Jacob G. Hornberger, the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses the case of Lynne Stewart, who, as an attorney, like Edgar J. Steele, represented controversial, poor, and often unpopular defendants.
Mrs. Stewart, who is now dying of Stage 4 cancer behind bars, was convicted of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists in 2005, sentenced to 28 months in prison, and re-sentenced to 10 years in prison because she mocked her original sentence, in this interesting interview (17:42).
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.
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‘War on Terror’ Early Casualty May Get Compassionate Release
• Lynne Stewart, another attorney for the damned, languishes in prison with Stage 4 lung cancer
Lynne Irene Stewart, who, like framed, famed and unjustly-imprisoned First Amendment attorney Edgar J. Steele, “represented controversial, poor, and often unpopular defendants,” may get a reprieve, as the warden of the prison where she is housed has recommended an immediate compassionate release for the disbarred and imprisoned attorney, whose health has deteriorated following a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Stewart, 73, has been rotting behind bars at Federal Medical Center, Carswell (FMC Carswell), a United States federal prison located on Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth “for female inmates of all security levels with special medical and mental health needs,” since she surrendered to federal marshals on November 19, 2009, to begin her 28-month sentence, following her 2005 conviction on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists for her involvement in the defense of ate Omar Abdel-Rahman, the accused leader of a “militant Islamist movement in Egypt that is considered a terrorist organization” by America and Egypt, said to be “responsible for many acts of violence, including the November 1997 Luxor massacre, in which 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians were killed.” Her sentence was callously and capriciously increased to 10 years for commenting on the sentence that “As my clients say to me, ‘I could do that standing on my head,’” which clearly angered U.S. prosecutors and judges.
Stewart was diagnosed with breast cancer during her trial and it returned following imprisonment, but she was forced to wait a year-and-a-half for surgery, which her attending physician said “was the worst case he ever saw because of the delay.” Currently, the cancer has metastasized to both her lungs and back, and, while she is receiving chemotherapy, “her condition is feared to be terminal.” A petition to grant her compassionate release has been signed by human rights activists Dick Gregory and Desmond Tutu, while American conservative blogger, political commentator and author Michelle Malkin has advocated for her death behind bars.
Jacob G. Hornberger, the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF), whose mission has been since 1989 “to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government,” “with the aim of establishing an educational foundation that would advance an uncompromising case for libertarianism in the context of both foreign and domestic policy,” recently penned an article on FFF’s website entitled The Fascinating Case of Lynne Stewart, where he pointed out the hypocritical ludicrousness of her conviction and sentence.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. Hornberger, a Texas native, U.S. Army veteran, and 12-year trial attorney, to gain a further understanding of the Stewart case. He began by explaining what makes Lynne Stewart tick.
“Lynne Stewart… has had a long and distinguished career representing underdogs…not very sympathetic clients and she takes that position that everybody’s entitled to an attorney, even the person that’s accused of the most despicable crime. And all of a sudden she’s asked to represent this guy, Abdel-Rahman, by Ramsey Clark, who served as the attorney general under Lyndon Johnson. And she reluctantly takes on the case, and in the process she signed this agreement…that she will not divulge any communication from him to his group in Egypt. Well, she violates that regulation, and at a press conference reads a press release from this guy. And as a result of reading that press release, the feds come after her, for violating the prison regulations and more important, for what they said was ‘material support of terrorism,’ by virtue of the words that were in this press release.”
Mr. Hornberger explained that Ms. Stewart’s attorney has appealed her extended conviction, which was denied after AFP conducted the interview, and AFP asked if she will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and what her chances of being heard are.
“I would say that her chances that the Supreme Court will take up the case are slim and none. Obviously she’s got a slim case anyway because all this war on terrorism nonsense with the federal courts have so often just submitted and deferred to the national security state.”
In his article, Mr. Hornberger compared the current security state in the U.S. to Egypt under Hosni Mubarak.
“Ironically, here in the United States, the bastion of freedom, where the President now has the same powers that Mubarak was wielding; incredible…that we live in a country where those kind of powers are being held and exercised.”