September 19, 2006 -- A Manhattan federal judge will decide next month how long terrorist con spirator and radical lawyer Lynne Stewart will spend at Camp Fed.
Prosecutors are recommending 30 years, a veritable life sentence for the 66-year-old "civil rights" attorney - whose last client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, masterminded the original World Trade Center bombing.
Stewart was found guilty of helping Rahman convey orders to his henchmen in Egypt. Her conviction is among the most dramatic developments in a worrying trend: U.S. lawyers joining with the enemy in time of war.
Stewart is a product of the National Lawyers Guild, a 70-year-old far-left legal outfit that has yet to discover an anti-American cause it won't embrace. Despite her colleagues' insistence that she's simply a principled defender of due process, Stewart herself was unapologetic in supporting Rahman's agenda.
Stewart was backed by the also hard-core Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Its lawyers fight to have cases tried in U.S. courtrooms - that is to say, to turn them into propaganda circuses.
Sadly, the CCR has enjoyed a number of legal victories, the latest being Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, where the Supreme Court ruled that Osama bin Laden's driver deserved certain legal protections.
The CCR and National Lawyers Guild enjoy wide support; the latter gets funds from the Ford Foundation and George Soros' Open Society Institute. Plus, as Richard Miniter noted in The Post last Friday, terrorists at Gitmo are using envelopes from their correspondence with CCR lawyers - stamped "attorney-client privilege" - to secure their communications as they plot against guards.
Placing the lawyer-client privileges in the service of terror is, of course, exactly what Stewart was convicted of doing.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post last week reported that CIA counterterrorism officers could soon become the latest target in trial lawyers' crosshairs.
Worried that terrorists may sue, CIA operatives are buying insurance. Normally, public officials carrying out agency orders are defended by the Justice Department. But the Post quoted an unnamed former CIA senior intelligence officer who says counterterror officers worry that this bulwark could be torn down if Democrats take Congress this November or the White House in 2008.
In response, President Bush is pushing legislation to exempt officials from lawsuits related to interrogation. So far, Congress has balked; for that, blame accrues equally to obstructionist Democrats - and to the GOP leadership.
If Congress wishes to be taken seriously on national security, it'll pass these protections before November.
Meanwhile, here's hoping Stewart gets what's coming to her: a 30-year sentence.