Friedersdorf remembers Fouad al-Rabiah's case:
Ms. Cheney, Mr. Kristol, Mr. Thiessen and Mr. McCarthy assert that American lawyers who represent Guantanamo Bay detainees are helping the enemy in a time of war. Here is a case, however, where the Guantanamo Bay detainee was innocent, languished for years in custody without a lawyer despite official knowledge of his innocence, and ultimately achieved his freedom with legal help. Ms. Cheney, Mr. Kristol, Mr. Thiessen and Mr. McCarthy have no answer for people like Mr. al Rabiah and his attorneys their poorly reasoned McCarthyite rhetoric is bankrupt because they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge the distinction between being accused of being an enemy of America in war time, and actually being an enemy of America.
They have never made a distinction between a terror suspect and a terrorist. Tragically, so many in Gitmo were guilty of nothing - as the Bush administration itself conceded - but being in the wrong place at the wrong time and at the mercy of bounty-hunters. But all of the torture lobby has revealed they give not a whit about due process, about the dignity of human beings, about the vital importance of the Geneva Conventions.
I don't really believe they back this proto-fascist philosophy out of much conviction. Here's Kristol defending his latest McCarthyism. It's not a defense that provides any principled argument for his position. It is an attempt to say the motives behind the attack - rather than being, from Ken Starr to Michael Mukasey - are just Democratic partisan panic at polls - presented by the Greenberg/Carville/Emanuel faction. For Kristol, it's always about the game for power. There is nothing else there.