The Corner

Re: ‘In preparing thousands of pages for submission, it was unfortunately and inadvertently missed.’

K-Lo, I think this crusade against the attorney general that you and Bill and Dana are on is just shameful, and if I were a GOP Beltway Barrister, why I’d be pulling the gang together this very minute for a group preen, a quick letter, and maybe a few guest spots on MSNBC’s Countdown — you know, to raise the tone of our public discourse.

Look, I don’t know if John Adams ever accidentally forgot to remember one of his briefs in the Boston Massacre case, but Mr. Holder was clearly acting in the proud tradition of lawyers who zealously represent their unpopular clients themselves by accidentally, mistakenly omitting, inadvertently of course, to include, er, unpopular information in response to a document demand.

And what’s the big whup anyway? Padilla was an obscure case — it’s not like anyone in the country was talking about an American citizen dispatched by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to carry out a second wave of post-9/11 mass-murder attacks on U.S. soil. It’s not as if Holder’s predecessor as attorney general had written a 100-page legal opinion as a district judge presiding over Padilla’s case. And it’s not as though we’re in a situation where, only two months ago, the attorney general’s memory might have been jogged by, say, writing a five-page letter discussing the Padilla case at length and in a manner strikingly similar to the arguments in the missing brief — and it’s certainly not as if such a letter was prompted by the fact that the attorney general had ordered that the Christmas bomber be Mirandized and charged in the criminal justice system . . . just like he argued in the brief should have happened to Padilla.

Furthermore, you know full well that if this sort of inadvertent accidental totally innocent oversight had happened to, say, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, or Michael Mukasey, the Senate Judiciary Committee would have completely understood that these very unfortunate accidental honest mistakes happen all the time.

You guys need to get with the program. So the attorney general, while he was in private practice at a firm that openly bragged about its “pro bono” representation of numerous Gitmo detainees, chose during our war with al-Qaeda to file a brief on behalf of an al-Qaeda operative who tried to kill lots of Americans. So he argued that such people ought to be treated as criminal defendants swaddled in the Bill of Rights rather than enemy combatants detained for interrogation and war-crimes commissions. So what? What, are you, like, saying that the positions Holder voluntarily took as a private lawyer zealously representing unpopular clients might shed some light on the policies he would implement in the completely unrelated role of top Justice Department official.

That’s the most shameful, over the top, outrageous, and, frankly, disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. Somebody call Keith Olbermann!

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