Bush bureaucrat doesn't get it


Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
Recent reports of the statement by Charles D. Stimson, a top Defense Department official, that corporate CEOs should withhold their business from law firms which do pro bono work defending prisoners in Guantanamo reveal a shocking betrayal of what we in America are trying to achieve in a world where the rule of law is more often than not honored in the breach.
Does this bureaucrat not get it? Is he only American in name? We are about seeing to it that a fair shake is guaranteed to every accused person. It doesn't matter that they may be bad guys. It's not about whether they "deserve punishment." It's about meting out justice according to protocols of due process. The Wall Street Journal editorial page chimed in on cue with the same advice to CEOs. It suggests an orchestrated attempt to make honorable Americans look unpatriotic. Sure enough, Stimson was quoted as saying, "I think that the news story that you're going to start seeing in the next couple of weeks is this ..." and he goes on to name more than a dozen law firms whose lawyers are doing pro bono work as revealed pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request.
I hope this does become a big story, but a story of how good American citizens are outraged that another feckless appointee of this Bush administration has been revealed to be obviously way over his head and grievously partisan. He should not hold his job a day longer.

John Fullerton,

Gainesville

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