Y’all know by now I just won’t shut up about the double standard among big law firms: they rush to render aid–much of it pro-bono, some of it underwritten by Middle Eastern governments–to detainees in Gitmo, and brag about it on their firms’ websites. But defending American troops who need a hand isn’t such a priority for them.*
So it was with just a splash of schadenfreude that I found a piece in the NYT about the frustrations some of those lawyers are experiencing working with Gitmo detainees. Apparently, the bloodthirsty militant head-choppers are not especially grateful for the pro bono help.
The situation is awkward for the lawyers, who have become a considerable force not only in the courts but also in legislative, diplomatic and public debates about detention policies. Tense relationships or outright resistance from their clients could undercut their credibility and complicate their legal work.
Tragic. No, really, tragic in the dramatic sense, not just in the ironic sense. The inherent evil flaws of the inmates prevent them from understanding and grasping the lifeline the lawyers are throwing to them:
Mr. Stafford Smith also said several of his clients had described what he said were efforts by Guantánamo officials to foster detainees’ distrust of the lawyers. He said detainees had described investigators’ telling them that their lawyers were Jewish or gay or that prisoners with lawyers were less likely to be released than those without them.
Hmm…well, why would the bolded part be a problem at all? Is it because the clients are devotees of a jihad that hates Jews and homosexuals and considers them subhuman filth ripe for extermination? Oh well, I guess it’s a thankless job, although you do get your name in the New York Times. Especially when you try to practice random acts of kindness toward your clients, but the mean old guards stop you:
Mr. Remes, the Washington lawyer for the 17 Yemenis, said military officials had barred lawyers from giving detainees rudimentary reading materials, including a Dr. Seuss book and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Commander Haupt said lawyers were permitted to provide “properly cleared” reading material to the detention camp library.
I guess Mr. Remes’ clients will have to improvise their own Dr. Seuss, then:
I would not, could not, with a Jew
I would not, could not, with gays too
I would not, could not, in my cell
I do not trust you; go to hell.
You run to defend Jihadi hate,
Yet fight to sever church and state?
You don’t like “under God“, it seems
And I do not like you, Mr. Remes!
In related news, Spc. Mario Lozano, facing absentee murder charges in Italy for shooting at a speeding car that refused to stop as it barreled toward his checkpoint in Iraq, has managed to put together a legal team and even gotten a break on the price. He is not, however, being represented pro bono at that trial like the Al Qaeda thugs in Gitmo. He could use a little help with the legal fees–especially since Italian pro-terrorist commie reporter Giuliana Sgrena has added a civil complaint to the murder charge.
There are a lot of worthy opportunities mentioned in the blogosphere to send along a little cash and really do some good–here’s one featuring Mary Katharine Ham and some cute girls–so it’s difficult to know where to help out.
For what it’s worth I actually went in for a ten-spot toward Spc. Lozano’s defense, because not only is this a way to defend a soldier who put his life on the line for me, it’s also the neatest way I’ve found to tell Giuliana Sgrena where to get off. Pass the word on.
(Because won’t it be a great day when soldiers have all the free lawyers they need, and the terrorists have to hold a bake sale?)
I don’t necessarily begrudge any individual lawyer’s decision to do pro bono work with the Gitmo detainees. What dismays me is, in the aggregate, the rush of so many of our “best and brightest” lawyers from so many top firms to defend monsters like Khaled Sheikh Mohammed.