SCAPEGOAT FOR 9-11: FEDS TARGET ACTIVIST
ATTORNEY TO COVER UP THEIR OWN MISDEEDS.
After the first bombing of the World Trade Center in
1993, the Feds managed to set up what they call a sting operation, but
what was more likely a poorly managed entrapment scheme against a blind
Islamic cleric, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, whose real crime was railing
against the United States.
The poor fellow was convicted by a jury of plotting to bomb a number of
prominent New York City landmarks, the plot of course being crafted
entirely by the Feds themselves, and he now languished in prison under
a life sentence, with heavy restrictions imposed on his ability to
communicate to the outside world under the ruse that such communication
may aid and abet terrorist activity.
Lynne Stewart, an activist attorney whose clients
are often the down and out, the underdogs of society, either because of
their socio-economic status or their political leanings, was asked by
former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who originally defended the
Sheikh, to take over his case, and after some hesitation, she accepted.
Although she has admitted that the Sheikh was not
one of her favorite clients, she defended him vigorously, particularly
in post trial motions relating to his treatment and possible transfer
to an Egyptian prison. She has said that she believes the Sheikh was
innocent of the charges for which he was convicted.
Anyone with a healthy sense of self preservation
would gag at the idea of jailing a blind Sheikh. The recklessly
inflammatory nature of the entrapment and conviction must either not
have been a primary consideration of the U.S. Justice Department at
that time (during the Administration of President Clinton), or was a
After a tragedy of the dimensions of 9-11, naturally
the Feds, realizing that they had a direct role in its instigation,
strove to cover up any connection that the public might make between
their stupidity and the event. Not that the public, which is a little
slow to connect the dots, would make such a connection. But outright
guilt apparently drove the Feds to worry over such a possibility, and
what better defense than to blame Lynne Stewart for what they
themselves effected. She was, to them, undoubtedly a convenient, if not
a perfect, scapegoat and decoy.
Stewart, as part of her professional legal services
to the Sheikh, apparently assisted in his thwarting some of the
stringent restrictions on his communication to the outside world, and
helped him convey a message to his Egyptian followers, through a
publicly issued press release, to the effect that he no longer
supported a cease-fire they were observing.
Two other Moslem associates of Stewart were also
convicted. They no doubt did nothing wrong, but the convoluted case
against they and Stewart was considered triable by the judge, and a
jury ruled all the defendants guilty on all counts. That alone makes
'the jury's ruling rather suspect. The three defendants were tried
together, even though the cases against the two Moslems were quite
different in character from that of Stewart, leading to a kind of guilt
by association with no basis in law.
Stewart was also a thorn in the Justice Department's
side, as she had won some rather high profile cases at the expense of
The government has huge resources to mount its case,
while Stewart, who is by no means wealthy through her legal work for
the poor, has a rather limited pocketbook to fund her defense. Granted,
she has had some help from benefactors such as multi-billionaire George
Soros. But that is nothing compared to what the government can spend.
Her case took literally months to try.
In the meantime, several other similar "sting"
operations have resulted in convictions of Moslems who probably did no
more than to voice unflattering views of U.S. foreign policy and those
who craft it. It is that easy to sway a jury in an atmosphere charged
with the threat of terrorist activity after 9-11. Many have
in the past couple of years earned life sentences for their thoughts.
The public, however, seems
unperturbed, convinced that these Islamic figures of varying sorts are
almost certainly guilty. A good dose of religious bias must enter into
such opinions, which makes one wonder if a fair trial for any Moslems
can be had in the United States.
We hope the judge, who has scheduled a sentencing
date in March of this year, declares a mistrial, and throws the case
out. Then we should investigate the Justice Department officials who
mounted these absurd cases, even though, for many of these criminals
posing as public servants, the statute of limitations must have
expired. We don't need to reward government officials who victimize New
Yorkers and make us a target for terrorists!