Last Friday’s standing-room only hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was among the most dramatic I’ve witnessed. There was outrage – outrage not just from me as I declared the State Department “AWOL” in our quest to free an American Pastor, Saeed Abedini — a U.S. citizen — captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard […]
Tony West served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Division and has now been named to acting associate attorney general.
What you may not know, though, is that West represented convicted terrorist John Walker Lindh, who fought on behalf of the Taliban and aided Al Qaeda. He’s now serving a 20-year prison sentence after being captured in Afghanistan in 2001. And, what’s more, not only did West represent Lindh, but his firm was also involved in two other defense cases for terrorists working against the U.S.
That’s fine. Attorneys represent controversial clients all the time. But here’s the problem. In his new post as the number 3 person at DOJ, West is actually responsible for shaping policy at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO), where detainees like Lindh are held.
In a sense, that’s like the fox guarding the chicken house. An advocate for an accused and convicted Taliban terrorist now setting policy on how the U.S. handles detainees at GITMO.
I expressed my concerns about this latest appointment today in an interview with Megyn Kelly on FOX News.
West’s ties to defending Al Qaeda terrorist John Walker Lindh don’t get a lot of media attention. One of the reasons is because Holder himself isn’t interested in talking about the past. In fact, the Attorney General ignored that important fact when introducing West as his new number 3 at DOJ.
Not a word about his work of defending Lindh. Not a word on how that will or will not influence West in his new role as the nation’s top decision maker when it comes to GITMO policy.
I’m not questioning West’s legal skills or ethics. I am questioning Holder’s decision to promote this attorney – without public debate or discussion – or even a mention of his past.