Skip to main content

Between 1914 and 1918 as many as 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turkish government through a system of planned slaughter and forced deportation known as the Armenian Genocide.

But not according to Dick Gephardt.

The Bush Administration steadfastly refuses to use the word "genocide" for fear of angering one of the last (sort of) US allies remaining in the Middle East.  Despite this, there have been recent attempts in both the House and Senate to recognize historical fact.  

These efforts have met with little success, largely due to the lobbying efforts of the Turkish government.  Their influence with the GOP is assured both by the White House's geopolitical needs and by their association with former Congressman Bob Livingston.  For $9 million, Livingston was only too glad to sell out.  Hell, that's only six bucks a head.

But I don't expect much from the likes of Livingston.  From Speaker of the House to speaker for a house of shame isn't very far for guys like him.  What is far more disturbing to me is the involvement of one of our own:

Turkey recently hired DLA Piper, the firm of former House minority leader Dick Gephardt, to provide access to Democrats.

What happened, Mr. Gephardt?  Did losing the Democratic nomination in 2004 so blacken your soul that you can no longer tell what's right and what's wrong?

It wasn't always so.  In 2003, Gephardt was cited by the Armenian National Committee of America for his support for the UN Genocide Convention.  Or was that just politicking for the primaries?  Will the real Dick Gephardt please stand up?

I understand that there is a realpolitik factor involved here.  But harsh strategic realities don't excuse Gephardt's behavior.  As a prominent Democratic no longer restrained by elective office, he could be a powerful advocate for the victims of a historical wrong, instead of a shill for the perpetrators' grandchildren.

Mr. Gephardt, you once famously called George W. Bush a "miserable failure" as a president.  It's too bad that you've turned out to be a miserable failure as a human being.

Originally posted to Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:01 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 05:54:20 AM PDT

  •  I think your charge is unfair (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, Gary Norton

    Is DLA Piper being hired to deny the Armenian holocaust?

    I'm not aware of the corporate structure of DLA Piper, but is Mr. Gephardt the managing partner? Is he responsible for taking on the Turkish gov't as a client?

    c.

    3334

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hypersphere01

      According to the New Republic.  Unfortunately, I don't have an account so I can't link the article.

      And yes, the Turkish government actively denies that the genocide occurs, and employs their lobbyists to further this agenda.

      But even if he wasn't the one personally handling it, he should distance himself.  If you worked for a firm that handled a client's Holocaust denials, would you stay there?

      "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

      by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:10:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  see my post down-thread (0+ / 0-)

      DLA Piper has over 3,000 attorneys worldwide, and Gephardt is not the managing partner.

    •  And Lets Look At How Members Voted (0+ / 0-)

      At least current members of the Senate who voted against cloture (which meant to kill the bill) on S.J.Res. 212 in 1990:

      Baucus (D-MT)
      Bond (R-MO)
      Byrd (D-WV)
      Cochran (R-MS)
      Conrad (D-ND)
      Inouye (D-HI)
      Leahy (D-VT)
      Lieberman (D-CT)
      Lott (R-MS)
      Lugar (R-IN)
      McCain (R-AZ)
      McConnell (R-KY)
      Reid (D-NV)
      Rockefeller (D-WV)

      Here's who voted the right way:

      Biden (D-DE)
      Bingaman (D-NM)
      Domenici (R-NM)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Harkin (D-IA)
      Hatch (R-UT)
      Kennedy (D-MA)
      Kerry (D-MA)
      Kohl (D-WI)
      Lautenberg (D-NJ)
      Levin (D-MI)
      Mikulski (D-MD)
      Specter (R-PA)
      Stevens (R-AK)
      Warner (R-VA)

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:30:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But... (0+ / 0-)

        ...those guys all hold elective office, and do have to consider the political realities on the ground.  I'm not saying the US should officially recognize the genocide yet -- I honestly am torn on that.  The truth is we ARE going to need Turkey on board if there's a chance for cleaning up the mess in the Middle East.  But voting against the resolution is, to my thinking, a step or two removed from actively pushing for official denial.  Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I don't think so.  And Gephardt, as a senior partner in DLA Piper, bears responsibility for the deeds of his firm, even if he wasn't handling the case personally.  He was always a champion for the little guy -- well, the little guy isn't Ankara.

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:41:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  quick note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DHinMI

    There is no indication in the article that Gephardt himself has anything to do with this, and DLA Piper is a very large firm.  Dick Armey and George Mitchell are also in that department.

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb

    I agree that the Armenian genocide is a tragedy and that the Turkish government shouldn't be given a free pass. But before we blame Gephardt, more investigation is warranted. According to Wikipedia.com:

    DLA Piper is a legal services organization whose members and affiliates are separate and distinct legal entities.

    Together, the organization boasts more than 3,200 lawyers in over 24 countries and 63 cities throughout the world. DLA Piper was formed as a result of the 2005 merger of San Diego-based Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP, London-based DLA LLP (previously Dibb Lupton Alsop), and Piper Rudnick LLP (itself a 1999 merger of Baltimore-based Piper & Marbury and Chicago-based Rudnick & Wolfe). Recent financial figures from The Lawyer rank the firm second to Clifford Chance in worldwide turnover with over $1.5 billion in revenue for 2005.

    It's possible that Gephardt isn't even aware of this case. He may be, but further investigation would be warranted before we reach any rash conclusions.

  •  I'm not aware that anyone has a (0+ / 0-)

    problem with the terminology "genocide" in the Armenian case (except maybe the Turks?)

    Success is the child of audacity. --Disraeli

    by ChuyHChrist on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:10:34 AM PDT

    •  And the US government (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hypersphere01

      Who don't want to piss off the Turks, particularly considering that an independent Kurdistan is getting closer and closer to reality.

      "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

      by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:11:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Gephardt is a creep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, nightsweat, milkbone

    and his tactics in the presidential race bore that out BUT this diary is disengenious, the claim in the title is not borne out.

    •  well said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevej, dennisl

      Gephardt has never gotten much love on Daily Kos, for good reason, but this diary is not supported with sufficient evidence in support of its central claim.

      •  By all means (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hypersphere01

        If you have access to the New Republic's site, post the link.

        My point is that even if he wasn't the guy handling the account, he shouldn't work for people who would push this agenda.  It's just wrong.

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:21:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a bit much (0+ / 0-)

          These are huge international law firms.  Seriously, should conservative attorneys leave my firm because I perform work for DailyKos?

          •  Working for DKos... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hypersphere01

            ...is not equivalent to working for a firm that pushes the agenda of genocide deniers.  It's not even close.

            Look, if you were an attorney (well, maybe you are, for all I know) and you found out that your law firm had a large client who utilized the firm's services to push for official denial of the Holocaust, would you continue to work for them?  I wouldn't.

            DLA Piper shouldn't have taken on this client.  Gephardt always claimed to be a champion for the "little guy."  Did he abandon his principles when he left Congress?

            "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

            by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 06:38:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Attorneys can't be responsible for every case... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gary Norton

              ... in the whole firm.  And I'd go on to say that Turkey has the right to see its (wrong) views voiced, and hopefully, they'll lose in Congress.

              My Firm has clients who do all sorts of things.

              •  Not every case (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hypersphere01

                But there has to be some line over which one doesn't cross, right?

                I agree that everyone, even Klansmen and Hitlerphiles, deserves to have their views heard.  I just wouldn't feel right being the one speaking for them.

                "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

                by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:16:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  sure. (0+ / 0-)

                  But if someone else in the Firm wants to defend them, and do so ethically . . . ?

                  •  Yeah, it's a problem (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hypersphere01

                    But Gephardt is a senior partner.  Like I said somewhere upthread (I love that word) even if he wasn't personally handling the case, he has some sway in deciding to take it on, and bears some accountability for the firm's actions as a whole.

                    I mean, Leland Mackenzie would never have allowed Michael Kuzak to take Aryan Nation as a client.

                    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

                    by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:27:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Kuzak represented Earl Williams (0+ / 0-)

                      Accused of rape and murder.  And he wasn't responsible for what Arnie Becker did.

                      •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hypersphere01

                        You know your "LA Law," alright.  But I would contend that as a senior partner at Mackenzie, Brackman, Cheney, and Kuzak, Michael did have some accountability for what Arnie Becker did, at least what he did as a representative of the firm.

                        Plus, of course, DLA Piper isn't a criminal defense law firm.

                        BTW, I'm wondering about that "Cheney" in the firms's name...

                        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

                        by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 07:42:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Cheney died in the first episode, right? (0+ / 0-)

                          DLA Piper's a lot bigger than Mackenzie Brackman, and I believe their cases even involve "discovery", "briefs" and "long periods of waiting".

                          •  Boy, just to see those words in print... (0+ / 0-)

                            "...Cheney died..."

                            Alright, that's crass.  But I'm a crasshole.

                            Yeah, they found Cheney dead at his desk in the first episode.  Arnie immediately called dibs on his office.

                            "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

                            by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:28:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  What's happening in Iraq is a mega-death of Arabs (3+ / 0-)

    caused by foreign invaders.

    Ottoman Turkish slaughter of Armenians = 1.5 million
    Bush slaughter of Iraqis = .6 million and counting

    Gephardt can be faulted for ignoring Iraqi as well as Armenian mass-killing (genocide).

  •  DLA Piper - 3200 lawyers. Why is this (0+ / 0-)

    directed at Gephardt?

    •  Gephardt... (0+ / 0-)

      ...is a senior partner and a prominent figure representing the firm.  As such, he bears some responsibility for those he represents, even if he doesn't handle the case personally.

      "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

      by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dick is a DICK: The New Republic Quote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Stafford

      From the New Republic:

      "Last seen mounting a populist, forgotten-middle-class presidential campaign. Now a lobbyist for the government of Turkey. First mission: Kill a House bill memorializing Armenian genocide victims. The fight for "working people" continues."  

      This is from the April 2, 2007 issue of The New Republic. Page 15

      He's a hero isn't he? I don't care how far removed from  this case he is, it's HIS firm. Dick's name carries a lot of weight, and I'm sure the Turks are well aware of that fact, as is Dick.

      So, our man of the people has sold out. What a surprise, a rich politician choosing money over conscience.

      Thanks DICK. Glad you didn't get president. At least we know the guy who is in the office now wants to fuck the little guy.

      •  Well said, my simian friend (0+ / 0-)

        If I could, I would give you a lovely banana.

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Thu Apr 26, 2007 at 08:51:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site