Friday, February 18, 2005

"The conviction of Lynne F. Stewart . . . is another perverse victory in the Just. Dept.'s assualt on the Constitution"

The conviction of Lynne F. Stewart for providing material aid to terrorism and for lying to the government is another perverse victory in the Justice Department's assault on the Constitution.

So begins Andrew P. Napolitano's op-ed ("No Defense") in today's (Friday) New York Times. Terry e-mailed this in which is why we're highligting an op-ed from the Times. From the op-ed:

But if the federal government had followed the law, Ms. Stewart would never have been required to agree to these rules to begin with. Just after 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft gave himself the power to bypass the lawyer-client privilege, which every court in the United States has upheld, and eavesdrop on conversations between prisoners and their lawyers if he had reason to believe they were being used to "further facilitate acts of violence or terrorism." The regulation became effective immediately.
In the good old days, only Congress could write federal criminal laws. After 9/11, however, the attorney general was allowed to do so. Where in the Constitution does it allow that?

. . .
Ms. Stewart's constitutional right to speak to the news media about a matter of public interest is absolute and should prevent the government from prosecuting her. And since when does announcing someone else's opinion about a cease-fire - as Ms. Stewart did, saying the sheik no longer supported one that had been observed in Egypt - amount to advocating an act of terrorism?
In truth, the federal government prosecuted Lynne Stewart because it wants to intimidate defense lawyers into either refusing to represent accused terrorists or into providing less than zealous representation. After she was convicted, Ms. Stewart said, "You can't lock up the lawyers, you can't tell the lawyers how to do their jobs."

We'll note that I was wrong while we're at it. I'm not sure whether or not I noted this here, but I had shared my hope with Rebecca and she blogged on it Saturday. My hope was that the New York Times would have to weigh in with an editorial. The verdict came down on a Thursday. So I'd assumed Friday was out of the question. But surely, as the next week moved along, we'd see something. The Times has many faults. And the editorial board is far from perfect. But I am honestly surprised that they elected not to weigh in on this verdict.

I was wrong. And it won't be the first time. The Times has done many things wrong (and continues to do so) but I had honestly believed that on the editorial page, they would have no problem championing Lynne Stewart since the issue did revolve around a press release, a trial in their own immediate area and the First Amendment -- something they can't stop editorializing about with regards to Judith Miller.

They're silent. It's shameful. And leaves them open to charges of hypocrisy.

I haven't heard The Majority Report yet. I was still doing work duties when it was on. (Which is why the entries tonight have posted so late.) But Tony e-mailed that Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis raised some strong and amazing points tonight on The Majority Report.

I'm listening to The Laura Flanders Show tomorrow night, so I'll try to grab The Majority Report on Sunday and we'll highlight some of the remarks Bill Scher made regarding the Times' attitude towards the outing of Valerie Plame.

I'll also note that Wednesday, The Third Estate Sunday Review completed an article on this topic that Rebecca (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) and I worked on.

From the Air America homepage, here's tomorrow schedule for three shows:

So What Else Is News
Coming up on So What Else Is News? Analyst Ben Barber on the ABC's of Bush's Social Security Disaster, NBC News Anchor turned GOP mouth piece Brian Williams, Cuban Rapper Pitbull on a new generation of Cuban Americans peeved at Bush and armed with words, and a goggle epic on the dangers of media inbreeding makes its radio debut. Plus, is enlightenment just a double click away? Wikipedia Creator Jimmy Wales speaks on the latest internet information explosion. Slate Writer Anne Bardach reveals a side of Fidel Castro so revealing even PBS won't scoop it up, our Onion AV Club trumpets their Oscar picks coupled with some alternative Oscar buzz from Melanie McFarland of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and Rapper Tupac is resurrected in film with Producers Lauren Lazin and Karolyn Ali. Lastly, learn a new way to pick that hottie up; it's called toothing and Toothy Toothing gives listeners the 411. [permalink]

Ring of Fire
James Wolcott is one of the alpha dogs of the American media and he has no patience with the yapping lapdogs of right-wing punditry. Mike talks with James about his hilarious and hard-hitting book titled, "Attack Poodles and Other Media Mutants: The Looting of the News in a Time of Terror." Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson . . . Bush. The U.S. Presidency has had its ups and downs. On this President's Day weekend, we focus on one President who gets precious little attention -- even though he founded the Democratic Party. Bobby talks with Ted Widmer, biographer of "American Presidents: Martin Van Buren." In the movie A Civil Action, John Travolta played trial lawyer Jan Schlichtman in his dramatic uphill battle against corporate polluters in Massachusetts. Now Jan is using the radio airwaves to take on an even more powerful foe, the Bush administration. Mike and Jan discuss the Legal Broadcast Network – a new online radio service for lawyers and laypeople.[permalink]

The Laura Flanders Show
Shining a bright light on the White House's blind eye. Exhibit A: the Kyoto treaty, featuring GreenpeaceUSA director JOHN PASSACANTANDO. Exhibit B: F.A.A. whistleblowers BOGDAN DZAKOVIC and STEVE ELSON, former leaders of the super-secret "Red Team" that snuck guns onto planes - before 9/11 - and couldn't get the F.A.A. to change its security procedures. Exhibit C: LESLIE KAGAN, of United for Peace and Justice, on the peace movement's next steps. They were right about no Iraqi WMD, spilling blood for oil. What's next? Finally, MARTHA REDBONE, in the studio on her new CD blending African American and Native American rthymn and soul. [permalink]

There's no heads up to what will be on The Kyle Jason Show Saturday. The Kyle Jason Show immediately follows The Laura Flanders Show. Here's how it's described on the homepage for the show:
Saturday nights, Kyle Jason invites you to cross "The Bridge". "I believe there is a direct correlation between what we are being fed artistically and how we act. Today, there is too much music being fed to the masses that leave us with nothing to build on but negativity. These artists, and companies that sponsor them, are doing the people a terrible disservice." Join us each week, as Kyle profiles classic albums from some of our most prolific artists. Learn about everything from the musicians, the studios, the message, and the social impact of some of the finest recordings ever made. Once a month, he also profiles new artists and examines their contributions. Kyle caps the night off with a very special surprise from the "Round Peg Lounge". Tune in each week for an evening that will stimulate your mind, move your soul and lift your spirit. Don't miss the next Kyle Jason Show!