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NLG: The Legal Fifth Column By: Jesse Rigsby
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 25, 2003


The National Lawyers Guild (NLG, also "the Guild") embraces every anti-America, anti-capitalist, anti-war, anti-Israel, and "anti-imperialist" cause in vogue among the far left and declares itself "dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system." If this strikes the reader as a slight hint that the Guild’s underlying ideology is not exactly laissez-faire capitalism, that is because it is not. While the Guild is not officially communist or Marxist, its membership, leadership, past internal struggles, and adopted stances consistently point to an organization whose underlying convictions could best be described as such.

The Guild’s current organizational structure—forty-two local chapters grouped into nine regions—supports both decentralized operations on the regional level and a cohesive plan of attack on the national level. The Guild supports four national projects—the Center for Democratic Communications (CDC), the National Immigration Project, the National Police Accountability Project, and the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice—while twenty-one committees provide the Guild in-depth coverage of specific issues, including the death penalty, racism, sexism, Colombia, Cuba, the Middle East, immigration, illicit drugs, military law, prison law, LGBT ("lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender") affairs, "mass defense," labor and employment, and international affairs.

Additionally, more than forty law schools across the U.S. have student Guild chapters, lending the respectability of their institutions to the far left organization. In fact, among the handful of law schools generally considered the most prestigious, only those at Harvard, Duke, and the University of Chicago do not sponsor Guild chapters.

The National Lawyers Guild was founded during the Great Depression as a pro-New Deal, progressive alternative to the segregated and comparatively conservative American Bar Association (ABA). Although many have alleged that the Communist International (Comintern) spearheaded the Guild’s creation, it is probably mistaken to attribute a sinister purpose to the Guild’s earliest existence. There were elements within the early Guild that were dedicated communist revolutionaries, without a doubt, but these were by no means the only actors within the fledgling organization: future Supreme Court Justices, New Deal supporters, civil libertarians, and other liberals were among its earliest members.

Early on, however, the National Lawyers Guild underwent an episode of internal dissension that profoundly affected its future. At the organization’s Third Annual Convention, the Guild’s National Executive Board refused to adopt an amendment to the NLG constitution opposing dictatorship and supporting democracy after communist lawyers complained that it was "divisive." Many comparatively moderate Guild members rightly regarded this as ominous and quit the Guild, causing it to undergo a variation on the Darwinian imperative "survival of the fittest": "survival of the most leftist."

World War II provided a bit of relief to the Guild’s internal difficulties, ironically enough. After the war ended, the Guild opposed U.S. anti-communist policies, including the Marshall Plan, loyalty oaths, and a bill that would allow the U.S. Attorney General to list organizations as "Communist political organizations" and "Communist fronts." Guild members represented the infamous "Hollywood 10" (and would later represent the Rosenbergs). The Guild’s Board reluctantly issued a statement simultaneously supporting the U.N. military campaign against North Korea while upbraiding U.S. foreign policy, including its "blind opposition to Communism which ignores the economic, social, and political problems of the ordinary people of the world who are struggling to obtain a better lot in life."[1]

The Guild’s politics aroused the suspicions of many, including the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which issued its pithily entitled "Report on the National Lawyers Guild: Legal Bulwark of the Communist Party" in 1950. The report noted, among other things, that the Guild consistently opposed anti-communist legislation, and it matter-of-factly accused the Guild of attacking "the Federal Bureau of Investigation [as] part of an overall Communist strategy aimed at weakening our nation’s defenses against the international Communist conspiracy." [2] The report recommended that Guild members be barred from federal employment, and that the ABA consider whether it should permit its members to belong to the Guild in light of the organization’s "subversive" character.

Even if the HUAC charges were completely baseless (which they probably were not), the report had a drastic effect on the Guild, initiating another round of "survival of the most leftist"-style political Darwinism. All but the most committed (and leftwing) Guild members thought twice about continuing to associate with the "Legal Bulwark of the Communist Party," and large numbers of more moderate Guild members (over 2,000 out of a total Guild membership of 4,000) consequently resigned (a 1961 report by the Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities in California captures the dynamic well). Decimated by the HUAC report, and viewed by many non-members with deep distrust, the Guild survived the 1950s by limiting the scope of its projects and otherwise concentrating on "bread-and-butter" issues related to the practice of law.

As the 1960s began, the Guild began to focus much of its efforts on fighting for civil rights for black Americans. Part of the reason for the Guild’s newfound emphasis was pure opportunism: a means of acquiring new membership, both black and white (interestingly, one of the Guild’s black members was elected to Congress in 1964: John Conyers, one of the more liberal Representatives currently serving in the House). The Guild defended rioters and others involved in civil unrest as the 1960s progressed, and "helped" the U.S. war effort in Vietnam by encouraging young men to become draft evaders and then defending them. Guild lawyers were active in defending such "movement" participants as "demonstrators" arrested during the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention riots and members of the militant Black Panther Party in their many run-ins with law enforcement.

As law students who were also "movement" participants sought and gained full rights of membership in the Guild (along with "legal workers" and the euphemistically termed "jailhouse lawyers," a.k.a. incarcerated criminals), the ensuing generational gap between the Old Left and the New caused significant discomfort within the organization. Older Guild members had to coax their younger brethren into behaving like lawyers, not street revolutionaries. They also sought to imbue them with the "proper" political values; Guild founding member David Freedman pushed socialism and Victor Rabinowitz, Guild President from 1967-1970, advocated communism.

The National Lawyers Guild began to see a real potential for socialist/communist revolution as trouble at home became more pervasive. Publicly repudiating the idea that incremental reforms were sufficient for committed leftists, the Guild’s 1967 Statement of Policy and Program argued that "new approaches," the sort directed at "basic structural changes in society," were needed. [3]

Prominent Guild member and Rutgers University School of Law Professor Arthur Kinoy argued that the role of the radical lawyer was to facilitate the coming anti-capitalist revolution by weakening the law’s ability to function effectively against law-breaking radicals.[4] Future Guild President Paul Harris quoted Lenin in an attempt to make the point that a successful revolution required a "legal struggle" that coincided alongside illegal, militant revolutionary activity. [5] And Doris Brin Walker, the President of the Guild from 1970-71 (who would remark at a dinner held in her honor in 1981 that "It is this commitment [to working class struggle] which makes me so proud to be a member of the Communist Party"[6]), argued that "bourgeois democratic rights" had value as a means of insulating the coming "Second American Revolutionn " from government inhibition. [7]

Perhaps not content merely to hinder the law’s defenses against revolution, the Guild opened a Military Office in the Philippines that engaged in direct revolutionary activity. Howard DeNike, a Guild member active in the Military Office, described the Guild’s Philippine presence:

"The Guild’s house on Corpuz Street in Olongapo was a combined residence, law office, and counseling center. In the evenings, counselors from the U.S.-staffed Pacific Counseling Service (PCS) set up discussion groups (‘DGs’) with as many GIs as could be found. Out came the copies of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (the famed ‘Little Red Book’), and hours were spent pouring over the meaning of key paragraphs. Future cadre for the revolution were being prepared from the ranks of the U.S. Navy.

The New People’s Army (NPA) was ever-present in the thoughts of the GI activists. Was there really a parallel between the Philippines and Vietnam? We all thought so. In the meantime, there were veiled suggestions to U.S. sailors and airmen that, if they had any ‘surplus’ medications to donate, there were ‘forces in the countryside’ who could benefit from them."[8]

Legal efforts at home continued to be undertaken with the ultimate goal of revolution in mind. Guild members represented such "notables" as a prisoner charged with murdering a guard during the 1971 Attica prison uprising as well as terrorists belonging to the Weather Underground, a group that employed the anti-personnel bomb-making talents—or lack thereof—of prominent Guild member Leonard Boudin’s daughter Kathy, who received a 20-years-to-life sentence for her role in the 1981 Weatherman Nyack, New York Brinks robbery-murders.

Still, despite the Guild’s best efforts, the hoped-for revolution never materialized. However, in a "step forward," the Guild and its allies achieved victory against the government’s ability to investigate subversive groups, thanks to restrictive guidelines issued by Attorney General Edward Levi, himself a former NLG member, in 1976.

The Guild increasingly promoted "liberation" (i.e. Marxist) movements or groups overseas in the 1970s, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (which the Guild recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people"), the Viet Cong, the African National Congress, pro-Soviet Angolan and Mozambican factions, the Puerto Rican FALN, and the Philippine New People’s Army, "the military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines." The Guild also launched an effort to end the U.S. embargo on communist Cuba, a longtime friend of the organization.

The Sino-Soviet split of the 1970s played itself out in the predominantly pro-Soviet Guild, as a Maoist faction, the "anti-imperialist caucus," attempted unsuccessfully to seize power. The Maoist caucus, in its swipe at the pro-Soviet Guild majority, "had two primary slogans ‘oppose both superpowers’ (the U.S. and USSR) and ‘oppose the revisionist Communist Party U.S.A.’" The President of the Guild in 1977, William Goodman, admonished his organization for the internal discord, warning:

"We will not be able to organize people into the Guild, and in fact we will lose much of our membership, if we promote slogans of opposing the Soviet Union and opposing the Communist Party."[9]

Any argument at this point that the Guild wasn’t a pro-Soviet communist front would have been rather comedic.

The Guild entered the 1980s with an approximate membership of 7,000 and new "anti-imperialist" causes to support, including the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador. In furtherance of the Guild’s pro-Soviet agenda, the organization insinuated itself into the church-based Sanctuary movement, and, through the Guild’s National Immigration Project, "began working systematically on immigration issues, spurred by the need to represent Central American refugees and asylum activists fleeing U.S. sponsored ‘terror.’" The Guild brags on its website that it "pioneered the ‘necessity defense’… in support of the anti-nuclear movement" in the 1980s, though it fails to mention the very poor reception the defense actually received in the courts. The Guild also won a lawsuit against the FBI for the Bureau’s surveillance directed at it, a "legal, activist organization." As the 1990s arrived and Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Guild "mobilized opposition" to Gulf War I.

Sadly for the Guild, the Soviet Union collapsed. The Guild acknowledges that the end of the Soviet empire represents a setback for the organization:

"But the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the increased concentration and coordination of world capitalism, have also made clear that we must taken a proactive role in dealing with these [international] issues."

The Guild’s embrace of communism outlived the Soviet Union, and its current driving ideology is an admixture of communism and mish-mash far-leftism, as described by Guild member Chip Berlet in 1999:

"The cacophony at some [Guild] meetings makes Star Wars seem like a minimalist film. I have chaired committee meetings with debates featuring cadres from Leninist, Trotskyist, Stalinist, and Maoist groups, along with Marxists, anarchists, libertarians, and progressive independents-interacting with a preponderance of reluctant Democrats-all intertwined with multiple alternate identities as lawyers, legal workers, labor organizers, tribal sovereignty activists, civil liberties and civil rights advocates, environmentalists, feminists, gay men and lesbians, and people of color."

The Guild held on throughout the 1990s, in spite of its setbacks. Weather Underground founder and former NLG staffer Bernadine Dohrn stated in 1998 that the Guild "continues to thrive by embracing a huge array of social issues. From immigration and labor, ecology, international law, women’s rights, children’s rights and so on. It is very much in the tradition of the 1960’s grassroots organization, where local chapters work away on their own priorities but are a part of a broader network and coalition." Luckily for the Guild, the organization was given new purpose by the various anti-globalization/anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist movements that gained steam in the mid-to-late 1990s, came of age in Seattle 1999, and transitioned without pause into the anti-war/anti-America/anti-capitalist movement of the post-9/11 era.

The Guild’s current modus operandi borrows much from its earlier history: attack laws and institutions that uphold order; promote mass civil disorder; support selected anti-American governments and terrorist movements abroad; and help violent "revolutionaries" operate domestically.

The Guild’s attacks on pro-order laws and institutions constitute a broad category of its activities, and range from anti-security projects to legal and political activity directed against enactment or enforcement of particular laws. Examples of the former include the National Police Accountability Project; the National Immigration Project (which attacks U.S. border enforcement and immigration laws, opening the U.S. to increased risk of terrorist attack); the Anti-Death Penalty Committee; and the Military Law Task Force, about which the Guild boasts that its "website will be set up so that, for example, when a GI on a ship in the Gulf Coast has two minutes to get on a computer to find help to get out of the military, she can hit this website and be well on her way out." Recent examples of the latter include opposition to the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA) and its predecessor, the USA PATRIOT Act, legal attacks against the possible use of military tribunals, and legal action intended to force the U.S. government to reveal the names of detained non-U.S. citizens. And in an attempt to "go for broke" against the entire legal system, the Guild initiated (a now apparently aborted) campaign to impeach five U.S. Supreme Court members in the wake of the disputed 2000 election.

The NLG distributes legal manuals to demonstrators and represents individuals arrested or injured while engaging in mass civil disorder, offering free legal support in both criminal and civil cases. Beyond simply representing demonstrators, the Guild actively encourages mass demonstration participation, even promoting public participation in "civil disobedience" actions that it knows are "arrestable" offenses for which no reliable defenses exist (this is typically considered poor "lawyering"). One particularly good example of really bad advice can be found in a press release entitled "NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD SUPPORTS ACTS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN PROTESTING PREEMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ." Stating that "US government officials forfeit legitimacy and the power to enforce laws against non-violent trespass and ‘disorder’ when they pursue policies that result in war crimes," the Guild concludes that "[n]on-violent civil disobedience in opposition to the US government’s illegal preemptive wars is justified by the necessity of self-defense and defense of others." Because law enforcement officials might not see it that way, the NLG declares its intention to "seek to provide legal support for individuals and groups practicing non-violent civil disobedience regarding the ‘necessity’ defense."

In case its press release didn’t fully convince all potential "civil disobedience" participants of the soundness of its legal theories, the Guild released a brief attempting to show that "[t]he U.S. government’s officially announced intention to ‘act preemptively’ against Iraq, its People, and its oil resources, provides legally sufficient justification for acts of non-violent civil disobedience in defense of peace, of Peoples’ lives, of the U.S. Constitution, and of international law." Reviving that old standby of illegal, "nonviolent" (but sometimes highly destructive and even treasonous) civil disobedience, the "necessity" defense, the brief suggests that "[u]nder well accepted general principles of criminal law applicable in every U.S. jurisdiction, otherwise technically illegal acts may be justified by the necessity of preventing a greater wrong or danger – a form of self-defense or defense of others. In this case there is ample legal necessity and justification for non-violent resistance to these illegal and immensely destructive, murderous actions by the top officials of the U.S. government."

The courts have in fact proven highly resistant to "necessity" defense claims vis-B-vis civil disobedience, and the Guild knows this full well. A document written in 1995 by the Seattle Chapter of the NLG even warns potential civil disobedience participants that "[i]t is extremely unlikely that you will be able to present a ‘necessity’ defense to the jury. The court will likely rule that, as a matter of law, your political actions are not excused by the doctrine that you were preventing a greater evil. The court will then forbid you from presenting this argument to the jury."

The Guild’s brief effectively constitutes legalistic garbage that falsely reassures individuals contemplating "civil disobedience" (such as Indymedia readers) that their otherwise illegal actions are justifiable in a court of law. Though the Guild’s duplicity places those snared by it in legal or personal jeopardy, its goals are nonetheless advanced: 1) more disruptive demonstrations take place than otherwise might have; 2) an increase in arrests (or injuries) equals an increase in opportunities to sue police departments and cities for a slew of bogus rights violations; and 3) not realizing that the Guild disseminated bad legal advice, many of those arrested or injured will become further radicalized out of resentment for the perceived injustices they suffered from the legal system.

The National Lawyers Guild has not limited its promotion of disruptive mass demonstrations and illegal acts of civil disobedience to providing legalistic justifications for breaking the law. In fact, the Guild actually partially controls the Los Angeles chapter of the notorious Workers World Party (WWP) front International ANSWER. Additionally, the Guild co-founded the anti-war group Not in Our Name with such other like-minded groups as the Revolutionary Communist Party, the All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, Refuse and Resist!, and the International League of Peoples' Struggle.

The Guild has been particularly protective of ANSWER. In a resolution that attacks "red-baiting" directed against the WWP front, the Guild warns that "we are entering a dangerous period in our history in which reactionary and establishment political forces will attempt to isolate and fragment the progressive movement." A dissenter within the Guild, NLG New York City Vice President Nathan Newman, reveals some of the internal Guild politics responsible for the resolution:

"And how did the NLG come to pass this resolution? The resolution was proposed by a member of the DC-based law firm, the Partnership for Civil Justice, which does legal work for Workers World and was picked by the WWP as a member of ANSWER’s steering committee. And when he made the proposal, after a few obligatory noises about Ashcroft, he made it clear that the purpose of the proposal was to silence members of the NLG itself, particularly some people in the New York City chapter who had been critical of ANSWER’s role in New York City, and myself in particular for critical comments on Workers World and ANSWER on my personal web site at www.nathannewman.org/log.

And the discussion on implementing the resolution was not about mounting a public campaign against some latter-day House UnAmerican Activities Committee, but about how to instruct and silence local National Lawyers Guild chapters and leaders to conform to the new ideological line…

This whole ‘red-baiting’ defense of the role of the Workers World Party in ANSWER is itself a polemic used to avoid discussing the problems many leftists have with what’s been going on in the peace movement. Folks like myself are not critiquing the fact that large numbers of left groups are organizing to get people to these rallies or participating in them — they are criticizing a particular group, the Workers World Party, because its politics and allied regimes are as repugnant as the warmongering of the Bush administration, and the WWP’s methods are sectarian and exclusionary."

Newman’s public expression of distain of the WWP and ANSWER was met with sharp Guild criticism. The Guild’s National Executive Committee rebuked Newman, himself a former Guild national vice president, and the New York City Guild chapter he leads for daring to ask questions about the hardcore communist WWP:

"At the moment, I am being denounced by name within the National Exec Committee of my own organization, the National Lawyers Guild, for being critical of the WWP's connection to ANSWER on my personal blog, and a resolution is being voted on to denounce all such criticisms as red-baiting and denying that ANSWER can in any way be described as a front group of WWP, thus making any accusation of such ‘unfounded’ and a ‘vicious attack.’ Our executive director wanted to add part of the resolution that no local chapter could criticize the WWP's role or otherwise deviate from the national line (something the NYC chapter already has done in its own resolutions), so this ‘anti-red baiting’ position is turning into its own form of authoritarianism within various left organizations and publications."

Newman found out the hard way about the true nature of the Guild:

"After the last month of internal withhunts within the Guild against me, culminating in almost an hour last night at the local NYC Guild chapter discussing the inappropriateness of my views on my weblog, personal email on this list, and assorted other ideological failings due to my criticism of the WWP, my tolerance for even a smidgen of defense for this ‘anti-redbaiting’ crap is pretty much at an end.

I've never experienced this kind of ideological inquisition in any liberal group I've been a member of, despite places where I was known to have more leftwing ‘commie’ views. My experience in life is of far more ideological intolerance from the ‘leftwing’ sectarians than from regular progressive folks."

Besides managing and protecting Stalinist front organizations that promote disruptive demonstrations, the Guild co-sponsors mass anti-war/anti-imperialism/anti-etc. rallies, including an April 12 anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C., a January 10, 2003 rally in New York City against special registration of Muslim immigrants, and an anti-war rally October 26, 2002 in Washington, D.C. The Guild uses mass demonstrations as a breeding ground for frivolous lawsuits that harass law enforcement and waste governmental assets across the U.S., targeting cities ranging from Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon.

The Guild also provides cover for its members to aid and abet illegal disruptive demonstrations as neutral "observers" who are anything but. Since attorneys are not immune to the law, Guild "observer"/participants inevitably face a law enforcement response when they chose to engage in illegal demonstrations. In spite of this obvious truth, the Guild’s cynical strategy is to imply a deliberate government assault on the legal/political process itself whenever its members are arrested or injured while engaging in illegal activity (see examples of this directed against the police departments of Los Angeles and Minneapolis).

A particularly illustrative example of NLG observers at work can be found on Indymedia. In a video shot by fellow demonstrators, an unkempt Guild lawyer can be seen cursing at police, menacing them, and clearly engaging in disorderly conduct in an attempt to see his "clients" (fellow protestors). After telling a police officer to "get the f*** out of my way" and after apparently making physical contact with him, the NLG lawyer is shown being arrested on misdemeanor battery charges. Two other Guild lawyers, also attempting to visit their "clients," are shown in another video deliberately walking into police in order to provoke arrest.

In summary, the Guild creates and manages hardcore communist front organizations that promote disruptive demonstrations, co-sponsors disruptive demonstrations, encourages protestors to break the law, authors worthless legal briefs falsely assuring protestors that illegal protest actions are legally justifiable, offers (prior to demonstrations) to defend protestors arrested for breaking the law, places "observers" in disruptive demonstrations who aid and abet illegal actions on the part of protestors while breaking the law themselves, and sues police departments and other governmental bodies when either their "observers" are arrested or injured while taking part in illegal demonstrations or when mass arrests of protestors breaking the law occur. The Guild actively promotes illegality for its own purposes, and somehow gets away with it.

The Guild also promotes anti-American governments and movements abroad. The Guild is a heavy backer of Castro’s Cuba, and the Guild-related law firm Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky, and Lieberman actually serves as legal counsel for the communist government. NLG lawyers constantly fight for Cuban government interests, and are currently involved in the appeal of five Cuban government agents convicted in the U.S. of espionage, who, in the words of Guild President Bruce Nestor, "were simply trying to defend their country from long-documented acts of terror attacks by organizations in Miami." The Guild’s Cuba Subcommittee works to "normalize relations and end the travel restrictions and U.S. economic blockade," and otherwise shills for Castro’s dictatorship.

The Guild supports Lori Berenson, "an American citizen from the state of New York who was arrested [and later convicted] in Lima on November 30, 1995, for her active involvement with the terrorist group known as MRTA (or ‘Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement.’)," and also backs Basque separatists. The Guild’s support of Palestinian terrorism has been particularly active, and has even included funding a film directed by the (apparent) daughters of late Guild member William Kunstler that "describes a brutal occupation designed to prevent statehood and tells the story of the strength of the Palestinian people." And in a show of outright hatred of the U.S. and Israel, a prominent Guild member expressed an "alternate" theory regarding responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. John Wheat Gibson, the Guild’s Texas-Oklahoma Region Co-Vice President, sent an email at 1:14 PM, September 11, 2001, suggesting that Israel and the United States were the likely perpetrators of the terrorist attacks that occurred several hours (!) before, while excusing any possible Arab or Muslim links.

The Guild, not content to merely express "solidarity" with terrorists abroad, works to make the U.S. a safer place—for terrorists. The Guild uniformly opposes anti-terrorism measures and laws, yet supports those who have engaged in terrorist or anti-law enforcement acts, including cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal (the Guild even made him one of its national vice-presidents), Symbionese Liberation Army member Sara Jane Olson, and Leonard Peltier, convicted of killing two FBI agents. Meanwhile, Guild member Lynne Stewart may have taken advocacy to the next level, so to speak; she awaits trial for allegedly facilitating communications between her client, convicted terrorist leader Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, and his terrorist organization, il-gama’at il-islamiya.

In one of the Guild’s more reckless moves, the organization released flyers, posters, and CDs for radio broadcasts entitled "Know Your Rights" that provides legal advice to immigrants facing potential contact as part of the U.S. government’s anti-terrorism efforts. Conveniently translated into several Middle Eastern languages, the Guild’s materials give "helpful" guidance, such as:

"TALKING TO THE FBI OR OTHER AGENTS CAN BE DANGEROUS. The FBI is not just trying to find terrorists, but is gathering information on immigrants and activists who have done nothing wrong."

And:

"YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TALK TO THE POLICE, FBI, INS, OR ANY OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT OR INVESTIGATOR."

And:

"IF YOU ARE CONTACTED, TELL THE AGENT YOU WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER. Once you say this, they should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer."

Though the materials claim that "Nothing herein is intended to interfere with any legitimate law enforcement investigation," they do just that, sowing distrust of law enforcement among the Muslim community while advising those who are plotting terrorist attacks how best to avoid legal jeopardy.

But that’s the way the Guild has operated throughout its sordid history. The Guild markets itself as a group of progressive "civil rights" lawyers interested in social justice and decries government abuse of authority, all while working for the coming revolution.

The Guild’s motives should be regarded with the deepest suspicions. Its loyalty to U.S. democracy is not even questionable—it is non-existent. Perhaps, at its very beginning, the Guild viewed the U.S. with even the remotest sympathy, but that long ago ceased to be true. Though the Soviet Union is dead, the Guild marches on, continuing to embrace leftist extremists, press for disorder at home, and otherwise work against the interests of the United States and its allies abroad.

[1] Ann Fagan Ginger and Eugene M. Tobin, eds., The National Lawyers Guild: From Roosevelt through Reagan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988), p. 95.

[2] Ibid., p. 117.

[3] Ibid., p. 243-244.

[4] Ibid., p. 274-275.

[5] Ibid., p. 278-279.

[6] Ibid., p. 359.

[7] Ibid., p. 284-285.

[8] Ibid., p. 286.

[9] Ibid., p. 323.




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