The latest Blackwater USA controversy has caused much angst among critics in the blogosphere, several of whom have been making their case by favorably quoting a New York lawyer who has spent more than three decades defending terrorists.
The lawyer, Michael Ratner (pictured), sued the United States government on behalf of alleged terrorists being detained at Guantanamo, bringing about the Supreme Court decision that gave the terrorists the protection of the United States Constitution. Since the 9/11 attacks he has sued the U.S. on at least nine occasions to weaken counterterrorism legislation. Ratner's group is called the Center for Constitutional Rights.
An occasional collaborator with Blackwater critic Jeremy Scahill, Ratner is an admitted supporter of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Ratner and lawyers in the organization he leads have represented or advocated for a rogue's gallery of cop-killers and enemies of the United States. Over the years they include:
Jose Padilla, the convicted al Qaeda "dirty bomb" conspirator;
Mumia Abu-Jamal, a convicted cop killer;
Leonard Peltier, convicted of murdering two FBI agents;
Clayton Lonetree, a former Marine convicted of spying for the Soviet KGB;
Victor Manuel Gerena, a Puerto Rican terrorist now hiding in Cuba;
Kurt Groenwald, a German Red Army Faktion (Baader-Meinhof Gang) terrorist;
Yu Kikamura, a Japanese Red Army terrorist working for Libya;
H. Rap Brown, a convicted cop killer;
Abdul Majid and Basheer Hameed, both convicted cop killers;
Assata Shakur (aka Joanne Chesimard), a convicted cop killer;
William Morales, a Puerto Rican convicted terrorist bomber;
Mousa Abu Marzook, a leader of HAMAS;
Mazin Assi, a Palestinian convicted of bombing a Bronx synagogue;
Omar Abdel Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh," a spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad who was convicted of being behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York;
Lynne Stewart, convicted of aiding Omar Abdel Rahman;
Wilfred Burchett, a journalist and KGB agent.