John Walker Lindh
Early on in Frank Lindhs article about his son in your May 2005 magazine, Frank Lindh declared himself proud of his son. From that point on, I read the article by John Walker Lindhs father with one purpose: What would he say about his sons failure to cooperate with a CIA officer during that interview just before the officer was slain?
Frank Lindhs comments regarding the death of Johnny Micheal Spann in December 2001 are nonexistent. Nothing. Complete silence. Yet back on the planet Earth, Spanns family mourns his loss.
I do not question the editorial wisdom of publishing this litany of excuses for law breaking in a professional journal distributed to lovers of the law. But I would add, in fairness, that your journal should hereby record that the father of Mike Spann has a different point of view regarding John Walker Lindhs culpability.
In an interview on CNNs American Morning, Mr. Spann said, The guy admittedly was on the front lines with the Taliban, in al Qaeda. . . . He was in the army of the al Qaeda and he had a weapon, but youre trying to tell me, you want me to believe he never fired it?
Are we really to believe that John Walker Lindh, armed and with the Taliban, was simply, as his father insists, a convenient scapegoat and the victim of news coverage [that] was negative and sensational in tone? How would the elder Mr. Lindh, who did not even know which country his son was in at the time, be so certain that his son did not fight with and for al Qaeda?
On the planet I live, Mr. Lindhs son got off easy by avoiding the death penalty and Mike Spann is a hero. The group that John Walker Lindh was with did, at least as a group, fight against Americans and American allies and fight against a just cause, the liberation of Afghanistan from the grips of al Qaeda.
There is an untold story neglected by Washington Lawyer within Frank R. Lindhs narrative regarding the FBIs questioning of John Walker Lindh.
Our client, Jesselyn Radack, was the Justice Departments ethics lawyer who warned against the interrogation of John Walker without the presence of his counsel. (She had been told Lindh had retained a lawyer at the time of questioning.) For the twin offenses of (1) providing legal advice that later proved to be at odds with the departments public statements about Lindhs legal rights and (2) publicly disclosing documents that she reasonably believed had been improperly withheld from the court overseeing the Lindh prosecution and that also evidenced government misconduct, Ms. Radack was hounded out of the department and subjected to a criminal investigation. When the criminal investigation went nowhere, the department spitefully filed ethics complaints against Ms. Radack with the bar authorities of the District of Columbia and Maryland.
These referrals to Bar Counsel violated Ms. Radacks rights under the Privacy Act, as well as the departments own policies setting forth the circumstances under which such referrals will be made. Nevertheless, Ms. Radack has defended herself against these ethics charges on the grounds that her conduct was permitted under the applicable rules of professional conduct, as well as protected by federal law, specifically the Whistleblower Protection Act.
The Maryland Bar dismissed these spurious allegations months ago, but the District of Columbia Bar has done nothing with respect to the matter before it for an unconscionably long 18 months. The D.C. Bars open case against Ms. Radack hangs like a sword of Damocles over her professional career by making her essentially unemployable.
Bar Counsel should follow the example of the Maryland Bar by promptly issuing a final decision dismissing the charges against Ms. Radack as without merit, thus permitting Ms. Radack to get on with her life. Justice delayed is and has been justice denied.
Rick Robinson and Bruce Fein
Thank you for Sarah Kelloggs informative article, Confronting Global Warming, in the May issue.
I do believe, however, that the global warming skeptics, whatever their motive, have been successful in diverting attention away from the real issue.
Through the misuse of science, honest discussion has given way to a phony debate. Unfortunately for public health and the environment, the true conclusionthat we are causing irreversible damage to our atmosphere through greenhouse gas emissions and that, alone, should suffice as the basis for taking reparatory actionhas been replaced by a phony debate about the scientific uncertainty surrounding the amount of damage being caused by global warming or, indeed, whether global warming is causing any damage at all.
Carl S. Pavetto
The attorneys in your article, Confronting Global Warming, could have been twinned with an essay on lawyers who defend creationism: both rely upon faith to justify law. Especially telling was the quotation from Michigan attorney general Mike Cox, who opined, The law is always, and perhaps rightly so, behind the science on any issue. . . . Always? Perhaps?
Not in the case of global warming. Even the author concedes, The science is very close to being verifiable. . . . Just not yet.
But its not too soon for Leslie Carothers to get SEC intervention against carbon dioxide. Whatever it takes to advance the faith.
Some of the interviewees even seemed uncomfortable with the very premise that science should be involved in the debate. [G]lobal warming will remain an environmental and scientific theory that calls out for the kind of clarity and structure that only litigation, legislation, and regulation can provide, quoth Sarah Kellogg.
So litigation should drive science to a faith-based conclusion? Of course, the faith here is Gaia worship, which is ever so politically correct.
I do not know if the earth is warming or cooling. But neither do the scientists, and certainly not the lawyers profiled in your article. The one thing I am sure of is that the earths climate is changing. It always has, and its always will, no matter how many lawsuits are filed. Stasis is just not going to happen, despite all the litigation, legislation, and regulation the global warming advocates achieve.
Donald E. deKieffer
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