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March 15, 2010

Giving John Adams A Rest And Outing CIA Agents To Terrorists

Consider this a follow up to the earlier post about Gitmo lawyers breaking the rules to help detainees, all in the name of John Adams of course.

As I've laid out several times, I simply don't see the analogy between lawyers who volunteer to represent enemy combatants who are captured and held outside the United States with what John Adams did in defending the soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. Simply put, the soldiers were British subjects and charged in civilian court on British soil (Adams wasn't exactly a volunteer either, he received a nominal fee). Adams' action was not popular but it wasn't unprecedented either.

More to the point, let's consider John Adams in a little fuller light. As President he signed into law bills that are commonly known as The Alien and Sedition Acts.

The "Alien" portion of the laws included...

-The Alien Friends Act (officially An Act Concerning Aliens; ch. 58, 1 Stat. 570) authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States." It was enacted June 25, 1798, with a two year expiration date.

-The Alien Enemies Act (officially An Act Respecting Alien Enemies; ch. 66, 1 Stat. 577) authorized the president to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States of America. Enacted July 6, 1798, and providing no sunset provision, the act remains intact today as 50 U.S.C. 2124. At the time, war was considered likely between the U.S. and France.

I think it's fair to say that a President who signed those two laws would be astounded to find out he is being held up as a model of a man who would abuse the laws of the United States and put Americans in danger in order to defend avowed enemies of this country.

Are Democrats and members of the Gitmo Bar signing on for the sort of action allowed by the Alien acts? Sure it won't happen under Obama but I can't imagine they would be on board for it. The legal left wasn't thrilled when Bush tried far less reaching tactics. Perhaps if W. had packaged his War on Terror policies in the soothing and traditional warmth of the suddenly worshiped John Adams, the left wouldn't have spent 7+ years demonizing him.

Related to this is news that the DoJ and CIA are now fighting over an investigation into how Gitmo detainees came into possession of photos of CIA interrogators. Guess who tracked down the CIA officers and photographed them?

According to U.S. officials familiar with the issue, the current dispute involves Justice Department officials who support an effort led by the American Civil Liberties Union to provide legal aid to military lawyers for the Guantanamo inmates. CIA counterintelligence officials oppose the effort and say giving terrorists photographs of interrogators has exposed CIA personnel and their families to possible terrorist attacks.

As part of the disagreement, a senior Justice Department national security official removed himself from the counterintelligence probe last week after opposing CIA security worries.

...The officials said the photographs of the CIA officers found recently at Guantanamo were obtained by a joint program of the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers called the John Adams Project.

The project, according to a Washington Post report in August, hired contractors to photograph CIA officers who were thought to have carried out terrorist interrogations. Those photographs were then to be provided to defense lawyers representing some of the Guantanamo detainees as part of an effort to identify the interrogators, for possible use as witnesses in military or civilian trials.

The "John Adams Project"? They use this name but I do not think it means what they think.

As for the people who commissioned, took and disseminated these photos, I don't care if they are military or civilian...people need to go to jail. Of course that's not going to happen with this administration. No, they are far more likely to be hired or promoted.

It's funny but I seem to remember the left used to get all worked up about 'outing' CIA agents, I guess that's more of the Change! we've all come to know and loathe.

Oh and just curious, but have any of these defenders of the faith ever bothered to donate their time and talents to helping US servicemen and women charged with crimes? I seem to recall most them having to rely on military defense attorneys, foundations,, donations or some combination. I bet some of those guys would have loved to have had a high priced law firm at their disposal.

But don't you dare judge these lawyers and who they elect to defend for free! If you don't support defending America's enemies, it's you who are anti-American. Strange times, very strange times.

H/T to the meanies at Keep America Safe for the Gitmo/CIA photo story.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:16 AM

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