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Friday, September 7, 2007

Defense lawyers say we're losing the war on terror

The United States is losing the war on terror, at least according to 50 defense attorneys who have litigated terror cases since 9/11.

The attorneys were interviewed by the ABA Journal, which recently published the results of its poll in a special issue of the magazine.

In addition to interviewing defense lawyers, the Journal sought the opinions of 50 federal prosecutors who have handled terrorism cases since the terrorist attacks. Apparently, however, a Department of Justice official told them not to participate in the interviews.

The defense attorneys who talked to the Journal gave the U.S. justice system -- including the executive, legislative and judicial branches -- an average grade of “D+” in the war on terror.

The Journal also reports that only 30 percent of the defense lawyers said terrorism cases brought in the federal courts since 9/11 have made the United States safer; 58 percent said they have not. Just 14 percent said terrorism laws passed by Congress since 9/11 have made the United States safer; 80 percent said they have not.

Interestingly, 59 percent of the defense attorneys said they would be willing to take on the case of “Public Enemy Number One,” Osama bin Laden, while 23 percent said they would not.

The entire September issue of the ABA Journal, which focuses on the legal profession’s role in the war on terror, is available free online at www.abajournal.com.

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