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Obama's terrorist lawyer wants illegals to control Arizona?

These are the sorts of irrational scare tactics that give blogging a bad name.

Conservative blogger Doug Ross is getting attention this morning for pointing out that Tony West, the assistant attorney general listed on the federal suit challenging Arizona’s new immigration law, apparently used to represent some Guantanamo detainees. Cue the guilt by association: Obama’s trying to make you less safe, etc.

I know what you’re thinking, and, no, as far as I can tell, this isn’t parody.

For those of you not thinking that, consider: It’s not wrong for those subject to American procedure to receive legal counsel, even -- especially -- if they are people whom no one likes. If the accused has arguments to bring, they should be rebutted, not ignored. Otherwise, innocent people can get locked up. West doesn’t deserve criticism for participating in the adversarial legal system. And besides, the character of the counsel who is engaged to argue a suit says little about that suit's legal merits.

Ross goes on to “argue” that by challenging the Arizona statute, President Obama and his terrorist lawyer are trying to hand the Southwest to Mexican crime gangs. Because this particular law, which applies to a single border state, is the only way to fight cross-border crime. Which of course is why crime was down across the border before the law even passed.

Unfortunately, elements of the conservative blogosphere dutifully picked Ross’s screed up. This is the kind of know-nothingism that responsible conservatives -- or, for that matter, anyone who believes that the Internet should be a self-regulating forum in which bad ideas get weeded out -- should be denouncing.

By Stephen Stromberg  | July 7, 2010; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

This is the kind of know-nothingism that responsible conservatives... should be denouncing.

Mr. Stromberg (intentionally?) misses the point. I am a responsible conservative. I think it noteworthy that DOJ lawyer Tony West represented terrorist defendants, but not because they were not entitled to reprentation. They clearly are under either military or civilian rules.

It's of note because West chose to represent them, and experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics: namely, that they are probably of the far left and activist variety. Conservatives have little symphathy for that kind of thinking, of course, and believe that it very likely predisposes him strongly against Arizona in the lawsuit--politically. That's not illegal, but it is of interest, since the suit is believed by many to be far more a matter of politics than of law.

Posted by: Roytex | July 7, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"This is the kind of know-nothingism that responsible conservatives... should be denouncing."

Mr. Stromberg (intentionally?) misses the point. I am a responsible conservative. I think it noteworthy that DOJ lawyer Tony West represented terrorist defendants, but not because they were not entitled to representation. They clearly are under either military or civilian rules, and I doubt that there was any serious lack of candidates.

It's of note because West chose to represent them. Experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics: namely, that they are probably of the far left and activist variety. Conservatives have little symphathy for that kind of thinking, of course, and believe that it very likely predisposes him strongly against Arizona in the lawsuit--politically. That's not illegal, but it is of interest, since the suit is believed by many to be far more a matter of politics than of law.

Posted by: Roytex | July 7, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

One of the most incoherent parts of right-wing thinking is the national security exception to the small government doctrine. Apparently big government is this evil, oppressive, dictatorial, socialist/fascist thing that only an armed citizenry can hold in check. Except when it comes to security -- then suddenly that same big government is our hero and savior. It needs all the weapons it can get and if the Bill of Rights is standing in the way, too bad. (Funny how the Second Amendment is sacrosanct but the Fourth and Fifth? Not so much.) Anyone who questions government is suddenly evil, oppressive and dictatorial. And obviously a socialist.

Completely, utterly, mutually exclusive. Government can't be the solution to the problem of . . . government. If they were intellectually coherent, Tea Partiers would celebrate the Gitmo defense lawyers as patriots.

Posted by: simpleton1 | July 7, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"since the suit is believed by many to be far more a matter of politics than of law."

---

Oh yes, and passing this BS law was not political ? It never passed under a Republican president. I wonder why ? No illegals then ? Was illegal immigration on the wane under Bushy-mushy ?

Posted by: arunc1 | July 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"One of the most incoherent parts of right-wing thinking is the national security exception to the small government doctrine."

National Security IS the job of the government. Protection of our freedoms is their primary purpose.

Their job is not to give you food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, internet, or cell phones. Their job is not to tell you what to eat, what to buy, or what freedoms they will allow you to exercise.

The incoherancy is your understanding of the purpose of government. You know, "...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | July 7, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"Which of course is why crime was down across the border before the law even passed."
------------------------------------------
Is this your opinion? I don't believe that it's based on fact. The "terrorist lawyer" issue is completely irrelevant.

The real issue is the AZ immigration law that was passed because of inaction by the federal government. Rather than funding feet on the ground to protect AZ citizens, Obama would rather spend our tax dollars on a "powerplay" lawsuit.

Posted by: bethg1841 | July 7, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

If you believe what you wrote, kitchendragon50, then you should be a big fan of the Gitmo defense lawyers. They stopped government from infringing on our freedoms. So what is it?

Posted by: simpleton1 | July 7, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Many of Holder's cronies in the DOJ were proud of the pro bono work they did for the muslim mass murderers incarcerated at Gitmo.

that speaks volumes about where these people are mentally. So spare us the lofty moralizing. the simple fact is given the choice between the American citizens and the people trying to kill the American citizens these guys and girls chose the latter.

Oh and simpleton has definitely lived up to his (her?) (its?) billing. The statement at 2:02 is frankly non sensical.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 7, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@Roytex - "It's of note because West chose to represent them. Experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics: namely, that they are probably of the far left and activist variety. " That's got to be some of the most ridiculous and simplistic "reasoning" I've heard in quite some time. Let's see if I get this straight - a lawyer chooses to actually do his job... rather than deny a defendant who by your own admission is entitled to representation, and because the lawyer does so - it clearly indicates they are "far left and activist"???? Get a grip

Posted by: rainlion@yahoo.com | July 7, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

in response to this:
==========
@Roytex - "It's of note because West chose to represent them. Experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics: namely, that they are probably of the far left and activist variety. " That's got to be some of the most ridiculous and simplistic "reasoning" I've heard in quite some time. Let's see if I get this straight - a lawyer chooses to actually do his job... rather than deny a defendant who by your own admission is entitled to representation, and because the lawyer does so - it clearly indicates they are "far left and activist"???? Get a grip

========

I won't presume to speak for roytex, but the above quoted comment is just too typical of what passes for liberal thinking these days.

First, rainlion seems to spend a lot of words to ultimately miss the point. It is a given that in our legal system even filth like the guys at gitmo deserve some legal representation.

The question is, who will do that? And the answer is almost universally, hard left activist attorneys. If you will recall Senator Grassley questioned Holder about this and it was ultimately revealed that nine of his newest hires had formerly represented, or worked for firms that represented, these thugs.

the names of two had already been revealed, now we know the name of another it seems.

This is important stuff. Of the seemingly millions of lawyers in America, why hire these guys? simple answer because they fit the Eric Holder mold: far left activists.

Spare us the unfounded bombast. Right is right.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 7, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Roytex @ July 7, 2010 12:01 PM wrote "I am a responsible conservative. I think it noteworthy that DOJ lawyer Tony West represented terrorist defendants, but not because they were not entitled to reprentation. They clearly are under either military or civilian rules.

It's of note because West chose to represent them, and experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics: namely, that they are probably of the far left and activist variety. Conservatives have little symphathy for that kind of thinking, of course, and believe that it very likely predisposes him strongly against Arizona in the lawsuit--politically. That's not illegal, but it is of interest, since the suit is believed by many to be far more a matter of politics than of law."

So defense of the Bill of Rights is a far left position! That is a very interesting attitude. It is also a very disturbing and troublesome attitude.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | July 7, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28 @ July 7, 2010 3:34 PM wrote a number of things:

1. "First, rainlion seems to spend a lot of words to ultimately miss the point." You obviously missed that the 'lot of words' was a quotation, and not his post, which was actually very short.

2. "It is a given that in our legal system even filth like the guys at gitmo deserve some legal representation." They are not 'filth' till a court says so. That is one if the legacies of the Bush administration: their illegality has made it impossible for us to make any statements.

3. "The question is, who will do that?" Those who believe in the Bill of Rights. Apparently it is the position of many that only leftists will defend it. Then the necessary question is why won't conservatives defend the Bill of Rights?

4. "Of the seemingly millions of lawyers in America, why hire these guys? simple answer because they fit the Eric Holder mold: far left activists." Personally I am glad that those in such influential positions want to defend the Bill of Rights. I expect they will not declare that only death is reason for an atrocity to be called 'torture'.

The last thing I want is any more fascists in the DOJ. After the experiences from Nixon's Mitchell to Bush's Gonzalez, I am every suspicious of the 'patriotism' of Conservatives.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | July 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@bethg1841 - yes, it is a fact that crime was down before the law was passed:

U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Department of Justice. The violent crime rate for Arizona was 447.0 per 100,000 population in 2008, the lowest since 1971. The property crime rate for Arizona was 4,291.0 per 100,000 in 2008, the lowest since 1966.

Also Of the eight Arizona metropolitan areas listed in the FBI preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report for report, only one (Tempe) had an increase in the number of violent crimes from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009, and only one (Chandler) had an increase in the number of property crimes.

Posted by: rainlion@yahoo.com | July 7, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@skipsailing - um, if anyone not only misses the point but seems to be making grand presumptions it would be you and Roytex - what about the military lawyers who represent them - what they're "activist, liberal, lefties"??? Spare me - what, you'd rather they did not do their duty and represented the defendant assigned to them? You conveniently forget that not all defendants have been represented by non-military lawyers... or that some of those same lawyers were in the military at the time they represented them. "skip the bombast"? Project much? ROFLMAO

Posted by: rainlion@yahoo.com | July 7, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"It's of note because West chose to represent them, and experience and common sense tell us that his choice suggests something about his politics:"

Sooo would it have been better to "force" West to represent them?

Posted by: knjincvc | July 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

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