I doubt that Charles "Cully" Stimson is familiar with the particulars of the 1770 Boston Massacre. During an interview broadcast Thursday on Federal News Radio, Stimson, who is a lawyer, named and criticized several U.S. law firms that have represented "enemy combatants" detained at the Guatanamo Bay base.
According to a Washington Post editorial on Friday, Stimson challenged the heads of major corporations to find out if their legal firms were involved in defending detainees. He predicted:
"I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms are representing the very terrorists who hit their bottom line back in 2001, those CEOs are going to make those law firms choose between representing terrorists or representing reputable firms."
Stimson, who has the pacific-sounding title of "deputy assistant secretary of defense of detainee affairs," is a former U.S. attorney and graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 1992. But I think he needs to pick up a copy of David McCullough's wonderful biography of John Adams. There he would learn that Adams, a committed patriot and later a leading proponent of independence from Great Britain, served as the defense counsel for the redcoat soldiers and officer accused of shooting down five colonists. Despite the fervor for British blood in the streets of Boston, Adams took the case because he believed the soldiers deserved a fair trial, and that it was his duty as a lawyer to provide his services when asked. Now if Cully Stimson believes that John Adams is a bad role model for lawyers and patriotic Americans, he should say so directly. Otherwise he shows his ignorance of both his profession and his country's great history.