John Holbo has a really interesting post dismantling the logic of conservatives who aren't content merely to paint their opponents as wrong but as active participants in a conspiracy to destroy America. Holbo draws particular attention to Andy McCarthy's latest book, which alleges a vast conspiracy between "The Left" and al-Qaeda to destroy the Constitution and freedom by, among other things, defending the legal rights of people accused of terrorism.
Holbo's post should really be read in full, so I won't excerpt it here. But I do want to point out one flaw in the right-wing's conspiracy theory charging that support for the rule of law is evidence of terrorist sympathies -- a great deal of the lawyers who represent or have represented Guantanamo Bay detainees are Jewish. Not Jewish by birth, or culturally Jewish, but observant, even Zionist, Jews.
Now, to accept McCarthy's premise, one has to believe that these Jewish lawyers aren't really Jews but are secretly anti-Semites pretending to be Jews or possibly self-hating Jews looking to aid in the annihilation of the Jewish people by, um -- making sure the U.S. government is imprisoning and punishing actual terrorists. That sounds absurd, although I'm guessing McCarthy's never really thought about it before. Maybe he addresses this in his book -- I'd be interested to see how he handles it.
The obvious explanation for this phenomenon of course is that Jews are (a) mostly liberals who believe in due process and (b) a historically persecuted group that gets anxious about groups of people being singled out and denied basic legal rights.
Anyway, the point of this post is that the prominence of Jewish lawyers among those defending the legal rights of terror suspects is one of the questions that McCarthy might have considered before alleging this entire terrorism-liberalism axis, if he weren't living life in a red haze subsisting on a diet of sour grapes and spilt milk.
-- A. Serwer
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