Statement by Ralph Schoenman in Commemoration of Lynne Stewart’s Birthday: October 8, 2013
We are celebrating today the 74th birthday of Lynne Stewart, the intrepid and internationally revered defender of the the rights of the oppressed.
Lynne Stewart languishes in Federal prison with stage four cancer advancing rapidly in her lungs, rendering her breathing precarious as she weakens daily.
These are the harsh realities. These are the cruel facts.
Lynne Stewart was falsely charged, tried and convicted of conspiring to aid” terrorism.” Her conspiracy is her person as defense counsel for a man falsely accused. The basic evidence for the innocence of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman inculpates directly the Federal Bureau of Investigation itself and the Justice Department to which it answers for the crimes imputed to the accused.
There is no more fundamental attack on the rights of citizens than enfolding an attorney within the crime imputed to her defendant for the act of defending him.
When Lynne Stewart cross-examined the Egyptian intelligence operative of Hosni Mubarak who answered to the F.B.I. in New York, it was revealed in court that the explosives used in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 were supplied and planted by the F.B.I. When Lynne Stewart sought to cross examine Emad Ali Salem about the role of his superiors in the F.B.I., Judge Michael Mukasey forbade further questioning of the witness.
Judge Mukasey, in the Alice in Wonderland world of his court room, proclaimed, “Think how dangerous it would have been had the accused supplied explosives instead of the FBI.”
The criminal conspiracy with which the people of the United States are confronted is that of Judge Mukasey, and it includes a prosecution that answers to the President of the United States and his Attorney General.
It should not surprise us that this same Judge Michael Mukasey, when nominated to be Attorney General, published an article in the Wall Street Journal advocating “a parallel system of justice in the United States” for those accused of crimes against national security. Those so accused by the State would no longer be allowed defense counsel, due process or public trials. On the contrary, Judge Mukasey, intoned, people so accused should be treated as mental patients and consigned by fiat to institutions where they would be held without public notice or access.
This is the real content of the National Defense Authorization Act of Barack Obama.
It is in the spirit of Judge and later Attorney General Michael Mukasey, that yesterday, October 7th, on the eve of Lynne’s Stewart’s 74th birthday that we celebrate today across the world, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear her Appeal.
The powerful Brief presented to the Supreme Court by her attorneys demonstrated irrefutably that Lynne Stewart’s public statements to the media and to the world regarding Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman,is speech protected absolutely by the First Amendment – the most fundamental of those freedoms secured by the first ten amendments to the U.S. constitution known as the Bill of Rights.
It should surprise none of us that when cert was filed by Lynne’s attorneys requesting the Supreme Court to hear Lynne’s Appeal, the Solicitor General, on behalf of the Justice Department of Barack Obama and Eric Holder, filed papers opposing the right of Appeal and demanding that the Supreme Court deny it.
Yesterday, a pliant Supreme Court complied.
But then, sisters and brothers, comrades and friends, who is Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States to whom Charles E. Samuels, Jr., the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, answers?
Attorney Eric Holder, partner in the high powered Washington, DC insiders’ law firm, Covington and Burling, was the legal representative of Chiquita Brands International, Inc, the heir to United Fruit, whose CEO Fernando Aguirre was compelled to admit on 60 minutes that Chiquita Brands had paid millions of dollars to right-wing death squads in Colombia, known as the AUC. Coca-Cola colluded.
The U.S. State Department lists the UAC as a terrorist organization. The Attorney General of Colombia, Mario Iguaran, described the role of Chiquita Brands and its executives as a “criminal conspiracy.” Their paramilitary death squads killed tens of thousands of peasants, union organizers and wiped out entire villages.
Eric Holder was the principal attorney for Chiquita Brands. He crafted their defense. Holder contrived the lie that the millions paid by Chiquita for the execution of peasants, students, union leaders and defenders of the poor by Chiquita’s hired death squads were to secure “protection” for Chiquita’s own employees.
No, said the Colombian Attorney General. “It was to Chiquita’s great benefit to finance the death squads within this region to allow them to conduct their extremely profitable banana-growing operations.” Preserving slave labor enforced by a reign of terror, Chiquita Brands supplied lists of those to be killed.
Attorney General Eric Holder continued to represent Chiquita Brands. He was well paid for his services as legal mouthpiece for the death squads of Colombia. The Attorney General of the United States served as terrorist in chief.
It was Attorney General Holder and his Justice Department who direct the prosecution and persecution of Lynne Stewart. This prosecution demanded a thirty year sentence for Lynne Stewart.
When Judge Koeltl sentenced Lynne Stewart to 28 months, the Justice Department appealed to the Second Circuit demanding a directive for a vastly increased sentence.
Judges of the Second Circuit who led the way in ordering Judge Koeltl to enhance Lynne’s sentence were Judge John M. Walker. Jr. and Judge Robert D. Sack.
Judge Walker is a cousin of George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.
On October 25, 2006, Judge Walker struck a traffic policeman, Dan Picacgl, in New Haven with his sports vehicle and killed him.
Judge Walker was a partner in the law firm Patterson, Belknap and Wells. He was also a partner in Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher is a global law firm with over 1,000 attorneys and 2,000 staff in18 offices throughout the world, including North and South America, Asia and the Middle East. Other partners include former Solicitor General Theodore Olson.
Judge Robert D. Sack, like Judge Walker, was a partner in both Patterson, Belknap and Wells as well as Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
Judge and later Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the judge in the trial of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman was also a partner in Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler as well as Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.
Neither Judge Sack for “cop killer” Judge Walker recused themselves despite having shared partnerships with Judge Mukasey in powerful and prestigious law firms.
What of Charles E. Samuels, Jr. Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons? Director Samuels received a second recommendation for Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart from FMS Carswell Warden Jody Upton along with the recommendation of FMS Carswell Prison Medical Staff.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons Medical experts confirmed the findings of Warden Upton and his medical staff.
Instead of instructing the Federal attorney to file a motion with Judge John Koeltl for Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart as required by the 1984 Sentencing Act, Director Samuels referred the issue to “an independent Committee” for which there is no legal provision.
Who is Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr? Here is his testimony before the House Appropriations Committee at the time that FBOP Inspector General Michael Horowitz excoriated the Federal Bureau of Prisons for refusing to abide by the law and implement Compassionate Release.
Director Samuels responded as follows in testimony that included a section entitled “Preventing Radicalization in Federal Prisons”:
“The BOP takes very seriously the obligation to guard against the spread of terrorism and extremist ideologies…and has taken substantial steps to address this concern. BOP pursues a policy of containment…using a variety of management controls, including monitoring inmates’ social communications and restricting prisoners’ housing and movement.
“In addition, BOP monitors and records telephonic communication of inmates…and shares any relevant information with the FBI, including its National Joint Terrorism Task Force and other agencies. …BOP and FBI jointly developed the Correctional Intelligence Initiative, a national project to detect, deter and disrupt radicalization of inmates.
“Through its work, the project helps develop best practices and coordinates procedures to ensure outside extremists are universally denied access to prison populations.”
In short, the Federal Bureau of Prisons under Director Samuels has set itself up as the arbiter of political belief and expression on the part of prisoners. It has arrogated to itself the right to “disrupt radicalization” and suppress political opinion of which the FBOP and the FBI and the National Joint Terrorism Task Force “disapprove.”
There is a criminal conspiracy in the United States, sisters and brothers. It is that of those who have usurped power for that one tenth of one percent of our population that exploits and oppresses the mass of our people
It is this conspiracy that is responsible for the prosecution and persecution of Lynne Stewart. It is this apparatus that wants Lynne Stewart dead and has conspired to torment her.
The international movement to free Lynne Stewart is a cutting edge component of a life and death struggle for the emancipation of us all.
We can not persuade this criminal cabal. We can not placate them. Nor can we cater to them.
We must take this fight to free Lynne Stewart, our sister in struggle, to the oppressed everywhere.
It is central to the liberation of us all.