Monday, November 05, 2007

Not all lawyers are evil

I'm impressed that it's lawyers in Pakistan who are standing up for the rule of law.

And part of me thinks that if Bush tried the same thing, there would be plenty of lawyers who'd sit back and cheer him on. After all, we have John Yoo, who penned the infamous torture memo, John Ashcroft (who today is defending warantless wiretapping), Al Gonzales (um, where to start)--lawyers all, all of whom seem to have forgotten that the constitution exists.

Early in my (still short) career, I was at a cooking class with my mom. One of the women in our group asked me what I did, I said I was an attorney, and she went on about how she hoped I was Republican because "we need more Republican lawyers!" Another person in our group--also an attorney--leaned over and said that she didn't know how someone could stay loyal to their Bar oath and still be Republican. I agreed.

But apparently others see no problem at all. The Anonymous Liberal has this excellent post on the subject. He concludes

When future generations look back on this era of American history, I'm increasingly convinced that the harshest verdicts will be saved for the lawyers, people like David Addington, John Yoo, and Alberto Gonzales. These were the people who were supposed to be the brakes, not the gas. They're the people who were supposed to speak up for the law and for the Constitution, the people whose job it was to ensure that we are governed by laws and not men. And not only did they abdicate this responsibility, they chose to use their power of interpretation to make a mockery of the law.



Oldschool said...

Your anology is just "mindless" . . . why its all bush's fault . . . truth is . . . the Pakistani lawyers will be missing their cheques.
By the way . . . listening to terrorists or criminals making calls from outside the country is rather a common sense thing to do. This has been going on for decades, its only since the advent of satelites and fibre optics transmissions (all of which belong to the US) that this issue has arisen. Jimmy "440 days" Carter used it as did other presidents.

Dean P said...

If there were ever a 'mindless' comment posted, this could qualify.

First: Do I at any point say that it's Bush's fault? No. My point was to say that if Bush did what Musharraf did--abrogate the constitution, round up rivals--there would be many on the GOP who would cheer (and probably many Democrats who'd go along with it for fear of looking soft).

And your comment on the telecom issue is so devoid of merit as to be risible, if it weren't for the fact that many people think the way you do. The issue is categorically not spying on foreigners. The issue is the United States spying on Americans without warrants.

Without warrants is the key thing. It's not a question of a per se bar on wiretapping. It's a question of proper judicial procedures--getting a warrant.

It's because idiots can vote that democracy dies.