A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of my old adversary, Lynne Stewart, for providing material support to terrorism — i.e., helping the Blind Sheikh run his Egyptian terrorist organization from U.S. prison, where he is serving a life-sentence. The convictions and sentences of the other two defendants were also affirmed. Lynne, who has been out on bail since being convicted eons ago, has been ordered to surrender to begin serving her sentence.
This is simply unbelievable! All this time I thought this leftist terrorist-sympathizer was in jail, and instead, she's been galavanting around free to continue to create mischief and proudly proclaim her treason.
Way back in 2005 I wrote a post that asked, "How do you solve a problem like Lynne Stewart" and basically said the following:
Lynne Stewart reminds me of a song from The Sound of Music-"How do you solve a problem like Maria? A fliberty gibbet a will-o-the wisp...." Andrew McCarthy asks himself this question, too and he grapples with Lynne Stewart, the PERSON, versus Lynne Stewart, the Lefty Kook, recently convicted of aiding and abetting terrorism. He knew her, worked with her and had a very real sense of her decency. Yet, he was able to say:
There is something wrong with Lynne's brain. Obviously, she loves being a darling of the loony Left — a Left so loony it now makes common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers, since, after all, they too hate America. Nestled among this element, her humanity synapse disengages, such that she can spout about faraway terrorist kidnapping victims and other unknown civilians as legitimate targets with all the contemplative depth of a dinner companion asking you to pass the salt.
But she is not without humanity. What has happened to her here is very far from a tragedy — a tragedy is when someone unwittingly crosses the path of Abdel Rahman's ilk and is ruthlessly murdered for the great offense of being an American, or a Jew, or a Christian, or anything other than an Islamic militant. This is what Lynne Stewart promoted, and for that she must pay dearly.
So, what is it that is "wrong with Lynne's brain"? If we could figure it out, perhaps we could understand all those others on the Left who "make common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers". Is it just because they are anti-American, anti-Capitalists? Or is being anti-American, anti-Captitalists another symptom of the brain disorder?
I think it is the latter. Let me explain. In a previous post, I discussed how one goes about enabling terror. Now I propose to explain why someone would do that, and why. Some of this I touched on when I described a classic case of hysteria .
As in a case of hysteria, or a conversion disorder--where the symptoms are not intentionally produced, but are the result of unintentional--or unconscious-- motives, the Lynne Stewarts of the Left are not deliberately being obtuse. They aren't even deliberately evil. They truly don't see anything wrong with being a nice person and kindly grandmother, and simultaneously thinking that a terrorist attack in Indonesia where children might be killed is a wonderful thing. This kind of cognitive dissonance is the result of a psychological defense mechanism called "repression". Repression is necessary in the expression of a conversion disorder where some physical symptom (blindness, paralysis, pain) becomes the focal point; so that the individual is able to avoid the unacceptable thought or feeling. For that to occur, the unacceptable thought or feeling must be ruthlessly stashed away from awareness, or repressed.
But symbolic physical symptoms like blindness are not the only way that repression can be manifested. Another, and much more frequent psychological strategy to rid one's self of the unacceptable thought or feeling is to display a contradictory and often unbelievable (to an outside observer, anyway) dissassociation, or disconnect, between a person's thoughts and feelings on the one hand; and behavior on another.
This is why so often the Lynne Stewarts present an unsolvable puzzle to an outside observer. How can they argue for Peace and behave violently or even encourage/enable violent behavior ? How can they demand Free Speech but simultaneously suppress it in others? How can they be for "diversity" and squelch any dissenting opinions? How can they claim to be for freedom and democracy, and make common cause with those who would destroy it? The catalog of paradoxes goes on and on.
The key is to focus on what the Lynne Stewarts DO, not on what they SAY. On BEHAVIOR, rather than SPEECH. They can yell slogans of LOVE, PEACE, and FREEDOM; but if their actions are HATE-FILLED, VIOLENT, and support OPPRESIVE REGIMES, they are using repression to hide the true feelings that underly their actual behavior.
Often, repression requires stronger and stronger psychological defenses be erected as time goes by and reality keeps up its steady knocking on their door. So, repression often leads to projection and denial. (see here for a discussion of all the psychological defense mechanisms).
When confronted with irrefutable proof of their own actions and consequences, such people must eventually resort to a complete denial of reality. Or, alternatively, they will project the blame for their behavior onto another person or group ("It is the fault of the Israelis" or the "Jews", or the "Blacks"--and more recently, of "Bush", "Cheney" and so on ad nauseum) . Or, they may utilize both mechanisms.
The level of self-awareness or insight into themselves is abysmally low. All available psychological defenses are rallied to prevent the acceptance of the fact that they did something bad or wrong. It MUST be (in Lynne Stewart's case, for example) the government, the U.S., Capitalism or President Bush, that is to blame!
How do you solve a problem like Lynne Stewart? Therapy won't help. She is too far gone to spend any time accepting that her own behavior has led to her current situation. Her self-identity is not likely to be shaken by events in the real world. Those events can and will be twisted so that it only confirms her world view. Her sense of herself must be preserved at all costs. Even if it means the death of thousands.
Just send her to jail where she can't do any more harm. And stop feeling sorry for her. She's made her choice.
So, let's move on to other lefty kooks and terrorist enablers who are now running our country at the highest levels. McCarthy makes the connection and goes on to say in his post about Stewart:
By the way, since my topic in today's column is Attorney General Holder's sudden concern over delays in the military commission system, it's worth pointing out that, for conduct that started around 1999, Stewart was indicted in 2002; her trial did not begin until mid-2004 and took about eight months; after that, they dawdled for over a year before finally imposing sentence in October 2006; now, a decade after the conduct, seven years after arrest, four years after trial, and three years after sentence — and mind you, she's been free on bail since 2002 — the appeal has at long last been decided, and it has resulted in . . . a remand for further sentencing proceedings. And, after they someday occur, there will surely be another trip to the Second Circuit, and then an appeal to the Supreme Court. After that, the habeas corpus petitions start . . .
From the very first day of the Obama Administration (was it only 300 days ago?? It seems like forever), we have seen a concerted push for complete and total denial about Islamic fanaticism behind 9/11; behind the likes of Major Hassan; and the danger that Islam extremism poses to the free world. This denial has taken the form of policy after policy that ""make(s) common cause with theocratic, homo-phobic, misogynistic psycho-killers" and elevates them morally, intellectually, and legally so that they can be cheerfully given all the rights, perogatives and privileges of American citizens. These lefty kooks claim that this is to preserve "the rule of law", but then in the same breath insist that there is absolutely, positively no possibility in hell that KSM and others could ever in a million years possibly be acquitted.
What a bizarre perspective that displays about the rule of law. I always thought that the rule of law meant that a person was innocent until proven guilty. Lefty kooks appear to believe that the person is guilty and can't possibly be proven innocent no matter what.
Now, I happen to agree that KSM is guilty and that there is little question about his involvement in the 9/11 attacks on this country. I also happen to think that war criminals like him should have every iota of information squeezed out of him that might save lives; and that there is every moral, intellectual and historical argument that he then should be taken by the military and summarily executed.
As for Lynne Stewart, her real crime has always been treason. Her behavior has been and remains inexcusable. And all the authorities have done is to dither about her actions for years.
When are we going to stop giving these theocratic, homophobic, misogynistic psychokillers--and their kooky leftist enablers--ready-made national platforms on which they are free to spew their sick and hate-filled messages?
When are we going to break free of the national psychological denial and repression that keeps us from decisively dealing with reality?