As Glenn Greenwald noted, CNN ran a segment yesterday hosted by Wolf Blitzer in which the network casually put forth the notion that Justice Department lawyers who formerly represented suspected terror detainees were somehow disloyal. Echoing almost verbatim the McCarthyist smears of Liz Cheney's Keep America Safe, CNN ran chyrons stating "HAPPENING NOW, DEPARTMENT OF JIHAD?" and "Are Justice Department Lawyers Disloyal?"
During the segment, CNN failed to note that the Bush administration hired lawyers who had represented detainees, as had Rudy Giuliani's law firm. Criticism of the smear campaign from former Bush officials was also ignored.
Of course, if the lawyers who did work on behalf of suspected terror detainees are traitors, as CNN suggests, then CNN is also suspect. CNN's parent company Time Warner has retained the services of the law firm Kiyemba v. Obama e involving the 13 Chinese Uighurs at Guantanamo Bay who were determined not to be enemy combatants.
They filed an amicus brief in that case as part of their commitment to "providing personal pro bono assistance to individuals in need of legal
representation across a broad range of constitutional, civil and human
interest areas," according to their Web site. Now, of course, according to the Justice Department, 30 of the top 54 law firms in the country did such work, so maybe there's nothing sinister here. In fact, to me it seemed like honorable work at first, but that was before CNN's report yesterday. Blitzer's segment was frightening: How can we be sure their parent company -- and therefore CNN -- isn't working with the enemy? Would it be irresponsible to speculate? Based on Blitzer's segment yesterday, it would be irresponsible not to.
Given that CNN's parent company Time Warner retained the services of a law firm that, in the words of Keep America Safe spokesperson Michael Goldfarb, "propagandized on behalf of our enemies, engaging in a worldwide smear campaign against the CIA, the U.S. military and the United States itself while we are at war," can we really trust CNN? Aren't their loyalties just as suspect as the "al-Qaeda Seven"? Whose side are they on? Whose values do they share?
Happening now: Is CNN disloyal? Are they the Jihad News Network? Developing...
-- A. Serwer
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