The man who was Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration whose Starr Report led to the impeachment of President Clinton went after Liz Cheney’s “Keep America Safe” for attacking justice department lawyers who have defended detainees. Cheney, who founded the group with Bill Kristol, referred to these attorneys as the al Qaeda Seven and has been rebuked by her own conservative brethren for doing so. Ken Starr went to an unlikely venue, MSNBC’s “Countdown”, and spoke with guest host Lawrence O’Donnell about who wrong it is to use this language against those who uphold our Constitution.
Starr explained the role of lawyers in the American justice system and why it’s considered appropriate for them to work in defense of an accused criminal. He drew both literary analogies, pointing out the judicial responsibilities felt by Atticus Finch, and historic comparisons, explaining how John Adams was once called upon to defend the British Redcoats in a court of law. As for the specific message being spread by Cheney and her organization, Keep America Safe, Starr did not mince words.
“This was very unwise, and really and out-of-bounds characterization and challenge to good, honorable lawyers.”