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“Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice” is the motto of the American Bar Association, and among the association’s four stated goals, one is to “advance the rule of law.” Toward this goal, the ABA is committed to “hold governments accountable under law,” “assure meaningful access to justice for all persons,” and “preserve the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary.”
Given these pledges, it may seem odd that the association’s newly appointed president has worked as both a lawyer and lobbyist for some of the world’s most repressive regimes, as well as institutions and corporations connected to them. Nonetheless, it is true: Carolyn Lamm, a D.C.-based corporate attorney who was named ABA president in August, has registered as a lobbyist in the past for such authoritarian states as Libya and Zaire. A longtime partner at the prestigious international firm White & Case, Lamm has also had close ties in recent years to entities associated with the tyrannical government of Uzbekistan and its ruling family, working, for example, as the legal counsel of Zeromax, a massive Swiss-registered company widely reported to be controlled by Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of Uzbekistan’s authoritarian President Islam Karimov.
Lamm declined to comment for this story, and an ABA spokeswoman stated in an email refusing to comment that “she is comfortable that her work with a wide range of clients around the world speaks for itself.”
Yes, it does.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature