The Suddenly Pertinent Case of Julius Streicher

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Julius Streicher, Publisher and Propagandist

Why is this long-deceased German journalist relevant today? Let’s find out below the break.

As they seek to delay the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General out of fear that he may oversee prosecutions against U.S. officials who tortured detainees, Senator John Cornyn and other advocates or apologists for torture may find it illuminating to consider the case of German publisher Julius Streicher.

Streicher’s tabloid, Der Stürmer, was one of the most virulent of Nazi propaganda outlets before and during World War II. Streicher’s vitriol was intended to manipulate the most primitive tribal, anti-semitic, jingoist instincts of the German population, and his publication was popular with Hitler and with the lower level operatives of the National Socialist Party. Though Streicher did not personally serve in the German military or have any direct involvement with Nazi death camps, he was tried by the Nuremberg Tribunal for using his tabloid to incite war crimes. He was found guilty and was hanged on October 16, 1946, along with nine other Nazi war criminals.

Before Senator Cornyn again advocates the use of torture (waterboarding, prolonged sleep deprivation, prolonged stress positions, cold cells to induce hypothermia, intimidation using snarling attack dogs, etc.–all unambiguous violations of the UN Convention Against Torture), perhaps he would be wise to reflect for a moment on Herr Streicher’s advocacy of war crimes and the price that Streicher ultimately paid for such advocacy.

Senator John Cornyn (R-Medieval World)

Perhaps journalists Joe Scarborough, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly could also benefit by reflecting on publisher Streicher’s advocacy of war crimes and his eventual prosecution and conviction.

Right Wing Radio Icon and Torture Advocate Rush Limbaugh

Just in case certain senators and journalists suffer from the misperception that the “harsh treatment” meted out to some detainees is not really torture, here is the UNCAT definition, which has been accepted and ratified by the U.S.:

Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity….

–Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1

Will Senator Cornyn and hate radio icon Limbaugh ever be prosecuted for their advocacy of torture, regarded by the entire civilized world a war crime? Of course not. But perhaps at some level of self-awareness they may someday learn that there once was a time and a place–a mere two generations ago–when our nation indicted, tried, convicted and hanged a publisher merely for advocating war crimes. We sought then to set an example, an example that has been ignored by our own government for the past seven years.

Any further questions, Senator Cornyn and Mr. Limbaugh? Roger Ailes? Rupert Murdoch?


Skip to comment form

    • FMArouet on January 22, 2009 at 17:36

    But the polls show that a majority of Republicans support torture. Cornyn is grandstanding for his donating, activist “Base.”

    Medieval is as medieval does.

    • Edger on January 23, 2009 at 01:36

    And then there are those on the Democratic side of the aisle, in the House, and in the Senate, and even in the new administration, as well as in the media and in some of the major league left blogs, who refuse to condemn it, or speak out against it, or call for prosecution of tortures…

    What about those of us who knew better, we who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit silent? Why did we take part? Because we loved our country. What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through. It will be discarded sooner or later. Hitler himself will be discarded — sooner or later.  The country is in danger. We will march out of the shadows! We will go forward. FORWARD is the great password.

    • RUKind on January 23, 2009 at 06:29

    If you’re a certain type of Republican. what’s not to like about it? There are some Dems the same way.

    Like the song says, “Ain’t no time to hate, barely time to wait.” We’re a species of social mammals. Some don’t socialize as well as they should.

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