The Washington Post's new resident hack/torture-apologist Marc Thiessen had an article last week defending the disgraceful attack ad put out by Liz Cheney/Bill Kristol et al which implied that attorneys who defended Gitmo detainees in habeas corpus petitions were essentially Al Qaeda sympathizers. This abhorrent attack on the motivations and ethical character of a group of lawyers has been thoroughly discredited by pretty much everyone along the political spectrum, right and left wing. Further, Thiessen argued that there was some sort of "double standard" being practiced by the "liberal media" in how the authors of the torture memos, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, were universally condemned for their role in justifying and perpetuating the Cheney torture and rendition program with their shoddy, discredited legal reasonings, while the DOJ lawyers involved in the Gitmo cases have been "let off the hook".
The intellectual and moral vacuousness of his thesis is just mind blowing. Let me give you an analogy that will help elucidate the stupidity of Marc Thiessen.
According to the OPR report, Yoo and Bybee were found to have committed "intentional professional misconduct". (Yes, I know, David Margolis from the DOJ rejected this finding independently thus ensuring that Yoo and Bybee wouldn't risk possible disbarment--- but that's a blog post for another time.) The Gitmo lawyers, on the other hand, provided counsel to detainees who may or may not have been guilty of conspiring with terrorists. We already know that hundreds of people detained over the years at Gitmo have been released without any charges being filed, without any evidence that they were terrorists. In other words, there were innocent people in Gitmo. That's an incontestable fact. In this country, when trying to determine the guilt or innocence of a prisoner/detainee we go through a process called a fair trial. Even in military tribunals. That means both sides present their cases and lawyers argue the merits of opposing claims under strict and fair guidelines. I know it's hard to believe, but that's the way we do things in the United States of America.
So there is no equivalence between trashing Yoo/Bybee and doing the same to the Gitmo lawyers. There is no double standard in play.
What Thiessen is claiming would be like equally condemning a surgeon who wantonly shows up drunk for a case and operates on the wrong leg with a trauma surgeon who electively (and pro bono) operates on a suspected drug dealer who rolls in with a gunshot wound to the belly. Would anyone really question the ethical composition of that trauma surgeon who chose to fulfill his duties as a professional, regardless of any personal enmity or judgement he may feel toward the patient? Is that trauma surgeon truly the same animal as the drunken hack who harms the patient?
Thiessen is criminal, a lower level enabler of the Cheney machine, but a criminal nonetheless. And a once proud journalistic enterprise now publishes and pays him for his disjointed, morally dubious drivel....