they twisted the law to fit the policy.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A former State Department lawyer responsible for Guantanamo-related cases said Friday that the Bush administration overreacted after 9/11 and set up a system in which torture occurred.
Vijay Padmanabhan is at least the second former Bush administration official to publicly label “enhanced interrogation techniques” as torture. He said the administration was wrong in its entire approach when it sent detainees to the remote Navy base and declared it out of reach of any court.
“I think Guantanamo was one of the worst overreactions of the Bush administration,” Padmanabhan told The Associated Press. He said other overreactions included extraordinary renditions, waterboarding that occurred at secret CIA prisons and “other enhanced interrogation techniques that would constitute torture.”
Bush and crony try to terrorize Gitmo attorneys
By Jerry Tallmer
Charles D. Stimson, the Bush administration’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, would seem to have been reading his Shakespeare. Last week this Orwellian anonymity emulated Dick the Butcher, who in Act IV, Scene 2, of “Henry VI, Part 2,” bellows to his fellow rogues: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers!”
Mr. Stimson last Thursday expressed his distress at the legal aid being offered pro bono to the hundreds of “detainees” at Guantanamo Bay by attorneys from leading law firms around the country, and proposed — urged — a big-business boycott of any and all such law firms.
His chosen method of execution of the offending lawyers is, well, starvation. Selective starvation.
“I think, quite honestly,” Mr. Stimson said in an interview in Washington over Federal News Radio, as reported Saturday in The New York Times, “when corporate C.E.O.’s see that these 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 and representing reputable firms…. And we want to watch that play out.”
The Bush administration has for five years been dodging around that last proviso — “criminal prosecutions” — but if the Guantanamo (and other) detainees aren’t criminal, what are they?
Mr. Ratner pointed out that the day Mr. Stimson made his remarks over Federal News Radio — echoed next day on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal — was precisely the fifth anniversary of Jan. 11, 2002, on which marches and protests against the Kafka-esque U.S. incarceration of nameless, faceless, lawyerless detainees took place around the world.
“The U.S. Supreme Court,” said Ratner, “has now twice ruled that the detainees have the rights to habeas corpus and to counsel” — once in Ragul v. Bush, June 2004, in a case brought by his own Center, and once in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, June 2006, in a case to which the Center filed a brief amicus curiae.
Mr. Stimson may be waiting and watching for this heavyhanded drama “to play out.” But the attorneys of this nation aren’t waiting. As of early Monday, more than 60 deans of distinguished law schools — “with more joining by the hour” — had put their names and their reputations on a statement of deep concern.
“We, the…undersigned,” they declared, “…are appalled by the January 11, 2007, statement of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles “Cully” Stimson…encouraging corporate executives to force their law firms to choose between their pro bono and paying clients.…
“We teach our students that lawyers have a professional obligation to ensure that even the most despised and unpopular individuals and groups receive zealous and effective legal representation.… In a free and democratic society, government officials should not encourage intimidation or retaliation against lawyers who are fulfilling their pro bono obligations.
greeney2 wrote:Bush is not speaking because the protocol of past Presidents is to not speak out against sitting Presidents. Jimmy Carter seems to think he should be exempt from that, but has used it to uplift his own legacy as "worst President" to second worst.
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