TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
The New York Times news story transmitted below is chilling.
The New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/>
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January 13, 2007
Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainees
By NEIL A. LEWIS
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 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 nations 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.
This is prejudicial to the administration of justice, said Stephen
Gillers, a law professor at New York University
and an authority on legal ethics. Its possible that lawyers willing to
undertake what has been long viewed as an admirable chore will decline
to do so for fear of antagonizing important clients.
We have a senior government official suggesting that representing these
people somehow compromises American interests, and he even names the
firms, giving a target to corporate America.
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