In an ad today, Liz Cheney’s group “Keep America Safe” implies that lawyers who defended the constitutional rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to seek habeas corpus relief sympathize with terrorists, and dubs DOJ lawyers who defended those individuals as “The Al Qaeda Seven.”
People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
“The content of this ad is repugnant. To imply that people who defend the Constitutional right of detainees to seek habeas corpus relief are aligned with Al Qaeda is preposterous and offensive. All Americans have a responsibility to defend the core values of the Constitution, and that some of the lawyers who stood up for those values are now in the Department of Justice is a credit to President Obama and Attorney General Holder.
“If Liz Cheney wants to talk about ‘keeping America safe,’ perhaps she should be reminded of the fact that her father, as Vice President, led the spectacularly flawed response to 9-11, which profoundly imperiled our safety and our international reputation. She has done little but attack others to defend his disastrous legacy. Her credibility on this issue is virtually non-existent.
“Joseph McCarthy himself couldn’t have done a better job of using fear and insinuations to smear his political enemies. Most Americans understand that McCarthyism was a shameful chapter in American history, but the Cheney wing of the Republican Party seems to have embraced Senator McCarthy’s utter lack of shame.
“Senator McCarthy’s campaign of smears and fear mongering ended when Joseph Welch asked ‘At long last, have you left no sense of decency?’ Someone should ask Liz Cheney the same question.”
People For the American Way recently released “Rise of the New McCarthyism,” a report on the resurgence of McCarthy-like tactics among right-wing activists.