Friday, January 19, 2007

Response to Cully Stimson

I wrote this letter to the editor, which was published in today's Herald:

Following 9/11, we gave extraordinary and unprecedented powers to the government's executive branch to fight terror. Therefore, it is critical that we ensure that our civil liberties are protected. Unfortunately, Cully Stimson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, attacked the lawyers who strive to protect our civil liberties. [He later apologized.]
Still, in a recent radio interview, Stimson called it ''shocking'' that some of the most prestigious law firms in the country were providing pro bono representation to detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Stimson has gone so far as to try to rally American corporations to stop doing business with these law firms.
Stimson blindly attacked those who selflessly volunteered to perform the highest calling of the legal profession, defending those who cannot defend themselves against the unfettered power of government. He also insulted CEOs who understand how important it is to protect our rights and the Constitution.
These lawyers, true patriots, are following in the proud tradition of John Adams who represented British soldiers tried in American courts. Instead of being attacked, the defenders of our Constitution and our country's integrity deserve our thanks.
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami chapter, Miami

The editor correctly pointed out in brackets that Stimson has since apologized. But that has been criticized as well.

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