Re: Zündel SHOW Trial, Mannheim 2005
<a href="http://www.zundelsite.org/zundel_persecuted/nov16-05.html">MISTRIAL DECLARED IN CASE OF ERNST ZUNDEL</a>
NOVEMBER 15, 2005. In what appears to be something out of a surreal dream, the German trial of Ernst Zundel has been temporarily ended because all his lawyers could not get one of their many motions accepted by the court judge.
I guess there is a German rule that says: defense lawyers have to produce a semblance of competence by making at least one motion stand up. I don't really know. Anyway, Zundel has a new lawyer, and the trial may re-open in February.
The charge? Denial of the Holocaust. Or something like that. In Canada, during his three trials, Zundel was charged with threatening national security. Threatening how? By denying the accepted story, in certain respects, of the Holocaust.
After perusing a number of articles about Zundel on the rense.com site, I presume that Zundel is a very unpopular man because he is stating that the Nazi extermination of Jews during WW2 has been grossly exaggerated, in terms of actual numbers of Jews killed.
So far, I find no evidence that Zundel has committed a crime against any person or piece of property, in the usual sense of crime. Nor do I find any direct inciting to violence on the part of Zundel.
In other words, he is being held in prison (as he was in Canada) because he expresses certain thoughts.
Of course, in several European countries, Holocaust denial is itself a crime.
There are a couple of issues here. One is, can your words be taken by other people as reason for THEM to commit a violent crime? As far as I'm concerned, there are nutcases and morons running around from the Arctic Circle to Tierra Del Fuego who will, on the slightest provocation, steal property and commit assault.
One only has to look at the laws in the US to see that indirect participation in a "crime" is a growing trend. For example, a person can be found innocent of robbery but found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery.
"We talked about it, we planned it, but then we got cold feet."
"Who cares? Guilty of conspiracy. This court is adjourned."
Note that Zundel is not being charged with conspiracy. I'm merely pointing out that INDIRECT labels can be extended in all sorts of directions.
In fact, as political correctness spreads like ink on a blotter all over the planet, people are warned that the slightest off-center remark might damage another person within hearing distance for life.
Then comes the issue of Zundel's accuracy in his written and spoken comments about the Holocaust. Is he right? Is he wrong? Is he really trying to deceive? Is he saying what he says because, in his heart, he is a racist or an anti-Semite?
The circular argument goes this way: since Zundel obviously knows what he is saying is false, he must have another strategy; he must be trying to float a lie for an ulterior motive.
Well, if it is now the law to make an examination of someone's heart and soul in judging criminal innocence or guilt, we can hang it up and move to another planet.
By any rational standard, who the hell cares what Zundel is saying, in so far as his innocence or guilt is concerned? He's saying it. He has the right to say it. He can say it from now until the cows come home.
In my experience, it is the incredibly shallow and inexperienced and desperate people who try to divine other citizens' ulterior motives at the drop of a hat and pin all sorts of labels on them, over and over.
I'm reminded of the many painstaking domeheads, back in the day, who would take the work of a famous artist and apply their own version of psychoanalytic theory to his work and, in the process, try to reduce that artist to ashes.
Now, it may be that Zundel has actually done things I don't know about. So far, I haven't found anything that really surprises me. I'm willing to be shown---but as far as I can tell, the man is being prosecuted for stating what he believes to be facts.
It also appears that his defense team in Germany is not permitted to offer evidence that Zundel's version of the Holocaust is accurate.
"You're being prosecuted for saying X. And we will not allow proof that X is true. The crime is saying X. Shut up."
Here I'm reminded of US trials in which federal prosecutors try to ramrod a defendant who has sold medicines not approved by the FDA. In court, when the defendant's lawyers move to introduce evidence that the medicine in question actually cures disease, the judge refuses to allow such presentation.
"We're not here to determine whether the defendant is a hero in healing people. We only want to know whether he sold a substance to treat a disease, and whether the FDA has approved this substance. If the FDA has not certified it as safe and effective, the defendant is guilty as hell."
It also reminds me of US Supreme Court Justice Scalia's famous remark: the revelation of new exculpatory evidence is not sufficient to warrant a re-trial for a person who is currently serving time in prison for having committed a crime. New trials are only granted when it's shown that the previous trial was, procedurally speaking, deeply flawed. In other words, who cares whether the convicted person is really guilty?
Do Zundel's statements about the Holocaust offend many people? Of course. Is that a crime? No. Does the principle of free speech exceed the fact that people are offended? Yes.
What about 9/11? What about the justification for waging war in Vietnam and Iraq? What about claiming that AIDS is not a contagious germ-driven disease? What about people who claim that FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and let it happen? What about people who say Bill Clinton sold out America by letting military-tech secrets flow from here to China, in exchange for a few dollars placed in his re-election campaign fund? What about people who say we never went to the moon? What about people who say that George Bush has the intellect of a chimp?
In these and hundreds of other situations, it is quite possible to make statements that will offend others deeply. Shall we put a censor to work scrubbing all these statements out of existence? Shall we hold show trials and put people in jail?
On the road to freedom, we say that potential victims of others' speech are going to have to suck it up and get past all that. It may not be nice, but that's the way things work. On the road to tyranny, we say that anything you might say that will cause a person emotional distress is illegal and you will be punished severely for it, by the legal system, backed up by official guns and official prison bars.
I know which way I'm going. If Zundel has done nothing other than revise, downward, accepted estimates of the Holocaust, if he has done nothing other than claim he knows who is protecting the official scenario, then let him out of jail. Let him go and let him live his life. Stop trying to put him on trial.
What about people who claim there was tremendous black African participation in selling fellow Africans to the American slavemasters, who then brought those slaves to this country? That picture contradicts the official scenario. Why aren't those Holocaust deniers being arrested and tried and placed in prisons?
And by the way, wasn't there a US court case about a year ago in which---to the consternation of many---it was ruled that a media news outlet (FOX) could lie with impunity? Could escape even a judgment in a civil suit?
So even if Zundel is intentionally lying through his teeth, so what? Does he have fewer rights than FOX or CNN?
See, at the end of the day, accuracy and truth don't matter at all, when it comes to speech. Now if you tell a number of lies aimed at a particular and specific person or group, with the idea of injuring their reputations, then that is actionable in a suit. But Zundel is not being sued. If he were, he could introduce evidence to support his statements as being true. He is being tried on criminal charges by the German State, and if he is found guilty, he can be sentenced to a jail term. It's a whole different animal.
JON RAPPOPORT www.nomorefakenews.com
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon