More than a month after the flap over an ad from Liz Cheney’s group attacked lawyers who represented Guantanamo detainees as terrorist sympathizers, Attorney General Eric Holder denounced the ad today as “reprehensible” and offered an impassioned defense of what the lawyers did.
In an exchange with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) flagged by Huffington Post, Holder reference the ad from Cheney’s group Keep America Safe, but did not cite it by name.
Holder had previously been mum about the Web ad, which dubbed DOJ officials who previously represented detainees “the Al Qaeda Seven” and asks, “Whose values do they share?” while flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden.
Here are Holder’s comments from his appearance before the Judiciary Committee today, after Grassley asked for the names of DOJ officials who previously worked on detainee issues:
“There has been an attempt to take the names of the people who represent Guantanamo detainees and to drag their reputations through the mud. There were reprehensible ads in essence to question their patriotism. I’m not going to allow these kids — I’m not going to be a part of this effort.”
“And so, with all due respect, their names are out there now. The positions that they hold are out there. That’s all been placed in the public record. I’m simply not going to be a part of that effort. I would not allow good, decent lawyers who have followed the greatest traditions of American jurisprudence, done what John Adams did, done what our chief justice has said is appropriate. I will not allow their reputations to be besmirched. I will not be a part of that.”
Here’s the video: