Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Gov’t Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

10.18 'This is a really big deal': Canada natural gas emissions far worse than feared [roughly equivalent to all the cars and trucks in Canada]

10.17 Scott Pruitt, Who Loved to Sue EPA, Just Made It Harder for Green Groups to Sue EPA

10.16 The war on coal is over. Coal lost.

10.15 Rooftop Solar Provides a Record-Breaking 48% of South Australia’s Power

10.14 Geoengineering is not a quick fix for climate change, experts warn Trump

10.13 The Grain That Tastes Like Wheat, but Grows Like a Prairie Grass

10.13 Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Grow Rice [might there be a “perennial rice” with much deeper roots to survive droughts?]

10.13 'If the land isn't worked, it decays': Tunisia's battle to keep the desert at bay [beautiful business plan for LIFE]

10.13 Trump scraps Obamacare subsidies in surprise late-night announcement [videos; his Infantilism should cause his impeachment]

10.12 Oxford aims for world’s first zero emissions zone with petrol car ban

10.12 Draughty homes targeted in UK climate change masterplan

News Media Matters

10.17 Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers journalist

10.15 The Establishment Still Doesn't Recognize The Political Revolution That's Happening [the question is, CAN MAINSTREAM NEWS MEDIA – desperate for corporate advertising as revenue falls – ALLOW CHANGE TO HAPPEN?]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

10.17 How Anti-Trump Psychiatrists Are Mobilizing Behind the Twenty-Fifth Amendment

10.17 McCain blasts 'half-baked, spurious nationalism' in emotional speech [video]

10.16 Nevada to Big Pharma: ‘Show Us Your Books!’

10.16 The Danger of President Pence

10.16 TRUMP’S WOULD-BE WEATHER CZAR TRIED TO SHUT DOWN FREE FORECASTS [The looting and corrupton is refreshingly open]

10.16 Here's the Democrat Who Just Announced His Challenge to Hawkish Feinstein

10.16 Singer Marc Anthony to Trump: You will be held Accountable for needless American Deaths in Puerto Rico

10.16 The Texas town where all the energy is green [Alert! Ignoring party leadership, exceptional Republicans use reason to do good!]

Justice Matters

10.17 Trump could remake judiciary for ‘40 years’ — with controversial picks [America will become more like Malta; facilitating corporate/mafia criminality to the maximum]

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

10.17 The Decline of the Midwest's Public Universities Threatens to Wreck Its Most Vibrant Economies

10.17 Trump Revives Notorious GOP Dog Whistle in Call for 'Welfare Reform' [less money "wasted on welfare" would allow larger tax cuts for "the more deserving rich"]

10.17 For Abandoning Climate Accord, Pope Swipes Trump on World Food Day [Trump is attuned to serve billionaire friends and himself]

10.14 KOCH BROTHERS’ INTERNAL STRATEGY MEMO ON SELLING TAX CUTS: IGNORE THE DEFICIT

10.14 How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

International & Futurism

10.18 Who Has the World's No. 1 Economy? Not the U.S.

10.18 Robots Are Coming for These Wall Street Jobs [interactive graphics]

10.18 George Soros gives $18bn to his charitable foundation

10.18 The Guardian view on murdering the messenger: a desperate situation

10.17 For Abandoning Climate Accord, Pope Swipes Trump on World Food Day [Trump is attuned to serve billionaire cronies and himself]

10.17 The Movement of #MeToo

10.16 How Trump’s Foreign Policy Mood Swings made US a Rogue State

10.16 In Absence of US Leadership, War Breaks out between Kurds and Baghdad

10.15 AI WEIWEI EXPLORES THE “HUMAN FLOW” OF REFUGEES AND FINDS AN AMERICA THAT LOST ITS CONSCIENCE

10.15 Genes for Skin Color Rebut Dated Notions of Race, Researchers Say

10.15 Toyota’s Trucks That Only Emit Water Vapor Are Moving Goods in LA

10.15 Tony Blair: ‘We were wrong to boycott Hamas after its election win’ [guiding principle #1: do not cause harm to civilian populations]

10.15 Margaret Atwood: Rise of Trump Brings Echoes of 1930s Europe

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Lynne Stewart: Heroic Human Rights Lawyer Jailed
Newspaper logo

COMMENTARY:

Lynne Stewart: Heroic Human Rights Lawyer Jailed

Which judicial standards should prevail: The American Bar Association's Model Rules vs. Post 9/11 “US Bureau of Prisons Special Administrative Measures”?

by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 20 November 2009

Her 2004 - 2005 show trial was a mockery of justice with echoes of the worst McCarthy-like tactics. Inflammatory terrorist images were displayed in court to prejudice the jury, and prosecutors vilified Stewart as a traitor with "radical" political views.

On November 20, New York Times writer Colin Moynihan broke the news headlining:

"Radical Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terrorist Is Jailed," then saying:

"Defiant to the end as she embraced supporters outside the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, Lynne F. Stewart, the radical lawyer known for defending unpopular clients, surrendered on Thursday to begin serving her 28-month sentence for assisting terrorism."

Fact Check:

Stewart did what all attorneys should, but few, in fact, do - observe the American Bar Association's Model Rules saying all lawyers are obligated to:

"devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel."

Also to practice law ethically, morally and responsibly to assure everyone is afforded due process and judicial fairness in American courts. Sadly and disturbingly, Stewart was denied what she did for others heroically, unselfishly, and proudly. More on that below.

Stewart (prison number 53504-054) is now jailed at:

MCC-NY
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

Betrayed by American Justice

For 30 years, Stewart worked heroically to defend America's poor, underprivileged, and unwanted, never afforded due process and judicial fairness without an advocate like her. Where others wouldn't go, she defended controversial figures like David Gilbert of the Weather Underground, Richard Williams of the United Freedom Front, Sekou Odinga and Nasser Ahmed of the Black Liberation Army, and many more like them. She knew the risk, but did it fearlessly and courageously until bogusly indicted on April 9, 2002 for:

  • "conspiring to defraud the United States;
  • conspiring to provide and conceal material support to terrorist activity;
  • providing and concealing material support to terrorist activity; and
  • two counts of making false statements."

She was also accused of violating US Bureau of Prisons Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) that included a gag order on her client, Sheik Abdel Rahman. When imposed, they prohibit discussion on topics the Justice Department (DOJ) rules outside of "legal representation," so lawyers can't discuss them with clients, thus inhibiting their defense.

At former US Attorney General Ramzy Clark's request, she joined him as part of Rahman's court-appointed defense team. In his 1995 show trial, he was convicted and is now serving a life sentence for seditious conspiracy, solicitation of murder, solicitation of an attack on American military installations, conspiracy to murder, and conspiracy to bomb in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center attack despite evidence proving his innocence on all charges.

The DOJ's case wasn't about alleged crimes. It reflected his affiliations and anti-western views. Rahman was connected to the Egyptian-based Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya - a 1997 US State Department-designated "foreign terrorist organization." In the 1980s, however, he helped the CIA recruit Mujahadeen fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan. For his work, he got a US visa, green card, and State Department-CIA protection as long as he was valued. When no longer, he was targeted along with Stewart.

Her case was precedent-setting, chilling, and according to the Center of Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner:

sent "a message to lawyers who represent alleged terrorists that it's dangerous to do so."

Her attorney, Michael Tigar, called it:

"an attack on a gallant, charismatic and effective fighter for justice (with) at least three fundamental faults:

  • (it) attack(ed) the First Amendment right of free speech, free press and petition;
  • the right to effective assistance of counsel (by) chill(ing) the defense; (and)
  • the 'evidence' in this case was gathered by wholesale invasion of private conversations, private-attorney-client meetings, faxes, letters and e-mails; I have never seen such an abuse of government power."

Her 2004 - 2005 show trial was a mockery of justice with echoes of the worst McCarthy-like tactics. Inflammatory terrorist images were displayed in court to prejudice the jury, and prosecutors vilified Stewart as a traitor with "radical" political views. In addition, days before the verdict, the militant pro-Israeli Jewish Defense Organization put up flyers near the courthouse displaying her address. It threatened to "drive her out of her home and out of the state," and said she "needs to be put out of business legally and effectively."

It was part of the orchestrated scheme inside and outside the courtroom to heighten fear, convict Stewart, and intimidate other lawyers to expect the same treatment if they dare represent unpopular clients effectively.

On February 10, 2005 (after a seven month trial and 13 days of deliberation) she was convicted on all five counts. Under New York state law, she was automatically disbarred, and the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division denied her petition to resign voluntarily. On October 17, 2006, she was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment, but remained free on bond pending appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Stewart Ordered to Prison

The Justice for Lynne Stewart web site (lynnestewart.org) announced the news. On November 17, the Appeals Court revoked her bond, upheld the verdict, ordered her surrender forthwith, but stayed it until November 19 at 5PM to let her attorney file a motion for reconsideration. It was denied, so she must report to federal marshals as directed. A November 19 conversation with Lynne and her husband Ralph confirmed it.

The situation remains fluid, dire, and complicated by Stewart's battle with breast cancer. She has surgery scheduled for December 7, unlikely now, but if done in prison or where authorities direct, it won't be the quality she deserves.

In its ruling, the three judge panel (John Walker, Guido Calebresi and Robert Sack) was firm, hostile and belligerent in upholding the lower court's conviction. Judge Sack accused Stewart of lying and called for a longer sentence. "We think that whether (she) lied under oath at her trial is directly relevant to whether her sentence was appropriate," he wrote, and directed District Court Judge John Koeltl to re-sentence her "so as to reflect that finding." Judge Walker was even harsher, calling the original sentence "breathtakingly low." Judge Calabrese said: "I am at a loss for any rationale upon this record that could reasonably justify a sentence of 28 months' imprisonment for this defendant."

They all said Stewart was "convicted principally with respect to (her violating) measures by which (she) had agreed to abide," namely SAMs. They rejected her "argument that, as a lawyer, she was not bound by (them), and her belated argument collaterally attacking their constitutionality." They also:

"affirm(ed her conviction) of providing and concealing material support to the conspiracy to murder persons in a foreign country (and) of conspiring to provide and conceal such support....We conclude that the charges were valid (and) the evidence was sufficient to sustain the convictions. We also reject Stewart's claims that her purported attempt to serve as a 'zealous advocate' for her client provides her with immunity from the convictions...."

"Finally, we affirm Stewart's convictions for knowingly and willfully making false statements....when she affirmed that she intended to, and would, abide by the SAMs. In light of her repeated and flagrant violation of (them), a reasonable factfinder could conclude that (her) representations that she intended to and would abide by the SAMs were knowingly false when made. We reject the remaining challenges to the convictions. (We) affirm the district court's rejection of Stewart's claim that she was selectively prosecuted on account of her gender or political beliefs....We therefore affirm the convictions in their entirety."

They redirected her case to District Court Judge Koeltl for re-sentencing. The DOJ wants 30 years. Koeltl originally imposed 28 months, let Stewart remain free on bond pending appeal, implied his decision might be overturned because of a gross miscarriage of justice, effectively rebuked the Bush administration at the time, and handed it a major defeat. Her fate is now in his hands, but justice has already been denied at a time we're all as vulnerable as she if we dare resist state policies, unchanged under an administration no different from its predecessor.

In a November 17 news conference, Stewart said:

"I'm too old to cry, but it hurts too much not to." In criticizing the Court's decision, she said its timing "on the eve of the arrival of the tortured men from offshore prison in Guantanamo" suggests that lawyers appointed to represent them may face the same fate as she. "If you're going to lawyer for these people, you'd better toe very close to the line that the government has set out (because they'll) be watching you every inch of the way, (so those who don't) will end up like Lynne Stewart. This is a case that is bigger than just me personally (but she added that she'll) go on fighting."

So will her lawyer, Joshua Dratel, who said he'll pursue it "as far and as long as we can," including a possible Supreme Court review. The Obama US attorney's office was silent, effectively affirming a gross injustice at a time the due process and judicial fairness thresholds are so low that all Americans risk the same fate as Lynne.


Steve Lendman

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national topics. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on November 20, 2009.
 



Public Service Ads:
Verifiable Voting in Maryland