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March 13, 2009
Defender of terrorist John Walker Lindh to get top Justice job
The San Francisco Chronicle refers to Tony West as a "high powered lawyer." I guess in San Francisco it isn't very exciting that the man President Obama has chosen as assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Civil Division is known for defending American Taliban John Walker Lindh:
While representing companies in civil and criminal cases, he has also served as a lawyer for Mark Klein, the former AT&T technician who testified that the telecommunications company was sharing customers' phone calls and e-mails with federal agents in the Bush administration's electronic surveillance program.
West was co-counsel for former Oakland Raiders receiver Marcus Williams, who in 2005 won $340,000 in damages from ex-teammate Bill Romanowski for punching him during practice.
He also took part in the defense of Lindh, the Marin County man who was a 20-year-old Taliban soldier in Afghanistan when he was captured in November 2001. Lindh pleaded guilty in 2002 to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
West, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Assembly seat in San Jose in 2000, has acknowledged that the Lindh case dampened his political prospects, but said it was the kind of work he believed in.
"I really believe that in working on that case, I was recommitting myself to those principles of due process, fairness - things that separate us from most nations in the world," he told The Chronicle in an interview last year.
With that kind of moral blindness, he should fit right in at our Justice Department.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky