Tag: Cully Stimson
Military law expert Donald G. Rehkoff, for whom I have the utmost respect, being familiar with his work, had this to say on a message board today about Charles "Cully" Stimson, the Bush deputy for detainee affairs who made reprehensible comments about lawyers who represent the detainees. (He has graciously given me permission to reprint it.)
First, he reminds us of President John Adams, quoting from Key Figures in Public Trials:
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." That's quite a statement, coming as it does from perhaps the most underappreciated great man in American history.
The day after British soldiers mortally wounded five Americans on a cobbled square in Boston, thirty-four-year-old Adams was visited 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
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" MOST AMERICANS understand that legal representation for the accused is one of the core principles of the American way. Not, it seems, Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. In a repellent interview yesterday with Federal News Radio, Mr. Stimson brought up, unprompted, the number of major U.S. law firms that have helped represent detainees at Guantanamo Bay." "....Mr. Stimson proceeded to reel off the names of these firms, adding, 'I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs 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.'"
Stimson hinted at nefarious connections, rather than a desire to do pro bono work, as the firms' motives:
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The U.S. is beginning preparations for trials of the 14 terror suspects flown from secret prisons abroad to Guantanamo. It has set up a secret war room in a suburb of Virginia.
The Bush administration has set up a secret war room in a Virginia suburb where it is assembling evidence to prosecute high-ranking detainees from Al Qaeda including the man accused of being the mastermind of the September 2001 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, government officials said this week.
What kind of room do the detainees' lawyers get? If you answered "none," I suspect you are correct.
Update: Check out this great editorial in the Washington Post today.
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