On Thursday, Fox’s Megyn Kelly interviewed a furious Debra Burlingame about the release from prison of Lynne Stewart, the attorney who conspired with the blind cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. The “Blind Sheik” was convicted of planning to wage a “war of urban terrorism” against the United States, of which the 1993 WTC bombing killing six people was assumed to be a part. Burlingame is director and co-founder of 9/11 Families for a safe and strong America and the sister of Captain Charles Burlingame, the pilot of the jet that crashed into the Pentagon.
After the “Blind Sheik” was sentenced to life in prison he was banned from any communication with the outside world. Stewart, who represented him, violated that that edict, and was convicted in 2005 of helping to smuggle messages from him to his terrorist groups abroad. She was supposed to be in jail until 2018, but U.S. District Judge John Koeltl granted a motion filed by federal prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to reduce her sentence.
Kelly: This is unbelievable. She had stage-4 breast cancer, and she said she didn’t want to die in a strange, loveless place. So, pursuant to a request by the Administration, the judge said, “Off you go,” and now she is a free woman. Supposed to be released in 2018.
Burlingame: That’s right. She’s been campaigning, trying to get out on “compassionate release” for some time; she’s had cancer for a number of years, and she was actually in remission at one point. They expect her to live another 18 months, maybe less. She looked pretty hale and hearty when she came out at LaGuardia yesterday, giving interviews to the press again. She is a remorseless woman. She calls the blind sheik, whose followers have maimed, mutilated, killed dozens and dozens of people in an effort to get him released; she calls him the hero of the mujahadeen. And she did more than get messages out; she facilitated actual meetings between the blind sheik and his lieutenants, if you will, impersonating a translator inside the maximum prison where he was being held. She pretended to be listening to the translation and… they even joked, she even joked in the middle of one of these settings, that she should get an Academy Award for how well she was doing at pretending to have a lawyer client meeting.
Kelly: After one of those messages was sent out, over 60 people were slaughtered in Luxor, Egypt, by members of the blind sheik’s organization and the bodies of many of the victims were mutilated by machetes, the torso of one of the female victims was slit by the terrorists and a leaflet calling for the blind sheik’s release was inserted. This was after she was helping him smuggle messages out to his followers.
Burlingame: It was in 1997, he was imprisoned in ’96, you have to remember; she was on his defense team right from the get-go. He was arrested in ’93, tried in ’95, sentenced in ’96. She knows perfectly well what he’s done, and that he, in fact, was the spiritual inspiration for Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden said in September of 2000, a year before 9/11, that he was the honorable Omar, Sheik Rahaman and later said he gave the fatwa for 9/11. So he has bloody hands and she was convicted of material support.
Kelly: I have to correct myself. So she helped him after that happened, with the people calling for his release knowing that this happened in Egypt, she helped him nonetheless and now is asking for compassion for her.
Burlingame: Yes, And it’s true. I watched the video of her being interviewed at LaGuardia, I think is where she came in, talked about, “My beloved New York, it’s so great to be here.” Her beloved New York? The guy she calls the hero of the mujahadeen is responsible for the deaths, directly responsible; as that’s his cell that hit the World trade center. 6 people and a 7 ½ month old unborn baby, was blown to pieces in the garage of that place.
Kelly: Why would the Administration, because they have to do this with the Bureau of Prisons controlled by the DOJ, why would they help her?
Burlingame: You have to remember that the Attorney General has a big say in this; the Attorney general is the one who signs off every year on the security of administrative directives, what they call the SAMs, special administrative measures that keep him away from the press. Whenever Lynne Stewart wanted to see him, she had to sign a paper saying that she would agree never to discuss or relay any messages-
Kelly: That’s why she got convicted.
Burlingame: Also, her sentence got jacked up to ten years after the appellate level said that she perjured herself on the stand. But in answer to your question, Eric Holder helped in the clemency of the FALN terrorists; he was the go-to guy in the Reno Justice Department who made that happen. Eric Holder is the guy who hired a lot of the Gitmo lawyers who did the same kind of thing sown at Guantanamo, that is, breaking the rules, getting messages out to mujahadeen all around the world and jihadis.
Kelly: It’s unbelievable. When you think of her saying she didn’t want to die in a strange, loveless place and you think about how these innocent victims died at the hand of these terrorists, it’s really a juxtaposition-
Burlingame: Well, I think about the eight children who died on 9/11, five of them on my brother’s plane; the mastermind behind that was inspired by her client.