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July 25, 2002

Civil Liberties and the Left

Avedon Carol ridicules conservatives for claiming a franchise on civil liberities. Carol highlights the ACLU but I would note that my own organization, the National Lawyers Guild, has a history of defiance of government attacks on liberties far more extensive (sometimes to the point of making even me queasy).

When Robert Welch denounced Joe McCarthy for "having no shame", he was defending a young legal aide who was a member of the National Lawyers Guild, then under attack for its defense of leftwingers who even the ACLU often did not have the courage to defend. The new war on terrorism is throwing up new challenges as the government targets the lawyers who defend Islamic militants in court- for those unfamiliar with the case, see the government's indictment of Lynne Stewart, the lawyer for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman of the 1993 WTC bombing. No one has any love lost on the shiek but there is a chill when the governmet makes it clear that representing unpopular clients mean that the lawyer's liberty becomes in danger.

Posted by Nathan at July 25, 2002 08:53 AM

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Well, I highlighted the ACLU because it is very well known AND because it's the organization I so frequently have heard conservatives attack for it's nasty civil liberties-defending activities. I can't remember the last time I heard a conservative attack - or even acknowledge the existence of - the NLG in my presence.

Posted by: Avedon at July 26, 2002 12:27 AM

Don't forget about security. Secureroot.org

Posted by: Dudley at July 6, 2004 09:00 AM

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