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The ACLU assembles a terrorist legal defense force of extraordinary magnitude

By See-Dubya  •  April 4, 2008 03:07 PM

[Guest post by See-Dubya]

I started following the case of the Gitmo lawyers way back here and here, and quite the epic it is. Well, the government has raised the number of detainees it will seek the death penalty against to seven, and today the WSJ reports that the ACLU has gotten into the game:

Backed by a slate of prominent legal figures, including former Attorney General Janet Reno and former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director William Webster, the ACLU has assembled a team of top civilian attorneys to supplement the military defense counsel assigned to represent Guantanamo’s “high-value detainees.” …

The effort significantly adds to the legal forces that over the past seven years have challenged the administration’s plan to run an offshore court that provides defendants fewer rights than civilian trials or courts-martial. The addition of the ACLU in particular, with its large financial resources, is a major shot in the arm for those who oppose the tribunal system.

This doesn’t really disturb me too much; obviously the detainees who are to be executed would get lawyers (even the Nuremberg criminals got lawyers) and justice wouldn’t really be served by giving them inexperienced counsel. So this “dream team” is fine and I’m glad to see the ACLU is contributing some money toward this. It beats some of the past shady funding sources for the Gitmo lawyers.

P.S. The ACLU “Major shot in the arm?” That’s probably not the most sensitive way to speak of a death penalty case.

P.P.S. It really bugs me that the Wall Street Journal made this big deal of how it was going “free” online and opening itself up to new media and got all this credit for it. It hasn’t. It’s now impossible for me to post a working link to a WSJ story; it just goes to the preview screen. You can still read the article for free, though; you just go to Google News and search for it. The Google News link will work.

P.P.P.S. It’s funny: One of Janet Reno’s most significant accomplishments as attorney general was capturing Elian Gonzales and sending him to Cuba. Now she’s trying to get dangerous terrorists out of Cuba and set them free…

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