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Stimson Resigns:

The Associated Press is reporting that Cully Stimson resigned today "over controversial remarks in which he criticized lawyers who represent terrorism suspects." According to the report, Stimson "made his own decision to resign and was not asked to leave by Defense Secretary Robert Gates." According to a Defense Department spokesman, Stimson beleived the controversy over his remarks "hampered his ability to be effective" in his position at the Department.

Anderson (mail) (www):
Wow. Maybe he'll start a trend.
2.2.2007 3:55pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Whether you think Stimson was formally over some sort of ethical line or not, it's my sense that these were, on a relative scale, by consensus the most egregious comments on the administration's part.
2.2.2007 4:10pm
Cornellian (mail):
Now he'll have time to go back to his alma mater (George Mason) and take that legal ethics course he must have skipped the first time around.
2.2.2007 4:12pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
Good riddance! Now if only Nifong would follow suit.
2.2.2007 4:43pm
Old 33:
I'm glad someone showed Mr. Stimson the door.
2.2.2007 4:47pm
AF:
Holy Friday Afternoon News Dump!
2.2.2007 4:58pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
the most egregious comments on the administration's part.

Myself, I think that honor would have to go to Cheney on waterboarding -- though, when you're the Veep, you can just deny you ever said any such thing.

But that would be kind of fun, actually, working out The Bush Administration's Most Egregious Comment Ever.
2.2.2007 5:11pm
Steve:
As someone who thought Stimson's comments were pretty awful, I nonetheless think he had already delivered a sufficient mea culpa. Still, I'm not sure it's a punishment to no longer have to defend the actions of this administration.
2.2.2007 5:55pm
jallgor (mail):
I thought what he said deserved severe criticism although I didn't have much of an opinion as to whether he actually vioalted some ethical rules (and i wasn't really convinced by the arguments i saw on these threads). I still feel kinda bad for the guy. As much as I might disagree with what he said i can't help thinking he's got a life, maybe a family and kids. I picture him at home crying right now and cursing that press conference. It's kinda hard to think "good riddance" at the same time.
2.2.2007 5:57pm
cfw (mail):
Let's hope the replacement can find a way to provide for trials that would be on a par, procedurally, with what Scooter gets to go through.

I note Stimson served a tour or two as a Navy JAG defense counsel - maybe he got tired of Bush's insistence on treating detainees as sub-human from a trial rights perspective.

I think he made the right call in resigning.
2.2.2007 6:00pm
Kovarsky (mail):
For the record, I think Stimson's comments were reprehensible but, like Steve, I don't think they were a firing offense in light of his fairly earnest apology. I obviously don't have any idea how much of his resignation was forced. The administration has been clear that Gates didn't ask for it, although I don't know what that means.

Much more disturbing is the unproveable suspicion that more in the administration than just Stimson hew to this belief. I suspect on this particular issue (propagandistically punishing representation), DoD is far more "extremist" than DoJ.
2.2.2007 6:01pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
As much as I might disagree with what he said i can't help thinking he's got a life, maybe a family and kids.

Jallgor, your sympathy is excellent (and I really mean that), but I have a hunch that appointees like Stimson usually do not have much trouble finding other work -- usually work that pays a multiple of the gov't salary. So I think he'll bounce back. Maybe even do some pro bono work.
2.2.2007 6:35pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
It doesn't matter. He still stands behind his comment, and now he'll get hired by some right-wing nutjob thinktank as a legal ethics consultant for a high six-figure salary.
2.2.2007 6:39pm
Public_Defender (mail):
I agree. He'll bounce back, probably more easily than some of the innocent dudes at Gitmo who were plucked from their families in Afghanistan because their neighbor wanted the US bounty.


But that would be kind of fun, actually, working out The Bush Administration's Most Egregious Comment Ever.

Not as much fun as the Wookie thread.
2.2.2007 8:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
What we really want today are more people like Calvin Coolidge. He kept his mouth shut; they didn't call him "silent Cal" for nothing. He would be perfect for today's world where armies of people are ready to take offense at most anything. On the other hand, when Gerry Spence represented Randy Weaver, he got a lot flack for that. "How can you represent a white supremacist?
2.2.2007 8:59pm
Randy R. (mail):
"As much as I might disagree with what he said i can't help thinking he's got a life, maybe a family and kids."

One might also think that any innocent people held in Gitmo would deserve at least as much sympathy.
2.2.2007 9:01pm
SP:
Just who are these innocent people?
2.2.2007 10:19pm
Steve:
That's a GOOD QUESTION. Perhaps some judicial process would serve to answer it.
2.2.2007 10:57pm
Bob from Tenn (mail):
Now if only all the academics who want to keep John Woo from speaking would also resign.
2.2.2007 11:59pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
John Woo? I think there are people who want to keep him from making movies - but keeping him from speaking is a bit harsh.

/You mean John Yoo, I think
2.3.2007 12:39am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

Now if only all the academics who want to keep John Woo sic] from speaking would also resign.

Hunh? I think us academics who are appalled by John Yoo want him to speak. In fact, we think that he should be persuaded to talk by means of innovative interrogation techniques like waterboarding. :)
2.3.2007 2:03am
Tom Cross (www):
Why do people on this blog always confuse John Woo and John Yoo. One makes movies about bad ass ninjas. The other makes arguments that the bad ass ninjas do not require Congessional authorization. Get it straight people.
2.3.2007 2:53am
Public_Defender (mail):
I agree that some of the criticism of Yoo have been over the top, but no thoughtful person has accused the big law firms of advising clients on how to commit terrorism, but Yoo faces allegations that he advised the President on how to torutre people.

One example when considering Yoo is how you think a business lawyer in the early 1960's should have advised a client who wanted to enforce a whites-only hiring policy. Let's say the law only prohibited racism in matters covered by federal contracts (there was a time whan this was generally the law). The employer comes to you and asks, "this company doesn't have federal contracts, can I follow my whites-only hiring procedure?"

If the answer is "yes," do you stop there? Or do you tell him it's immoral and advise the client to hire qualified non-whites? (I stole this from something I read by Yale Professor Stephen Carter. When he told the story, it was not a hypothetical.) If Yoo didn't say, "Mr. President, this really is 'torture,' and you give our friends and enemies a real reason to hate us when you do it," then he was failing in his duty as counselor.

In my practice, I have advised clients that they should not exercise their legal rights. For example, in one case, there was a good argument that a stay-away order was not in effect. I still advised the client to stay away from her.

As to innocent people at Gitmo, here's one story. This took about 2 minutes on Google to find. Are there more? Well, I assume that Bush picks people to go to Gitmo with the same degree of competence that he has shown running the war in Iraq.
2.3.2007 5:11am
DWPittelli (mail):
In my practice, I have advised clients that they should not exercise their legal rights. For example, in one case, there was a good argument that a stay-away order was not in effect. I still advised the client to stay away from her.

Would you have put this (nonlegal) advice in writing, if you believed that the client would ignore the advice, and that the written legal advice would become public?
2.3.2007 7:38am
DWPittelli (mail) (www):
I assume that Bush picks people to go to Gitmo with the same degree of competence that he has shown running the war in Iraq.

Where you went wrong is in assuming that it's Bush who picks people to go to Gitmo.
2.3.2007 7:40am
Anderson (mail) (www):
That's a GOOD QUESTION. Perhaps some judicial process would serve to answer it.

Ba-da-BING!
2.3.2007 11:35am
Jeremy T:
Stimson's welcome at my firm.
2.3.2007 1:51pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
He can return to the JAG. They're recruiting pretty heavily since every squad needs a lawyer these days. "Yes, you can take that shot."
2.3.2007 3:19pm
Tax Lawyer:
Good riddance to bad trash.

[bad joke]Maybe businesses should think twice about doing business with any law firm that employs him. [/bad joke]
2.3.2007 10:28pm
Public_Defender (mail):
Where you went wrong is in assuming that it's Bush who picks people to go to Gitmo.

OK, how about this?

I assume that Bush picks people who have to stay at Gitmo with the same degree of competence that he has shown running the war in Iraq.

I believe Bush's claims that everyone at Gitmo is really a terrorist as much as we should have believed his claim that Iraq really had WMD's.
2.4.2007 6:06am
Seamus (mail):

He can return to the JAG. They're recruiting pretty heavily since every squad needs a lawyer these days. "Yes, you can take that shot."



Also, those detainees who don't get white-shoe counsel will need JAG lawyers.
2.5.2007 10:22am
Just Passin' Through:
I don't know what Stimson thought when he made his comment. What I do know is that the resources firms are spending on Gitmo relative to other pro bono cases are substantial. Surely Corporate America should and does have an interest in promoting the pro bono legal work of the firms that represent it. But Corporate America may also have an interest in knowing just what percentage of these law firms' pro bono budgets are going to a single cause. Given that rates continue to rise year after year, what's wrong with the folks ultimately footing the bill for the defense of the Gitmo detainees knowing where there money is going?

That is not to say that companies should drop a firm merely because of their representation of Gitmo detainees. But there are many ways for law firms to spend their pro bono budgets. What needy clients in the US are going without adequate representation while firms spend considerable pro bono resources on a single matter?
2.5.2007 5:21pm
USMC Ken:
Nice to know the contempt is mutual. You may think that Stimson is a "nutjob", but I have to tell you, his comments are pretty mild compared to what I and the other Marines I say about you lawyers. I have watched you in Guantanamo all eager to defend the terrorists pro bono, but you could not be bothered to lift a finger to defend US Army Sergeant Thomas Gibson, Captain Philip Wolford and Lt. Colonel Philip de Camp, accused of the wrongful death of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad. Only the terrorist enemy seems to rate any consideration from the "legal community." While I can't speak for all Marines, among the ones I actually know, here is the equation that explains our view of the Gitmo Lawyers.

Lawyer trying to free a scumbag terrorist so he can try again to kill me and my family = terrorist.

Semper fi
2.5.2007 8:44pm
oneangryslav (mail):
Lawyer trying to free a scumbag terrorist so he can try again to kill me and my family = terrorist.

Ken, is your brain really that impermeable to the whole point of the whole exercise? Anyone with half a brain wants our government to set up a mechanism by which we can differentiate between those in Gitmo who actually are "scumbag terrorists" and those who are there because, as someone said, some tribal leader in northern Afghanistan wanted some bounty money.

Is it that difficult to understand?
2.6.2007 12:06am
USMC Ken:
Yes, I am too stupid to understand why these terrorists we have captured because the JAG lawyers say we have to give them quarter instead of wasting them when we have the chance, now avail themselves of high priced lawyers and ridiculous judicial review. These scumbags would slit the throats of their own "representation" if they had half a chance, but it does not stop these terrorist-loving lawyers from doing all they can to have these terrorists released.

Slav, I was introduced to your point of view regarding the military when when John Kerry told his joke. Thanks for bringing back those pleasant memories.
2.6.2007 6:53am