Monday, July 09, 2007

Paul Hackett's Dicey New Case

Former Congressional and Senatorial candidate Paul Hackett is back to practicing law and has a new, newsworthy client -- a former Marine who is under investigation for war crimes.

    An ex-Marine at the center of a probe into whether Camp Pendleton troops killed between five and 10 unarmed captives during a battle in Iraq is a hero who faced vicious enemies, his lawyer said Friday.

    Former Cpl. Ryan Weemer sought a lawyer earlier this year because he was concerned Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents wanted to question him, attorney Paul Hackett of Cincinnati said.

    "Weemer is an American hero," Hackett said. "Every American should be on their hands and knees thanking their god that there are men in the American military like Ryan Weemer doing the heavy lifting their country requires."

    Weemer, 24, is at the center of a military probe into the actions of his squad in Fallujah on or about Nov. 10, 2004.

    The investigation was launched after Weemer left the Marines and applied for a job with the Secret Service, according to a military writer, Nathaniel Helms, who interviewed him last year. Weemer described the killings of the suspected insurgents when asked before a polygraph test if he had ever participated in a wrongful death.
This happens just as I'm reading Connie Schultz's book about the Senate campaign. That brought back memories of what I saw as Hackett's shortcomings as a candidate, but this incident brings back a salient fact -- dude has huge brass. If he even considers going into politics again, he has to know a case like this is a political liability.

Hackett got lots of financial support from out-of-state activists who are well to the left of him politically. While some might be OK with the idea that everyone deserves representation, not all will. If the facts in this case go bad for Hackett's client, this case will be a major hurdle to ginning up that support again.

None of which, I'm sure, caused Hackett to hesitate. The core principles of his two professions converge in this case: Everyone is entitled to representation and Semper Fidelis. This would be a no-brainer for him.


Ben said...

i personally dont think it would hurt him if the case didnt go good. I find it hard to believe he is not going to run again at some point for political office.