“Sheikh Omar [Abdel Rahman] would have tried, I think, to prevent the World Trade Center bombing had he known it was coming.”
I was speaking with Ron Kuby, former law partner of radical attorney William Kunstler, a year before September 11th. Kuby was explaining his reasons for representing Islamic fundamentalists then being tried by the U.S. government for their involvement in the first plot to destroy the World Trade Center.
I nodded as Kuby told me this. He appeared to think in saying this that he’d disposed of the topic — as one supposes America also thought it had.
Was it possible that Kuby’s work in Rahman’s defense was motivated by Jewish self-hatred?
We were seated opposite one another, diagonally flanking the not all that cluttered desk in his poorly lit, somewhat gray office.
And, besides which, weren’t there more important, more pressing things for us to talk about?, his expression seemed to say.
Being accused of Jewish self-hatred was not something which put him in the least off-stride. But the suggestion that he was a mob lawyer bothered him, and a bright color came into his face. It was evident that he was still smarting about an editorial that had run some months before in The New York Post regarding his work on behalf of “wiseguys”.
“Really, [Editorial Page Editor John] Podhoretz should be ashamed of himself…I’ve taken on a number of people who are accused mobsters as clients, but cases with organized crime connections are maybe 5% of what I spend my time on.
“Who’s killed more people: John Gotti or the Ford Motor company with their exploding Pintos? Cost-benefit analysis is the basis in both cases — or for any other giant corporation,” Kuby said.
To Kuby in 2000 it was clear: big business represented the real threat to New Yorkers’ lives.