Frank Dunham, terror war public defender, dead at 64

From AP, Nov. 7:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal public defender who took on some of the nation’s most high-profile terrorism cases after Nine-Eleven has died at age 64.

Frank Dunham Junior died Friday of brain cancer at his northern Virginia home.

Dunham was the lead attorney for Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged by the U-S government in the September 11th attacks.

By the time Moussaoui actually went on trial earlier this year, Dunham was too ill to participate in the case. Moussaoui was spared a death sentence and is serving life in prison.

Dunham was also instrumental in the federal government’s release of alleged enemy combatant Yaser Esam Hamdi. Dunham argued Hamdi’s case all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

Dunham had been a prosecutor and defense lawyer in northern Virginia before becoming the federal public defender for the eastern District of Virginia in 2001 — an office he helped create.

Dunham’s survivors include his wife and two sons.

Readers of WW4 Report will recall that Dunham was inadvertently responsible for the addition of a new word to the English language. Moussaoui, in his rambling self-penned legal motions attempting to dismiss Dunham as his court-appointed counsel (apparently in the deluded belief that he was colluding with the government against him) described Dunham as a “megalopig.” As we have noted, this startlingly evocative neologism is the perfect sobriquet for Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and all those who use the War on Terrorism to cynically further their anti-social ambitions.

See our last posts on the Hamdi and Moussaoui cases, and the Hamdi decision’s judicial legacy.