By Mike Whitney
â€œShe has represented the poor, the disadvantaged and the unpopularâ€¦.It is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a public service not only to her clients but her nation.â€ Judge John G. Koeltl; Federal District Court, Manhattan, NYSo far, Bushâ€™s only triumph in his muddled war on terror has been locking up the two Stewart Sisters, Lynne and Martha. (Theyâ€™re not really sisters) Neither posed any threat to national security, but thatâ€™s beside the point. Their arrest sends a chilling message to â€œhome-decoration mavensâ€ and 67 year old cancer patients that theyâ€™d better â€œwatch their stepâ€ or theyâ€™ll find themselves in prison-pinstripes.
Do Americans really see how crazy this is or have we been so subsumed in â€œterror-hysteriaâ€ that weâ€™ve lost our sense of humor altogether?
Consider this: while attorney Stewart is tottering off to prison for defending a â€œblind Sheikâ€, a tan and rested Bin Laden is somewhere in the Pakistan-outback working on golf swing and his memoirs?
Does that make any sense?
Only if the real objective is to intimidate lawyers who defend unpopular clients rather than nailing terrorists.
Bushâ€™s contempt for leftists far exceeds his dubious desire to rid the world of terrorism. Thatâ€™s why the countryâ€™s energies are so misdirected and doomed to failure.
Sure, his cohorts, the uber-nationalists, eat-it-up. Thatâ€™s why the right-wing blogs are all atwitter with the news of Bushâ€™s â€œBig Catchâ€ in the GWOT. According to the loonies on the right, â€œTerrorist Kingpinâ€ Stewart is guilty of everything except steering the planes into the buildings.
Bilious Bill Oâ€™ Reilly and his ilk will probably follow up with their typical scathing attack on civil liberties organizations, those pedophile-defending Stalinist pornographers. If we took Oâ€™Reillyâ€™s advice weâ€™d empty Guantanamo right now to make room for any card-carrying member of the ACLU. The only way to keep America free is by eliminating the people who defend freedom.
How logical is that?
Imagine if we really took terrorism seriously? What if we withdrew the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, shut down Bushâ€™s gulag in Guantanamo, stopped killing Arabs in their own countries, and recognized that â€œIslamo-fascismâ€ is a clever public-relations buzzword intended to incite hatred of Muslims?
How long would it be before the â€œglobal threat of terrorismâ€ would shrivel and die on the vine?
Three weeks ago, the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was leaked to the New York Times. The report laid out the findings of the 16 American intelligence agencies, which â€œunanimouslyâ€ agreed that Iraq was producing a new generation of terrorists and making the American people â€œless safeâ€.
What a surprise.
Lynne Stewartâ€™s name was not in the report, but George Bushâ€™s featured rather prominently. Bush has incited more terrorism than any person in the grim history of the planet, and now, the 16 preeminent intel-agencies have confirmed that very point.
If weâ€™re serious about terrorism, we have to do something about the people who are creating it; Bush and Cheney. 5 years after 9-11, itâ€™s not enough to say â€œAt least we got Martha Stewart and her 67-year old namesake off the streets.â€