September 25, 2002
Letters to the Editor, Magazine
New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
For the past 25 years the Center for Constitutional Rights and others on the "legal left" have fought for those who have opposed U.S. intervention in Central America, for the victims of police brutality, for international human rights, workers, the environment and for human and constitutional rights behind bars. For Packer to characterize this history as the "representation of thugs", is craven falsehood.
Since 9-11 we have been engaged in the fight against indefinite detentions without judicial oversight and other de fact suspensions of the Constitution. Thus, when John Ashcroft took the unprecedented step of traveling to New York to announce the Lynne Stewart indictment, we saw it for what it was â€“ part of a strategy designed to weaken the Bill of Rights and to frighten lawyers who might represent unpopular and even distasteful clients. Consequently, CCR does indeed support the defense of Lynne Stewart. What is at stake is the power of the government to eavesdrop on discussions between lawyer and client and, on a broader scale, an assault of historic proportions on the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments, carried out by the U.S. Department...
William Goodman, Legal Director