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‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ and the NDAA of 2011

January 8, 2012

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 passed a fortnight before this writer sat down to watch a Christmas present of his, ‘Judgement at Nuremberg,’ the 1960 film starring Spencer Tracey, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Richard Widmark and a host of other stars of the era.  (There are also cameos for the future Col. Klink and Cpt. Kirk, by the way.)  One line, delivered during one of the trial scenes, struck me, as it had to do with Hitler’s order regarding the Nazi government’s authority to arrest and detain, indefinitely and without warrant, anyone suspected of disloyal activity.

The presidential debates have hardly touched upon this new ‘law,’ and with a single exception, the candidates do not criticize it.  The ‘law’ does not lack defenders, in both wings of the governing party (denominated ‘Democrat’ and ‘Republican’ by some), since we are ‘at war’ and the homeland must be secured against our enemies.  In answer to this willingness to abandon the rule of law in the supposed defense of ‘freedom,’ this writer will let Spencer Tracy, as the presiding judge at Nuremberg, speak in judgement.  Let us hope that we do not proceed so far into the darkness that we end up before the bar of history.

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