Who would defend Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric convicted in 1995 of masterminding the first World Trade Center bombing? The typical legal answer is that in this country, we take the right to counsel seriously, and lawyers who are deeply opposed to the alleged criminal acts of the accused nonetheless offer their assistance to maintain the integrity of the system. Sure, some of the lawyers are out for their 15 minutes of fame, but those who represent terrorists aren’t really sympathizers, right? Not necessarily. David Horowitz has a disturbing article in today’s LA Times, in which he provides some background on Lynne Stewart, the blind sheik’s attorney, who is on trial for aiding and abetting her client. How extreme is she? Here’s a taste:
Stewart is on record as approving of "directed violence," which — as she explained to the New York Times — "would be violence directed at the institutions which perpetuate capitalism, racism and sexism." The World Trade Center, for instance. Stewart also has endorsed Muslim jihadists in particular: "They are basically forces of national liberation," she told the Marxist magazine Monthly Review.
This is enough to confirm all Schramms worst thoughts about lawyers.