The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation’s top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms’ corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.
The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble.
His remarks? Repellent, ignorant, and with more than a whiff of authoritarianism and tyranny about them.
Any CEO or board member who would seriously consider the outside activities of a law firm as a criterion for retaining them, rather than the competence of the firm in the relevant core practice areas to protect the corporation's interests, should be removed for malfeasance.
As should, and this should go without saying, Mr. Stimson, once someone snatches the swagger stick out of his hands and stuffs it up his ass.
To their eternal discredit, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page floated this same ugly trial balloon on Friday's editorial pages, billing Stimson as an unnamed "senior U.S. official."
Has the entire bloody country gone mad? This is a war on terrorism, not jurisprudence.