Fox & Friends devoted a segment Tuesday to speculating on whether Obama-appointed federal attorneys are "sympathetic to the al Qaeda cause."
At issue was the revelation from Attorney General Eric Holder that at least five attorneys appointed by President Obama defended Guantanamo inmates in legal proceedings, while at least another four filed briefs with the courts on behalf of Gitmo detainees.
Co-host Steve Doocy quoted Deborah Burlingame, the sister of the pilot of Flight 77, which crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. "It's like thery're bringing al Qaeda lawyers inside the Department of Justice," she reportedly said.
"If they represented these guys, are they sympathetic to the al Qaeda cause?" asked co-host Brian Kilmeade. The chyron at the bottom of the screen stated, "What's Holder hiding?"
But co-host Alisyn Camerota argued that the fact the lawyers worked for Gitmo detainees doesn't make them unqualified for Justice Department jobs -- in fact, it may aid them.
"You could also say ... these are just defense attorneys doing their job. Defense attorneys don't shy away from doing the hardest cases of mafiosos, or suspected terrorists or mass murderers," Camerota said.
"That's what Eric Holder has said," Camerota continued. "He says, 'Look, we'll be able to gain from their expertise when they come inside the Department of Justice. Who knows Gitmo better than these people?' That's the argument on the other side."
Conservative commentators have criticized Holder for taking three months to respond to a request from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) asking for the names of Obama-appointed attorneys who were in some way tied to the defense of Guantanamo prisoners.
The New York Post reported Tuesday that Holder sent a letter to Grassley dated Feb. 18 in which he disclosed that there were nine lawyers who fit the description. Holder did not reveal the lawyers' names, except for those two already known to Grassley: Deputy solicitor general Neal Katyan, who defended Osama bin Laden's driver, and Jennifer Daskal, a member of the president's Detention Policy Task Force, who had previously worked with Human Rights Watch.
In an interview with the National Review, Grassley declared: "The country has the right to know what the predilections of people in the Justice Department are toward terrorism, especially if they’re giving constitutional rights to terrorists ... They’re going to regret hiding names. I don’t know why they’re hiding, unless they have something to hide."
This video is from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 23, 2010.