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Stanley Cohen: Terrorist Mouthpiece By: Michael Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, December 17, 2002


He is known as the people’s attorney. At least, that is how the Revolutionary Worker refers to Stanley Cohen. For them Cohen is "a long- time people's lawyer beloved by many for his uncompromising willingness to provide legal defense for the unpopular, …and those U.S. imperialism may feel should be "tried" with no defense at all. "

Stanley Cohen is the partner of another "people’s lawyer," Lynne Stewart-who was indicted for assisting Sheik Abdel Rahman, the terrorist convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center incident. Like Stewart, Cohen represents anti-American terrorist organizations. Like Stewart, Cohen’s route to becoming a barrister was circuitous.

The son of a bookkeeper mother and a salesman father, Cohen did not want to become a lawyer. Before going to law school, he operated legal services project on Indian reservations in Nebraska, an anti-poverty program, and he was a VISTA worker. Afterwards he went to Pace University law school.

During the early eighties, Cohen joined Stewart to be part of Kathy Boudin’s legal team. Boudin was a member of the terrorist Weather Underground in the 1970s and then joined the May 19 Communist Organization. She and her husband are presently serving long sentences for their role in the a Brink’s robbery whose purpose was to get money to finance a war against "Amerikka" and set up a "Republic of Black Afrika" in the United States. Two police officers and a security guard were killed in the course of that holdup.

Kathy’s father Leonard was a celebrated figure in the pro-Soviet left, a "civil liberties" lawyer, and Fidel Castro's attorney in the US. He hired Leonard Weinglass as the lead attorney to defend his daughter. Weinglass a leader of the pro-Communist National Lawyer’s Guild was the attorney for the SLA terrorists who kidnapped Patty Hearst and murdered Oakland’s first black school superintendent. He is also the attorney for cop killer, Mumia Abu Jamal.

Cohen learned his legal craft from Weinglass, Boudin, and William Kunstler, founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights – a revolutionary law center and famous for defending the "Chicago 8," drug dealer and murderer Larry Brown and mass murderer Colin Ferguson, who shot and killed 6 Asian and white passengers on the Long Island Railroad and whom Kuntsler claimed was driven by "black rage" (Ferguson eventually served as his own lawyer and was convicted). Kunstler also defended Siddig Ibrahim Siddig and Ibrahim A. ElGabrowny, terrorist conspirators linked to the World Trade Center bombing. In defending Larry Brown, who had killed four drug dealers and wounded 9 policemen, Kunstler said he woudn’t have taken the case if Brown were white.

Cohen was Kunstler’s protege. He sponsored Cohen’s application to practice before the Supreme Court. Like Kunstler, Cohen regards himself as a revolutionary lawyer and identifies with the politics of his clients, among whom are the I.R.A., and advocates for Shining Path, the Peruvian communist guerrillas whose atrocities against Peruvian peasants have earned them a reputation as the world's most ruthless terrorist organization.

Like his mentor Kunstler, Cohen tries his cases in the media using the distorted hyperbole which has become a lingua franca of the left. Thus he claims that the FBI has "unleashed a reign of terror on Muslims and Arabs by invading their mosques, taking down license plate numbers, and going to citizens' homes to question them." Taking down license plate numbers constitutes a reign of terror?

Another rhetorical device used by terrorist attorneys like Cohen is portraying aggressors as victims and victims as aggressors. In a September 22 2001 speech to a Muslim group in Passaic, New Jersey, Cohen said, "I feel the real war is gonna be at home. We hear language about ‘finding their supporters and their organization.’. . . I fear that the government is going to use this as a pretext—and I'm going to say the I-word—to go after those groups and individuals who have stood up against the Israeli lobby in this country. They will use this as an opportunity to empanel grand juries, to go after financial records, to do everything they can to repay their friends in the Middle East. And we know who their friends are. . . ." Anti-Semitic Jews on the left are common enough, but Cohen sets a high standard.

A few months ago Cohen spoke before a mostly Muslim audience at Portland State University. Titled "Civil Rights in America Calling 911," it was allegedly about citizen’s rights and the FBI. The Islamic Center of Masjed As Saber sponsored the speech.

Cohen began his presentation by sounding a little like a Borsch Belt comedian as he belittled the nation’s security issue and its front line defense, welcoming all the FBI agents and wannabe FBI agents in the audience. Cohen said he was glad that they were in the library so that they could read a book and learn something.

Cohen then began spouting the all too familiar casuistry of the criminal defense bar that was so prominent during the Clinton scandals. More particularly his text came from the "what is the meaning of is is," and "my client is a victim of a conspiracy" school of leftwing legal apologetics. Elaborating, Cohen said he meant his clients – Muslim terrorists – were victims of Zionism which – along with Saddam, Osama, Yassir and the blind Sheik -- he believes is the real villain today.

According to Cohen, the FBI and other law enforcement organizations were going to use the anti-terrorism campaign to deny Muslims their civil rights; this was racial profiling. As an affirmation of his thesis, Cohen cited the internment of the Japanese during World War II. Cohen said, " The Germans weren’t locked up. The Italians weren’t locked up. Only the Japanese were. This tells you that "civil liberties" in this country are a matter of race."

For one allegedly concerned about FBI ignorance, Cohen ought to read some books himself. In fact, Germans and Italians were interned -- and with less reason. Moreover, during World War II, coastal Japanese were re-settled or interned in every country where their presence was significant, including Canada. Of course, since America is the Great Satan in Cohen’s perspective defending America against a racist Japanese empire was no more a factor in security decisions during World War I than it is now during the war on terror.

Leftist lawyers have portrayed their clients as persecuted victims of prejudice and political witch hunts since the days of Clarence Darrow. During the Cold War, Communist lawyers refined it to a science, which they passed on to their disciples, Kuntsler, Stewart, Cohen et al. The Soviet atomic spies, including the Rosenbergs were portrayed by the Communist left as victims of racial and political prejudice.

Cohen was the keynote speaker at an Oct. 2, 1998 event, celebrating the release from prison of Dr. Abdelhaleem Ashqar who had been jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating allegations of money laundering in support of Hamas. While imprisoned Ashqar went on a 180-day hunger-strike in protest of "FBI harassment." Dr. Ashqar said the FBI was attempting to pressure him to testify falsely against Muslims involved in humanitarian work on behalf of the occupied people of the Holy Land.

Cohen concluded his talk by calling Dr. Ashqar a hero, and likening to him another of his clients, Ismail Elbarasse who was incarcerated for refusing to testify before the same grand jury, and for the same reasons, as Ashqar. Cohen explained that their imprisonment was part of a campaign to intimidate the community from donating humanitarian aid to Palestine.

Cohen portrays the terrorist group Hamas as an organization of martyrs for liberty and justice. To listen to him, these agents of mass murder are victims of an American-Zionist conspiracy to deny them their civil rights. But even the Hamas Covenant indicates otherwise: "Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious..Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before.. Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement …It is necessary that scientists, educators and teachers, information and media people, as well as the educated masses, especially the youth and sheikhs of the Islamic movements, should take part in the operation.. It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis. .. The issues of Islamic liberation are in need of Islamic art."

Art, science, religion, education, literature are all involved in Hamas’ Islamic jihad against the Jews. For Cohen to suggest that the investigation of Islamic "charitable" organizations or mosques is FBI harassment of fraternal groups is Orwellian subterfuge.

Cohen’s client list also includes Mousa Abu Marzook, who heads the political wing of Hamas. Cohen prevented Marzook’s extradition to Israel on terrorism charges, including conspiracy to commit murder; Moataz Al-Hallak, an imam from Texas with suspected ties to al-Qaeda; Imam Kariye a black muslim suspected of terrorism and the reason Cohen was speaking at Portland State.

In his office, Cohen has a picture of himself alongside Hamas’ spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

In a rare moment of candor, another Kunstler acolyte and advocate of communist and terrorist causes, Ron Kuby, conceded to the New York Times that lawyers like him and Cohen "live vicariously through their clients." He explained that ''movement'' lawyers, especially, identify with their clients. When the lawyer is as "loving and committed" as Lynne Stewart, Kuby is quoted as saying, and the client is as charismatic as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the identification takes on a life of its own. George Packer quotes Kuby in a piece in the New York Times:

"In the best of cases we identify with their determination, with their courage, and we see the people that maybe we could have been had we the courage to do what they did. And as a result, if you're a good lawyer, you spend a lot of time doing gut checks. And because it's a profession that is so cowardly, enjoying the aura of being those people without ever taking the risks of being those people, it's easy to say: this is the right thing to do, I'm not hurting anyone, this is morally justified. I'm refusing to do it out of fear because I'm a coward, and I've got to change that. I can't succumb to that kind of fear, because if I'm afraid of the government here, I can't do this job."

In other words, what Kuby is really saying is that terrorists have the courage to do what "movement" lawyers like him want to do -- but don't have the guts to do. Lawyers like Cohen, therefore, want to be terrorists but are to scared to be. Lawyering for terrorists becomes the next best thing.

Thus, lawyers like Cohen aspire to be terrorists and are terrorists in a manner of speaking. They explode the law instead of buildings. They exploit and manipulate the Constitution to dismantle and disrupt their own society’s legal system and way of life.


Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of the new novel A Sense of Duty, and an ex-Philadelphia cop. E-mail him at elfegobaca@comcast.net.


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