Saturday, January 13, 2007

Remedial civics, register here

What are we trying to establish in Iraq? Democracy, right? American-style democracy, with due process of law and all that stuff?

Maybe, depending on what you think due process of law and all those other inconveniences mean.

Here's what Bush's people think it means:

“I think, quite honestly, when corporate C.E.O.’s see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those C.E.O.’s are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms, and I think that is going to have major play in the next few weeks. And we want to watch that play out.”

Yup, that was Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. He's the guy in charge of detainees, and presumably in charge of the show trials they're getting. He's also a lawyer who graduated from George Mason University. Maybe while he was there he missed the day they talked about John Peter Zenger, and his court-appointed lawyer, Alexander Hamilton. So if there's any question in his mind, here's a little tip: you don't have to prove you're innocent in order to qualify for a lawyer.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Bush on Friday asking him to disavow Mr. Stimson's remarks. They're trying to distance themselves from Stimson, but since they're the same people who fired a Navy lawyer for taking them to the Supreme Court on the Hamdan case, it's hard to take what they say very seriously.

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