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March 13, 2012 2:22 pm

New Third in Command at DOJ Defended Man who Colluded with Al Qaeda

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The US Department of Justice (DoJ), Washington DC. Photo: GFDL.

Tony West—a lawyer who defended John Walker Lindh, convicted of colluding with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and taking up arms against U.S. troops—on Monday formally began his role as acting associate attorney general at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

President Barack Obama’s appointment of West as DOJ’s third-ranking employee did not require Senate confirmation. West’s job includes “litigating national security cases, such as habeas corpus petitions brought by detainees at Guantanamo Bay,” according to the DOJ.

“In any other Justice Department, in any other administration, representing the enemies of the United States would have been a disqualifier for a job inside DOJ setting detainee policy,” J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ official in the department’s civil rights division, told the Washington Free Beacon. “But in [Attorney General] Eric Holder’s DOJ, it seems to be the chief prerequisite.”

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