I have often said--only half jokingly--that American citizens with law degrees have done more damage to this country than all of our foreign enemies put together. I don't mean to suggest that all lawyers are bad, but there are more than a few that seem unaware of, or unconcerned with the damage they are doing.
Much of the damage has been obvious for years. Ambulance chasers have filed frivolous lawsuits that have bogged down the courts and driven up the cost of everything from insurance to healthcare. Some criminal attorneys (is that redundant?) seem to think that there is a constitutional right to get away with a crime. Now we have class action suits where the lawyers get millions, while the victims get a few dollars woth of coupons.
The war on terrorism has given us a whole new threat from our lawyers. Many are now arguing that terrorists that have been captured overseas deserve to be treated like US citizens who have been arrested. How can we fight and win a war if the people we capture on the battlefield have to be treated like drunk drivers, drug dealers, and shoplifters? Imagine this potential scenario:
ALLIED FORCES IN TROUBLE
August 6, 1944
NORMANDY, France--Just two months after landing here, Allied troops find themselves back on the Normandy coast, caught between the English Channel and a fierce German counteroffensive. The counteroffensive is spearheaded by four reconstituted German Panzer divisions. The divisions were reconstituted when POW's were released by Allied Forces. The release was ordered last month by the US 9th Circuit Court. In its decision, the court cited the failure on the part of Allied troops to provide the POW's with access to legal representation.
"War or no war, there is no excuse for not following proper legal procedures" said Morris Q. Broadbottom, attorney for the POW's.
At a press conference in London yesterday, General Eisenhower predicted that Allied Forces would prevail. "Our troops are holding their own, and I have no doubt that we'll be pushing the Germans all the way back to Berlin in no time, once we get those paratroopers back in the game" Eisenhower told reporters.
The paratroopers the General was referring to are the members of several airborne divisions that were withdrawn from Europe last month due to a court order. The troops are currently scheduled to testify before a grand jury about rumors that some German POW's were shot in the first few days after the Allied invasion of Normandy. There is no word on when the grand jury procedings will conclude.
"While I'm sure we all take the Nazi threat seriously, it should not be used as an excuse to short-circuit the legal system" said attorney Broadbottom.
Thankfully, the United States didn't face this threat from within during World War II. Unfortunately, it looks like we're facing it today. Let's hope we win.