Lynne Stewart – Last Chance for Compassionate Release 46

In the same week that the Obama administration decided there would be no prosecutions of Bush acolytes for torture and extraordinary rendition, they also agreed to go ahead with a move to increase the jail sentence of civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart. In July 2010 they succeeded in getting her sentence increased from 28 months to ten years.

Lynne Stewart’s “crime” was to pass a message from one of her clients, imprisoned Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers who were struggling against the dictatorial Mubarak regime. Mubarak was one of the United States’ favourite dictators. Despite the fact that Mubarak killed many thousands more people than Omar Abdel Rahman’s supporters ever did, it was Mubarak that the United States designated a good guy, and Rahman a bad guy. At Lynne Stewart’s trial, the jury were repeatedly shown videos and photographs of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden, despite the fact that neither Stewart or Rahman had any link to either.

Stewart believed that restrictions on her communication as a lawyer with her client, and the recording by government of her meetings with her client, were unconstitutional. She read out the message from her client at a public press conference in New York. This was it:

“I [Omar Abdel-Rahmn] am not withdrawing my support of the cease-fire, I am merely questioning it and I am urging you, who are on the ground there to discuss it and to include everyone in your discussions as we always have done.”

At the time Obama decided to imprison her for much longer, Stewart was already known to have cancer. Due to delayed and inadequate treatment in prison, this has now spread throughout her body. it is now in her shoulder, lungs and lymph nodes. She has just been recommended for compassionate release on these grounds by the prison Governor. This however is a Federal decision. Obama’s pursuit of whistleblowers and others who question the “war on terror” has been vicious and unremitting. The hate campaign in the USA towards Stewart in the USA is startling to British eyes.

Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky head the petition to free Lynne Stewart. Please add your names.

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46 thoughts on “Lynne Stewart – Last Chance for Compassionate Release

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  • crab

    So you are one of these people who would rather have bit less of war, but thinks its everyone elses fault for not having big armies to “police” the world for themselves.

    I dont know what you think about modern Russia which refutes the pretty plain fact stated that USA has been and most argueably still is “the worlds Primary Militaristic superpower”.

  • Lube for you

    You’re correct about that Jives. When they’re in their last days of office they pardon people that shouldn’t be pardoned, but there connected.

  • Alec


    “Michelle Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist ….She also appears weekly in Jewish World Review.”

    Says it all !

  • Lube for you

    “So you are one of these people who would rather have bit less of war, but thinks its everyone elses fault for not having big armies to “police” the world for themselves.

    I dont know what you think about modern Russia which refutes the pretty plain fact stated that USA has been and most argueably still is “the worlds Primary Militaristic superpower”.”

    Crab –

    As far as my beliefs go, I wish America, my country pursued a policy of isolationism at this point. Our military, like big corporations, is downsizing. We used to keep enough troops to fight 2 major conventional conflicts in 2 different theaters at once. The 10+ years there wasn’t that man power around to cover even one theater properly. Reservists, what are commonly known as ‘weekend warriors’ were forced to go active duty for more than a year. National Guardsmen, also considered to be ‘weekend warriors’ were not only forced to active duty, but forced to server outside the US. Yes we have technology that other countries can’t match. We have that tech primarily because back when there there was a threat it was the only way we could begin to match the Soviets with their massive amounts of armor and manpower. Don’t believe for a minute that because we’re technologically more powerful that Russia is weak with a lot of outdated military hardware. They did somethings so much better than us that we never had little to no success with like they did, for example human intelligence (HUMINT)… Yes we use a lot of drones now, and yes they kill innocents (but what conflicts don’t?), but to me that’s much better than putting boots on the ground somewhere (even though it’s pretty evil). I think we should be like the British, when their envoy arrived here in 1946 with a note from home, saying England is bankrupt, and can no longer control it’s colonies. We should turn that over to Russia, or the EU. Then they can be the world’s police. We could then put money into domestic programs and socialize like Europe did many years ago. That’s what I believe in an Idealistic world, which none of us can ever really live in, can we?

  • crab

    Hi Lfy,
    I hear your reasonable wishes, however it seems close to a position i drew before personally coming to terms with the fact that it didnt grasp the major factors and troubles of modern affairs. Our countries, leaders, powerful communitys, have been waging invasive Wars, and have been supporting terrorism and brutal economic repression.

    An exponentially severe environmental crisis is also upon us.

    I grew up in the “nothing really changes” school, admired military prowess, honour, heroism. Years ago i believed we were doing right, making progess and i was selfishly presumptious of that. I had checked nothing out properly, my notions employed the usual cultural prides and fears and made a cheery usual sense that was fit for mild discussions and getting on with what matters – socialising and earning etc.

    Human understanding of situations are always partial and incomplete, but before you make intelligent effort to acknowledge as many things which you would rather you didnt need to account for in your overall view… Until you have serious difficulties with your own position in this seethingly conflicted and suffering world population (including billions of starving, enslaved, and brutalised, girls and boys, men and women) – Until the discussion is not mild but heavy and unsettling, i think it is a pious farce which i used to always, and still do often prate, for childish comfort.

    I cant say if you are doing something like that or better or worse, i just sense your wishes and convictions are lubricated fy. I try and remind Americans now and then, that their country is “t.w.p.m.s.” and it is so common to hear something like “w.a.t.r” The Russians arent t.w.p.m.s. but they are summoned as a refutation and then we go on to examine possible problems of Russia anyway, the fundamental reminder of who has/had the biggest power is skipped over. Its not 1950s, possible problems of USA are bigger and have been bigger for a while, why change the subject? Is it to be a real consideration on major factors and troubles here and which lead here, or comfortable prattle skipping unpleasantries and rehashing age old narratives that have gotten us where-ever the hell this is?

  • Lube for you

    I’m in much agreement with your points. Really, I’m 42, served my country, lived in many countries in both the military, and as a civilian. I’ve seen a lot in my time, and experienced a lot. I have many friends from many countries. I always try to get all other points of view beyond what I perceive to be reality.

    “Our countries, leaders, powerful communitys, have been waging invasive Wars, and have been supporting terrorism and brutal economic repression.”

    Here’s my view. From a historical point ALL of human kind have waged invasive wars. Really it comes down to ‘they got it, we want it, LET’s GO GET IT!’. Some would argue Germany, Japan, Italy (for instance) were playing ‘catch up’ with England, France, etc. when they started the world’s most deadly war to date. As far as economic repression haven’t ALL territorial expansionism/ imperialism actors traditionally brought it along? Terrorism seems to be used by those who feel repressed, and have no real military way to fight. But one can for sure argue, for instance, that industry waste is at least eco terror.

    The point is this stuff has gone on long before any of our relatives were alive, and unless the world comes to some sort of ‘star trek’ federation agreement where wealth is given and valued by knowledge, then you’ll always have ‘they got it, we want it, let’s go get it’….

  • crab

    Hi lfy, your view might connect as a sort of condition of nature but we can nurture too. It is a generalisation over history, yet history has detail and the graphs of overall conditions, happiness, violence, health, disease – are not smooth and should be ever more affected by human awareness and application.

    It doesn’t never change and it isn’t always the same; more than this –humans have more than natural tendencies, even if it were true of nature that we would arrange suffering (of course it is in god cursed ways ).

    But we do with nature what we encourage and arrange ourselves to. Im pretty sure of that, the alternative is we are just automatons. We have Great Art and Writings which tell us great things and great Technology and Scientific comprehensions which empower us! It is only due to contrived media (constant, crazed, dishonest persuation) and education, normalisation of ruthlessness, that we believe ourselves to be irredeemable.
    We need to sort out the messages, not with brittle quasi religious fads though…

    Hmm, I appreciate your humouring me lfy – i havent practical positions or corrections to put on this vaste subject, just a little ~philosphy at the moment.

    I do find some of the most confrontational positions and descriptions of situations by Craig, and intresting commenters – to be the truest. In particular im convinced we need diplomatic will and arrangements to demilitarise everywhere possible, as fast as possible. That all the warring is so incredibily expensive we would Win peace with satisfying ease, by spending on kindness and help, while banning expediture on destruction and mayhem.

    Lots of need, why dont the mega rich and powerful see?

  • Lube for you

    I don’t think the world will change. I really believe that it’s going to take a very bad global situation before anything begins to change. I don’t feel that international bodies of law and agreements accomplish much at all. Before one could even think international law could work anywhere, I believe people should look locally. All developed countries have, for instance, laws against murder. Many states in the US have a death penalty, but people still commit murder. People still steal, rape, assault and batter… Even in really horrible countries like Saudi Arabia, where there are beheadings for murder, limbs cut off for robbery, crime still goes on. So, I feel corporations, nation states, rebels, etc. will never have any fear to do wrong and will always justify actions. Back to the Star Trek analogy, if something like a global nuclear war broke out, and people survived, well I believe people for all cultures from any former countries would take action. Maybe there shouldn’t be countries? what if everyone everywhere was just in the same world with no boarders?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    April Showers at 5:23pm on 8.5.13:

    That interview with Dennis Potter was one of the most powerful pieces of televsion I’ve ever seen. It still has the power to rock one back. There is a purity in his every word. First light.

  • crab

    I notice i was midnight rambling over sensitive thoughts on Lynne Stewart’s ongoing battle for life and health – far besides her plight for clemency or justice for being of simplest civil aid, to a militarily outlawed client in their own typicaly fucked up conflict.

    May the civil and brave win and she get out and get well!

    Shame on the American systems and especially their oh so charismatic President, whom the best can be said of is he cant fucking do anything decent, for presiding over this !!

    Free Lynne-Stewart

  • April Showers

    I am seeing this Northern Stage production shortly Suhayl.

    It is on tour.

    A rather sneering review here. I should think Gove would have nothing to do with Dennis Potter or his work. I see that the reviewer prices his ‘theatre’ by the pence per min of performance.

  • April Showers

    While we are in a contemplative mood, here is a trailer for a new film called Midway – Message from The Gyre. I went to bed with an aching heart and feeling very sad. It’s bad enough what we do to each other let alone the planet and its fauna and flora. Bloody plastics, a by-product of the black sticky stuff for which we fight wars and kill peoples.

    Midway – Message From The Gyre
    Posted by The (Medialens) Editors on May 10, 2013, 7:14 pm

    The hidden tragedy and madness of our way of life summed up in 3 minutes:

  • April Showers

    The warden at Carswell has recommended that Lynne Stewart is given compassionate release to a clinicy where she could have medical treatment and be her family and friends. Some sort of advance I suppose.

    It all depends on Judge Koeltl.

    This review is another essential step. But there are several other steps before Lynne is home with us.

    If ever there was a time to push forward, ALL TOGETHER, this is the moment.

    The Petition for Compassionate Release must still go before the original sentencing judge, Judge John Koeltl, and elsewhere in the government bureaucracy.

    The 12,000-plus signatures that you have already generated demanding compassionate release is the reason for this breakthrough. If there ever was a time to continue and/or join this fight, the time is now.

    Ask all your friends and associates, all who have access to listserves, all organizations that can pass resolutions to take just a minute to sign NOW for Lynne.

    Click here to sign or re-sign the petition.

    This is a different petition to the one Craig linked to which is nearing 14,000 signatures.

  • April Showers

    PS Don’t bother with that petition above unless you have a US zip code and/or area code and phone number.

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