Instead of considering this a political controversy, let's make it personal. Forget Liz Cheney and Fox News. Let's suppose you are charged with a violent felony and face years in prison. You'd sure want an attorney. Right? The best you can get.
But let's suppose the particular crime is one that everyone despises so much that they assume anyone accused of it is guilty and deserves the harshest treatment...including you.
Even though they claim to reject anything that could be construed as a kangaroo court, this time, the people do not believe you deserve a vigorous legal defense in court, and in fact they condemn any lawyer who would represent you.
They don't consider the possibility they could be railroaded if they ran seriously afoul of the wrong law and they couldn't get a decent attorney because all had been intimidated by the possibility they would be vilified if they took on cases that were unpopular.
Even though the legal profession considers the universal right to a vigorous defense to be a grand tradition, fundamental to the sacred presumption of innocence, no lawyer would take you on as a client, out of fear he or she would be hounded by political opportunists for the rest of his or her career.
It's obvious where this is going and for some the reaction is "this is different." "After all," they're saying, "I'm not a terrorist. I deserve my rights. They don't. A lawyer should be proud to represent me but ashamed to defend them. Those who do must be identified and rooted out."
That describes the rationale of Liz's lynch mob. Through her "Keep America Safe" faux organization, which could be better described as "Keep America Safe for Demagoguery," Liz Cheney, the daughter-of Dick, is demonstrating that when it comes to dangerous fear-mongering and an authoritarian view of government, her father can be proud of his kid.
With her inflammatory crusade to identify the so-called "al-Qaeda Seven" she continues the grand tradition of cheap shot extremism that is so effectively employed by him and all the other modern-day Joe McCarthys.
For those who hadn't detected the foul odor of this latest stench, the Cheney "al-Qaeda Seven" are seven lawyers now employed by the Obama Justice Department who, in private practice beforehand, participated in the legal defenses of various detainees. They were often successful in regaining some rudimentary rights denied by the Bush administration run by Daddy Warbucks.
They thought they could be proud of their work. How naive! Daughter Warbucks proclaims they should be drummed out of Justice for their obvious lack of patriotism. As we're seeing, it's not necessarily obvious to many others in the profession. Of all stripes . Among those objecting are a lot of out-and-out conservatives, like Ken Starr.
What sets them apart from the people Cheney is riling up is that they have at least half-a-mind, as opposed to those who would pay any attention to this brand of mindlessness. But she is no dummy, and no fool. She recognizes a good piece of self-promotion when she finds one.
It would be easy to suggest that maybe her organization should be closed down by officials, shut down and shut up. Of course, that can't happen, couldn't happen, because of that thing we call the First Amendment. It's in the same Constitution as the Sixth Amendment which spells out the accused's right to have the "Assistance of Counsel for his defense."
Not some accused. All. You, me, and them, the widely hated "detainees". If they lose their legal protection because their protectors are scared away, it's only a matter of time before we lose ours.
Those who have provided them the "Assistance of Counsel" should be celebrated not harassed by the Liz Cheneys of this world. The lawyers are maintaining our freedoms. Cheney are her ilk would take them away.