Thursday, March 04, 2010

Loyalty Questioned

It's just another episode in Republican politics.

It seems there currently are, by Justice Department count, nine attorneys in that Department who as defense counsel represented Guantanamo Bay detainees while George W. Bush was president. Ben Smith of Politico reports that Senator Chuck Grassley (R.- Iowa) has demanded to know their names, but that Attorney General Holder had chosen to release the names of only those two whose names previously had been revealed.

So Liz Cheney's euphemistically-named group Keep America Safe released a video ad (below), in which we hear

Eric Holder will only name two. Why the secrecy behind the other seven? Whose values do they share? Tell Eric Holder Americans have a right to know the identity of the Al Qaeda Seven.

Think Progress notes today

in an interview today on the Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show, Cheney denied that the ad questioned “anybody’s loyalty”:

HOLMES: Liz, good morning. So you released a fairly provocative ad, I have to say. And you ask the question “whose values” [does] Eric Holder share? In your view, whose values does he share?

CHENEY: Well, what the ad does — and actually it doesn’t question anybody’s loyalty. What the ad does is it says that there are nine lawyers in the Justice Department who used to represent al Qaeda terrorists and the Attorney General will only tell us who two of them are and we want the American people to have the right to know who the others are.

The merits- and there are little if any (as indicated here and especially here)- aside, is Cheney's statement is not consistent with objective reality. The ad questions the "values" of lawyers who have defended terrorist suspects, and she says "it doesn't question anybody's loyalty." What values might she be talking about? Would this be: the right-to-life? sexual preference? peace? Or could it be patriotism- someone's loyalty?

This raises an uninteresting question: is Liz Cheney a) deliberately telling a fib; b) so contemptuous of her audience that she thinks it will believe that she can question someone's patriotism without questioning his/her loyalty?;
c) cowardly? Or could it be all three?

Disturbingly, the identity of each of the lawyers has been revealed, thus handing the modern-day McCarthyite organization something of a victory. GOP TV named the individuals, whom the Justice Department has confirmed.

For those of you who may have been wondering (too young at the time, or had forgotten) why leading liberal Senate Democrats eyeing the presidency voted for George W. Bush's Iraq war resolution, forget no more. Though it turned out to be politically disastrous for them, they were understandably afraid of being labeled disloyal or even treasonous. The current escapade may not be over, but it has at least reminded us of one of the enduring tactics of the modern day Republican Party: if possible to question an opponent's patriotism, do not hesitate.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This is deeply disturbing...

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