Monday, August 08, 2005

Did he think he was only following orders?

The New York Times wails over a terrorist helper:
Convicted of Aiding Terrorist, Translator Prepares for Prison Cell, Still in Disbelief

Mohamed Yousry, an Arabic-language translator, has been practicing for life in a prison cell. He closes himself into small spaces to meditate and combs through his library for nonpolitical books he supposes his keepers will allow him to read.

But he still cannot quite believe that prison is where he is going.

After working for nearly a decade as a translator for Lynne F. Stewart, a New York defense lawyer, Mr. Yousry, 49, was convicted along with her on Feb. 10 in Manhattan federal court of providing material aid to terrorism and conspiring to deceive the government. Now free on bail and awaiting sentencing, which is set for Sept. 30, he faces as much as 20 years behind bars.

Although months have passed since the verdict, Mr. Yousry remains shocked and baffled by it. Throughout the grueling nine-month trial, Mr. Yousry and his lawyers were convinced that he had a strong chance of acquittal.
I hadn't heard of his conviction before. Essentially his defense came down to, "I was only translating. I did nothing on my own."

I'm reminded of that "A Few Good Men" line: "An argument that didn't work for the Nazis at Nuremberg!" Oh, but he did help the "sheik" in that he actively assisted the criminal transmission of information. As a translator, he didn't just have a courier's responsibilities. By enabling Lynne Stewart and her "Sheik" Rahman to understand each other, Yousry became a willing, cognizant accomplice. I hope he rots along with them.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Sigh...it's a shame we aren't more willing to use the charge of treason where it is warranted; namely, in Ms. Stewart's case.

Oh well, like you said...they can all rot.

Monday, August 08, 2005 2:17:00 AM  
Blogger TKC said...

He should be in a military prison. He should be facing a military tribunal.
We used to hang people for doing crap like this.
I'm not a big fan of the death penalty but when it comes to things like this, treason during war time, I'm okay with it.

Monday, August 08, 2005 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

That's very true, guys. Yousry is a naturalized citizen, which could have qualified him for charges of treason. The evidence shows that he and Stewart knew what they were doing.

My regret about John Walker Lindh is that he was given a plea bargain. He should have been sent to trial so that we could convict and execute him for treason. If what he did isn't treason, what is?

One of my co-workers insists that Lindh couldn't be tried for treason, because Lindh renounced his U.S. citizenship. Actually he never did. He identified himself as a U.S. citizen when U.S. forces captured him. Retaining his citizenship was the only reason we didn't ship him to Gitmo.

Then again, my co-worker (about as "angry left" as you can get) insists Karl Rove is guilty of treason. For outing someone who already outed herself years ago?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 7:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

That whole citizenship thing reminds me of Lord Haw-Haw. He ended up being convicted of treason following WWII, but there was a touchy period where he tried to contend he did not owe any allegiance to the Crown because he renounced his citizenship. Turns out he used his U.K. passport to travel somewhere (can't remember where) just a few days after he started broadcasting from Nazi Germany.

It's amazing the hoops people will try and go through to avoid the hangman's noose.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 1:56:00 AM  

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