

But they're not criminals! And they're not POWs, either! They're neither one thing, nor yet another! While remaining both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

Fuck me.
posted by Rat Spatula at 11:22 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hate, it's not just for commies anymore!
posted by Goofyy at 5:47 AM on March 13, 2010


Frank Rich: The New Rove-Cheney Assault on Reality
posted by homunculus at 9:21 AM on March 14, 2010


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