Friday, August 28, 2009

Obama and Eric Holder: another Stalin and Andrei Vyshinsky

Andrei Vyshinsky: is mostly known as a state prosecutor of Stalin's show trials.

Those are trials against your political opponents.

MORE HERE; excerpt:

The Moscow “trials” were public spectacles reported on by journalists and broadcasters from the West, and observed by representatives of foreign governments and various organizations. With the outcomes preordained, one of Vyshinsky’s tasks was to ensure that it appeared to the foreigners in the courtroom’s gallery that the people on trial were guilty and deserved their sentence, which was often death. Vyshinsky was at ease doing that because he was a master at using innuendo and false characterizations to make an innocent person appear to be guilty merely on the basis of their “confession” - without presenting any evidence substantiating their guilt. Vyshinsky’s deviousness is underscored by the pressuring of some defendants to confess with a promise of leniency - which was forgotten as soon as the hapless person was beyond the protective gaze of the foreigners in the courtroom.

The face of a murderer of the innocent in a three-piece suit: Academic, diplomat, lawyer and prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky.

A grisly fate awaited those who attempted to intercede on behalf of a friend or relative. One party official’s experience is a representative example. In a letter to a court official he explained why his niece had been unjustly convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison and confiscation of her belongings. After explaining that his niece’s conviction was based on “slander,” he was unusually bold by writing, “I suggest that the slanderers’ guilt is not so great if the court takes heed of slander so willingly and pronounces judgement by it. It is the unjust judges and [prosecutors] who passed such judgements who ought to be held much more responsible.” 14 The concerned relative/official was subsequently “identified” as a spy and executed. 15

News reports and comments of international observers about the trials indicate the success of Vyshinsky’s charade. A delegation of lawyers with the International Association of Lawyers issued a statement that read in part:

We consider the claim that the proceedings were summary and unlawful to be totally unfounded. The accused were given the opportunity of taking counsels .... We hereby categorically declare that the accused were sentenced quite lawfully.” 16

British lawyer Denis Pritt issued a separate statement:

What first struck me as a British lawyer was the defendants’ completely free and unconstrained conduct. They all looked well; they all stood up and spoke when they wanted to.... I personally am convinced that there is not the slightest reason to suppose the presence of any unlawfulness in the trial’s form or contents. 17

British historian Sir Bernard Pares said the guilt of the defendants was “proven beyond doubt.” 18

The International Human Rights League also declared the trials lawful. Their Moscow representative wrote, “We all look for a mistake only when the accused denies his guilt, when he shouts out his innocence to all and sundry. If Captain Dreyfus had pleaded guilty, there would have been no Dreyfus Case.” 19

The world’s intellectuals were as a whole deafeningly silent in their criticism of the trials and Stalin’s use of ““judicial” terror, mass arrests, and reprisals against the innocent.” 20 As a whole the foreigners attending the trials formed an apologist corps for the farcical judicial proceedings they witnessed.

One of Vyshinsky’s inside jokes on the world community he duped, was that during the trial of high party official Leonid Serebryakov, he instituted proceedings to have Serebryakov’s dacha (country house) and the money he paid for it transferred to Vyshinsky. 21 After all, Serebryakov wouldn’t need it since he was slated for execution after his day in court. Vyshinsky expanded on Serebryakov’s dacha and lived there comfortably for many years. It is reputed that Stalin visited him there on at least one occasion.

The trials were one of many domestic terror programs intended to cow Russians into subservience to Stalinist dictates. Observer Andre’ Gide noted the effectiveness of those tactics, “In my opinion, in no country today, not even in Hitler’s Germany, is the spirit more suppressed, more timid, more servile than in the Soviet Union.” 22

Vyshinsky’s performance during the “show trials” cemented him as one of Stalin’s favorites. It was also a special personal triumph because more than a decade earlier Vyshinsky laid the groundwork for the success of the trials. In 1922 Vyshinsky was elected Chairman at Moscow’s Collegium of Lawyers. 23 In that position he was instrumental in devising a legal system for Soviet Russia that “gave an illusion of democracy and a sham guarantee of defendants’ rights.

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