root - Posted on 01 September 2006

The New York Times vs. Lynne Stewart and other losses of our collective Freedom

by Riva Enteen/reprinted from

The day after the outrageous conviction of attorney Lynne Stewart,
the New York Times, doing its daily duty as the mouthpiece of the
corporate state, led off its front page article on the case with
the declaration that Lynne had been "convicted... of aiding Islamic
terrorism by smuggling messages out of jail from a terrorist client."
But the Times article itself eventually gave the lie to this bold
assertion of terrorist conspiracies. Here is the last paragraph of
the article, way back on page 21: "The government never showed that
any violence resulted from the defendants' actions... The defendants
were not accused of aiding terrorism in the United States." Very nice
of them to work these inconvenient facts into the article.
The main accusation against Lynne is that she issued a press release
on behalf of her client. Since when is publicly issuing a press release
"smuggling messages?" The Times article also opined that "Ms. Stewart
sometimes appeared deaf to the vicious anti-American preachings of her
client..." Now, there's a crime worth 40 years in prison. I suspect that
a goodly percentage of you reading this missive might also "appear deaf"
to "anti-American preachings."

In an op-ed in the Times, on the very same day, titled "Torture,
American Style," Bob Herbert asserts that "Any government that commits,
condones, promotes or fosters torture is a malignant force in the world.
And those who refuse to raise their voices against something as clearly
evil as torture are enablers, if not collaborators." Here the Times is
not only "deaf" to "anti-American preachings," but actually prints them.
Herbert cites an account of the "Special Removal Unit" that is part of
the US program of "extraordinary rendition," whereby the US kidnaps
alleged "terrorists" and whisks them off to torture chambers, in places
like Syria and Egypt. Lest we forget, Stewart was representing a man
who was aiding the resistance to the brutal regime of Egyptian murderer
and torturer Hosni Mubarak. Egypt is the second largest benefactor of
US foreign aid, right after Israel. So is it Lynne who is guilty of
aiding terrorism, or Bush and his cronies?
The struggle continues. Lynne is free on bail, and will be sentenced on
July 15. The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee has initiated a letter
writing campaign urging the judge to sentence her to probation. Click
on to send a letter. Lynne is
scheduled to speak in San Francisco at a Free Mumia demonstration
in April, although at this point she is not allowed to travel outside
of New York.

2. US military vs. dead journalists.

Not only are the neo-fascists in Washington going after the lawyers,
there is new evidence that they are going after the not-so-embedded
media as well. According to Rep. Barney Frank (Democrat, Massachusetts),
the head of CNN's news division, Eason Jordan, told a panel at the
recent World Economic Forum that -- this is the New York Sun quoting
Frank -- "he knew of about 12 journalists who had not only been killed
by American troops, but had been targeted as a matter of policy."
After Jordan made his comments at the World Economic Forum panel,
he was surrounded by numerous European and Middle Eastern attendees
at the panel, and congratulated for his "bravery and candor." Jordan
also reportedly detailed the story of an Al-Jazeera reporter who had
been imprisoned in Abu Ghraib, and forced to eat his shoes. Officially,
63 journalists have been killed covering the war in Iraq. More journalists
have already been killed in Iraq than in the entire Vietnam war.
In 2002, Jordan publicly accused the Israeli military of deliberately
targeting CNN personnel "on numerous occasions."

At first, CNN would not return phone calls or emails seeking comment
about Jordan's remarks. Subsequently, CNN put out a statement which
asserted that Jordan was only answering a question by Rep. Frank
about dead journalists and "collateral damage." Frank denies that
either he or Jordan used that phrase. Then, last Friday, Jordan was
forced to quit CNN, and issued a statement claiming that "my comments
on this subject in a World Economic Forum panel discussion were not
as clear as they should have been. I never meant to imply U.S. forces
acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists..."
Such is often the fate of those who tell the truth to power.
(See for more info.)

3. SF Bay Area Muslim activist Samina Faheem Sundas threatened.

Samina Faheem Sundas is a courageous voice from the
Muslim/South Asian community. Since 9/11, she has struggled
tirelessly and righteously to denounce the round-ups, detentions,
forced registrations, deportations, hate crimes and endless lies
directed at the Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities.
Recently, one individual posted several e-mails on the listserve
of United for Peace & Justice -- rabid, hateful diatribes against
Muslims and Arabs. After Samina posted a response to these diatribes,she received several very personal threats from the racist. The most
chilling threat indicated that he knows where she lives. Samina runs
a small family child care center out of her home.

The local authorities have been notified about this racist threat.
Just as Samina has clearly expressed her determination to continue
to speak out, her friends and supporters are resolved to use this
attack to intensify our own efforts to speak out for her and with her.
To find out about her organization, American Muslim Voice, go to There will soon be a letter posted to the
website which supporters can sign.

Coincidentally, before this incident, Samina called for a Day of
Solidarity Open House at her home in Palo Alto. Please join her
and express your solidarity on Saturday, February 26, 2005,
from Noon to 3:00 pm. RSVP to samina



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