"I'll be the judge, I'll be the jury" said cunning
Fury. I'll try the whole cause, and condemn you to
death." Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
On Friday, February
10, 2005 Civil
rights attorney Lynne Stewart, after a tedious 7-month trial, was convicted
on all five counts of conspiring to aid terrorists and lying to the
government. She was convicted of smuggling out messages from her jailed client,
Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, of helping the Sheik contact followers in Egypt with
messages that could possibly have ignited violence in Egypt by ending a
cease-fire that had been established between the Jamaa a' Islamiya and
president Hosin Mubarak's government.
Stewart's co-defendants, Ahmed Sattar who acted as paralegal for the Sheik
and Arab translator, Mohammed, were also convicted of all charges against them.
Stewart's indictment way back in April 2002 had been personally announced to
the media by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Bush's new Attorney General,
Alberto Gonzales, said when the verdict was announced: "the convictions
sent a clear , unmistakable message that this department will pursue both those
who carry out acts of terrorism and those who assist them with their murderous
During Stewart's trial he government called few witnesses, basing its case
primarily on 85,000 secretly recorded video and audio clips of meetings in
prison between Stewart and the Sheik, as well as the home phone of Ahmed Abdel Sattar.
The prosecution also played a pre-9/11 video tape in which Osama bin Laden
threatens to attack the United States as a means of winning the Sheik's
release from prison www.slate.com/toolbar 2/16/2005)
Judge John Keoltl had originally set Stewart's sentencing for July 15th,
but has advanced the date into September 2005. Stewart's lawyers will file
post-trial motions with the judge in attempts to reverse her conviction.
Convicted of a felony, Stewart is barred from practicing law. While free on
bail, She cannot travel outside New YorkState. She faces up to 35 years in
Amy Goodman of station KPFA on February 10th, met Stewart and her husband
as they emerged from the courthouse after the verdict had been announced.
Lynne commented: " I'm still very shook up and surprised that the jury
didn't see what we sawÉ.but when you put Osama bin Laden in the courtroom and
ask the jury to ignore it, that's asking a lotÉ We are going to fight onÉ I
hope it will be a wake-up call to all the citizens of this country that you
can't lock up lawyersÉ you've got to let them operateÉ."
Lynne Stewart's troubles began when she bravely undertook the defense of
Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman some twelve years ago. That blind and diabetic Muslim
cleric was finally convicted with nine others in connection with the 1993
bombing of the WorldTradeCenter in New York City. The Sheik was sentenced to life in prison in solitary
confinement though he was NOT found guilty of involvement in the bombing plot.
Attorney Lynne Stewart who felt strongly the Sheik Rahman had been wrongly
imprisoned managed, along with Ex-Attorney-General Ramsey Clark the Sheik's
appeals, appeals eventually turned down by the appellate courts. Stewart
continued to visit the Sheik, hoping to achieve a retrial or transfer to Egypt to serve out his sentence.
As David Teather remarked in his column (www.guardian.co.uk 2/11/20005) Stewart "had built a fierce reputation
fighting for the poor, the dispossessed, radicals and revolutionaries over
her 30-year career." Prior to her legal work Stewart had been a teacher
in the NY school system,. She is the mother of three, ( a lawyer, a teacher and
a physician), stepmother of four and grandmother of seven.
Stewart's meetings with Sheik Rahman in the Federal Prison in Minnesota to which he had been transferred,
had not escaped the prying eyes of the Bush Administration, and its
Attorney-General John Ashcroft, and every effort was made to delay and
interfere with this attorney-client relationship. Ashcroft's Justice
Department, as columnist Jaret Decker put it, was: "pursuing a course that
threatens the Sixth Amendment right to legal representation, and exposesÉ any
attorney who represents a suspected terrorist to the risk of prosecution"
The blind and diabetic Sheik Rahman, confined in solitary, was barred from
contact with the outside world beyond his immediate family and attorneys. Lynne
Stewart was not only closely guarded while meeting with her Sheik client,
(which meetings required an interpreter), but restricted by having to sign an
agreement to abide by Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) imposed by the
Bureau of Prisons. These measures included the right of prison authorities to
capture on camera and tape her conversations with the Sheik; measures which,
by permitting a third party to intrude, SAMS not only defied her Sixth
Amendment rights to consul but also infringed on both lawyer and client's
Fifth Amendment right NOT to witness against themselves.
Captured on tape sometime in May 2000, Lynne Stewart may have violated her SAMS
obligation by acting as a conduit between the Sheik and his followers in an
Egyptian Islamic group. The Bush government's heavy-handed response may well
determine how Lynne spends the remainder of her life.
Zionist plans to weaken the power of Islam and retain land seized during the
1967 war surfaced at Camp
David during Jimmy
Carter's presidency when Egypt's president Sadat was seduced
into splitting the Arab league by making a separate peace with Israel. Sadat was later murdered for this
betrayal. Nassar, who succeeded Sadat led a more independent Egypt until his murder, after which the US helped a secular Husin Mubarak into the presidency.
Sheik Rahman's capture and imprisonment in he US was intended to further weaken the strong anti-Israel Muslim
constituency present in Egypt, which explains the intense
Zionist interest in the Sheik's trial.
Back in the early 1980s in Cairo, an
Egyptian imam, or holy man, quietly moved from mosque to crowded mosque,
preaching the tenants of Islam while condemning the corruption of his
government. Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a Ph.D. from Al-AzherUniversity, denounced the plundering of Muslim lands by Israel in Palestine, as well as President Mubarak's treachery in cooperating
with Israel and the US to support repression of both the Palestinians in
the OccupiedTerritories and his own people. The Sheik commanded his followers to
stand up against Mubarak, "a military dictator whose prisons brimmed with
70,000 of the nation's best sons and daughters." In his country where
ideas were censored by Egyptian "Thought Police," Sheik Rahman had
been jailed by Mubarak for his political activity in the early 1980s, released
in 1984 only to be imprisoned again in 1985,1986 and 1989.
At each trial he was acquitted of wrong-doing, and continued to advocate
the values of Islam and to protest against government corruption.
When Sheik Rahman traveled to this country in 1994, Egyptian foreign
minister Amar Moussa and US ambassador to Egypt, Robert Pelletreau, connived to
have him arrested under the pretext of "violating immigration laws." American
Zionists, including US Senator Alphonse D'Amato (D-NY) and
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (NY), made it their personal business to reinforce the
indictment. Egyptian secret police spy Emad Salem was sent to the US with specific instructions to keep close tabs on the
Sheik. After some months of imprisonment in solitary, this blind and diabetic
cleric was finally brought to trail in what was to become one of the most
corrupt legal procedures in US history. Ex
Attorney-General Ramsey Clark, famous for defending the politically-targeted,
assisted Attorney Lynne Stewart in managing the Sheik's defense.
The Sheik's trial was corrupted at every turn by America's Jewish organizations. Jury
selection began on January
9, 1995, at which time
the Zionist media began an assault on this Muslim scholar. The day before the
jury date, The New York Times led the attack with a defaming article. Prior to
this, the prosecution had published excerpts from the scholar's 22-year-old
Ph.D. dissertation, taking bits and pieces out of context to bias potential
Even NPR (National Public Radio) joined the chorus on January 9 with a lengthy
news report by columnist and author Judith Miller who claimed the case against
the Sheik "was strong." Judith Miller has been a militant anti-Muslim
writer and biased reporter on the Mideast for The New York Times.
At the beginning of the trial, the Sheik's lawyers had demanded the
strongly-biased Zionist Judge, Michael B. Mukasey, recluse himself from the
trial. Mukasey, a committed Zionist and long-time supporter of Israel whose wife was active on Zionist
issues, refused. ( Federal Law requires a sitting judge to recluse himself
where his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.)
Sheik Rahman was first denied the lawyer of his choice by Judge Mukasey, and
when he asked the court to permit an expert to explain the practices of Islam
to his ignorant American jury, he was refused this due process.
Eventually after a long and biased trial, on January 17, 1996, Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman was sentenced by this Jewish judge
to imprisonment for life plus 65 years." The extra 65 years were added
under the court's Count #3: Conspiracy to murder Hosin Mubarak (Egypt's president). Those 65 years added to
the sentence were related to the "conspiracy theory," and the judge's
interpretation of conversations Sheik Rahman had had with supposed
Both judge and court were strongly influenced by an inflammatory and
largely fictitious documentary, JIHAD IN AMERICA, produced by a Zionist Jew,
Stephen Emerson, and shown nationwide on PBS. The prosecution and the judge
employed guilt by association in their judgment. The prosecution had also
presented to the jury, as evidence of his terrorist links, recorded phone calls
to the Sheik supposedly made by Muslim militants, but provided no translations
to the jury.
The prosecution's conspiracy theory was supposedly supported by the
testimony of Abdo Haggag, an Egyptian, who quoted an unrecorded conversation he
allegedly had with the Sheik. At the trial, Haggag admitted under oath to
having received $100,000 for his testimony, plus another $60,000 for "his
children's education." The Sheik was NOT, however, convicted of
implication in the 1993 New
After receiving his lifetime sentence, this elderly, sick and blind sheik,
standing before the Jewish judge, spoke quietly and at length in Arabic,
"Sheik Rahman debunked the prosecution's theory that he heads an
international terrorist organization, noting that he was in jail in Cairo in the early 1980s at the time the
so-called "international terrorist group" was allegedly being formed.
Judge Mukasey, visibly irritated by the Sheik's remarks, interrupted the
scholarly cleric repeatedly and rudely. Columnist and author Edward C.
Coughlin, Jr., noted in an article in New Trend (January/February '96):
"Since the days of the 'Star Chamber' proceedings in England, governments have used the
conspiracy laws to destroy their political enemies. In an America controlled by the Zionist Gang, a
decision was made at the highest level "to get" Sheik Rahman... The
evidence against the sheik É was purely circumstantial and built on the most
dubious kind of foundation. His trial in Zionist-dominated New York City in front of a card-carrying Zionist
jurist and in a society swarming with an Islamic-bashing media and pro-Zionist
tabloids and news readers, guaranteed his ultimate conviction."
The Sheik's imprisonment, isolated from his fellow prisoners continues to be
cruel and physically threatening. Amnesty International reported the Sheik was
not allowed to join in Muslim prayers with other Muslim prisoners, was deprived
of his prayer rug and allowed no short-wave radio to hear Arabic news (his only
language). He was subject to frequent strip searches. Amnesty International
pointed out that under Articles 7 and 10 of the International Convenant on
Civil and Political Rights: "All persons deprived of their liberty shall
be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human
person." Attempts by the Stewart-Ramsey Clark team to return Sheik Rahman
to his native Egypt to serve out his sentence were
denied by the court.
In attacking Sheik Rahman, our Zionist lobby effectively silenced a
protester against Mubarak's suppression of political dissent, along with a
voice supporting a Palestinian state. Twelve years later, US Attorney General
Ashcroft's abrogation of Lynne Stewart's constitutional rights under the
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments was supported at every turn by our
Zionist-influenced media, so that Stewart's conviction became "collateral
damage" in a political arena where Washington's support of expansionist
Israel is endangering the political rights of all Americans.
Writer David Cole in THE NATION( March 7th 2005) notes the prosecution's use of fearmongering
and guilt by association. Stewart was tried together with Ahmed Sattar, an
Egyptian-born American citizen against whom thousands of hours of wire tap
conversations with a so-called "terrorist group" included a
"fake fatwa urging followers to kill (Jews)" had been recorded by the
government. Though Stewart had no relations with Sattar and no knowledge of
these communications, the prosecutor in his closing remarks repeated Sattar's
"kill the Jews" fatwa more than seventy times.
On March 19th demonstrations in support of Lynne Stewart will be held in
cities across the country. See (www.lynnestewart.org)