Thursday, March 08, 2007

Normally a free burrito and a lunch speaker is a good thing...

For those of you who don't know who Lynne Stewart is, you can read about her here (Orrin and others' take) or here (her own website, and the propaganda video we sat through when she came to visit today).

The skinny is she represented a convicted Islamic terrorist, intentionally broke some rules regarding her contact with him, got prosecuted and convicted for it (and, if justice prevails, will be going to jail soon) and is now being lionized by some on the left as a symbol of courage in a time of tyranny.

Here's how I would try to explain to my more liberal friends why I find Stewart (and her story) so unappealing:

Let's say I represented an anti-abortion activist who happened to primarily speak a foreign language.

And let's say he was convicted of plotting to blow up an abortion clinic and running a group that had successfully pulled off several of these mass murders.

And let's say that as a precaution against more bombings occurring at his direction the government was keeping my client in maximum-security lock up and not allowing him any contact with the outside world.

And let's say they made an exception for me as his lawyer, and told me I could bring support staff (translator, assistant) but our conversations with my client had to be limited to issues surrounding his legal defense and under no circumstances could I (or my staff) communicate on his behalf with his followers either personally or via the media.

And let's say I agreed to all of this in writing.

Now let's say I decide to patently disregard this agreement.

Let's say the "staff" I choose to bring for my client meetings are people who have ties to my client's demonstrably violent organization.

And let's say I allow my client to talk to these associates in their shared language (which I don't speak or understand) about issues wholly unrelated to his legal defense -- and I know they're talking, not translating, because the entire time they're doing it I'm making loud remarks about nothing, presumably to make it harder for the government to listen in to their conversations which it has informed me it might be doing.

And let's say a few months later another abortion clinic is bombed, killing or maiming dozens of doctors, nurses, staff, patients and bystanders...and my client's organization takes responsibility and demands his release.

And let's say even after this tragedy I continue to allow my client to meet with these conduits to his organization and speak with them as he chooses.

And let's say I issue a press release on my client's behalf wherein he urges followers to reject any peace with the "baby killers".

Again, let's say I did all this.

Would you praise me as a "zealous advocate"? Would you laud me as a "civil rights champion"?

Let's just say I wouldn't.

Bottom line, Lynne Stewart deserves to go to jail.

If she thought the restrictions the government was placing on her contact with her convicted-terrorist client were unconstitutional she could have challenged them. I might even have supported her in some of her objections...

Instead she made an agreement with the U.S. Government in obvious bad faith, broke it intentionally, and (at the very least) endangered innocent lives by doing so. (During the period when she was facilitating her client's communication with his organization it murdered 60 people and issued a demand for his release.)

I'll say it again, she deserves to go to jail.

Also, all the burritos were vegan.


derek said...

Serving vegan food is a crime worthy of prison in and of itself.

That said, I don't understand how anyone can really get behind what this woman did.

You HAVE to follow the rules. I might have supported her trying to change the rules, and I would definately have had some respect for her. As it stands, she is a criminal, and that isn't brave.

The same goes for Ehren Watada, Rush Limbaugh, and I. Scooter Libby.

Orrin Johnson said...

Derek, what you said isn't necessarily wrong, but this isn't some mere technical violation of the rules. It's material, knowing support of terrorists, resulting in at least 60 innocent people being killed. Even if there were no court order specifically denying her the right to do what she did, she should still spend a lot of time in jail. At least. Anyone who supports this woman, in my opinion, is overtly rooting for America to lose to the Islamo fascists, and should be condemned.

Conflating this with Rush Limbaugh's prescription drug issue (enlessly investigated with no charges brought) or Scooter Libby (who even assuming everything he was found guilty of actually happened, killed no one, and was the subject of an undeniably political hunt), or even Ehren Watada (who, while a traitor to the Constitution and a world class stooge for the far left, at least isn't passing messages to al Qaeda), is just silly.

Yes, you must follow the rules. But providing material suport to killers is wrong far beyond the violation of the court order.

423, was there any acknowledgement that her crime and most of the trial occured while Clinton was the president, before the PATRIOT Act, and before our fascist cultre of Bushitler was underway? Or of the 60 dead she was responsible for?

Great post, though. Thanks for sitting through it so we didn't have to.

Anonymous said...

Who said they were innocent?

Legal Quandary said...

Vegan burritos? Really? Blech.

Although Whole Foods on Roosevelt does sell some damned fine Vegan donuts. (I recommend the chocolate coconut.)

Orrin Johnson said...

"Damn fine Vegan donuts"??!? Man - for that statement alone, I sentence you to eat a 2 lb steak that's so rare it's still mooing. Immediately.

Jus' Sayin'.

Jason Sykes said...

There was very brief acknowledgment that she was charged under Clinton-era statutes, but the emphasis was on the evilitude of John Ashcroft. I think she said at the end that Janet Reno wrote to the judge on her behalf saying that under the previous administration Stewart would never have been prosecuted. But I really hope I heard that wrong, it'd be scary to think that someone could do what she did so blatantly and not be called to account for it.

ALSO not only were the 60 dead never mentioned (of course) but she also went out of her way to point out that no one died as a direct result of the press releases. Her attitude throughout was so self-righteous (with such little support) it was almost laughable. One of the few speakers I have ever refused to clap for at the end of remarks. (This was small of me and I regret it, but it was my honest reaction.)

Interesting side note: During her talk she went out of her way to characterize the press releases she passed along as legitimate political discourse, which did not square with what I'd previously heard about at least one of them. So after the event I asked her where I could find copies and she said they should be on her website. I couldn't find them (not dispositive of anything) and neither could my friend -- more perplexing since he is far smarter and more determined than I am. In any case, she said if I wanted them I could just e-mail info@(her website).com and I've done so. Will be sure to post them if I ever hear anything back.

Orrin Johnson said...

"Press releases"? Wow. And I thought Bush was the Orwellian.

Not clapping after a terrorist abettor who assisted in cold blooded murder spent the last 50 minutes bragging about and/or justifying it is, I think, warranted.

ModMilq said...

Come on anonymous! I followed the innocent people link and have cut and paste the following from the article:

"Officials have said only six gunmen were involved and all were killed by police. An Interior Ministry statement said 31 Swiss, eight Japanese, five Germans, four Britons, one Colombian, one French and one Bulgarian national were among the dead. Seven foreigners had not been identified, it added. Four Egyptians, including two policemen, were also killed.
Swiss officials in Berne put the Swiss death toll at 35, with five unaccounted for. Britain has confirmed six Britons killed. Germany says it believes four Germans died. Japan has said 10 Japanese were killed, including seven honeymooners." This was about the attack on the Egyption tourist at the pyramids 10 years ago. You were probably too young to care at the time but it was a horrifying event. I can't immagine how you can question victims as being innocent.

SirWhoopass said...

Oh please. A donut is sugar and flour fried in vegetable oil. You'd need to go out of your way to make it not vegan (sure, you could use some kind of animal fat, but it would be much more expensive).

Calling it a vegan donut in the first place is mostly pandering to a "holier than thou" crowd. Besides which, has no one considered the lives of the poor yeast cells?

ModMilq said...

Sir WhoopAss,
Calling doughnuts vegan is not pandering. My pops used to own a doughnut shop and I worked for slave wages as 12 year old and I can tell you first hand that cake doughnuts have eggs, milk, and butter in 'em. In case you don't believe me, here's a recipe you can try at home:
Doughnuts recipe
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour (about)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
Fat (for deep-fat frying)

Sift together sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and flour.

Beat eggs thoroughly, then stir into dry ingredients. Add the milk and melted butter. Roll about 1/2 inch thick on a floured board and cut with a doughnut cutter. Fry several at a time in 375 degrees F fat until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels. Dust with granulated or confectioners sugar.

Makes 24.

Kirtland said...

Jason's hypo was basic premise of a Law and Order rerun on TNT last night, only in the epidode the wacko criminals targeted defense attorneys or prosecutors who had put their members in jail. In any case, the attorney in the case behaved exactly like Lynne Stewart, and a federal prosecutor was murdered as a result. I can't even believe we let her on campus.
She's a disgrace to the profession of law, and an example of fealty to the principle of winning at all costs. Her understanding of zealous advocacy permits facilitating murder. This case should be taught in PR courses in every law school, including ours.