Friday, February 11, 2005

Elaine Cassel on Lynne Stewart via CounterPunch and AlterNet

"The Lynne Stewart Case: When Representing an Accused Terrorist Can Mean the Lawyer Risks Jail, Too" by Elaine Cassel is at CounterPunch and from October 12, 2002. I know there are so many outrages under the Bully Boy's regime, but this is an important issue. I'm working through the e-mails and Billie sent this article in:

As every lawyer knows, client confidentiality is the very foundation of the attorney-client relationship. Attorney Lynne Stewart certainly believed that to be true, but her principles and zealous representation have landed her a four-count criminal indictment for aiding and abetting terrorism.
Without warning, Stewart was taken out of her home and arrested. Attorney General Ashcroft then staged a press conference within hours of her arrest. The same night, he appeared on David Letterman's show, to assure viewers (and potential jurors, it seems) that the "terrorist" lawyer was guilty as charged.
The basis for the prosecution? Communications Stewart made with and about her client, a convicted terrorist for whom she was court-appointed counsel for his trial and whom she continued to represent in post-conviction matters.

[Note: Click here to continue reading.]

Also by Elaine Cassel is this article (via AlterNet) entitled: "The Other War: A Three Year Assault on Civil Liberties" from October 19, 2002 which will provide perspective and explain how this isn't an isolated event:

The Detroit Cell convictions -- the first jury convictions of people charged with supporting "terorrism" have been overturned, the FBI evidence having been deemed a fraud. Attorney Lynne Stewart has begun the defense of her case, the govt having rested last week by reading letters from her client, Sheik Abdel Rahmen, convicted in the 1993 WTC bombings. She should spend the rest of her life in prison, the government argues, because she represented a terrorist, appointed by the federal court to do so. They call her his "associate," not his lawyer. A frightening link that should, and does, give all brave attorneys pause.

What is the government saying Stewart did? They say that in answering press questions about her client and, perhaps, impeding John Ashcroft's efforts to record conversations between her and her client, a blind man in a prison in Minnesota, she was "providing personnel" -- her client and herself -- for terrorism attacks. Ashcroft directed prison officials to tape record all communications with her client.

[Note: Click here to continue reading. Tori sent the above link in.]