Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Free Lynne Stewart


Lynne Stewart has devoted her life to defending the poor and the oppressed. After forty years of exposing government targeting of the most vulnerable and exploited in our society, the government has now acted to bury her alive.

The government prosecution, conviction and imprisonment of Lynne Stewart is based solely upon the fact that she joined former Attorney-General Ramsey Clark and attorney Abdeen Jabbar in defending Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman against the trumped up charge that he organized and implemented a terrorist plot to blow up noted landmarks, including the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Statue of Liberty and United Nations, along with planning to assassinate then Senator Alphonse D¹Amato and former U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali.

These charges were false. The plot was entirely an FBI plan designed to ensnare young men attending the mosque of the Sheikh in order to create a climate of fear in the United States and to provide a pretext for wars abroad and the drastic infringement of democratic rights at home.

These are the stakes in the government's own conspiracy against all defense lawyers who dare to represent those targeted by a criminal State.

Even federal investigators, high-ranking Justice Department lawyers and Attorney General Janet Reno herself doubted the evidence. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 28, 1993 that "For weeks, federal investigators privately voiced their doubts about the quality of the evidence supporting the government¹s case against Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman."

"But in the end," the article revealed, "Attorney General Janet Reno overcame her own misgivings, as well as those of her subordinates and concluded that the alleged conspiracy was a case that had to be prosecuted."

The then Attorney General was muscled into proceeding with false charges against the Sheikh arising from a plot prepared by the F.B.I. itself, as documented in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and London Times.

Lynne Stewart was herself convicted in a trial where endless hours of footage of Osama bin Laden and the attacks of September 11th, 2001 all entirely unrelated to the events of 1993 were allowed by the court to be introduced in trial in a reckless and illegal attempt to frighten and intimidate the jury.

In a case that is a watershed in the direct assault upon democratic rights in the United States, Lynne Stewart has been railroaded to prison in an ominous threat to any attorney who defends people falsely accused and targeted by the U.S. government. If lawyers can be enfolded within the crime imputed to the client they defend, merely for acting as their attorney, no one can get a fair trial in the United States.

The basis of the government's claim that Lynne Stewart "aided and supported terrorism" by defending Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman is that she released a Press Release to Reuters and other news agencies containing the views of the Sheikh on political events in Egypt!

Unconstitutional restrictions upon defense lawyers had been introduced in the form of new prison administrative procedures called Special Administrative Measures or SAMS. These measures required attorneys to agree not to disseminate information pertaining to their clients.

Thus, while the government uses the Press without restraint to orchestrate official propaganda promoting prosecutorial claims, defense lawyers are to be denied the right to use the press to advocate for their clients and to present their clients opinions and ideas.

The sole penalty for violating these arbitrary administrative restrictions upon the constitutional rights of defense attorneys is that the prison can deny access by the lawyer to the defendant until the matter is resolved.

Even these SAMS designed to muzzle lawyers and prevent them from exercising their free speech rights and to restrict illegally their ability to defend their clients in the public arena are strictly administrative rules.

To defy them as Ramsey Clark and Abdeen Jabbar elected to do no less than Lynne Stewart - carries no legal consequences for the attorney. To breach these administrative restraints is not a crime or an act for which the perpetrator can be charged or prosecuted.

Yet in a mockery of the entire judicial process, the Second Circuit Appellate Judges have deployed the breach of these prison administrative rulings as a major crime one of "enhancing terrorism" and of "perjury" for which decades of imprisonment are in order!

The comments by judges in the Second Circuit are without even the pretence of a judicial or legal basis. They are political rants and reckless threats to Judge Koeltl demanding that he increase the 28 month sentence of Lynne Stewart to decades in prison.

The statements by several Second Circuit Judges are injudicious, hysterical assertions that the Sheikh is one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. The Second Circuit judges cite a speech that Lynne Stewart gave to a public meeting of law students patent hearsay derived from newspaper reports - in which Lynne is quoted as stating that she had done nothing wrong in advocating for her client and would do it again.

Second Circuit Judges assert that their statements are "a wink and a nod" to Judge Koeltl, letting him understand that unless he increases the sentence of Lynne Stewart to decades in prison, the U.S. government will appeal again and send the case right back to the Second Circuit, at which time these Second Circuit judges will take matters into their own hands and mandate a sentence of decades in prison.

On the basis of this speech, these judges label Lynne a "recidivist enhancer of terror" and a "perjurer." Rarely has their been so brazen an abandonment of judicial impartiality and respect for the law as exhibited by these hanging judges of the Second Circuit.

It is a measure of the subversion of the entire judicial process and of constitutional protections and basic democratic rights that these judges emulate Alice in Wonderland with scarcely veiled threats to Judge Koeltl as they proclaim "Off with her head!"

Lynne Stewart at 70 years of age has survived cancer, suffers from high blood pressure, has been deprived of her medication and denied the surgery that was scheduled prior to her being remanded to prison in a crass display of contempt for common decency.

The Second Circuit judges revoked her bail in November 2009 ignoring the fact that her Appeal remains under review and a potential Appeal to the Supreme Court is pending.

Mobilize in defense of Lynne Stewart and against the architecture of the fascist State under rapid construction in America.

Proclaim that Lynne Stewart¹s is the Dreyfus Case of our time and that today as then a criminal state wages wars of genocide abroad and authoritarian repression at home while seeking to scapegoat a heroic defender of the oppressed, thus betraying the legacy of the American revolution.

Organize large numbers of people to gather outside and inside Judge Koeltl's Courtroom at 500 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan when Lynne Stewart is scheduled to be re-sentenced on July 15.

Write personal letters to Judge Koeltl opposing the destruction of democratic rights and the threat to all attorneys embodied in the reckless persecution and prosecution of Lynne Stewart.

Remind the Judge that Lynne Stewart has, in his own words, been a national treasure reflecting a lifetime of devoted public service and that he should treat her accordingly and reserve draconian sentencing for the torturers and the wagers of wars of aggression.

Call upon Judge Koeltl to defy attempts by judges on the Second Circuit to usurp his own proper judgment and jurisdiction by dictating a vengeful sentence that is a death sentence upon the U.S. constitution.

Write accordingly directly to: The Honorable Judge John G. Koeltl, United States District Judge, Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street, New York, N.Y. 10013.

Email copies of your letter to Judge Koeltl to Ralph Poynter and Lynne Stewart at / / and obtain ongoing information.

Mail a copy of your letter to Judge Koeltl to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at 350 Broadway, Suite 700, N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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