Posted by Curt on 16 October, 2006 at 4:54 pm. 1 comment.

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The terrorist sympatizer and Queen of the Scumbags was sentenced to 2+ years inside a Federal country club:

A firebrand civil rights lawyer who has defended Black Panthers and anti-war radicals was sentenced Monday to nearly 2 1/2 years in prison — far less than the 30 years prosecutors wanted — for helping an imprisoned terrorist sheik communicate with his followers on the outside.

Lynne Stewart, 67, smiled, cried and hugged supporters after U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl pronounced the sentence of 28 months.

The judge said Stewart was guilty of smuggling messages between her client and his followers that could have “potentially lethal consequences.” He called the crimes “extraordinarily severe criminal conduct.”

But in departing from federal guidelines that called for 30 years behind bars, he cited Stewart’s more than three decades of dedication to poor, disadvantaged and unpopular clients.

Gag….this is the same lady who once said this about the use of violence to overthrow this Government:

To rid ourselves of the entrenched, voracious type of capitalism that is in this country that perpetuates sexism and racism, I don’t think that can come nonviolently.

And who defended members of the Weather Underground:

Who were these extremists? The Weather Underground — originally called the Weathermen, taken from a line in a Bob Dylan song — was a small, violent offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), created in the turbulent ‘60s to promote social change.

When the SDS collapsed in 1969, the Weather Underground stepped forward, inspired by communist ideologies and embracing violence and crime as a way to protest the Vietnam War, racism, and other left-wing aims. “Our intention is to disrupt the empire … to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks,” claimed the group’s 1974 manifesto, Prairie Fire. By the next year, the group had claimed credit for 25 bombings and would be involved in many more over the next several years.

And the Black Panther party, the same party in which 21 of its members were charged with plotting to assassinate police officers and blow up buildings.

She defended those who want nothing more then the complete overthrow of our country.

This is a lady who deserves leniency? She gets a little over 2 years in prison for helping a person who was behind the first WTC bombing, who killed Americans, who was sending messages to his followers. Keep in mind she said this after her conviction:

“I’d like to think I would do it again,” she thundered. “It’s the way a lawyer is supposed to behave.” She added, “I know I committed no crime. I know what I did was right.”

And for all this the judge feels she should be given a break?

Did the judge stop to think that she may have very well caused more deaths by transmitting messages from the Sheikh to his followers? 28 months!

Argh!

Here is Andrew McCarthy writing about when he spoke to Mrs. Preston from the NYT’s about this scumbag:

Our national counterterrorism strategy now is to prevent terror attacks from happening, not to prosecute them after people have been killed. Under the circumstances, it is no defense for those who knowingly assist organizations that practice indiscriminate murder to claim that no one ended up getting hurt — the whole point of the strategy is to disable the accomplices so no one does get hurt.

Moreover, as I tried to point out (in obvious futility) to Ms. Preston, Stewart’s conviction does not pertain to what she did while she was actually defending the blind sheikh. The government has always been extremely deferential to the needs of attorneys representing accused terrorists as they prepare for trial, conduct trial, prepare for sentencing, and draft any appeals. The acts on which Stewart’s convictions were based took place long after Abdel Rahman’s trial and sentencing, long after his appeals were rejected, and well beyond the time allotted for filing habeas corpus petitions to attack his convictions. When she was indicted, Stewart was not performing the function of a lawyer defending a terrorist; her prosecution thus portends no interference with lawyers engaged in the zealous representation of criminal defendants.

And then he ends his article with brilliance, comparing the Bush administrations war against terror against the Clinton administrations police action against terrorism:

Interestingly, the Times did opt to quote from a letter submitted to the sentencing judge on Stewart’s behalf from Jo Ann Harris, the Clinton Justice Department’s Criminal Division chief at the time the blind sheikh was indicted. (The indictment, by the way, came in 1993, not, as the Times reports, 1994; nor, despite the Times’ claim, did Ms. Harris “authorize[]” the indictment; though Harris was consulted, the indictment was actually authorized by Attorney General Janet Reno and Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.)

According to Preston’s article, Harris has told the judge that the terrorism counts against Ms. Stewart were “unwarranted overkill.” Harris reportedly elaborated that Stewart “didn’t have a clue that the stick she was poking in the government’s eye was going to have consequences beyond her imagination.”

Counterterrorism, of course, remains the central national security issue as we head into the 2006 elections, with 2008 choices hard upon us after that. Thus, it is very much worth noting the stark contrasts here. The Bush Justice Department strongly believed that Stewart’s behavior warranted the strongest condemnation. A jury of twelve New Yorkers — not exactly the Red State heartland — unanimously agreed after hearing all the evidence. Still, one of the highest Clinton Justice Department officials evidently thinks the whole thing was “overkill.”

The contrast is starker still. Recall that President Bush, through Attorney General John Ashcroft (and no small amount of teeth-gnashing from the Times and the Left), adopted a “spit on the street” approach to terrorism — authorizing suspects to be locked up on any available, legally valid charge, in order to disable them and convey to terrorist groups that we were pursuing them aggressively.

Compare President Clinton, who has spent a lot of time lately defending his national security record. (See here, here and here.) In 1999, he pardoned 16 members of the FALN terrorist organization which, as Investors Business Daily editorialized last month, “carried out more than 150 bombings in the U.S., including the lunchtime bombing of Fraunces Tavern in New York on Jan. 24, 1975, that killed four.” (Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris has indicated that this was done to help then-First Lady Hillary Clinton win the votes of Puerto Ricans in the anticipated New York Senate race.)

On January 20, 2001, moreover, Clinton’s very last acts in power included pardons for two convicted Weather Underground terrorists, Susan Rosenberg and Laura Sue Whitehorn.

Lynne Stewart is a figure who straddles the September 10 and September 11 worlds — the divergent Clinton and Bush counterterrorism models. As the lead-up to her sentencing shows, it matters a great deal which model we choose.

And we got the answer from a judge in New York, of all places. I guess the horrible sound of those buildings collapsing has been completely silenced by the city of New York.

UPDATE

Ed Morrissey puts it way better then I can:

The government took this case to the appropriate venue; Stewart is an American citizen and committed a grievous crime. However, Judge Koeltl showed why the law-enforcement model will never defeat terrorism. Here we have an important part of a communication chain meant to instigate murder on a global scale, and the judge sentences her to 1/15th of the possible sentence. Koeltl waxed on about Stewart’s previous good works, all of which would have amounted to zero comfort to anyone lost in a terrorist attack she enabled. In fact, we still don’t know that there hasn’t been an attack based on that communication.

Koeltl sent a message today that certain people can commit or enable acts of terror, as long as they have the correct political background.

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