And I mean - any attorneys, from any country, and those who are criticizing any government.
It does have such a policy - actually, it has TWO such policies, both for the attorneys within the United States and outside of the United States.
When you go to the website of ABA, here, first, you see only 5 categories of who can join the association.
The top right category is "Associates" - "individuals interested in the legal profession but not U.S.-licensed attorneys or students".
Ok, I am not a "U.S.-licensed attorney or student". I am suspended for criticism of the government.
So, I am a non-lawyer, for purposes of joining the ABA, and a member of the public "interested in the law".
And, ABA indicates in answer to the Frequently Asked Questions this:
Non-lawyers (paralegals, law librarians, economists AND OTHERS interested in the ABA) may join.
I am "others".
I may join the ABA, because I am interested in the ABA.
When you press the "join" button, the following screen pops up:
I am "none of the above", and I pressed on "See More Details".
The "more details" is actually the policy that the ABA refused to admit they had - of not supporting attorneys who suffered any oppression for criticizing the government.
Here it is.
Actually, you may not join the ABA as a member of the public if you are a suspended or disbarred attorney.
The language pretends at neutrality, but it is not neutral, because the ABA does not CARE what are the reasons for suspension or disbarment.
It PRESUMES that the suspension or disbarment is constitutional, even if it is not so, even if the suspension or disbarment was a sanction for criticism of the government - and I am sure that ABA has enough resources to learn about that tendency in the United States.
Here is the salary of its executive director and some officers for the year 2013.
Here is ABA's top "contractor" expenses for the same year - taken out of their IRS form.
$1,009,746 a year's salary of the Executive Director.
$2,910,000 a year spent on shipping.
$1,706,475 a year spent on telemarketing.
Surely such an organization has resources to figure out about corruption and oppressions against civil rights attorneys trying to defend clients which are not wealthy enough to be members of the American Bar Association?
Those clients whose interests - as consumers of legal services - ABA claims it is promoting, as well as the interests of its paying members, including judges and foreign LICENSED attorneys.
Now, in connection with Dr. Teng Biao's case, the question arises - is Dr. Teng Biao "licensed" in China?
And, if not, why not?
Because he criticized the government too much?
Then he MAY NOT join the ABA.
And, consequently, ABA WILL NOT support Dr. Teng Biao's book - as well as it will not support any American attorney suspended for criticizing the government while doing his or her job for a client.
I understand, under the same policy ABA will admit an attorney "licensed" by a horribly corrupt or tyrannical regime, but will not admit an attorney who is ostracized or cast out of the profession and stripped of his/her attorney status as a political repression in retaliation for the attorney's criticism of the government, as part of the attorney's political or professional activity.
That's the ABA's true policy.
And that's the ABA's true face.
Even if it is foreign money.
And you know what?
And, the ABA has the audacity to earn money on advertising articles about the so-called "legal rebels", those within and without the profession who are "rebelling" within the boundaries of the taboo on criticizing the government, of course.
And ABA is advertising those "legal rebels" while snubbing the real people, who are engaged in a real civil rights struggle and are defending real human rights of real people while necessarily criticizing the U.S. and state governments and the international governments.
Support of such "legal rebels" is too dangerous for the ABA's bottom line.