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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 18, 2009 / 27 Sivan 5769

How to become a civil libertarian

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are no legal grounds for prosecuting Bush administration lawyers who supported the use of enhanced interrogation techniques to thwart planned terrorist attacks, so civil libertarians have the tort system to try to ruin Bush lawyers.


They may succeed.


Last week, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco backed a complaint filed by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla and his mother against former White House Office of Legal Counsel John Yoo for writing memos that allegedly led to Padilla's illegal imprisonment and treatment during the three-plus years that Padilla was jailed as an enemy combatant.


You are part of the lawsuit, too.


A Department of Justice lawyer is representing Yoo. Should Padilla prevail, the federal government could end up paying the damages — the suit asks for a mere $1 now, but that could change — and worse, legal fees. If Padilla loses, then it's not as if his lifestyle in federal prison — where he is serving a 17-year sentence — will change.


But there's another price. This sort of lawsuit could have a chilling effect on government lawyers. And not just with Republican administrations. The United States is at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Padilla can ruin Yoo, then what is to keep future detainees from going after Obama lawyers?


It won't take Obama lawyers long to realize that the safest thing for them to advise the administration would be to not change anything.


Harvard law professor Detlev Vagts — a harsh critic of the Yoo memos — told me that lawyers do not enjoy unfettered immunity, but: "There are problems about whether you can say that Yoo's memo had any causative connection with the way Padilla was treated."


While Judge White wrote that, at this stage of litigation, the court must accept Padilla's allegations of mistreatment — being detained illegally, confined in painful stress positions, and threatened with death — "as true." But none of the above has been proved in a court of law.


John Eastman, law school dean at Chapman University in Orange County, where Yoo has taught for the past year, is appalled. If Padilla wins, he fears that "everybody in prison can sue the lawyers who gave advice to the sheriff for making the arrest."


Most important, Eastman said, "The notion that someone is going to be held civilly liable for giving legal advice that other people didn't like is preposterous."


While Yoo doesn't face possible jail time, if this case goes to court, he will have to devote himself full-time to defending himself — and if he has to shoulder his legal costs, he risks financial ruin.


"A government official who acts in a gray area is immune from suit," Padilla's attorney Jonathan Freiman responded. "It's only when an official violates a clearly established law that he has to answer for what he's done. And if he's about to violate a clear law, he 'should be made to hesitate.' Those are the Supreme Court's words, not mine."


The rub: Lawyers always say that such lawsuits are narrow, then over the years, others push to expand what was once a tiny tort. The law applies in unintended ways as the stakes escalate and partisans use the courts for payback. After a while, smart lawyers on both sides of the aisle will be more timid about everything. It will be change you can't believe in.


The only sure outcome? Taxpayers get stuck with the bill.


And for what? So that critics can ruin a man who was trying to save American lives, while ignoring the crimes of a man who wanted to take lives.


It's true, the feds failed to prosecute Padilla for plotting with al-Qaida to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States because much of the evidence against him was obtained through inadmissible harsh interrogations.


Still, the career-criminal-turned-would-be jihadist was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people overseas. Prosecutors produced a form he filled out in 2000 when he attended al-Qaida training camp.


Fortunately, he got caught. So now he gets to play the role of civil libertarian.

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© 2009, Creators Syndicate

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