Taking a play out of a 1950s-era Republican playbook devised by Joseph McCarthy, Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz attacked a group of attorneys hired by the Justice Department because they represented Gitmo suspects in private practice. She referred to them as the “Al Qaeda Seven,” prompting even the staunchest conservatives to rebuke her in a pointed letter, explaining both the basic history and hallmarks of American democracy:
The American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients is at least as old as John Adams’s representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston massacre. People come to serve in the Justice Department with a diverse array of prior private clients; that is one of the department’s strengths. The War on Terror raised any number of novel legal questions, which collectively created a significant role in judicial, executive and legislative forums alike for honorable advocacy on behalf of detainees. In several key cases, detainee advocates prevailed before the Supreme Court. To suggest that the Justice Department should not employ talented lawyers who have advocated on behalf of detainees maligns the patriotism of people who have taken honorable positions on contested questions and demands a uniformity of background and view in government service from which no administration would benefit.
Rachel Maddow also explains the absurdity, albeit a little bit more dramatically:
Here’s her McCarthyesque video propaganda: