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Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2002 / 16 Shevat, 5762

Michael Ledeen

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Consumer Reports

My past with "Johnny Jihad's" lawyer -- EVERY now and then events conspire to produce a perfect match, and never did a defendant and his defense attorney deserve each other more than John Walker Lindh and James Brosnahan. Lindh, a.k.a. "Johnny Jihad," has drawn Brosnahan to defend him against the government's charges of, well, something just this side of treason, at least for the moment.

Most people probably don't remember that Brosnahan has been in Washington before, when he was a prosecutor for the celebrated Iran-Contra Special Prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh. I remember it better than most, because I was once called to testify by Brosnahan, and it was a memorable morning.

Brosnahan was a relatively late arrival to the Walsh team, and by the time he got there I had been told that I was no longer considered a "target" for criminal investigation. So when I was called, it was on the basis that they had found some new information about something or other, and they hoped I might be able to help them.

After discussing a bit of ancient history, Brosnahan got to the point. "Have you ever heard of a man named Bruce Rappaport?"

I had. A guy by that name had been involved in a scheme to build a gas or petroleum pipeline across Iraq, and that scheme had caused some heartburn for the former Attorney General Ed Meese. Was that the guy Brosnahan had in mind?

"Right. Also the person into whose bank account the famous $10 million dollars was misdirected by Oliver North's secretary, Fawn Hall."

That was news to me, and I thanked Brosnahan for the information.

"Do you know him?" Brosnahan continued.

"No," I said.

There was then an embarrassed silence, as Brosnahan and two associates shifted around in their chairs.

"Are you sure you don't know him?"

"Believe me," I said, "Swiss millionaires are not my social set."

More silence and shifting.

"Well, you know, he's supposed to be a big Zionist."

Which was the whole point. I'm Jewish, he's a big Zionist, so we must get together for conspiracy meetings from time to time, right?


"So we thought you might know him."

That was pretty much the end of it. And as we walked back to our offices I asked my lawyer what she thought of that, and she said that if she hadn't actually been there she would never have believed it.

Which is why I think Johnny Jihad has the perfect lawyer. They've got a lot in common.

JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Tocqueville on American Character . Comment by clicking here.


01/21/02: It's Munich, all over again
01/08/02: What's the Holdup?: It's time for the next battles in the war against terrorism
12/11/01: We must be imperious, ruthless, and relentless
12/06/01: Remembering my family friend, Walt Disney
11/28/01: The Barbara Olson Bomb: Understanding the war
11/13/01: How We're Doing: The Angleton Files, IV
11/06/01: A great revolutionary war is coming
10/25/01: How to talk to a terrorist
10/23/01: Creative Reporting: Learning to appreciate press briefings
10/19/01: Not the Emmys: A Beltway award presentation
10/15/01: Rediscovering American character
10/11/01: Somehow, I've missed Arafat's praise of the first stage of our war on terrorism
10/04/01: What do we not know?
09/28/01: Machiavelli On Our War: Some advice for our leaders
09/25/01: No Room for the U.N.: Keeping Annan & co. out of the picture
09/21/01: Creative destruction
09/14/01: Who Killed Barbara Olson?
08/22/01: How Israel will win this war
08/15/01: Bracing for war
08/09/01: More Dithering Democrats
08/02/01: Delirious Dems
07/31/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit, cont'd
07/19/01: Be careful what you wish for
07/17/01: Consulting a legendary counterspy about Chandra and Condit
07/05/01: Let Slobo Go
05/30/01: Anybody out there afraid of the Republicans?
05/09/01: The bad guys to the rescue
05/07/01: Bye-bye, Blumenthal
04/20/01: Handling China
04/11/01: EXAM TIME!
04/05/01: Chinese over-water torture
03/27/01: Fighting AIDS in Africa is a losing proposition
03/14/01: Big Bird, Oscar, and other threats
03/09/01: Time for a good, old-fashioned purge
03/06/01: Powell’s great (mis)adventure
02/26/01: The Clinton Sopranos
02/20/01: Unity Schmoonity: Sharon is defying the will of the people
01/30/01: The Rest of the Rich Story
01/22/01: Ashcroft the Jew
01/11/01: A fitting close to the Clinton years
12/26/00: Continuing Clinton's shameful legacy
12/21/00: Clinton’s gift for Bush

© 2001, Michael Ledeen