Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blackwater Meets the Leftist-Islamist Convergence

J. Michael Waller has a look at who is representing the Iraqi families suing Blackwater USA, and what do you know, it just happens to be a couple of the most radical lawyers in the United States, representing both sides of the Leftist-Islamist convergence.

Curiously, they're also big bucks contributors to the Democrats.

HERE'S a new twist in the Blackwater story: A legal group with a four-decade record of aiding and abetting terrorists, spies and cop-killers is suing the company. Joining it is an Egyptian attorney who has been representing what the U.S. Treasury Department calls a fund-raising operation for al Qaeda.

The Sept. 16 incident in Baghdad's Nisoor Square resulted in at least 17 deaths. Three families of the Iraqi victims, plus one injured survivor, are suing the "contract-security" firm. But their choice of attorneys is remarkable.

The legal team includes attorneys from the Philadelphia firm of Burke O'Neil LLC - plus the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as CCR's president, Michael Ratner - plus Shereef Hadi Akeel of Akeel & Valentine PC.

The Center for Constitutional Rights calls itself a civil-rights group, working for the "least popular" in society in order to defend the rights of all. But it seems to specialize in defending the enemies of American society.

The CCR and its lawyers have provided legal aid to the murderer of two FBI agents; bombers and bank robbers from the 1960s, and '70s terrorist groups. It has even litigated on behalf of illegal-combatant detainees at Guantanamo and mounted a spirited moral defense of Lynne Stewart, convicted for conspiring with the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

If a terrorist needs help, the CCR isn't far away. Its lawyers gave legal aid to the Puerto Rican FALN terrorists who planted more than 100 bombs in Chicago and New York. You know, the group that in 1975 blew up the Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four and wounding 54.
You should remember the FALN.

Mrs. Clinton's husband pardoned a number of them to help his wife's New York Senate bid in 2000.
CCR leader Michael Ratner went to the U.S. Supreme Court to get constitutional protections extended to captured terrorists and illegal combatants. He sued to weaken post-9/11 counterterrorism laws.

He's also an aggressive propagandist of the Soviet old school who knows how to make headlines to spin public opinion. Where he once pushed communist causes, today he's pushing Islamist extremism. His involvement in the Blackwater lawsuit must be seen in that context.
Not only that, he's--get this--a lecturer at Columbia University. His idea of justice is freeing all the scum at Guantanamo Bay.

The Washington Post gushes over him here.

Check him out in this YouTube clip.
Joining Ratner as counsel in the suit is Akeel, an Egyptian-born lawyer in Michigan [Michigan's Lawyer of the year for 2004! -- ed.] who has represented a group the Treasury Department says is a fund-raising operation for al Qaeda.

Akeel has been a defense counsel for the Islamic Relief Agency, which Treasury says supports Osama bin Laden. A federal court backed Treasury's findings in a decision earlier this year, rejecting Akeel's request that the government unfreeze his client's assets.

CCR lawyers, either individually or as part of the organization, provided legal help to the late Soviet KGB agent Wilfred Burchett, who operated undercover as a journalist; and to a U.S. Marine guard at the U.S. embassy in Moscow who was seduced to betray his country for the Soviet KGB.

They gave legal and political support to Leonard Peltier, an Indian militant convicted of murdering FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. They've defended or litigated on behalf of cop-killers who left a trail of dead policemen and deputies in Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

They gave legal support to Abdul Majid and Bashir Hameed, now in prison for snuffing the life from New York City Police Officer John Scarangella and attempting to kill his partner. They provided legal counsel for Joanne Chesimard, convicted of murdering New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and now hiding in Cuba.
Read the rest.

I'm not passing judgment on the mertis of the Blackwater case, yet it's worth noting just who is going after them.

Ratner, by the way, cut a nice check from the CCR to the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee on June 28, 2007. He also gave another check for $3500 on July 12, and has donated to Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Al Franken (D-Mars), Barbara Lee (D-CA), the only member of Congress to vote against our excursion into Afghanistan post-9/11, and a slew of checks to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Carl Levin (D-MI), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and a host of others.

In 2004, he donated $4000 to Ted Kennedy's 2012 campaign (!) and maxed out on donations to John Kerry and Howard Dean.

Back in 2000, he gave Hillary Clinton money (probably thanks for the FALN pardon), and what do you know, even gave money to one William Jefferson Clinton.

This source shows a Michael Ratner donating to to a host of radical NYC politicans, as well as Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick), failed politican and Air America honcho Mark Green.

Akeel has been much more judicious in dispensing his money. He apparently only gives to elected Muslims in Congress.

Nice to see such avowed enemies of America lavishing so much cash on Democrats.

UPDATE: More today on Blackwater from the Washington Times. As an aside, I wonder what Mrs. Clinton and Mark Penn think about this?

UPDATE II: Instapundit links. Thanks!

UPDATE III: Looks like Blackwater will leave Iraq next spring. Who can blame them?

Nice job, Democrats. You can't force us to cut and run, but you can find other ways to damage the effort in Iraq. Take a bow.

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