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Senator Lindsey Graham believes suspected terrorists are entitled to legal representation—except when they aren’t. Confused? So is Sen. Graham. On the one hand he condemns the Keep America Scared Safe ad which refers to Justice Department lawyers who defended terrorism suspects as the “al-Qaeda 7”:

“Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services and Judiciary Committees, told The Cable Tuesday that the Cheney-Kristol ad was inappropriate and unfairly demonized DOJ lawyers for doing a noble public service by defending unpopular suspects.

“I’ve been a military lawyer for almost 30 years, I represented people as a defense attorney in the military that were charged with some pretty horrific acts, and I gave them my all,” said Graham. “This system of justice that we’re so proud of in America requires the unpopular to have an advocate and every time a defense lawyer fights to make the government do their job, that defense lawyer has made us all safer.”

On the other hand, Sen. Graham is “looking for a legal framework” by which suspected terrorists can be indefinitely detained:

“There has to be some type of statute– and he’s been clear on that — for indefinite detention,” [Graham spokesman Kevin] Bishop said…Primarily, the system Graham is designing is set up for handling the Obama administration’s so-called “Fifth Category” of detainees that a Justice Department task force recommended against charging and releasing. “What do you do with them? What type of system do you have to hold them indefinitely?” Bishop said. “What type of system do you establish where we can ensure that we’re looking back at their cases; that we are holding them; we still determine that they are enemy combatants; they’re too dangerous to release; but we also aren’t going to try them in either a military or a civilian court.” So there has to be a system for that, and that’s why Senator Graham is looking for a legal framework.”

There are countries where that “type of system” exists, Mr. Bishop. Places named Iran…and China…and North Korea. Are they now our roles models for jurisprudence?

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