American people must know who serves them


I do not know why I allow progressives to continuously amaze me with their hypocrisy, but time and again, they succeed in surprising me. The Daily Targum editorial that ran on Mar. 11, "Right Views Unfounded," was one such instance. The editorial argues that people who criticize the U.S. Department of Justice for appointing lawyers who defended al-Qaida terrorists are committing slander. The editorial points out that these lawyers were only doing their job, and that they are perfectly suitable to work in the Justice Department.

I agree that lawyers should not be judged by their clients, but the hysteria that liberals display is quite unnerving.

The editors have accused Andrew McCarthy and Liz Cheney of committing slander. Have either of these two people, or the organizations they represent, said anything wrong? There are in fact nine lawyers working for the Justice Department who previously had served as lawyers for terrorists. Furthermore, the President Barack Obama administration refused to disclose seven out of the nine names to the public. Senators attempted to compel U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to release the names to the public, but he refused. Leaving aside the argument of whether they are fit to serve, the American people at least have the right to know who these people are. Eventually, Fox News released the names of the lawyers. Imagine if former-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had appointed nine lawyers to the Justice Department who had served as counsel to the Ku Klux Klan. Now imagine if Attorney General Gonzales then refused to disclose the identity of these lawyers. How would liberals respond? Undoubtedly, they would argue that this was another example of President George W. Bush's racism, and of Bush usurping power unconstitutionally.

The previous example is hypothetical, but for years leftists argued that John Yoo and Judge Jay Bybee — two Justice Department lawyers during the Bush administration —should be disbarred for the legal opinions that they gave the Bush administration with regards to water-boarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board wrote, "Many liberals seem to believe that while it was a war crime to agree with Dick Cheney's anti-terror methods, it is somehow a lawyer's patriotic duty to defend terrorists." To argue that this is hypocrisy understates the point.

I want to shed light onto one of these so-called "al-Qaida lawyers." Jennifer Daskal used to work for Human Rights Watch, and now she works for the Justice Department. I have no doubt that she is a very capable attorney and that she is a professional. While working for Human Rights Watch, she also provided her opinion that Guantanamo Bay detainees should be tried in federal court, and if they are acquitted, then they should be released even if "some of these men may cross the border and join the battlefield to fight U.S. soldiers and our allies." In this instance, Daskal was not simply offering her legal services, but she was giving her opinion that terrorists should be released even if it means more American soldiers will be killed. This is her personal opinion. Holder and Obama have the right to appoint whoever they desire, and Cheney and McCarthy have the right to dissent strongly. And the American people have the right to know what kind of people serve in the administration. Attorney General Holder has no right to keep it a secret.

Noah Glyn is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in economics and history.


Noah Glyn

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Targum.