Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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May 3, 2007

I’ve always been interested in how all the stories (read: scandals) coming out of the Bush administration interweave.And I’m especially interested in internecine ideological fights, both because I derive a perverse sense of satisfaction watching hardnose neoconservative lawyers getting their comeuppance (generally from the sort of last boy scout-style dedicated Republican prosecutor with a boatload of integrity), and because they really do give me a sense that there is at least some introspective debate going on at the top.As you probably know, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified today in the House in connection with the ongoing Congressional inquiry into the US Attorney firings. Comey heaped praise on all but one of the eight USAs at the center of the whirlwind.Now, I realize this is a little outside my bailiwick, but I worked at the ACLU as a press officer during the heyday of the Ashcroft-Comey (previously Ashcroft-Thompson) DOJ, and I can remember Mr. Comey being a loyal pitbull for the organization (especially on things like the Patriot Act).But, later, I read this article in Newsweek describing how, behind the scenes, Comey and Jack Goldsmith at the Office of Legal Counsel led something of a quiet revolution against hardliners at the White House.Again, it’s unclear just how this feeds into Gitmo, torture, rendition, habeas corpus and the various scoops and shovels in my private sandbox here. But, I’d be extremely curious to hear how these apparently stand-up former administration lawyers view the disaster that is the post-9/11 military detention policy. My guess (though they probably wouldn’t say it publicly) is that they don’t particularly care for the David Addington-esque flair for damning the torpedoes on civil liberties.

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