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Profile: Rena Steinzor

 
  

Positions that Rena Steinzor has held:

  • Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, December 2003

   “It puts the fox in charge of the chicken coop.” [Baltimore Sun, 12/19/2003]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

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Rena Steinzor actively participated in the following events:

 
  

September 2001      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       In the weeks following 9/11, government lawyers begin to formulate a legal response to the newly perceived threat of terrorism. Four related issues are at hand: forceful prevention, detention, prosecution, and interrogation. What degree of force can the government employ to prevent acts of terrorism or apprehend suspected terrorists? How and where can it best detain terrorists if captured? How can it best bring them to trial? And how can it best obtain information from them on terrorist organizations and plots? These questions are handled in a new atmosphere that is more tolerant towards flexible interpretations of the law. Bradford Berenson, an associate White House counsel at this time, later recalls: “Legally, the watchword became ‘forward-leaning’ by which everybody meant: ‘We want to be aggressive. We want to take risks.’ ” [New York Times, 10/24/2004] This attitude is seemingly in line with the president's thinking. Richard C. Clarke, the White House chief of counter-terrorism, will later recall President George W. Bush saying, “I don't care what the international lawyers say. We are going to kick some ass” (see (9:00 p.m.)). [Clarke, 2004, pp 23-24] At the center of legal reconstruction work are Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, his deputy Timothy E. Flanigan, and David S. Addington, legal counsel to Vice President Cheney. [New York Times, 12/19/2004] They will find a helpful hand in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), most notably its head, Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee [Los Angeles Times, 6/10/2004] and his deputies John C. Yoo [New York Times, 8/15/2004] and Patrick F. Philbin. Most of the top government lawyers dwell in fairly conservative circles, with many being a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal fraternity. Some have clerked for conservative Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, whose ruling effectively lead to the presidency being awarded to George W. Bush after the 2000 presidential election. [New York Times, 10/24/2004] Others worked for Judge Lawrence H. Silberman, who set up secret contacts with the Iranian government under President Reagan leading to the Iran-Contra scandal, and who advised on pursuing allegations of sexual misconduct by President Clinton. [Inter Press Service, 2/06/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick F. Philbin, John C. Yoo, Alberto R. Gonzales, Joan Claybrook, Bradford Berenson, Alan M. Dershowitz, Richard A. Clarke, Rena Steinzor, Jay S. Bybee
          

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