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Gitmo lawyers’ firm just saved the Saudi monarchy a cool TRILLION dollars in dismissed Sept. 11 suit

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By See-Dubya  •  August 15, 2008 06:02 AM

I’ve been griping about the Gitmo lawyers for over a year now–I first started noticing the problem back in this post when I first guest-blogged for Michelle back in January 2007. Back then I quoted Rob Pollock’s interview with a Gitmo official we now know to be Cully Stimson*:

Guantanamo detainees don’t lack for legal representation. A list of lead counsel released this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act request reads like a who’s who of America’s most prestigious law firms: Shearman and Sterling; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr; Covington & Burling; Hunton & Williams; Sullivan & Cromwell; Debevoise & Plimpton; Cleary Gottlieb; and Blank Rome are among the marquee names.

A senior U.S. official I spoke to speculates that this information might cause something of scandal, since so much of the pro bono work being done to tilt the playing field in favor of al Qaeda appears to be subsidized by legal fees from the Fortune 500. “Corporate CEOs seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists” who deliberately target the U.S. economy, he opined.

Some of the Gitmo Lawyers really are “pro bono” lawyers working for free (although their expenses are often paid by some very interesting sources.) Sometimes, on the other hand, they’re not pro bono at all but are working on behalf of a government like Kuwait’s, which sponsored a major PR effort on behalf of the Gitmo detainees. And that firm isn’t the only one representing shady middle eastern states.

Which brings me to my point: when your client is a Saudi Arabian prince, and you’re defending him from a trillion dollar lawsuit filed by 9-11 victims, this politicized “pro bono” crusading on behalf of the Gitmo detainees starts to look a little less altruistic and a little more like “client relations”.

WilmerHale, one of the big law firms listed above, is in exactly that position. They’ve won awards for fighting for the Gitmo detainees–but that’s not all that WilmerHale is fighting for. Today these Gitmo lawyers secured a dismissal of the trillion dollar claim against their client, Prince Mohammed al Faisal al Saud.

I’m not even saying that Wilmer Hale has done anything wrong. But when the net effect of their pro-bono representation of accused terrorists in Gitmo is to frustrate the gathering of information about terror networks and financing by the U.S. government…well, that’s not altruism. That’s legal strategy.

*Stimson lost his job over these remarks and then motions were made for him to be disbarred. My, how tolerant the left is of those who disagree.
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{Post by See-Dubya.
H/T to LGF. More on the Gitmo lawyers here, and here, and here. Also see this one and this one.}

Posted in: Gitmo,Uncategorized

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