Another sign that we're living under a (hopefully fading) neo-fascist government
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, January 23, 2007; A17
"On the cold moonlit evening of March 5, 1770," writes David McCullough in his magisterial "John Adams," "the streets of Boston were covered by nearly a foot of snow." A crowd set upon a lone British sentry at Boston's Province House, taunting him. Quickly, reinforcements arrived, and so did a larger crowd. Soon the crowd hurled snowballs, chunks of ice, oyster shells and stones. The soldiers, now nine, opened fire, killing five Bostonians -- "bloody butchery," Samuel Adams called it. Only one lawyer would defend the British soldiers. He was a different Adams -- John Adams, a good man on the path to being great.
I resurrect this tale about Adams because it is sorely needed. Just this month, an official in the Bush administration, a deputy assistant secretary of defense named Charles D. Stimson, suggested that lawyers who defend terrorism suspects being held at Guantanamo not only should not do so but that their firms ought to be blackballed as a result.
"I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms," he said in a radio interview. You may want to read that again.
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