Thursday, February 10, 2005

Note to federal prosecutors: Check out the Center for Constitutional Rights

With their victorious February 10 conviction of "civil rights" attorney Lynne Stewart for aiding and abetting Islamist terror groups, federal prosecutors should focus on an affiliated group: the Center for Constitutional Rights.

A jury found that Stewart provided material support to an Egyptian terrorist organization by acting as a courier for her imprisoned client, the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman, and his followers abroad. Stewart also tried to prevent federal investigators from listening to the convicted terrorist's conversations. Abdel Rahman was a spiritual leader for the terrorists who committed the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993, and for conspiring to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Stewart "crossed the line" from advocacy for a terrorist client to being an "accomplice," legal observers say. According to a prosecutor, she "used her status as a lawyer as a cloak to smuggle messages into and out of prison," allowing Rahman to "incite terrorism."

But lawyer Michael Ratner says the whole trial was unfair. "The purpose of this prosecution," he said, "was to send a message to lawyers who represent alleged terrorists that it's a dangerous thing to do."

Ratner's upset because he's one of the lead terrorist attorneys in the United States. And as President of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), he has spent his professional life aiding and abetting terrorists, murderers and spies as part of his political activist agenda to make war on his own country from within.

Ratner's mentor, the late CCR founder William Kunstler, said he founded the organization in 1966 to keep armed extremists in the streets. The current CCR leader has used a combination of litigation, legal defense, political activism and media events to continue the founder's legacy. His most recent work has been on behalf of terrorist detainees at the US Naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba. He has successfully argued cases before the US Supreme Court, and was behind some of the actions that have weakened the country's legal tools against terrorism.

Even though Ratner is an admitted supporter of Marxist-Leninist movements, including the regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, the press persists in calling him a "human rights" advocate.

Has Michael Ratner and his Center for Constitutional Rights, like Lynne Stewart, stepped over the line that divides legitimate advocacy from complicity with terrorists?

Having observed his organization for 25 years, I think they have.

If federal agents take a good look at Ratner and his operation, I bet they'll reap a rich harvest.

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