Authors : Piper Michael Collins - Hoop Ken
Title : A Mockery of Justice : The Great Sedition Trial of 1944
Year : 2011

Link download : Piper_Michael_Collins_-_A_Mockery_of_Justice.zip

According to historian Harry Elmer Barnes—this magazine’s namesake— who was one of FDR’s leading critics from the academic arena, the purpose of the Great Sedition Trial was to make the Roosevelt administration “seem opposed to fascism” when, in fact, the administration was pursuing totalitarian policies. Too few Americans today know of this travesty, a shameful blot on U.S. history. Judges and lawyers alike will tell you the mass sedition trial of World War II will go down in legal history as one of the blackest marks on the record of American jurisprudence. In the legal world, none can recall a case where so many Americans were brought to trial for political persecution and were so arrogantly denied the rights granted (guaranteed—Ed.) an American citizen under the Constitution. This is how the Chicago Tribune, then a voice for America First in a media world already brimming with internationalism, described the infamous war time “show trial” and its aftermath. “The Great Sedition Trial” formally came to an unexpected halt on November 30, 1944, having been declared a mistrial upon the death of the presiding judge. Yet, the case continued to hang in limbo with Justice Department prosecutors angling for a retrial. However, on November 22, 1946, Judge Bolitha Laws of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, dismissed the charges against the defendants, saying that to allow the case to continue would be “a travesty on justice.” Although the Justice Department prosecutors appealed the dismissal, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld Judge Laws’ ruling and, as a consequence, the saga of the Great Sedition Trial at long last came to a close. This brought to an end five years of harassment that the defendants had suffered, including—for some—periods of imprisonment. Judge Laws had thus called a halt to this Soviet-style attack on American liberty. Sanity had prevailed and the case was shelved forever. The war was over and the one individual who was the prime mover behind the trial—Franklin D. Roosevelt—was dead. According to historian Ronald Ra dosh, a self-styled “progressive” who has written somewhat sympathetically of the pre-World War II critics of the Roosevelt administration, “FDR had prodded Attorney General Francis Biddle for months, asking him when he would indict the seditionists.” Biddle himself later pointed out that FDR “was not much interested . . . in the constitutional right to criticize the government in wartime.” However, as we shall see, there were powerful forces at work behind the scenes prodding FDR. And they, more than FDR, played a major role in pushing the actual investigation Biddle was not enthusiastic to undertake. Although there was a grand total of 42 people (and one newspaper) indicted—over the course of three separate indictments, beginning with the first indictment, which was handed down on July 21, 1942, the number of those who actually went on trial was 30, and several of them were severed from the trial as it proceeded. Roosevelt’s biographer, James McGregor Burns, waggishly called the trial “a grand rally of all the fanatic Roosevelt haters.” But there’s much more to the story than that. ...