NACDL President Calls for Asst. Sec. Stimson’s Resignation
Washington, DC (January 15, 2007) -- Martin S. Pinales, President of the preeminent organization representing the nation’s criminal defense lawyers today released a letter sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates calling for the dismissal of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles D. “Cully” Stimson. Mr. Pinales was reacting to Mr. Stimson’s recent characterization of the pro bono representation provided to the Guantanamo detainees by leading law firms as “shocking” and suggested that “corporate CEOs are going to make those firms choose between representing terrorists and representing reputable firms.”
Mr. Pinales wrote that “Mr. Stimson’s remarks constitute a violation of numerous ethical standards governing the legal profession and run counter to the core democratic principles for which American soldiers are fighting and dying.” Rather than being singled out for excoriation, Mr. Pinales said that the array of lawyers who have volunteered to assist the detainees, including not just large firms, but also public defenders and small and solo practitioners, “deserve the thanks of the nation” for “upholding the highest standards of the legal profession.” Noting that Mr. Stimson’s attempt to undermine the representation of the detainees is prejudicial to the administration of justice, Mr. Pinales rejected as a “wholly inadequate response” the statement by a Pentagon spokesman that Mr. Stimson was not speaking for the administration. “The Department of Defense should not tolerate such behavior by any of its personnel, let alone a high ranking official with responsibility for the Guantanamo detainees.”
To read Pinales'' letter, click here.