Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Cheney goes haywire

Like father, like daughter: Liz Cheney is establishing herself as a disciple of extremism on the far, far right wing of politics that thinking Republicans reject and disown.

Cheney is co-founder of Keep America Safe, a group committed to defending policies of the Bush-Cheney White House.

Emulating reckless and unfounded 1950s smears by Sen. Joe McCarthy, who claimed but could not support charges that the State Department was filled with communists, Cheney accuses the Justice Department of hiring attorneys sympathetic to, and soft on, terrorists because they once defended detainees at Gitmo. She calls them "the al-Qaida Seven."

A trained attorney, Cheney forgets a principal canon of lawyering—that even heinous and unpopular criminal defendants are entitled to good legal representation.

Unhappily for her, she's been buried in a storm of denunciations, especially by identifiable conservative Republicans.

Count among those Bush-Cheney Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "Good lawyers representing the detainees is the best way to ensure that justice is done in these cases," he said. Likewise Gonzales' successor, Michael Mukasey, who called published Cheney statements "shoddy and dangerous."

"Disgraceful pandering to the extreme right," says former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. A lineup of 22 former Republican administration officials also issued a statement calling Cheney's smear "shameful" and "destructive."

And no less that Bill Clinton's tormentor, special prosecutor Ken Starr, was among the signatories.

Finally, this bad news for Cheney: The Bush-Cheney Justice Department hired at least two lawyers who had defended terrorist suspects while in private practice.

Oops! What say of this, Ms. Cheney?

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