We filed into court, quiet, respectful, hoping against hope that the prisoner would be given the full extent of the powers of the court. That she would receive a mild admonishment for her slight alleged infraction of the law, an error in judgement that anyone, even the most learned judge might make.
According to John Eligon of The New York Times, Thurs. July ,16th, Judge John Koeltl presided over the resentencing of Lynne Stewart after it was deemed that her first sentence of twenty-eight months was too light. Lynne Stewart – the Terrorists’ Handmaid – will be tucked away for the next ten years. Maybe she’ll make it in jail until she’s 90 though she’s got breast cancer.
You better watch out, America. Didn’t she say, “I’d do it again” ? And that’s why they have to lock her up for a good, long time. She’s “potentially lethal” said the prosecuting attorney, Mr Andrew Dember to the grey-haired, school-marm lawyer sitting in front of him.
He should be feeling good now, Judge Koeltl, he’s done his duty. Even though he received hundreds of letters attesting to Lynne’s honesty, virtue and loyalty; even though he heard her daughter burst into tears on hearing the cruel verdict, he can rest easy. He was so careful about all the necessary legal enhancements that will keep America safe, especailly since 9/11. They – the powers that prevail in this country today – are not stupid. They know a good opportunity when it happens. 9/11 was a gift from heaven – although devastating and horrible as it was – it gave them a chance to “enhance” our laws. Enhance was once a pretty word – it usually meant to make nicer or better. Not in this case! Their aim is to destroy the liberties that the founders of our country fought so hard to create – now with new laws they can sanction government interference between client and attorney, wire-tapping and above all, intimidation of the legal profession into fear and ultimately, impotence. Woe to a hapless victim who appears before the bench. Between the lawyers’ fear and the enhanced laws, justice doesn’t stand a chance.
Why were we lulled into thinking she might given a mild, fitting sentence? This isn’t medieval times when men were sentenced to life imprisonment or death for stealing a loaf of bread. We are reasonable people nowadays with reasonable laws – aren’t we? Or is there now a deliberate choice to destroy all the civil liberties that followed those times? We listened so patiently as Koeltl struggled to justify the numbers of the various enhancements, wondering how he could have forgotten what was crucial to the sad woman sitting in front of him; enhancing prison numbers can do that to you. She was asked by Judge Koeltl why she doesn’t exhibit remorse – a strange question. She is an innocent woman. She has nothing to show remorse for.
No, Lynne, you didn’t fail us. We failed you. We failed because we weren’t ready – too sanguine – perhaps stupid – but we should have known and been prepared for that verdict. We should have proclaimed, exhorted, shouted – Lynne Stewart is innocent – she is guilty of nothing but being human. She has never aided or abetted terrorists – she is just a good human being – the best among us. It is the legal system that is now being perverted, destroyed and dishonoring America. But it is more than that – it is the governing body – the Congress and the President that are guilty as well, playing their parts and letting it happen.
We must have courage.
– Lillian Pollak
reading the U. S. Constitution
July 4, 2010
for the Granny Peace Brigade