- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2009


Your decision in a recent editorial to criticize the Guantanamo lawyers is puzzling (“Gitmo lawyers,” Opinion, June 22). Those of us who have clients at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center are working for no money and at significant personal cost, solely to vindicate the rule of law and restore our country’s reputation around the world. We think it is our professional responsibility to do so, and we proceed in the same spirit that led John Adams to defend the British soldiers accused of perpetrating the Boston Massacre. Why we should be subjected to public censure for this work is beyond me.

Your editorial alludes to a volume of poetry that I edited, “Poems From Guantanamo,” and states that one of the poets whose work is included in the collection was Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, a former detainee whom you describe as a client of mine and who became a suicide bomber after his release. Mr. al-Ajmi has never been a client of mine (or of the firm with which I used to be associated, Covington & Burling) and none of his poems was included in the poetry collection. Because neither I nor my colleagues ever spoke with Mr. al-Ajmi, we have no idea what drove him to his insane act. More to the point, I do not see what any of this has to do with former Covington lawyers who are working at present in the Department of Justice.



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