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E.J. Dionne: 'I Hate This Term Lawyered Up'

I'm with E.J. Dionne who made a great point on Meet the Press that we don't hear often enough on these bobble head shows. I'm sick to death of it too

I'm with E.J. Dionne who made a great point on Meet the Press that we don't hear often enough on these bobble head shows. I'm sick to death of it too and these jokers who are more than happy to toss someone else's civil rights away would be the first ones demanding lawyers for themselves if they were accused of a crime. Katy Kay made a good point as well. This is all about politics because none of these people were harping about the terrorists who were tried in civilian courts when George Bush was still president.

MR. DIONNE: I just want to say, I just want to say I, I just hate this term "lawyered up." Because if you are accused of a crime and you are innocent, you want a lawyer to defend your innocence. And we totally forget that we have civil liberties protections not only to protect the guilty but to protect innocent people. And this is...

GREGORY: But E.J., this is not just an ideological argument. There is a reality that...

DIONNE: Well, I'm not making an ideological argument. I'm making an argument about...

GREGORY: No, no, but you're saying you don't like the term "lawyered up."

DIONNE: ...what a term that's...

GREGORY: There is--even the attorney general is making the point--it's not a question just of civil liberties, it's an issue of there are intelligence values, there are--there is valuable intelligence that you get from people who are true enemies of the United States who are not just, you know, suspects in a criminal trial. Even the attorney general recognized back in 2002 in the--for the purpose of interrogation, sometimes lawyers are an impediment. He's acknowledging here that Miranda is sometimes an impediment to ultimately making the, the best case and also getting the intelligence information you need.

DIONNE: And what I objected to is a term, "lawyered up," which is used over and over again to imply that any kind of use of normal judicial process, which is designed to protect innocence, sort of pushes us so far down the line that we forget why we have these protections in the first place.

BROOKS: Yeah, but I, I wasn't being...

DIONNE: Yes, this is a--this is--I said right at the outset, protecting liberty and protecting ourselves, this is a tough matter when it comes to terrorism. But we should not throw out our rights with sort of the, the--blithely, which is the way a term like "lawyered up," I think that's imposed.

KAY: And that...

BROOKS: No, no, nobody's talking, nobody's talking about throwing out their rights. But we do have a balance here. We have a tension, a tension between the rights of the individual and the safety of the country, and that tension cannot be settled abstractly from Washington from far away. It's context by context, case by case. And we have people with authorities, and at some point you just have to trust the people with authorities to make the decisions...

KAY: But, David...

BROOKS: ...based on that specific context.

KAY: ...some of, some of this is intensely political. Look, President Bush tried hundreds of terror suspects in civilian courts. He tried Zacarias Moussaoui, he tried Richard Reid in civilian courts. Nobody ever criticized his administration, either from the left or the right, for using civilian courts. Now here's President Obama who, perhaps because Democrats are--always seem to be softer on terror, and that is a very big issue in this country, can--is even being criticized by Democrats for using civilian courts. It's a double standard.

BROOKS: Yeah, I'm not--listen, I'm defending the Obama administration today because the Obama administration is moving in the right direction, away from overly strict and abstract rules into some sort of local flexibility.

GREGORY: Let, let--can--I just want to, I want to, I want to get the issue of the Supreme Court here...

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