Loading...
 

Remarks about Gitmo lawyers should fall flat

No backlash reported from local firms

A senior Pentagon official who recently lashed out in a radio broadcast against law firms representing Guantanamo Bay detainees is unlikely to achieve the intended damage, predicts Emmet Bondurant, one of Georgia's top trial attorneys who also has a client imprisoned in Cuba.

??
On Jan. 11, during an on-air interview with a Washington, D.C. radio station, Charles Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, caused a firestorm of controversy by suggesting that corporations may want to cut ties to major law firms that represent Cuban detainees.

??
In Atlanta, lawyers with Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan represent seven Guantanamo detainees (see CL's Nov. 1, 2006, cover story, "Freedom detained") and Alston & Bird has 74 attorneys working for free to challenge the detention of accused terrorists who have been detained in Cuba without trials or hearings for as long as five years. Neither firm has reported any backlash from their corporate clients.

??
Bodurant says he believes most executives and corporate lawyers will be offended at Stimson's remarks, which he says run counter to the basic American legal principle of equal representation, even for unpopular or unsavory clients.

??
"Thinking people with a modest knowledge of the Constitution and a sense of fair play will ignore these comments," he says. "There is no reasonable lawyer or law teacher who would defend those remarks."

??
A few days after the broadcast, Stimson offered something of an apology and the Pentagon quickly disavowed his remarks, but Bondurant believes that's just a cover for President Bush's ongoing war on constitutional rights.

??
"It's absurd to think a minion in this administration would make a statement like that without prior approval," he says.



More By This Writer

Article

Thursday October 9, 2014 01:00 am EDT
A tour of some of the city's swanky throwback restaurants | more...

Article

Wednesday February 6, 2013 12:20 pm EST
Even pro-NRA Peach State could be dragged into a more sensible place | more...

Article

Thursday January 24, 2013 04:00 am EST
Lawmakers have a rare chance to reshape the county government; will they go big? | more...

Article

Wednesday August 8, 2012 12:17 pm EDT

  • Scott Henry
  • Fourteen glasses of rum on the mat, 14 glasses of rum...

Did you know that the earliest Russian vodkas were flavored with fruit? Or that rum was overtaken in popularity in the U.S. by whiskey only after politically motivated embargoes made it difficult to import? Or that the curacao citrus, from which the popular, orange-flavored liqueur is made, is actually green, wrinkled as...

| more...

Article

Wednesday August 1, 2012 04:08 pm EDT

  • Scott henry
  • I'll have my Fernet neat, with a creosote chaser!

Fernet Branca — it's what's for breakfast. At least, it is at Tales of the Cocktail.

If you can't imagine waking up with the pungently bitter Italian amaro, I'm with you. As I stepped onto the elevator of the Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans shortly after 9 a.m. last Friday — soon to be joined by a woman already lavishly trashed...

| more...
Search for more by Scott Henry

[Admin link: Remarks about Gitmo lawyers should fall flat]