"... the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light." (Luke 16:8)
Radical Lawyer Lynne Stewart must serve a decade in prison - a sentence that could keep her behind bars until she turns 80. The controversial civil rights attorney was convicted in 2005 of "associating" with Omar Abdel Rahman in prison. Stewart was initially sentenced to 28 months. In an unusual move last year, the government ordered that she be re-sentenced.
Stewart was shocked by the new sentence. At the time of her 2006 sentencing, she brazenly told the judge she could do the 28 months "standing on my head." Yesterday, Stewart, who has battled breast cancer and other illnesses, was more circumspect: Flanked Thursday by family and supporters, Stewart, 70, quietly wiped away tears as U.S. District Judge John Koeltl handed down his decision to give her 10 years and a month. The stiff sentence was four times what she originally faced. Stewart warned others who would dare to follow in her footsteps:
"I have since learned ... that nobody, particularly this 70-year-old woman can do 28 months standing on their head."
She later added that her 10-year sentence is probably "a death sentence." [We urge you to read our article, "I was in Prison, and Ye Visited Me Not."]
Elaine Cassel writes:
"In January, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft spent $8,000 for curtains to cover up the semi-nude statutes depicting the 'Spirit of Justice' and the 'Majesty of Law' in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice Headquarters. What most passed off then as the silly protestations of an authoritarian and puritanical Attorney General seem now, in retrospect, to have been a symbolic gesture that something more sinister was brewing.
"For no drapes, no disclaimers, no reassurances can veil the threat to law and justice represented by Ashcroft's single-handedly imposing a regulation that effectively ended-for certain defendants attorney-client privilege and confidentiality.
"The regulation allows the Department of Justice, unilaterally, without judicial oversight, and with no meaningful standards, to conduct surveillance on attorneys' contact with people in federal custody, be they detainees with no pending charges, defendants awaiting trial, or convicted persons, "to the extent determined to be reasonably necessary for the purpose of deterring future acts of violence or terrorism."
NOTE: Elaine Cassel is an attorney, freelance writer, and professor of law at Concord University School of Law, where she teaches administrative law and health law courses in the LLM program in Health Law. She also teaches graduate courses in law and psychology at Marymount University. She practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. She graduated from George Washington University Law School and has graduate degrees in English Literature and psychology. She has authored a textbook in criminal psychology (Criminal Behavior, Allyn & Bacon, 2001), and writes frequently in areas related to psychology and the law. Her research and writing interests include the psychology of false confessions, repressed memory, and the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, as well as the treatment of juveniles and the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. She is the Chair of the American Bar Association's Behavioral Sciences Committee of the Science and Technology Law Section and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
"Before the eavesdropping regulation, the government had begun to impose on detainees, defendants, and convicts Special Administrative Measures (SAM) that restrict communication with everyone, including their defense attorneys. Vaguely worded to trap the unwary, the regulations prohibit not only contact with the outside world, but also contact with the attorney that the Department of Justice deems to be outside the scope of 'legal representation'. Add to SAM's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants (issued for the broad purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information, without the necessity for showing that the target is involved in terrorism or secret intelligence activities), and the DOJ [Dept. of Justice] already has a free line to attorney-client communications when the client is alleged to be associated with terrorism.
"FISA warrants cannot be used to target Americans EXCEPT in the 'national interest' and to protect against acts of terrorism. The eavesdropping regulation, which requires no warrant and can be imposed at any time upon 'notice' to the attorney and client that they 'may' be monitored, allows DOJ to target attorneys directly without suspicion of their being involved in acts threatening national security."
NOTE: Very obviously the "Except" provision (see above) is an enormous hole in the law since it is up to the Justice Department to decide when a person can be declared a "terrorist threat" – especially in light of the fact that there is no appeal from such a ruling.
Client confidentiality is the very foundation of the attorney-client relationship. A lawyer cannot reveal information relating to client representation unless the client gives informed consent or the disclosure is otherwise necessary to carry out the representation (ABA Model Rule 1:6). But this protection is rendered null by the government's claim that if a client is labeled as having connections to terrorism, then every communication with a client, whether taking place in person, by fax, by phone, or email, can be monitored by the government.
Plainly, what this does is to intimidate defense lawyers in so-called terrorist cases – after all, what potential defense attorney would not be troubled by the thought that the government might be privy to every attorney-client communication ("may" is the operative word, for the government does not tell the attorney if he or she is actually being monitored)? How might that chill client contact? Lawyers representing "terrorist" suspects have talked about the difficulty of communicating with clients. Some only do so in person now, and even then, only by passing notes so as not to be overhead.
Along with Special Administrative Measures, the October 31, 2001 regulation renders the Sixth Amendment (the right of an accused person to have recourse to be competently represented by an attorney) meaningless – after all, even if the government does not indict the attorney for illegal conduct in the course of representation, the government can know every aspect of the case, every communication with the client, every legal and factual argument, every case read.
Sheik Abdel Rahman
In the Spring of 2002, Stewart was suddenly and without warning arrested by the FBI, at her home in Brooklyn, for materially aiding terrorism by virtue of making a public press release to Reuters on behalf of her client, Sheik Abdel Omar Rahman of Egypt.
Very obviously, Stewart's arrest proves beyond any doubt that an attorney can be charged with aiding and abetting terrorism if he engages in everyday acts of lawyering. Thus, Stewart's reply to the press about her client's condition became an act of aiding and abetting terrorism.
That someone can be linked to terrorism in such a capricious manner should give people everywhere cause from not speaking out regarding the continuing evolution America into a police-state.
This is EXACTLY the kind of justice that Christians should expect to receive when one speaks out against the American New World Order System, and particularly against the church's involvement with it.
We URGE you to see the following video:
"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
THEN THEY CAME for me
- Martin Niemöller