Another Bush Official Defends Smeared DoJ Lawyers.

John Bellinger III, a former legal adviser to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and currently a partner at the law firm of Arnold and Porter, defended the nine Department of Justice lawyers who have been accused of being terrorist sympathizers by Liz Cheney's group, Keep America Safe.

“I think it’s unfortunate that these individuals are being criticized for their past representation. It reflects the politicization and the polarization of terrorism issues," Bellinger said. "Neither Republicans nor Democrats should be attacking officials in each other’s administrations based solely on the clients they have represented in the past.”

“We’ve had a long-standing tradition in our country for lawyers to represent unpopular causes, and they shouldn’t be attacked for doing so," Bellinger added.

Earlier today Peter D. Keisler, who was head of the Civil Division of the Justice Department under the Bush administration, also defended the so-called al-Qaeda Seven in an interview with The New York Times.

-- A. Serwer

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