One reporter compares it to flying pigs. "No less a Democratic persecutor than Ken Starr" is has come out against Liz Cheney, says blogger Spencer Ackerman. He's referring to Cheney's witch-hunt against the "Al Qaeda Seven"--a push to reveal the names of lawyers who defended Guantanamo detainees. Starr not only put his name to a document against the motion. He also went on MSNBC to defend the practice of lawyers standing up for unpopular cause, calling it one of the "finest traditions of our country." (You may recall that Ken Starr stood up for a cause that made him unpopular on the left--spearheading the Lewinsky scandal investigation.) Invoking the figures of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird and John Adams in the Boston Massacre trials, Starr explains that lawyers "have an ethical obligation to be willing to take on unpopular causes." He says those who defended these alleged terrorists "deserve commendation." It's not even controversial, he continues:
This is in the finest traditions of our country. I hope schoolchildren still learn about the example of John Adams ... taking on the British redcoats who of course were charged with the Boston Massacre and some colonialists were killed ... and so Boston was inflamed by this in terms of popular opinion but John Adams considered that one of his finest hours to take on that representation and he successfully defended seven of the British troops who were charged with these very serious crimes. Wasn't a career-enhancing move for John Adams ... but he didn't apologize for that, he knew that that was a duty of our system of law where we protect the liberties and the constitutional rights of all persons and that's what these lawyers were doing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.