�She has represented the poor, the disadvantaged and the
unpopular. . . . It is no exaggeration to say that Ms. Stewart performed a
public service not only to her clients but her nation.� --Judge John G. Koeltl;
Federal District Court, Manhattan, NY
So far, Bush�s only triumph in his muddled war on terror
has been locking up the two Stewart Sisters, Martha and Lynne. (They�re not really
sisters) Neither posed any threat to national security, but that�s beside the
point. Their arrest sends a chilling message to �home-decorating mavens�
and 67-year-old cancer patients that they�d better �watch their step� or
they�ll find themselves in prison pinstripes.
Do Americans really see how crazy this is or have we been so
subsumed in �terror-hysteria� that we�ve lost our sense of humor altogether?
Consider this: while attorney Stewart is tottering off to
prison for defending a �blind Sheik,� 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.
Bush�s contempt for leftists far exceeds his dubious desire
to rid the world of terrorism. That�s why the country�s energies are so
misdirected and doomed to failure.
Sure, his cohorts, the uber-nationalists, eat-it-up. That�s
why the right-wing blogs are all atwitter with the news of Bush�s �Big Catch�
in the GWOT. According to the loonies on the right, �Terrorist Kingpin� Stewart
is guilty of everything except steering the planes into the buildings.
Bilious Bill O� 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 O�Reilly�s advice we�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
How logical is that?
Imagine if we really took terrorism seriously? What if we
withdrew the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, shut down Bush�s gulag in
Guantanamo, stopped killing Arabs in their own countries, and recognized that
�Islamo-fascism� is a clever public-relations buzzword intended to incite
hatred of Muslims?
How long would it be before the �global threat of terrorism�
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 �unanimously� agreed that Iraq was
producing a new generation of terrorists and making the American people �less
What a surprise.
Lynne Stewart�s name was not in the report, but George
Bush�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 we�re serious about terrorism, we have to do something
about the people who are creating it; Bush and Cheney. Five years after 9-11,
it�s not enough to say �At least we got Martha Stewart and her 67-year
old namesake off the streets.�
Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com.