The Big Lie About Guantanamo Lawyers

Jonathan Hafetz, co-editor of The Guantanamo Lawyers, explains at the Huffington Post:

The recent attacks on lawyers who have worked on behalf of Guantánamo detainees have employed the tactic of the “Big Lie”—that is, a lie so colossal that people will believe it because no one could possibly have the impudence to distort the truth so grossly.

The Big Lie here is that ethical and courageous lawyers who defended the Constitution by taking on unpopular cases of Guantánamo detainees are somehow tainted by the accusations against their clients, and that this taint should prevent them from serving honorably in the Justice Department.

This Big Lie is not only false; it threatens the core principle of our democracy that those accused of misdeeds by our government are entitled to due process and a lawyer to represent them. To appreciate how fundamental this principle is, one need only imagine an America in which lawyers refused to represent clients because they might be associated with the actions or beliefs for which those clients are accused.

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