The Menace of Political Show Trials

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

In recent days, we have had brought home to us what “show trials” are like. They are not confined to Soviet Russia and it satellite countries during the Cold War but are a very present reality to us in America today. Political opponents of Donald Trump charged him with felonies for acts that were entirely legal. The judge in the case was a political opponent of Trump and worked artfully to prevent the trial jury from hearing testimony that would have exposed the imposture.

In view of what has happened, I think it would be interesting to discuss some earlier show trials, the Nuremberg trials held after World War II, as discussed in the important book by Danilo Zolo, Victor’s Justice, (Verso, 2009)

Should war crimes, i.e., violations of rights during a war, be treated as criminal offenses? Proponents of this view often suggest that, just as courts punish individuals within a nation who commit crimes, so should international courts put on trial and punish political leaders and soldiers who violate rights.

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