Saturday, August 09, 2003

Defending the Saudis

Mark Kleiman is upset that James Baker's law firm is defending the Saudi Prince Sultan against a 9/11 related lawsuit. Apparently many of his lawyer friends aren't convinced, believing that everyone's entitled to a defense. You know, even a serial killer of children should have the best possible defense. I agree with that part of the argument, but I don't understand why Mark isn't emphasizing the strongest part of his argument. James Baker isn't just a lawyer, he's a former secretary of state. Buying his services isn't simply buying a good lawyer, it's buying a lawyer with connections. We all know what Baker's law firm really getting paid for, and it isn't his skill in the courtroom. There's something hideously unseemly about it.

I wouldn't blink over most high profile attorneys taking such a case. But, Baker is an intimate of the Bush family and a former Secretary of State. Common sense should dictate that he doesn't get within 1000 miles of this case.