I am in no way unhappy with the outcome of Nuremberg, but my
understanding is that most international lawyers regard them basically
as show trials. I’m not sure they’re a great example to use.
[The Nuremberg Trials] may well be the most significant action taken by
the American government in the 20th to establish ourselves as defenders
of the rule of law. The Bush administration has done immeasurable
damage to our standing in the world by approving policies of torture,
extraordinary rendition, and secret prisons – among many, many other
things. McArdle’s glib dismissal of history and law is only shocking to
the extent that she purports to be a libertarian. Otherwise such a
passive acceptance of the abandonment of the rule of law in America is
fairly indicative of what we have seen fromthe American press, a fact that goes a long way to explaining why the Bush administration has not been held accountable for their lawlessness.
You know, we are rapidly getting to a point where people cannot conceive of anything being done because it’s right, is the truly frightening thing about all this. For years we’ve had these structures, these assurances, these ways of pulling ourselves back from the edge, and now we think, let’s just declare “game over” and say it’s time to “move on” and not worry so goddamn much about the “past” and all that, because it’s just a show, really. It’s just something to watch on TV. It’s just something we can all look at, from the outside, from the other side of the plexiglass window, and watch, and feel things about. It doesn’t really mean anything. Show trials. Jesus Marie Antoinette Christ, show trials, she says.
Because this is the end result of all our focus on how we, as a nation, fucking feel today. This is the result: people seriously advancing the argument that the Nuremberg Trials were for show, because … what else could they be for? Justice? Mercy, even? Fuck no. The only purpose of anything is to make us feel a certain way, nothing is real, the cake is a lie, it’s all just a dream Sue Ellen had and Bobby’s in the shower or something. Show trials. SHOW trials.