Charles D. "Cully" Stimson, 43, is a brainless twat, he is also a lawyer, a a former federal attorney, now Deputy assistant secretary of Defense for detainee affairs (i.e Gubment employee) , and appeared on a radio talk show this week - Federal News Radio, a Washington, D.C., radio outlet that runs long interviews targeted at commuting government workers (listen here - Warning poor connection!). He rattled off a list of some of the most prestigious law firms in the nation.
They have been providing pro bono, or no-charge, legal representation to captives at the U.S. Navy base, where the Bush junta is holding some 395 men / children as so-called "enemy combatants."
Stimson cited a string of major US law firms defending clients at Guantanamo pro bono: Pillsbury Winthrop, Jenner & Block, Hunton & Williams, Alston & Bird, Cutler Pickering, Weil Gotshal, Paul Weiss Rifkin, Covington & Burling, Mayer Brown, Pepper Hamilton, Perkins Cole, Fulbright Jaworski, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, and Venable [firm websites].
Stimson predicted that "when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line in 2001 those CEO's are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms." The former Navy lawyer said "It's shocking...The major law firms in this country...are out there representing detainees."
Karen Mathis The President of the American Bar Association issued a statement on Friday condemning Stimson's comments.
"Lawyers represent people in criminal cases to fulfill a core American value: the treatment of all people equally before the law. To impugn those who are doing this critical work -- and doing it on a volunteer basis -- is deeply offensive to members of the legal profession, and we hope to all Americans. The American Bar Association supports lawyers who give of their time and expertise defending those involved in legal actions. In fact it is one of the basic tenets of the Association's Second Season of Service, that lawyers should perform pro bono and volunteer work."
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman has since said that Stimson's comments
"Mr. Cully Stimson's comments in a recent media interview about law firms representing Guantanamo detainees do not represent the views of the Defense Department or the thinking of its leadership,"Neal Sonnett, a Miami defense attorney who's been an observer at Guantanamo for the American Bar Association, called Stimson's remarks "irresponsible" and "shameful."
The New York Times has an article today regarding this man's stupidity....
“This is prejudicial to the administration of justice,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University and an authority on legal ethics. “It’s possible that lawyers willing to undertake what has been long viewed as an admirable chore will decline to do so for fear of antagonizing important clients.
“We have a senior government official suggesting that representing these people somehow compromises American interests, and he even names the firms, giving a target to corporate America.”
The same point appeared ina concerted effort on Friday on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, Robert L. Pollock, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board, cited the list of law firms (obtained by FOIA with over 500 names on it) and quoted an unnamed “senior U.S. official” as saying, “Corporate C.E.O.’s seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists.”
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, (D.Vt) chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote to President Bush on Friday asking him to disavow Mr. Stimson’s remarks.
"Lawyers have a long tradition of coming up to the plate and representing unpopular clients, including war criminals in World War II," said Ronald Rotunda, a George Mason University law professor who worked on Guantanamo issues as a legal adviser to the Bush Pentagon.
Mr. Stimson, who was a Navy lawyer, graduated from George Mason University Law School (see above) . In a 2006 interview with the magazine of Kenyon College, his alma mater, Mr. Stimson said that he was learning “to choose my words carefully because I am a public figure on a very, very controversial topic.”
See also NYT Leader / Opinion
The curse of the Lord (Patel) is on him - jobless by Friday.
The beautiful and talented Nancy Rapoport of the of the University of Houston Law Center .....
Apparently, Mr. Stimson has missed the recent renaissance of Harper Lee, Truman Capote’s friend who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. In that famous book, lawyer Finch represents Tom Robinson, an African-American man falsely accused of raping a white woman, at a time when such accusations typically resulted in public lynchings. Suffice it to say that Atticus Finch represented a very unpopular client.
To US readers; Mockingbird is an iconic book to UK schoolchildren and is used as a study text foir GCSE exams (age 15 ish)... and so is exceptionally well known.
UPDATE - UPDATE
See this from the curious schizoid but excellent Leandrotoro blog - Wall Street Journal: Suggesting that corporate America pressure top law firms to drop their pro-bono work for Guantanamo prisoners seems to have been a rhetorical bridge too far for Charles "Cully" Stimson- plus lots of follow up information and and pictures of a member of the Hilton family looking very relaxed in the company of members of the same sex.
See also very interesting background on Stimson and his job @Govexec.com
This for example ...
In late February 2006, Human Rights First released a damning report documenting the deaths of 98 detainees while in U.S. custody, including 34 officially suspected or confirmed homicides and eight to 12 men who were tortured to death. "One such incident would be an isolated transgression; two would be a serious problem; a dozen of them is policy," retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, the Navy's former top lawyer and currently dean of Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire, wrote in the report's introduction.
"I wish Cully every good wish and hope that he's effective and gets it straightened out," Hutson says, but "I'm not wildly enthusiastic about the job that's being done." The fundamental problem, according to Hutson, is a failure of congressional oversight. In 2004, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said Defense was leaving no stone unturned in its investigations. But, "There are lots of stones, and they're still sunny-side up," Hutson says. "they're afraid of what's going to crawl out if they turn them over."Don't want any of those smart corporate lawyers in doing that do we ?