Skip to comments.Lynne Stewart's Lying Defense
Posted on 07/02/2004 2:13:38 AM PDT by kattracks
Last weeks opening arguments featured attorneys for Lynne Stewart and co-defendant Mohamed Yousry denying that their clients assisted Sheik Abdel Rahman carry out his political program on the grounds that, as dedicated leftists, Stewart and Yousry opposed right-wing Islamic fundamentalism. This claim has as little credence as attorney Kenneth Pauls contention that Stewarts co-defendant, Ahmed Abdel Sattar, did not consider the statement "Kill Jews wherever they are and wherever you find them" to constitute "a solicitation of violence or a terrorist statement." The Lefts response to Islamic fascism represents a scandal of American intellectual life: determined to portray Israel as an "imperialist" state and America little better, leftist academics have interpreted Islamic fundamentalism as an anti-imperialist cause worthy of sympathy.
Take, for example, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), CUNYs faculty union. Since the installation of new leadership in 2000, the PSC has positioned itself as "a new kind of labor movement that combats the persistence of institutional racism, income inequality and the absence of real democracy." Among PSC President Barbara Bowens first acts was to donate $5,000 to the legal defense fund of Lori Berenson, imprisoned for aiding Marxist terrorists in Peru. In recent months, the union has boycotted Coca-Cola to protest the companys wages in Colombia, passed a resolution sympathizing with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president known for his authoritarian tendencies and anti-American diatribes, and attacked John Kerrys opposition to immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq and support for educators merit pay.
Yet on Middle Eastern affairs, this band of leftists has consistently excused the acts of Islamic fundamentalists. After the 9/11 attacks, the union organized "teach-ins" at CCNY and Brooklyn College whose panels on international relations, the contemporary Middle East, and the War on Terror contained no supporters of either U.S. or Israeli policy. One invited speaker at the CCNY event attributed the World Trade Center attacks to "American imperialism" in the Middle East; another argued that Americas "horrible" diplomacy explained Arab terrorism. The PSC subsequently opposed the war in Afghanistan, which Barbara Bowen stated would "inevitably harm countless innocent civilians, strengthen American alliances with brutal dictatorships and deepen global poverty." Attacks from suicide murderers against innocent civilians in Israel, on the other hand, have received no notice from the union.
This mindset has guided the PSCs response to events relating to the Stewart trial. After his arrest, Yousry, then an adjunct professor at CUNYs York College, was not rehired. (The CUNY faculty contract gives the university the right not to renew adjuncts contracts for any non-discriminatory reason.) In response, according to PSC Vice President Steve London, the union made Yousry "a point of principle"; the head of the PSCs "Academic Freedom Committee" argued that not rehiring Yousry "simply because he has been indicted...could portend a resurgence of McCarthyism." Under this theory, any CUNY adjunct who received a felony indictment alleging criminal activity, even accused murderers, would enjoy the protection of academic freedom. It came as little surprise that an arbitrator rejected this specious reasoning and upheld CUNYs action.
As in the PSCs response to Middle Eastern affairs and handling of the Yousry case, contemporary curricular debates have seen leftist ideologues adopting a rose-colored view of the Arab Middle East. A good example comes in a new faddish field called "Global Studies," which has appeared at around two dozen colleges nationwide. Despite the grand title, most existing "Global Studies" departments are narrow in focus, consisting largely of offerings oriented around race, class, gender, and cultural studies, concentrated on events after 1950.
The appeal of "Global Studies" programs for the academic Left comes in the opportunity for regular commentary on contemporary affairs, in classes structured to criticize the Western tradition, contemporary U.S. foreign policy, and Israels role in the Middle East. Indeed, the Middle East Studies Association has championed "global studies" programs as a way of deflecting the increasing realization that nearly all (federally funded) Middle East studies programs exhibit an anti-Israel bias.
The"Global Studies" approach has earned particularly strong support from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a group with an imposing-sounding name but whose policies are implemented by a small group of ideologues. (The AAC&U argues that college and universities should teach "global"as opposed to Americancitizenship.) At my own institution, Brooklyn College Provost Roberta S. Matthews, operating under the premise that "teaching is a political act," has recently advocated the creation of a "global studies" department, with the power to hire professors and design new courses.
A typical "Global Studies" department, that of New Yorks St. Lawrence University, features a variety of ideologically one-sided courses on race, class, and gender, with two offerings on the Middle East. "Why Do They Hate Us?" situates the 9/11 attacks "in several thematic contexts," including the history of imperialism and the history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East; "Palestinian Identities," meanwhile, introduces students to Palestinian identification "as a political and cultural community as they continue to struggle to free themselves from Israeli domination." The course concludes with a required "public activity of some sort, with the goal of educating the community about the importance of understanding what Edward Said has called the question of Palestine." In the world of the academic Left, Israel and the United States are imperialist nations, and so the forces opposing them deserve sympathetic treatment.
Programs such as "Global Studies" or initiatives such as the PSCs celebration of Yousry, unfortunately, often enjoy support within the academy. But district court for New Yorks Southern District is not the Faculty Club. Defense attorneys will need to do more than claim that the American Left does not sympathize with Arab fundamentalism if they hope to exonerate their clients.
Now that's a slogan you won't be hearing from these "piece" activists anytime in the near (or distant) future.
In recent months, the credit to Open Society Institute (Soros) has been deleted from Stewart's site. In my search for another source using the specific terms, the following results were found:
Statement of Reference to Open Society Institute Deleted from Website....Google record
archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2003w49/msg00199.htm - 10k -
Cached - Similar pages
archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2003w17/msg00094.htm - 6k -
Cached - Similar pages
'Democracy Now' + Lynne Stewart
George Soros' "Parallel Anti-War Media/Movement"
Democracy Now - Amy Goodman - Soros Pacifica
FROM DEATH ROW: MUMIA ABU-JAMAL CONDUCTS HIS FIRST INTERVIEW IN 22 YEARS, WITH INDICTED HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER LYNNE STEWART
Arab Media Internet Network - (AMIN)
AMIN stands for Arabic Media Internet Network, but its acronym also means "faithful" in Arabic. AMIN received startup funding from the Open Society Institute and is currently staffed on a volunteer basis.
Common Dreams Progressive Newswire - Press Release Open Society Policy Center Open Society Policy Center
Is she the traitor lawyer?
Also an acquaintance of Abdel-Satter.
De facto spokesperson for the "Islamic Group" of Egypt, and its 'spiritual' head, Sheik Omar abdel-Rahman.
He was also a member of the U.S. Postal Service.
Who'd a thunk it?(!)
Attorney Lynne Stewart (R) and her husband Ralph Poynter leave federal court in New York June 22, 2004. Stewart is accused of aiding terrorism by helping her client, the Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman who is serving a life sentence for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against the United States, smuggle messages out of prison. Prosecutors claim Stewart smuggled orders of terrorist attacks for Abdel-Rahman's followers. REUTERSKeith Bedford
Mohammed Yousry (R) leaves federal court in New York June 22, 2004. Yousry, an Arabic translator, is charged with conspiracy and perjury for aiding New York defense attorney Lynne Stewart, who is accused of aiding terrorism by helping client Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, serving a life sentence for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism against the United States, smuggle messages out of prison. Prosecutors claim Stewart and Mohammed smuggled orders of terrorist attacks for Abdel-Rahman's followers. REUTERSKeith Bedford
Michael Tigar, lawyer for Lynne Stewart, exits federal court in New York, Tuesday, June 22, 2004. Prosecutors have accused Stewart of conspiring with two associates to improperly aid her client Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind cleric serving a life sentence for plotting to attack the U.S. government. (AP Photo/John Marshall Mantel)
an excerpt/letter from the Justice for Lynne Stewart website.
Last Sunday the New York Times carried a politically disturbing article about the courageous defense attorney, Lynne F. Stewart, who has been indicted by the U.S. Government simply for representing her client. Readers of The Nation need to understand the distortions of that slick article, in which the real politics of the case was buried in a profusion of irrelevant personal data about Stewart and her humanist husband, Ralph Poynter.
I first met Lynne and Ralph in 1967, at a meeting of the Teachers' Freedom Party, headed by Poynter, a meeting I attended as the head of the Parent-Community council of District 13 (in northern Brooklyn). Our organizations later joined to work against the central Board of Education, the United Federation of Teachers, the elitist media, government on all levels, and a host of local political hacks of all types. What we opposed was their effort to control the minds of our children and to ensure that the enormous school budget would remain in central hands and so would never be used for real education.
In this struggle for better schools, it was Poynter who first used the term community control. This was not, as the Times implied, a trivial local struggle long since forgotten, for it went beyond the issue of education to that of the decentralization of political authority in general. That has been a fundamental conflict between leftist and rightist political thinking throughout history, with the leftists (progressives or radicals) claiming the human right to control one's own institutions and resources, and the rightists (liberals or conservatives) inhumanly insisting that everything in society must be controlled absolutely by an elite class of ultra-rich selfists.
Soon afterwards, the unified campaign against us was put in the hands of McGeorge Bundy, who was regularly called upon by three Presidents to deal with the real hotspots of the world, such as Vietnam and the Middle East. So if the old saw is true, that we are best judged by who our enemies are, then his involvement, combined with the unrelenting opposition of Stewart and Poynter to sick rightist leaders like Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, the Bushes and Ashcroft tells us that they are among the most honorable and worthy people of our time.
The next distortion about the Lynne Stewart case is that it is somehow related to her client, Sheik Rahman. But in fact it is only abut the Republican program to subvert the Bill of Rights, and to establish a fascist Department of Justice with new powers of intrusion and oppression. Now even conservative "libertarians" like Alan Dershowitz are supporting the right of our government to torture its prisoners, as if our constitutional right not to be cruelly punished was somehow wrong. Various attorneys have suggested that anywhere from four to six of the Bill's articles are being attacked in this case by the Justice Department, which is controlled by a President and Attorney General who are both pathological conservative extremists and religionists.
Ashcroft picked his target carefully, choosing the attorney least likely to win broad support from other attorneys, and one who represented an unpopular client, a person who is ethnically hated by every Zionist in America. His plan is to use the courts and the elitist media to divide and conquer us all, so that we will forget to defend our constitutional rights. Then, at home as abroad, no one will have any protection against rightist extremists like him and his boss.
Finally, it is suggested in the elitist media that it is inconsistent for a champion of human rights like Stewart to defend a political prisoner, one whom they feel can be described as a narrow-minded religionist, a so-called "terrorist", and an antifeminist to boot. But this distortion sidesteps the real issue. Genuine leftists do not support the Arab people today because of their religion, their social customs, or the tactics that they are forced to use to defend themselves against their more powerful oppressors. No, true leftists support the Arab people in spite of those things, solely because they are no being oppressed or targeted for oppression by the Anglo-American Axis, which includes Israel and now apparently even Russia. And the real purpose of that oppression is to steal their land, liberty, sovereignty, and natural resources.
Our Middle-Eastern policy is not about the acquisition of oil, for we can always buy it from the sellers. It is instead, as the Iraqis say, about the control of all the oil resources of the world. That is what "regime change' is really all about. And under our Big-Oil President and Vice-President, that control is to be stolen by force, by terrorism in fact, and our own national treasury is to be robbed to make that international terrorism possible. But ultimately, as even the tepid Al Gore now warns us, we will all pay the heavy cost of our present government's insanity.
The Antifederalists, the genuine leftists of more than two centuries ago, warned that our elitist constitution would only create another Roman Empire. Well, under the control of rightist liberals and conservatives, our nation has indeed become inhuman, immoral, and a more terrible aggressor than Rome ever was. And that development is what all genuine American leftists oppose - the present rightist campaign against all Arab nations and its intended extension to world domination. Big Oil wants war, this we know. But why should we want it? That is unfathomable, almost too sick to believe.
Lynne Stewart and Ralph Poynter have always been acutely aware of all these issues, and that is why they are both the targets of the government and the elitists media. But, contrary to the Times, Stewart and Poynter are not alone. They have always been genuine leftists, and so they are still fighting with many other humanists for genuine democracy and justice for all.
Oh wait- she's a leftist, a lawyer, a woman and is white but has a black husband. She MUST be guilty (of something...)
Didn't I once read something about innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?
Oh, I remember now- that's just what they say during the opening intro to COPS on the Fox network. It doesn't actually mean anything to a God-fearing, country-loving American who believes in the Constitution and justice- they're all obviously guilty because they got arrested, and I SAW them do it. Or did I?
Now, that should have been the theme song for C.O.P.S!
Tell me that song wouldn't have rocked so much harder than Bad Boys?
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