October 17, 2006

Getting off easy

No surprise. Want to know how the terrorist-loving lawyer Lynn Stewart only got 28 months for aiding and abetting a terrorist? It was a Clinton-appointed judge. Via FrontPage:

In his address at the National Cathedral three days after 9/11, President Bush enunciated what has come to be known as the Bush Doctrine: “We make no distinction between terrorists and those who knowingly harbor or provide aid to them.” Yesterday, a Clinton-appointed judge nullified those words and hailed a terrorist’s accomplice as an exemplar of “public service, not only to her clients, but to the nation.”

A jury of her peers convicted radical leftist lawyer Lynne Stewart of passing fatwas from Omar Abdel Rahman to his Egyptian terrorist followers, the Islamic Group, a radical cadre dedicated to replacing President Hosni Mubarak with an Islamic dicatorship akin to the Taliban. One such fatwa stated IG should honor no ceasefire with the Egyptian government. Another – which one of Stewart’s co-defendants reportedly issued in Rahman’s name – demanded “all Jews be killed.” Rahman says he instructed Stewart not to disown this edict, because “it’s good.”

Stewart provided this messenger service to terrorists with the help of co-defendants Ahmed Abdel Sattar and Mohamed Yousry. Their division of labor worked thus: Sattar received messages from IG terrorists and passed them on to Yousry. Stewart then visited Rahman in his Minnesota prison cell under the pretense of giving legal advice. Yousry, Stewart’s “interpreter,” related IG’s messages to the sheikh and wrote down his murderous fatwas in return. While this was going on, Stewart made random comments to mislead nearby guards into thinking she was having a discussion with her client – despite the fact that the government informed her these conversations may be recorded.

The Justice Department’s hefty indictment against Stewart accused her of “making Abdel Rahman available as a co-conspirator” to IG. U.S. Attorney Andrew Dember told the jury in his closing argument Stewart helped Rahman commit a virtual “jailbreak.” After 13 days of deliberation, the jury concurred.

U.S. District Court Judge John George Koeltl greeted her actions with a slap on the wrist and a pat on the back. Although Stewart faced 30 years in prison, Koeltl ignored federal guidelines and sentenced her to only 28 months. During sentencing, Koeltl gushed, “Ms. Stewart performed a public service, not only to her clients, but to the nation.” Koeltl further ruled she could remain free while she wages a promised “militant” appeal to the sentence.

Koeltl – whom President Clinton appointed to the Southern District of New York in April 1994 – also handed out easy sentences to Stewart’s co-defendants. Yousry faced 20 years; Koeltl gave him 20 months. (Perhaps he valued Yousry’s “public service”: teaching Modern Middle Eastern History as an adjunct professor at York College, part of the CUNY system.) Sattar faced life imprisonment for conspiracy to kill and kidnap; Koeltl sentenced him to 24 years, citing the allegedly harsh conditions of his imprisonment and the fact that Sattar had no prior record.