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Attorneys gone wild; or, getting caught with your briefs down

While I was browsing Little Green Footballs earlier this evening, I happened to notice two stories Charles linked to in a row.

The first was about former US Attorney General and lifelong asshole Ramsey Clark, who has joined Saddam Hussein's legal team. There we get to see the genesis of their planned defense, and -- surprise, surprise! -- it's "blame America." Everything bad he did was the fault of the bad old Americans.

The second story refers to the case of attorney Lynne Stewart, who had represented Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the convicted mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing back in 1993. Under the guise of "lawyer-client conferences," Stewart aided Rahman to continue communicating with his terrorist followers.

For some time now I've wondered just why Americans hate lawyers. Now I realize I should have been wondering why so many lawyers seem to hate America.

OK, that might be going a little far for the sake of a good line, but I think the lawyers have been asking for it. They've taken the idea of "everyone is entitled to a defender" into "if I'm defending someone, absolutely anything is fair game." They have allowed their adversarial relationship with the government within the courtroom to carry over into a knee-jerk opposition of anything that the government says or does.

In the above cases, I'd like to see Ms. Stewart tried of treason and Mr. Clark declared a supporter of Hussein's Baathist regime and tried on that basis. That's sheer fantasy on my behalf, as I don't see either happening due to major legal and constitutional violations, but it's still a thought that will keep me warm on this cold Cow Hampshire night.


Comments (11)

Just wanted to say I agree ... (Below threshold)

Just wanted to say I agree that these lawyers are scumbags, but as a law student (and a conservative), don't cast aspersions on all of us! There are plenty of great lawyers out there, for example, the ones that got $156,000,000 from the Islamic charity organizations that were funnelling money to Hamas.

You hit the nail on the hea... (Below threshold)

You hit the nail on the head Jay.

The law should not be about winning, esp. in a competitive marketplace where my $500/hr lawyer beats your $100/hr lawyer. It should be about truth.

This is not a trivial issue. We are a republic that puts laws above even democracy. When those laws go up the highest bidder, very bad things can happen.

I wonder where the bar assn... (Below threshold)

I wonder where the bar assn is on this matter? My understanding of the case is that Ms. Stewart was videotaped helping a terrorist pass information to an accomplice. I hope someone in the blogosphere will track what the consequences are to her license to practice law.

Lynne Stewart is the sister... (Below threshold)

Lynne Stewart is the sister of the man and his family who were found butchered in their home over the weekend.


Uh, fba, no. She's not an E... (Below threshold)

Uh, fba, no. She's not an Egyptian Copt.

However, the translator for the prosecution =against= Lynne Stewart is related to that Egyptian Coptic Christian family that was murdered.


I hate to give an opinion b... (Below threshold)

I hate to give an opinion because I didn't sit through the trial, but I either read the transcript of the tapes or heard them. Her violations weren't merely technical and appeared very deliberate. My guess is that she will be convicted and get hammered big time by the judge.

Well, this Republican lawye... (Below threshold)

Well, this Republican lawyer says Clark should have been deported to North Vietnam or jailed more than 30 years ago for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. He has, ever since, been on a continuous search for new enemies to whom he can give aid and comfort.

He obviously did not inherit the legal ethics of his father, who resigned from the Supreme Court when the son became AG to avoid an appearance of conflict (in fact, LBJ is believed to have appointed Clark as AG solely for the purpose of inducing his father to resign).

- LBJ was also enamoured wi... (Below threshold)

- LBJ was also enamoured with showing off the silver star that Eisenhower gave him simply as a token of appriciation for helping with Ikes campaign in Texas. Of course old "hounddog ear puller" never missed a chance in showing it off, something that embarassed the hell out of the Generals on his staff, or as one old Gunny was heard to say...."the most bogus medal in the history of the Republic"...

- A friend of mine, himself a defense Atty. mentioned to me one day when I questioned him about the "nothing is sacred" defense approach that he thought that for a lot of lawyers it comes down to feeling the system is so stacked against the defendent that it is broke to where anything goes. Then he turned around and said..."But don't get me wrong....We still have the best system of justice in the world...

- From which I'm assuming he means as a planet we're not doing too good.....

LAWYERS AS OPERATIVES... (Below threshold)


From the most informative footnote I've ever read: Footnote on pg 240 of Jim Hougan's book "Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA" :

"[Larry] O'Brien [DNC chairman during Watergate] was employed by the CIA until 1952 (see the Final Report of the Ervin Committee, p. 1165), and is thought to have assisted the agency in later years.

Robert McCandless, co-counsel for John Dean, was until 1973 a partner in Burwell, Hansen & McCandless (later Burwell, Hansen & Manley). One of the firm's clients (and one, moreover, with which it shared office space) was Southern Capital & Management Corporation, the CIA proprietary responsible for managing the agency's investment portfolio. McCandless says that he was unaware of the CIA's involvement with his law firm.

James Bierbower, counsel for another key witness against Nixon, Jeb Magruder, had served as vice-president of Southern Air Transport, one of the CIA's largest airline proprietaries. (With respect to McCandless and Bierbower, see John Marks, The CIA's Corporate Shell Game [Washington, D.C.: Center for National Security Studies, Reprint 103].)

James St. Clair, who succeeded J. Fred Buzhardt, Jr., as Nixon's attorney, was a member of Hale & Dorr, the prestigious Boston law firm that Newsweek suggests is part of the CIA's Old Boy network. (It was from Hale & Dorr's offices that a number of important CIA proprietaries were established. See Newsweek, May 19, 1975, pp. 25-28.)

...David Young's [Plumbers Chief] counsel, Anthony Lapham, became general counsel to the CIA in the aftermath of Watergate.

As for Edward Bennett Williams, his relationship to the agency goes back to the early 1950s, when he and CIA agent Robert A. Maheu worked together."

My footnotes to Hougan's fo... (Below threshold)

My footnotes to Hougan's footnote:

John Dean, here and continued here, was himself a lawyer (probably disbarred since Watergate). In these 2 links it shows how John Dean views Califano's Watergate legal strategy* as a tool to be used against Pres. Bush in re the 2003 Plame/Wilson setup. From Hougan's book, I draw the conclusion that Dean was likely an agent provocateur in the Nixon White House for both the Plumbers' activities and the coverup/setup of Nixon.

Hale & Dorr - also the firm of Kenneth Starr, Hillary Clinton contributor and William Clinton facilitator.

Edward Bennett Williams - of Williams & Connolly lawfirm (the firm that represented the DNC and Washington Post during Watergate). Another member of that firm during Watergate was Joseph A. Califano, Jr. Then he represented Larry O'Brien in a suit* against CREEP (Committee to Re-elect Pres. Nixon) and now he is on the board of Viacom. *It is this civil suit which John Dean refers to in my links above. And many of the Clinton lawyers came from that firm. (Remember Elian Gonzalez's father's lawyer/operative Greg Craig?)

Terry Lenzner - Clintons' investigator - formerly represented the CIA's Gottlieb in the MK Ultra congressional hearings.

Eight months later - Cindy ... (Below threshold)

Eight months later - Cindy Sheehan saga - protestor outside Pres. Bush's Crawford farm.
Little did we know then what was to come... and Sheehan's connection to Lynne Stewart.






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