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.


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