Cheney to lawyers: “drop dead”

Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, appears to have inherited her father’s disdain for the niceties of constitutional principles.  The former vice president was well-known throughout his tenure in that job, for missing no opportunity to praise the use of torture (which he referred to euphemistically as “enhanced interrogation techniques”) against those suspected of violating US anti-terrorism laws, and for often belittling those who believed that the Bill of Rights might actually apply to those charged with committing acts of terrorism.

Mr. Cheney’s daughter, now herself a darling of the GOP, has been burnishing her credentials as a chip off the old block.  From her perch as chair of the recently-formed, neo-conservative “Keep America Safe,” Ms. Cheney has publicly mocked lawyers at the US Department of Justice for having engaged in what she believes to have been a most un-American of activities — previously providing legal advice or counsel to persons accused of commiting acts of terrorism in violation of American law.

Apparently, at least for some defendants in our system of justice, the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which among other things, guarantees to those accused of a criminal offense the right to have counsel in their defense, now occupies a place on that lengthening list of rights enumerated in our Constitution that the Cheney clan has decided we no longer need.

In fact, in Cheney World, lawyers who dared to provide legal counsel for those facing such serious charges as committing acts of terrorism should be forever thereafter barred from serving in any government job; and also probably should be branded on their forhead with a scarlet “T” (for “terrorism lover”). 

A recent video solicitation for Keep America Safe made this point graphically, when it chided Attorney General Holder for not “releasing” the names of certain Justice Department lawyers who in their previous careers had something to do with providing legal counsel for alleged terrorists.  The video called these US lawyers serving in the Justice Department, the “Al Qaeda Seven.”

While this disgraceful pandering to the extreme right undoubtedly will resonate with Ms. Cheney’s family — both her biological family and her extended political family — her actions went beyond the pale for at least one group of Republicans.  A group of lawyers who served previously under Republican presidents has issued a public denunciation of Ms. Cheney’s tactics; calling them “unjust,” “destructive” and “shameful.”  The letter was signed by former Independent Counsel Ken Starr and fomer Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson, among others.

Unfortunately, the well-reasoned and historially-sound arguments made by these distinguished barristers will likely fall on deaf ears in Republican circles on Capitol Hill.  Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), for example, continues his drive to ferret out terrorist-hugging lawyers in the Obama Administration.  And Liz Cheney already has accepted an invite to speak next month at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, where her cries to tar and feather Justice Department lawyers for having represented individuals she and her father don’t like, will almost certainly be met by rousing cheers.

Former Vice-president and President John Adams, who earlier in his legal career represented the highly-unpopular British “Redcoats” accused of shooting civilians in the Boston Massacre, must be turning in his grave.  But here, above ground, the most recent former vice president beams at his daughter as she trashes public servants for putting constiutional principles to work in our justice system.

142 comments Add your comment

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
2:37 pm

Bandwith…As insane as it sounds, one ill-informed party tried to make that argument to Jon Stewart. But you are right…NMP is just not worth the time.


March 10th, 2010
2:38 pm

Isn’t Liz Cheny a lesbian. I thought wingnuts hated gay people.

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
2:49 pm

Actually it is Mary Cheney who is the lesbian…..

But you really have to wrap your flag waiving and hatred list by priority.


March 10th, 2010
3:02 pm

Bob, I agree with you entirely on this one. Two things come to mind: Liz gets her money from the far right so if she makes outlandish statements she get more $$$. It is ALWAYS about the money. My guess the more she does this kind of verbal pandering her constituency will flood her with $$$. And, second, it is VERY scary to note that her father was one heartbeat away from being President. While I didn’t agree with much that GWB said or did, I own him a great debt of gratitude for remaining alive for his eight years as President.

Chris Broe

March 10th, 2010
3:06 pm

It will be a measure of our countrymen to see how far a phrase like “the Al Queda 7″ takes Liz Cheney.

Off Topic: They say some cities in Chili moved several inches to the west after the earthquake. And here in the USA, my putting has improved. Lovin’ golf here.

No More Progressives!

March 10th, 2010
3:14 pm

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
2:34 pm
No more progressives….the word is “prepare” not “prepair,” also “Plenty” not “Pleanty”. When you are losing on all grounds, then use names like “cretin” to vilify. Of course, you ignore that your original mistaken premise was woefully wrong….there are those who would defend Yamamoto in a charge of crime vs. act of war. Having lost the point and your conclusion that no one would….you ignore it and move on with your muddled thoughts….and your claims of treason.

Oh, pardon me, exalted & illustrious barrister. You’ve identified two typos. 3 years & a JD to be a proof-reader?

Exactly what was my “original mistaken premise?” That our Constitution was designed to protect anyone in the world you deem needy on my dime?

Try me, Bandgirth. You might just be surprised.


March 10th, 2010
3:18 pm

Mr. Barr: I was never a fan of yours when you were in politics; but over the past year or two, something has happened to you or to me in that I find myself applauding your contributions to the AJC.

This article bears witness to your tranformation or mine — you’ve hit the nail on the head.

Cheney seems very comfortable treading underfoot the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And, for this, he is the darling of the Republican Party. His efforts to re-write history and his legacy is transparent, but should be acknowleged for what it is — revisionist horse hocky!

Thanks again, Mr. Barr.

No More Progressives!

March 10th, 2010
3:18 pm

So armed conflict (Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq) does not qualify as a “war” to you? It has to be officially sanctioned & declared by the Federal Government, your personal arbitor of all things good?

You never bothered to answer the question, Bandgirth……………….


March 10th, 2010
3:32 pm

See my previous post, NMP.


March 10th, 2010
3:39 pm

They deserve nothing. Send them straight to hell. Kill them all.

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
3:52 pm

NMP…… correcting typos was something you pointed out….I acknowlege that I make many….dont like being called black, huh pot?

As for your premise that no one would raise their hand to represent Yamamoto…..I have and others…so your no takers comment was woefully wrong.

And the additional point is I dont have to agree with him or what he did to defend his act as a non-crime but rather as an act in connection with a war. Just as attorneys can think many criminal clients and others may have reprehensible morals and be guilty as sin…they deserve the protection of the law and a right to due process and not just when everyone agrees that they are innocent. The objective has always been that no innocent people be convicted. Unfortunately we still strive to attain that true standard. Too many conservatives use the word “terrorist” to be a judgment of guilt and they forget that until proven guilty it is alleged terrorism.

Of course “enemy combatant” also presumes a war….We had a war on drugs did that make them combatants? You toss out “armed conflict” acknowledging a distinction in wording….but without definition of either. When is a crime an act of war…when is it a war…or is it just a crime….does a nation have to be involved… if no national government is involved, how many people in that country does it take to declare a war? Can one person declare a war if they are not the national government? If 10 people say they are against the US, do we have a right to treat anyone call anyone who may defend them in court as the “Al Queda 7″ or to claim that somehow those 7 are less than other Americans? Words have import and meaning. Because I disagree with you and your interpretation of the Constitution, does that may your acts treason? Liz Cheney is related to a man who many Americans consider a violator of international law and treaties, federal laws and the Consitution….because she supports Dick if she guilty of a secret desire to take away our freedoms? If Cheney is brought to trial for alleged war crimes in Spain on international charges, is he entitled to a defense? You can live with Scout in your “secure” world that you are the final judge….but we have a system of justice and government for a reason. We have checks and balances for a reason. Life is not black and white or good vs evil. There is constant gray area and changing social values. Our founding fathers sought to ensure that all accused by our government have the right to an attorney and did not make a distinction about where the US government held trial or the citizenship of the person. If it is the US government and an allegation of US laws, there is a right to an attorney/advocate.

Jim Capatelli

March 10th, 2010
4:20 pm

I’m a traditional values conservative. I take our Constitution seriously. And that means that everyone gets a fair trial. That means everyone.

Stalin had “special trials” for “enemies of the state”. So did Hitler. So did Mao.

We’re Americans. We’re better than that.

As a result, I’m disgusted by Liz Cheney and that slanderous video made by her and Bill Kristol.
It makes all conservatives look small, nasty and somewhat Fascist.

If you, as a conservative, remain mute, while Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol smear all of us with their Joe McCarthy tactics, you’re complicit and/or cowardly.

I’m neither. And in the name of my own integrity, our Constitution, and the blood of our Founding Fathers, I forced to condemn Cheney and Kristol and their horrific, demagogic propaganda.

Shame on you, Liz Cheney. Shame on you.


March 10th, 2010
4:25 pm

Newsflash: Liz Cheney “is thinking about” running for office now. Gee, really? Representing the Great State of North Paranoia, no doubt. Contamination from that amoral family floats through the air like noxious gas.


March 10th, 2010
4:28 pm

Jim Capatelli @ 4:20pm, you and I are not in the same camp regarding politcal ideology, I’m more to the left of center, but I must say you have made a strong and excellent case that supports the piece Bob Barr has written. You get right to the heart of the matter, we as Americans despise what the terroists have done and are doing, but out US Constitutional values and premises deserve much more than the “down in the gutter” remarks of Liz Cheney and her ilk. Her kind have preached for decades about the “rule of law”, but it seems when it doesn’t suit their “evil empire” ideology then let the Constitution be (your blip phrase here).


March 10th, 2010
4:46 pm

Bob, when are you going to renounce the current Republican Party and admit what the rest of us already know — that the only ones left in it are the kooks, the demogogues, those who don’t believe in the Bill of RIghts, and those who want to impose a theocracy upon us? Do some soul-searching and renounce them!

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 10th, 2010
4:54 pm

Both Dick and Liz need the GITMO treatment themselves….make it so…

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 10th, 2010
4:57 pm

Ah fergot ta add the word “freak” to the above question…


March 10th, 2010
5:06 pm

Terrorists aim to destroy the American way of life – when we try them outside of our Constitution, pass laws that infringe on our way of life and our rights (Patriot Act, et al), and make us fearful beyond belief they win. Guess what folks they’re accomplishing their goals and we’re helping them. The nation that won WWII against some real demons like Hitler and Tojo now cowers from a bunch of street thugs. C’mon folks get a spine.

There’s wonderful quote from a minister, Martin Neimoller, from Nazi Germany. It ends “Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me”. When you deny rights for one group, then it’s another group you don’t like. It’s a slippery slope.


March 10th, 2010
5:36 pm

Liz is wrong about just about everything, but to doubt the patriotism of people going to work at the DOJ is really low even for her. If you want to keep America safe people restore the rule of law and bring war criminals in the Bush Administration to justice.

Rafe Hollister

March 10th, 2010
6:18 pm

Hey Joe, only backwater dictatorships and banana republics try former leaders as war criminals. Liberals are so hypocritical. Above Capatelli decries the treatment of enemies of state by Stalin and Hitler, but you want to try the previous administration for war crimes. Didn’t Stalin do that, remember how he treated the Russian Czars and their families. You have so much sympathy and heart ache over the treatment of the murdering terrorists, but none whatsoever for Bush/ Cheney, et al.


March 10th, 2010
6:55 pm

Keep up the good fight!:

You didn’t answer the question but you are obviously a sheep. That’s o.k. Nothing wrong with that. Most people are.

However, the sheepdogs of the world will take care of you so sleep well tonight ! We’re on watch………

God bless …………..

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
7:07 pm

Scout……if you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?

Sheep, sheepdog… I intentionally chose not to answer a very silly question. Not sure what you are watching for…….. The self-appointed “sheepdogs” of the world “taking care of me” are what causes me to lose sleep.

Thankfully there are people on both sides of the political spectrum who can agree that although we disagree about much, there are some priniciples that we can agree on.


March 10th, 2010
7:43 pm

As Bernie Goldberg said: If a lawyer who had defended the Klan later took a job in the Civil Rights division of the Justice department under a Republican administration, people would have a fit.

Same thing.


March 10th, 2010
8:04 pm

Our Constitutional rights do not apply to terrorists we capture on the battlefield.


March 10th, 2010
8:39 pm

while I have no opinion either way as far as the public trials vs. military tribunals debate goes; the whole “enemy combatant/battlefield” argument does not pass muster. while some of the GITMO detains were captured “on the battlefields” of Iraq and Afghanistan, and others may have been caught on American soil, many were not. perhaps the most well-known GITMO resisent, KSM was taken down in a “safe house” in Pakistan. I personally don’t care whether terrorists get a military tribunal or a public trial, but the idea that they should be shot or executed is counter-productive to the whole concept of counter-terrorism.

Chris Broe

March 10th, 2010
8:46 pm

CNN just reported that the seven dwarfs, led by Sleepy-cell, are suing Liz Cheney for libeling the name of the seven dwarfs with the Al Queda Seven slanderous thing..

Lindsay Lohan was unavailable for comment. The E-trade baby threw up.

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
8:56 pm

RGB, there is absolutely no reason that an attorney who defended the KKK should be banned from being in the DOJ Civil Rights division based on that representation alone. In fact the ACLU has defended the First Amendment rights of the KKK a number of times. That does not mean that the ACLU is a racist organization. If the winds were to align, I am confident that even a black civil rights attorney would be willing to deny a KKK member denied their civil rights as a matter of legal principle even though the attorney would likely have disdain for everything that individual stands for. The rule of law is greater than the individual involved.


March 10th, 2010
11:08 pm

To Keep up the good fight! :

“Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.” Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).

“Dulce Bellum Inexpertis”

Bow wow !



March 11th, 2010
7:03 am

To those of you that think like “An American” , read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence. The tenets are that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL WITH CERTAIN INALIANABLE RIGHTS. ALL MEN, not white, Christian men, not Republican right-wing nut men, not American men. ALL MEN. We are a country of laws. When you start cherry picking which laws apply to which group, you are no longer a shining beacon on the hill.


March 11th, 2010
9:49 am

Liz is a hot mess, just like her daddy. isnt there a hole in wyoming they should be crawling back in to?


March 11th, 2010
10:24 am

That hag and her sickening old man should both be tortured.

Just for the fun of it.

No More Progressives!

March 11th, 2010
10:27 am

Keep up the good fight!

March 10th, 2010
7:07 pm
Scout……if you were a tree, what type of tree would you be?

It’s pointless, Scout. This guy has taken his debate lessons right out of Saul Alinsky’s book.

Rule 7: Tactics:
#10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.


March 11th, 2010
11:23 am

In a fantasy future I can imagine all of the members of the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the first Bush administration, and the Obama administration being brought up on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity charges. If there were any justice in this world, this would not have to be a fantasy, but unfortunately justice is now in the eye of the victor and international laws, treaties, or respect for other human beings no longer matters to the US government and its “leaders.”

Funny how “conservatives” only have respect for the constitution when it serves their interests. I guess that is the difference between principled libertarians and the rest.


March 11th, 2010
11:23 am

Jim Capatelli, I couldn’t agree with you more. The woman is unpatriotic. She is unAmerican. It is people like her who do more damage to America than any terrorist will ever be able to do because she undermines the SOUL of America.


March 11th, 2010
12:41 pm

Scout has proved, that by calling someone he disagrees with a sheep, he is the biggest sheep of all. Learn how to give a rational argument without subjecting yourself to terrible debate cliches.


March 11th, 2010
3:49 pm

We need to to do what General” black jack” Pershing did…shoot them with bullets diped in hog blood and throw them all in grave with dead pigs. That will teach them not to blow up our buildings and saw the heads off Americans. There is going to be war and you chicken#$%$% people better get use to it…it ain’t going to be pretty.


March 11th, 2010
4:05 pm

This is old hat for conservatives. They used to bash lawyers for the Civil Rights activists in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The whole plot of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was the hate generated at the lawyer, Atticus Finch, for defending a black man.

They didn’t mind a lawyer defending a black accused of a crime against a white girl- they were just angry because he was so good.

Obviously Cheney is upset that the lawyers for the accused are also good, and don’t deliberately sabotage their client’s case. She and the other conservatives simply want the motions to be made so they can go ahead and hang the guy.

They really, really hate those people who believe the American principles of Truth, Justice and the American Way. It upsets the conservative point of view and their own view of power and priviledge.

[...] her Constitution-redacting Dad, Lynn Cheney would deny counsel to Gitmo defendants. We imagine the Cheneys would throw John Adams in jail for defending Boston’s Redcoats if [...]

the Squad

March 12th, 2010
7:09 am

oh what a Dyke! where’s her wife?

Jennifer E Elliott

March 16th, 2010
8:11 pm

Again a reason why a commission based on everything that was false and detrimental from criminal codes of FISA, pushing the Justice ACT as well as reciminalize torture under the 2010 House Intel bill by (D) Reyes… 15 years for an officer of employee that tortures, 25 years in prison for medical malfeasence, life in prison for death…

And ending the nonsense of Liz Cheney trying to make a career out of being a grand dellusion for spindustry. That one mouth does more harm to national secuirty in trying to protect her father.. Team Cheney of the Torture Team..

What Me Worry

March 23rd, 2010
2:43 pm

Trust the government to get it right every time. They know who the bad guys are without fail. So if someone caught in a terror plot fingers someone else shoot them too. I trust the infallacy of our government I’m sure their sources are all upstanding trustworthy individuals. And if a few innocent people get killed in the process well this is war innocent people will be killed by both sides. I’m sure the government will try really hard to not accidentally kill any of your family members. I’m sure noone will point their finger at someone else to have a few charges dropped.

paradise escorts

August 31st, 2010
1:53 pm

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Kate Benedict