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Nah. Gah. Duh.

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Someone explain to me how this is possible:

A top Air Force lawyer who served at the White House and in a senior position in Iraq turns out to have been practicing law for 23 years without a license.

Col. Michael D. Murphy was most recently commander of the Air Force Legal Operations Agency at Bolling Air Force Base in the District.

He was the general counsel for the White House Military Office from December 2001 to January 2003, and from August 2003 to January 2005. In between those tours, he was the legal adviser to the reconstruction effort in Iraq, an Air Force spokesman said.

Murphy later served in 2005 as commandant of the Air Force Judge Advocate General's School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

He was relieved of his command at Bolling on Nov. 30 after the Air Force learned that he had been disbarred for professional misconduct in Texas in 1984 but hadn't informed his superiors, according to Air Force Times, an independent newspaper that first reported the action. It said that his status was discovered in the course of an unrelated review.

That this man would have been given all of these top-level government jobs, some in positions of national security discussion and oversight/contribution and with our military, and no one thought to contact the bar associations in which he practiced in civilian life to determine whether his legal license was in good standing. We sent this man to Iraq to be a legal advisor there — and NO ONE checked out his credentials?!?  This man was in charge of doing legal review of reconstruction efforts — including, I would assume, contract review and negotiations and he had no valid law license at the time…and no one bothered to even check this for YEARS? 

Especially in light of this failure to conduct proper background inquiries at the Department of Homeland Security.  (See also here.) And this report on fraud, corruption, theft and other criminal behavior among the employees of the Department of Homeland Security.  And don't even get me started on the Jeff Gannon White House background check.

Hello?!?  Is it too much to ask that jobs be done professionally and promptly and with a modicum of thought toward fiduciary responsibility to the American public?  I'd sure like to know if this is one of many such hires by Mr. O'Beirne and his wingnut welfare gravy train, wouldn't you?

Is it January yet?

(H/T to TeddySanFran for the WaPo article on the lawyer without a license.  Blergh.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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