Attorney Lynne Stewart is nothing if not proud of the sort of clients she represents. Most recently, her roster included Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the charming Egyptian-born cleric who helped plan the first attack on the World Trade Center, in 1993.
Ms. Stewart and her followers would have you believe that she has been sent to prison because of her beliefs and her advocacy of unpopular clients. That is utter nonsense. Ms. Stewart was convicted in 2005 of helping her jailed client communicate with his murderous followers in Egypt. In other words, she was convicted of providing material support to America’s enemies. One might well describe her crime as an act of treason.
She was sentenced to 28 months, and she promptly said she could do that time “standing on her head.” In the U.S., of course, she at least had a head on which to stand. Her clients seem to believe in a more punitive sort of judicial system, where beheading is considered appropriate punishment for certain offenses.
She has now been re-sentenced to 10 years, and deservedly so. She has been convicted of assisting those who have brought terror and death to our city. Those who provide such assistance, whether they are lawyers or couriers, are a threat to our security and so deserve the stiffest possible punishment.
Lynne Stewart is not a martyr. By passing messages to jihadists who have declared themselves our enemies, she chose sides in the war on terror.
She is in prison because she chose the wrong side.