In Liz Cheney’s worldview, Rudy Giuliani is a disloyal al Qaeda sympathizer.
Let us explain.
Yesterday, Cheney’s outfit, a group called Keep America Safe, went up with a blistering ad that attacked Justice Department lawyers who previously represented Guantanamo detainees and are now working on detainee issues. The ad dubbed the lawyers “the Al Qaeda Seven” and asked “whose values do they share?” while flashing an image of Osama bin Laden.
It turns out that among the many high-profile lawyers who have represented so-called “terrorist detainees” is a top attorney with Rudy Giuliani’s firm, Bracewell Giuliani, according to court documents examined by TPMmuckraker.
Bracewell Giuliani Attorney Carol Elder Bruce, a distinguished white collar litigator, is listed as counsel in two detainee habeas cases, EL-MASHAD et al v. BUSH et al and ALLADEEN et al v. BUSH et al. Both are in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.
El-Mashad, an Egyptian national who was captured near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in late 2001, was released to Albania late last month.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with attorneys representing detainees. In fact, the work — usually done on a pro bono basis — is seen by many as admirable.
As the DOJ pointed out in a letter to Republican senators who argue that lawyers who represented detainees have a conflict of interest, at least 34 of the 50 largest U.S. law firms have either represented detainees or filed amicus briefs in support of detainees.
Reached by TPMmuckraker today, Bruce declined to comment on the Cheney ad or her Guantanamo cases, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing litigation. Bracewell Giuliani Partner Marc Mukasey, son of Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey, praised Bruce as “an extraordinary lawyer” when she was hired by the firm in 2008.
This isn’t the first time lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees have come under attack. In 2007, a Pentagon official publicly attacked law firms for “representing terrorists.” He resigned shortly after the remarks. At the time, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he disagreed with the comments and the president of the American Bar Association said:
“Lawyers represent people in criminal cases to fulfill a core American value: the treatment of all people equally before the law. To impugn those who are doing this critical work — and doing it on a volunteer basis — is deeply offensive to members of the legal profession, and we hope to all Americans.”
Asked about the Cheney ad yesterday, Nancy Slonim, director of policy communications at the ABA, told TPMmuckraker the group does not “comment on specific circumstances.”
Late Update: Adam Serwer notes that, via Fox, the Bush DOJ also hired lawyers who previously worked on detainee cases.