When America marches off to war, do we want lawyers on the front line? OK, I can already hear the thunderous response: 'Yes! Put those tassel-loafered shysters out there as cannon fodder!" But Jim Pinkerton, conservative columnist at Newsday and TCS, was making a more profound point this morning when he and Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News made their 'Long & Short' appearance on Fox & Friends Weekend.
The subject was the recent Supreme Court ruling that it is impermissible to subject Gitmo prisoners to military tribunals. In fairness, short-'n-liberal Ellen Ratner did stop short of suggesting they should have full US-style trials. But she predictably applauded the ruling, advocating significantly expanded due process for the detainees.
That's when long-'n-conservative Pinkerton weighed in: "It's not like we have access to evidence. What are we going to do - go to Afghanistan and find witnesses and stuff and find out if they're guilty or not?"
As Pinkerton observed earlier in the conversation:
"It was probably a mistake to ever bring them out of Aghanistan and Iraq to begin with, to take them to US soil . . . so that people like Ellen can get their hooks in them. I think we're having a test. Can we win a war with lawyers as the key force on the American side?"