Obama’s Nominee to Justice Dept. Was a Terrorist’s Lawyer


By: Warner Todd Huston

On March 9, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on one of Barack Obama’s latest nominees. This time it was to assess the suitability of Tony West, Obama’s nominee for the assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division. Things went “smoothly” according to the San Jose Mercury News, also publishing a nice bio of West. The Washington Post merely mentioned the hearing was “notable.” Similarly the East Bay Express simply makes mention of the hearing having occurred. Apparently there was nothing of interest in West’s nomination.

Curiously enough, though, not one of these brief reports mention that Tony West was “American Taliban” terrorist John Walker Lindh’s defense lawyer. Another key bit of info left out of these announcements was that Tony West raised $65 million for Obama’s presidential campaign. Money well spent if it gets a cushy government job, I suppose.

In fact, for many of us, it took James Lileks to remind us all that West was Lindh’s lawyer (H/T HotAir.com). It took Lileks because none of the media bothered to make the connection.

As Lileks says, West was a pretty good lawyer. Did well for his client. Made the case as a good defense lawyer should that his client is innocent and, in this case, not a terrorist. Maybe West is a perfectly competent lawyer?

But here is the main point. This appointment of a terrorist’s defense lawyer to the Department of Justice announces that Barack Obama is in favor of a more lenient stance on terrorists. As Lileks says, it is evidence of a going back to 9/10 thinking. Also, since the Old Media have not made a single peep about this, it announces to the world that neither the crimes of 9/11 nor terrorism are any longer of interest to those that make the news. Says Lileks, “It just seems like one of those things that might have stuck out, once upon a time.”

So, in a era when most of us still acutely feel that Islamic terrorism is an important worry that should still feature prominently in our planning, Barack Obama is appointing a terrorist’s lawyer to one of the very agencies that is supposed to protect us all.

And the Old Media does not find this fact the least bit interesting.

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