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The ‘Gitmo Nine,’ the ‘al-Qaeda Seven’ and Pure McCarthyism

For more on the Cheneyite right’s intimations that there’s something shameful about providing legal counsel for Guantanamo detainees, see Adam Serwer’s new piece for the American Prospect, which pivots off Keep America Safe’s bottom-scraping ad:

The group put out a web video demanding that Holder name the other Justice Department lawyers who had previously represented terror detainees or worked on similar issues for groups that opposed the Bush administration’s near-limitless assumption of executive power. “Whose values do they share?,” a voice asks ominously. “Americans have a right to know the identity of the al-Qaeda Seven.” The ad echoed [National Review writer Andy] McCarthy’s references to the “al Qaeda bar” from months earlier.

“This is exactly what Joe McCarthy did,” said Gude. “Not kind of like McCarthyism, this is exactly McCarthyism.”

That’s Ken Gude of the Center for American Progress. Yesterday, retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis, a former chief prosecutor of the military commissions, wondered whether these people would call John Adams a British symp for defending the perpetrators of the Boston Massacre.

Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Times runs a [story](http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gitmo-justice3-2010mar03,0,7456369.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+latimes/news/nationworld/nation+(L.A.+Times+-+National+News)) reporting this exactly the way the right wants it reported, with credulous intimations that there’s something “hidden” about the Justice Department lawyers. “It’s time for these policies to meet the light of day — and for the public to get the answers they deserve,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told the paper’s Richard Serrano, who didn’t ask Sessions whether he had a list of the Justice Department’s al-Qaeda sympathizers in his jacket pocket. This is a constant theme on the right. In 2006, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) told me that there were unnamed CIA officials who harbored sympathy with al-Qaeda. He was chairman of the House intelligence committee at the time.

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