October 16, 2006

Left-Wing Lawyer to be Sentenced For Aiding Terrorism

Lynne Stewart, the radical liberal lawyer convicted of providing material support for terrorism, faces being sentenced for up to 30 years today. Her defense team's strategy?

She and her allies are pinning their hopes for leniency on a strategy that argues she became so emotionally involved in the sheik's case that she acted irrationally — a strategy that is underpinned by a sealed letter to the court from a psychiatrist.

A psychiatric report submitted to the federal judge in Manhattan who will decide the sentence, John Koeltl, claims that several emotional events in Stewart's life suggest her actions were motivated by "human factors of her client and his situation" and not by politics, according to portions of the psychiatric report.

The psychiatrist, Steven Teich, points to 11 emotional events that he claims prompted her to want to take action on Abdel Rahman's behalf, Stewart's attorneys say. Among the events that make Dr.Teich's list are her experiences seeing Abdel Rahman incarcerated and the 1995 suicide of a drug defendant named Dominick Maldonado, whom Stewart had once represented.

"Ms. Stewart's commitment to the protection of her client, the Sheik, in prison was magnified by emotions from her perceived failure to protect her former client Mr. Maldonado, which had, consequently, resulted in his death by suicide," Mr. Teich wrote.

While the evaluation by Dr. Teich is filed under seal, Stewart's attorneys quote portions of it at length in public legal papers.

Stewart's behavior was "emotionally based and sometimes impulsive" and her mental state while representing Abdel Rahman "immobilized her critical ability to evaluate the potential consequences of her actions," according to the psychiatric report.

In other words, they are claiming that Stewart became a traitor to her country because she let her perceived failures and emotions get the better of her, not because she was inherently or willfully disloyal.


Somehow, that defense sounds familiar... where have I heard it before?

This "emotionally-based and sometimes impulsive" behavior did not start in 2000 or in September 11, 2001, in October of 2001, or March of 2003. It is instead a inherent structural flaw in a group of people going back decades.

Once upon a time liberals were classic liberals, pulling for individual rights, equal opportunity, freedom, and peace. I didn't agree with the methods they espoused towards realizing their ideals, but I could at least respect their ideals, if not their plans for implementation.

Somewhere, however, liberals began to lose their liberalism and thirst for universal freedoms. As Dr. Sanity noted, they traded their ideals for ideology, and have now reached a point where:

...every issue supported by the Left, and almost all of the behavior exhibited by the Left is completely antithetical to classical liberal philosophies. There is no longer a commitment to personal liberty or to freedom. The Left is far too busy to promote freedom for the common man or woman, because their time is taken up advocating freedom for tyrants who oppress the common man; terrorists who kill the common man; and religious fanatics who subjugate the common woman.

The intellectuals who once promoted the IDEA of freedom, now are ensnared in an IDEOLOGY that depends for its very existence on the silencing of speech; the suppression of ideas; and the persecution of those who dare to refute its tenets.

Patriotism and love of one’s country is mocked by those who once fought to bring the American Dream to all American citizens; and who once championed those who were prevented from sharing in that Dream. Slowly and inexorably those idealists who once shouted, “we shall overcome,” morphed into a toxic culture promoting a never-ending victimhood that cannot possibly be overcome. Love of American ideals and values was transformed into the most perverse and vile anti-Americanism –where all things originating or “tainted” as American are uniquely bad; and where America became the source of all evil in the world.

This is the worldview that seems to have ensnared Lynne Stewart, and forms the basis for her defense as she is about to be sentenced for aiding and abetting terrorism. "I didn't mean to become a traitor," seems to be her cry, "my emotions made me do it." It seems beyond her that emotions led her to support those who would take away everything that she professed to support in a lifetime of liberal activism.

Liberals are not liberal anymore, and have not been for decades.

Many no longer even choose to identify themselves as such, perhaps subconsciously acknowledging that as they brand themselves as "progressives," without even realizing what they are progressing towards; Statism, the destruction of free speech, the crushing of dissent, the willful abandonment of a platform that once declared all should have equal rights to life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Their new platform is something else entirely.

Progressives don’t want peace; they just don't support our going to war.

They push to surrender in Iraq and Afghanistan—or as the style it, "redeploy"—because they claim that the cost of American lives is too high. The are ashamed to address what occurred when they were able to convince us to withdraw from Somalia and Vietnam. They perhaps saved tens of thousands of American soldier's lives by forcing politically-motivated withdrawals, but at what cost?

Millions died in Southeast Asia as a result of a successful anti-war movement in the United States forcing us to retreat, and the Murtha-led retreat from Somalia inspired Osama bin Laden to the African embassy bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, and eventually 9/11/01.

Progressives still claim to support individual freedoms and feminism and equality, but shamefully propose to abandon two fledgling nations struggling to find democracy to Islamists that subjugate people for being of a different ethnic group, or religion, or race, or gender.

How is this surrender to oppression in any way in confluence with the classical concept of liberalism? Put bluntly, it is not.

Liberalism, or at least those who today claim to be liberal and progressive, has become the refuge of back-biting isolationists that long ago gave up any pretense of finding freedom and equality concepts worth fighting for in favor of a morally bankrupt ideology blindly seeking power and relevance at any cost. Once more, those that claim to be liberals urge us to turn our backs on the ideals that made American great.

Justice. Honor. Freedom. Equality.

These noble concepts are snorted at with derision by an American Left today that in no way shares the ideals of those who came before. No one truly interested in human rights and justice and equality could abandon Iraq to insurgent Islamists and elements of al Qaeda advocating sharia law, nor abandoning Afghanistan to a brutal Taliban that subjugates women and murders homosexuals and others who deemed unworthy under brutal and primitive Sharia law. These "liberals" would condemn more than 50 million people to oppression because the price we've paid thus far is too much for their tender sensibilities.

Lynne Stewart braces for sentencing today as one liberal that long ago abandoned her stated principles in favor of an ideology most un-American. Thousands more just like her view her impending incarceration as a travesty of justice, without understanding that it is instead their beliefs that run counter to every ideal this nation holds dear. Ironically, they think they are the voices of freedom and reason.

Freedom is not earned by submission. Cowardice does not buy liberty. Retreat does not win equality.

Somehow, so called liberals lost sight of those basic facts long ago.

Update: I said "cowardice does not buy liberty"... but convicted felon and liberal moneyman George Soros came damn close. Soros funded a significant portion of Stewart's legal defense.

Stewart was sentenced today to to a whopping 28 months in prison. Her paralegal Ahmed Sattar got 24 years for conspiracy to kidnap and kill those in a foreign country.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 16, 2006 10:17 AM | TrackBack

Justice. Honor. Freedom. Equality.

These noble concepts are snorted at with derision by an American Left today that in no way shares the ideals of those who came before.

Abu Ghraib. Waterboarding. Stress positions.

Keep preaching to us about the moral superiority of the American Right...

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at October 16, 2006 04:32 PM


Waterboarding vs Beheading... you can argue about the wrongs of individuals all you want but in the end you have to choose sides. I think it is a great testament to this nation that our citizens will not stand for relatively minor(considering the historical and international record on torture) mistakes by our side. at the same time, it is mind boggling how people can some how come to the conclusion that these occurrances not only make us equally evil as our enemy, but worthy of losing the war at the cost of millions of innocents here and abroad.

Wars do not end without a victor; regardless of our indiscretions, to deny that we must win this war is at best naive and stupid, at worst it is treasonous and fascistic.

Posted by: K-Det at October 16, 2006 07:08 PM

Still trying to pin the slaughter in Cambodia on America's withdrawl from Vietnam?

Hard to square with the fact that the Vietnemese are the ones who put a stop to the "killing fields."

Posted by: monkyboy at October 16, 2006 07:45 PM

Pleeeeaaaassee tell me that wasn't a reference to "waterboards" and "stress positions" as some sort of heinous atrocity. You can do better than that. being waterboarded sucks, but it's probably got long term effects similar to being tickle-tortured for an hour.

when i was at SERE school, some of the guys in the class wanted to see what being water boarded was like, so they resisted past all reason and the instructors obliged them. to a man, and we're talking about marine officers and a SEAL, they said that after being water boarded they told the instructors anything they wanted to hear because it freaked them out.

were they sitting in the fetal position in class? no. having had it done on them, they recognized how effective it was because it's such a powerful tool. is there a risk of death? no. you just think you're going to drown, but you wont. are the terrorists probably pissed off and crying torture because they completely freaked out and spilled the beans? wouldn't surprise me.

Open question: Have any journalists volunteered to be water boarded to see what it's like? It might sound ridiculous but..why not?

Anyway, this woman is claiming to be a slave to her emotional impulses, and her occasional whackjob sessions make her a threat to those around her. She ought to be treated as such, and be placed in a mental institution so that she doesn't accidentally get emotionally involved with terrorists and whatnot. It's for her own safety.

Posted by: paully at October 16, 2006 09:00 PM

Waterboarding vs Beheading...

A difference in degree, rather than kind.

you can argue about the wrongs of individuals all you want but in the end you have to choose sides.

Very good - I choose the side of civilization rather than barbarity. Your country has degenerated to resemble the thing it claims to struggle against.

I take pride in being able to state that my country does not torture people. Any thinking American would be deeply humiliated by the fact that they cannot say the same.

Justice. Honor. Freedom. Equality - remember?

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at October 16, 2006 10:57 PM

Freedom is not earned by submission

It was for the Confederacy...or at least for the Confederacy's former slaves.

Posted by: Hed at October 16, 2006 11:53 PM

Freedom is not earned by submission. Cowardice does not buy liberty.

Does this mean that you believe those Iraqis attempting to kill the American invaders occupying their country are right to do so?

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans at October 17, 2006 12:03 AM

Put your hand on the phone-ah, dial the number, see that your free to be carrying on-ah, when your gone-ah...

Posted by: Pinko Punko at October 17, 2006 12:46 AM

What country are you from? Pamphletpropagandastan? Those little snipings are pretty tired. Why not bring in your experiences from your utopic country, which you mentioned is free of any oppression, and throw around some original ideas?

Posted by: paully at October 17, 2006 01:00 AM


Phoenician wanders into blogs spewing all over the place until it finally pisses off the blog owner and gets banned, in which case it finds a new one.

Looks like Confederate Yankee's the next lucky host.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at October 17, 2006 03:21 AM

PiatoR is one of Goldstein's old trolls from PW, it just took me a while to recognize the handle. He's gone.

Not that it matters, but he is from New Zealand, a country rich in hobbits and hairy fruits.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at October 17, 2006 06:31 AM

Go Braveheart Bob!

Ban everyone who disagrees with you. Way to show that Kiwi who's boss of this little house of cards!

Posted by: Lint at October 17, 2006 08:07 AM

you cant spell "banality" without "ban". :)

Posted by: paully at October 17, 2006 08:29 AM

Hard to square with the fact that the Vietnemese are the ones who put a stop to the "killing fields."

I would suggest you read Chandlers's Brother Number One

Posted by: Purple Avenger at October 17, 2006 10:06 AM

Well, paully, it may have something to do with the fact that we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding. War crime in 1945, but really effective interrogation technique now? As a graduate of a SERE course myself, I am constantly amused by the comparison if its use on highly trained troops in a known training environment, with its use on civilian prisoners under our control who have no recourse.

Followed only by the first class cognitive dissonance that you don't have to prove a single one is guilty before you use a war crime to extract information. The irrational rationalization being, I suppose, its not really that big a deal, so if they're innocent, no harm done. It takes a special kind of crazy to fit that in your head, and then advocate having it written into your "law".

Posted by: Officious Pedant at October 17, 2006 12:13 PM

I want the three minutes of my life back that I spent reading this.

So "liberal" is o.k., but the liberals have forgotten what that means? Yes CY, it is the left that is pushing to destroy free speech and squelch dissent. Damn man, what color is the sky in your world?

Posted by: T.S. Garp at October 17, 2006 03:55 PM

You guys do realize that the Republicans wanted a US withdrawal from Somalia, right?

Statement of Republican Policy on U.S. Armed Forces in Somalia, Adopted April 1, 1993

Posted by: AJB at October 18, 2006 07:36 AM

...every issue supported by the Left, and almost all of the behavior exhibited by the Left is completely antithetical to classical liberal philosophies. There is no longer a commitment to personal liberty or to freedom.

Hm. I support Habeas Corpus. Apparently this makes me a fascist?

Bye bye, Republicans. It has been unpleasant dealing with you.

Posted by: brooksfoe at October 18, 2006 10:27 AM