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Who are Amrit Singh and Jameel Jaffer?
Who are Amrit Singh and Jameel Jaffer? They are attorneys for the ACLU which in the past has defended American Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan in the name of "freedom of expression." I found a story about them, with their pictures, in the New York Times for August 30, 2009. ( Scott Shane, "ACLU Lawyers Mine Documents for Truth About Detainees and Interrogations," New York Times). I was curious and decided to do a a cursory Google search. Although the information was sparse, I did learn that Jaffer is a Muslim born in Canada. According to Law.Com, Jaffer went to "Williams College, worked as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers, attended Cambridge University and then returned to the United States for Harvard Law School." Singh is a graduate of Cambridge, Oxford, and Yale Law School. She holds joint American and Indian citizenship and is the youngest daughter of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and is married to Barton Beebe, a professor at NYU School of Law. She co-authored with Jaffer the book, Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond , a documentary history.
I also learned from Der Spiegel, the German weekly news magazine, that Jaffer has complained that the scope of the Special Prosecutor's proposed investigation is too narrow. Apparently referring to Vice President Cheney and perhaps former President Bush, Jaffer was quoted as declaring that the probe should include "higher-ups." ("Obama Should Make Sure that Cheney is Brought to Justice") Googling a little further, I learned that Jaffer had successfully argued before the federal appeals court in New York City that a lower court ruling allowing the government to bar Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States should be reversed. The government argued that Ramadan had contributed to a charity with connections to Islamist terrorism. On August 18, 2009 Ramadan was fired by the City of Rotterdam and Rotterdam's Erasmus University from his positions supposedly aimed at "fostering integration" between immigrant Muslims and the indigenous Dutch population when Rotterdam authorities learned that Ramadan' s weekly program on Iran's Press TV was paid for by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iranian government. ("Rotterdam Fires Ramadan over Iranian TV Show," NRC Handelsblad, August 18, 2009)
I was perplexed. I asked myself, "Could it be both weird and extremely dangerous that, in the name of "human rights," two highly-trained, recent immigrants to the United States, one with dual citizenship, not only can place CIA agents and even a former President and Vice President of the United States in such jeopardy but can with impunity jeopardize the security of the United States? Could it be that by threatening to punish CIA agents for attempting to prevent a repetition of 9/11 or worse, Attorney General Holder was sending a very unpleasant message to those Americans responsible for interrogating terrorists? Even the New York Times carried a major op-ed piece protesting Holder's decision to place the CIA agents in "double jeopardy." (Joseph Finder, "The CIA in Double Jeopardy," New York Times, August 30, 2009.) On Saturday August 29, 2009, the Wall Street Journal carried a major article by Reuel Marc Gerecht, "Interrogating the CIA," outlining the permanent damage to national security the special counsel's probe is likely to engender.