Lynne Stewart, who was convicted of smuggling messages from Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (“the Blind Sheikh” who masterminded the bombing of the World Trade Center) to his terrorist followers in Egypt, has been released early from prison thanks to the Obama administration. She was released on grounds of “compassion” because she is terminally ill.
District Judge John Koeltl ordered the release based on a request from the director of the Bureau of Prisons through the office of U.S. Attorney. Judge Koeltl previously had denied Stewart’s request for release because it was not supported by the Bureau of Prisons. In other words, Stewart’s release is the handiwork of the Obama administration.
The Bureau of Prisons claims broad discretion in deciding whether to file requests for compassionate release, and it exercises that discretion to reject such release in all but a few cases. According to this analysis, the BOP, which is responsible for more than 218,000 prisoners, filed only 30 motions for early release in 2011. Since 1992, the annual average number of prisoners who received compassionate release has been less than two dozen.
Lynne Stewart has received extraordinarily favorable treatment.
Lynne Stewart is also a terrorist. Not because, as a lawyer, she represented a notorious terrorist, but because she enabled that terrorist to communicate with his terrorist operatives.
By enabling the extraordinary release of Stewart out of sympathy for her medical condition, did those in the administration responsible for this outcome — among whom, presumably, are Attorney General Holder and President Obama — show themselves to be terrorist sympathizers? That conclusion seems too sweeping. But I think it’s fair to say that they sympathized with this particular terrorist.
What was the source of the special sympathy that enabled Lynne Stewart to receive an enormous benefit that the government very rarely grants? Was it her longtime service to the cause of anti-American radicalism? I suspect so.
When it upheld Stewart’s ten-year sentence (which now turns out to be four years), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that she exhibited a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.” Free now from incarceration and bathed in the adoration of her fellow radical leftists, there is no chance that she ever will.
JOHN adds: It is fair to say that Barack Obama and Eric Holder also exhibit a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.”
By the way, Paul and I knew John Koeltl back in our student days. Like us, he was active on the college debate circuit.