Claim: Monies given to the
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
It may be time for the 9-11 charity relief-fund police to begin phase two of their oversight campaign. If you haven’t already heard about it, you’re not going to believe this.
You’ve probably read that some of the
We’re not talking about pocket change here. The Fund gave $171,000 to the Legal Aid Society, which is assisting in the legal defense of eight terror suspects now detained in Brooklyn, N.Y. That’s like the Heart Association donating to the Society of Sedentary Butter Eaters. Actually, it’s worse, because sedentary
Are you outraged yet? If not, there’s more. The Fund, far from chastened by criticism from those outraged at the above, is up to further mischief.
CNSNews.com now tells us that the Fund has made more than a million dollars worth of grants to various left-wing political groups — CNSNews’ characterization, not mine, but it is undeniably correct.
Origins: The above are the opening paragraphs to a
In turn, information touted in the World Net Daily article was drawn from an
Officials of the
On November 8, 2001, the National Legal and Policy Center charged that a six-week, $171,000 grant from the
The New York Legal Aid Society did receive $171,000 from the
None of the financial assistance has gone to help terror suspects with their legal problems, although that last item — the interviewing of several foreign nationals who have been held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) because of invalid paperwork — lays the groundwork for this misunderstanding.
The LAS has in the past routinely involved itself in immigration matters, so its agreeing to talk to several INS detainees — some of whom were Arabs — after
According to the New York Legal Aid Society’s statement about those meetings (also as found on its web site):
After September 11, the Immigration Court asked the Society’s Immigration Unit to interview a number of detainees of Arab or Middle Eastern descent because they had no legal counsel. The Society complied with the Immigration Court’s request, conducted some interviews, and referred most cases to the private bar. Society Immigration Unit staff accepted three cases for representation and facilitated a settlement for one of these cases. We have recently learned that the other two cases involve issues beyond immigration violations, and our Immigration staff therefore cannot provide further immigration assistance. Accordingly, these two remaining cases have been reassigned to private counsel. The Legal Aid Society’s civil staff has not represented and would not represent anyone on matters related to perpetrating the World Trade Center attacks.
In other words, two of the three cases accepted by the LAS turned out to involve more than immigration matters, so the LAS immediately backed away from them once it knew there was more involved. (Reading between the lines, one can arrive at the conclusion these two detainees are being held in relation to the
The National Legal and Policy Center appears to view the New York Legal Aid Society’s behavior as reprehensible, however. Dan Rene, spokesperson for the NLPC, said in a interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “If the Legal Aid Society, which has an annual budget of
Rarely has a more foolheaded statement appeared in a newspaper. Those who can’t afford lawyers yet require legal representation don’t fade from existence because a legal aid society has accepted a grant and agreed to provide additional services to a specific group of clients. By far the greatest demand on any legal aid society will be the provision of legal representation to the underfunded, making the devotion of
A legal aid society is first and foremost a legal aid society. Its acceptance of an additional mission doesn’t alter or erase its primary purpose for being, nor does it wipe from existence those who need its help.
This particular Society has a history of involvement with INS detention cases. This is part of what it does, and that didn’t change in the
More information about what this particular legal aid society does and who it helps can be found in its FAQ.
The larger question of how monies donated to The
Debate over what services should be underwritten by the Fund helps speed along tales of fundular wrongdoings, imagined or actual. Though the cause for concern in this particular instance was unfounded, real anxieties find voice through the expression of such stories. In other words, we pass along such gossip because at some level we’re disturbed by the handling of the
As long as that sense of unease continues, so will the stories.
Barbara “uneasy riders” Mikkelson
|September 11th Fund FAQ|
|Statement About ‘Detainee’ Allegation (NY Legal Aid Society)|
Last updated: 16 March 2008