In the aftermath of the recent hijacking of the U.S. ship Maersk Alabama by four Somali pirates—a crisis that ended with three dead pirates and a fourth in American custody—the lone pirate survivor, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, is set to face justice. That is, unless the legal Left, led by so-called “civil rights” attorney Ron Kuby, succeeds in blaming the United States for the attack on its own ship.
Kuby already has deployed the tactic that has been the defining emblem of his professional career—portraying a morally bankrupt defendant as a victim whose actions were compelled by a set of unfortunate external circumstances, and essentially condemning the United States for attempting to prosecute an individual who committed a grave and potentially deadly offense against American interests.
There are clear indications that as this case unfolds during the coming weeks, Kuby and his cohorts will put the respective crews of the Maersk Alabama and the USS Bainbridge (the Navy ship that came to aid the Maersk) on trial instead of the hijacker, second-guessing every action taken by the ship commanders and by the U.S. Navy SEALS who ultimately brought the crisis to a close.
The charges facing Muse are serious indeed: piracy; conspiracy to seize a ship by force; discharging a firearm in a conspiracy to seize a ship; conspiracy to commit hostage taking; and brandishing a firearm during a conspiracy to commit hostage taking. U.S. law plainly dictates that “whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.”
In an effort to evade such an unhappy prospect, Muse’s mother first asked President Obama to pardon her son, depicting him as nothing more than a confused youngster who had been recruited into piracy by a coterie of persuasive “gangsters with money.” The father echoed her story, explaining that his boy had never previously hijacked a ship in the Indian Ocean.
Next, the parents sought to secure legal representation for their pirate son. Toward that end, they contacted Omar Jamal, executive director of the Minneapolis-based Somali Justice Advocacy Center. Jamal is a sort of “Somali Al Sharpton,” having made a career out of depicting his constituency – fellow Somalis living in the U.S. – as victims of American injustice and bigotry.
Jamal and Ron Kuby quickly found one another, and Kuby soon began putting together a legal team to defend the pirate. “I think in this particular case, there’s a grave question as to whether America was in violation of principles of truce in warfare on the high seas,” said Kuby. “This man [Muse] seemed to come onto the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate. He was then captured. There is a question whether he is lawfully in American custody and serious questions as to whether he can be prosecuted because of his age.”
Your eyes do not deceive you. Kuby is indeed contending that the USS Bainbridge crew deceptively lured, and then unjustifiably “captured,” an individual who was seeking only to negotiate, in good faith, a peaceful “truce”—as though he, and not the American ship, had come under unprovoked assault. Moreover, adds Kuby, this poor Somali captive is only a youngster who could not possibly have understood the grievous nature of the crime he was committing.
A closer look at the facts makes a mockery of Kuby’s claims. For one thing, it seems that Muse is not nearly as young and innocent as his family and Kuby have claimed. His father told authorities a host of wildly inconsistent tales, stating variously that the boy was 15, 16, 18, and 26 years of age. Muse’s brother places the figure at 18. U.S. authorities believe he is at least that old.
Moreover, it turns out that during the hijacking of the American ship, Muse conducted himself not as a frightened, confused dupe but rather as the ringleader of the entire operation. Indeed it was he, and not any of his confederates, who succeeded in forcing Captain Phillips to stop the Maersk Alabama in the first place. According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
“Prosecutors say Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse was not shy about making his presence known on the Maersk Alabama, brazenly tearing through the ship in a way that belied his young age and skinny, 5-foot-2 frame. He was the first to board the ship, he fired a shot at the captain, he helped steal $30,000 in cash from a safe, and he bragged about hijacking ships in the past, authorities said.”
This doesn’t sound like the shrinking wallflower described by Muse’s parents, or the conciliatory negotiator described by Ron Kuby. But then again, Kuby is not a particularly credibly source.
An avowed Marxist and a disciple of the late radical attorney William Kunstler, Kuby describes himself as a “movement lawyer.” He candidly told the The New York Times in 2002, “Movement lawyers live vicariously through their clients. Movement lawyers identify especially with the people they represent.” And the clients Kuby has represented reveal a great deal about his “movement.”
One of Kuby’s prize clients was El Sayyid Nosair, who murdered the controversial leader of the Jewish Defense League, Meir Kahane, in 1990. Nosair also was later convicted on nine counts of conspiracy and murder for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Kuby also defended Colin Ferguson, a black gunman who—on December 7, 1993—walked up the aisle of a crowded Long Island, New York railroad car, shooting white and Asian passengers, killing six and wounding nineteen. In his courtroom defense of Ferguson, Kuby attempted to convince the jury that his client’s judgment had been severely impaired by years of having lived in a supposedly racist and oppressive society, and that Ferguson therefore was more of a victim than a perpetrator. “White people have to learn to understand how bitter some black people are about their treatment in this society—and the fruit of white racism is hatred,” Kuby explained. Notably, Ferguson was adamantly opposed to having Kuby defend him, preferring instead to represent himself. Yet the persistent Kuby nonetheless injected himself into the case, knowing that it would provide him with a highly visible platform from which he could give voice to the notion that American racism was so extreme that poor Colin Ferguson had literally been driven to the point of homicidal madness.
In May of 2000, Kuby joined members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Center for Constitutional Rights in signing a letter supporting protests and civil disobedience on behalf of the convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, depicting the black Marxist defendant as a wrongly prosecuted victim of a racist American criminal-justice system.
Perhaps Kuby’s most notorious client was Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. “Sheikh Omar would have tried, I think, to prevent the World Trade Center bombing if he had known it was coming,” Kuby said in a 2000 interview. Kuby suggested that it was actually the FBI that had built and detonated the bomb, as a pretext for imprisoning innocent Muslims. “The ‘mastermind’ [of the bombing] is the government of the United States,” said Kuby. “It was a phony, government-engineered ‘conspiracy’ to begin with. It would never have amounted to anything had the government not planned it.” According to Kuby, Rahman’s legendary, hateful tirades against the perceived enemies of Islam could not rightfully be interpreted as calls for violence against those enemies. To make this point, Kuby posed the following analogy: “Why wasn’t the Pope taken into custody when he visited Denver? He is the spiritual leader of abortion-clinic bombers and doctor killers.”
In 2003 Kuby defended another Islamic terrorist—the Washington, DC-area sniper John Allen Muhammed, who, along with an accomplice, murdered ten innocent people in 2002. Muhammad’s objective was simple: he wanted to carry out a jihad, or “holy war,” whereby he would recruit multitudes of fellow killers to carry out mass shootings in cities across the United States.
The Somali bandit currently in U.S. custody is only the latest in a long line of enemies of America who has found an eager ally in Ron Kuby. In a perversion of justice that has become his trademark, Kuby has chosen to defend the pirate flag under the false flag of “civil rights.”