A couple of weeks ago, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson intimated to America that some of the volunteer lawyers defending the terror suspect on Guantanamo Bay were taking money from terrorists and their sympathizers and that Corporate America should force law firms involved in the volunteer efforts
"to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms...."
When I first heard the remarks, I thought "oh another General with foot in mouth disease." I was wrong. Stimson is a 1986 graduate of Kenyon College and a 1992 graduate of George Mason Law School. He is a former prosecutor, and even did some defense work. No "Cully" was not just a military guy who didn't get it. It was far worse. He is a lawyer who doesn't get it. In fairness to Stimson, he apologized about five days after his intemperate remarks (sorta. He said he didn't mean it.)
If you read Stimson's letter to the Washington Post, and some of his other statements you begin to see that he is not so much as lying as he is splitting hairs the way that the rest of the Bush White House and Justice (Just Us) department does it.
You see, we learned in our Social Studies and History classes that the bill of rights included rights which were basically owed all people. The Bushies must have had a different textbook. We were told that we were going to bring "American style" democracy to the middle east. We all thought that we were going to keep it here too. But the Bushies had other ideas. They split hairs. We have a war on Terror, but if you are captured in that war you are not a prisoner of war, you are an "enemy combatant." That means that the rights we want you to have in your country. and the rights we say we have here, you can't have. Confused? Join the club.
But then those pesky lawyers started waiving that pesky Constitution and those really pesky amendments at the Bushies, and well you know, if you aren't one of them, well your just a traitor. Never mind you are a military hero or even a regular GI Joe. Just because you actually served in a war you can't know more than the all but draft dodging President and Vice President. If you are a lawyer, you are a problem in the Bush White House. "Rights? We don't need no stinking rights"
If you are in favor of everything every soldier who has died in battle believed he was fighting for, YOU ARE THE ENEMY. So when Cully made his statement about lawyers he had the Bush White House game plan right there. Lawyers are bad, people who fight the administration are anti-American and then he said it. The lawyers who fight for free in the highest service to the bar and the law are so un-American that any American CEO who hires them will fire them. Unreal. Sad even.
The White House immediately smelled a fiasco and so they did exactly what they always do. They threw Cully under the bus and ran from his statement. He had so many tire tracks on him evenMike Brown thought he was road kill. So Cully has now been hounded out. He quit. Underfire.
But there might be hope for Cully Stimson. He once had a sense of his job. He may even be prescient. In an Article in the Kenyon Alumni Newsletter aptly entitled "In the Eye of the Storm" Cully Stimson is quoted as saying:
"As the primary policy advisor, I am the focal point in the department of defense for all things related to detainees," says Stimson. "I want to make sure we are treating detainees everywhere in Department of Defense custody humanely, consistent with our values, and our domestic and international legal obligations as a country. I have an enormous weight on my shoulders. I have to choose my words carefully because I am a public figure on a very, very controversial topic."
Too bad he didn't frame the article and read it every morning. Maybe the weight got to heavy for him. Either way, he is just a microcosm of a far bigger problem. We have a President so out of touch with his electorate, and the laws of his nation, that, short of impeachment, there is no chance we will not be embarrassed by him or one of his minions again.