Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE BARBOUR AFFAIR

BY RON BARBOUR

A friend from France emails:

I have read many articles about your case and my feelings about this whole thing are mixed. You have done or said things that were really stupid. At the same time, I am sure that you have not been fairly tried and judged.

RESPONSE

Saying stupid things in America is not a criminal offense.

Otherwise half the country would be locked up.

But speaking as an educated Frenchman and one very familiar with the history of your country, which has been proven countless times in our discussions: Do you not see similarities between the Dreyfus Affair and my case in that the Government of France wrongly tried, convicted and sent to Devil's Island a man for espionage whose only crime was that he was a professional soldier and loved France?

The history books speak volumes on The Dreyfus Affair. Perhaps one day they will speak of The Barbour Affair. I think at the end of a very long day the Government of the United States will offer an apology to me, pay damages and punish those responsible for gross violations of the U.S. Constitution. However, with my proven abilities as a writer of polemics, do I need a Emile Zola to produce an American version of, "I ACCUSE!" and start the hive humming? A Tea Party Nation that is daily being radicalized and increasingly willing to bring intense pressure on the American Government to pardon the victims of Leftist political witch hunts.

There are ominous parallels between the case of Sergeant Barbour and Captain Dreyfus: I was arrested in 1994 nearly 100 years to the day as happened to Dreyfus in 1894; I spent almost the same amount of time in prison (I was released in 1998 for good conduct, but my original sentence was to last until 1999); my health was nearly ruined, as was the case Dreyfus as well; and redress for me can only come as a result of intense public pressure on the Government, as was the case finally with Dreyfus.

The year 2012 will mark the 18th year of The Barbour Affair.

There is no Emile Zola willing to tell the American People that injustice by the Government against one citizen is tyranny against all Americans.

Therefore, I use my own right finger to point to the high and mighty oligarchy that rules our once Free Republic and shout at the top of my voice:

"J'Accuse!" - "I ACCUSE!"

The article, by Emile Zola, the great French novelist, appeared in a Paris literary newspaper, L'Aurore (The Dawn) on Thursday, Jan. 13, 1898, "an essential date in the history of journalism," according to historian Jean-Denis Bredin. Written in the form of an open letter to the President of France, the 4,000 word article, entitled J'Accuse! (I Accuse!), rightly has been judged a "masterpiece" of polemics and a literary achievement "of imperishable beauty." No other newspaper article has ever provoked such public debate and controversy or had such an impact on law, justice, and society.

The appearance of Zola's article was the greatest day of the Dreyfus Affair, which tormented France for twelve years. The Affair, "one of the great commotions of history," in the words of historian Barbara W. Tuchman, arose out of the 1894 arrest and conviction for treason of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer in the French army.

Dreyfus, who was completely innocent, received an unfair trial at his court martial; the prosecution's case had no substance, and the conviction was based on false, supposedly incriminating documents, not introduced into evidence or disclosed to Dreyfus, which were secretly delivered to the trial judges after they had retired to consider their verdict. Dreyfus was sentenced to life imprisonment and expelled from the army. He was incarcerated off the coast of South America on Devil's Island from 1895 until 1899.

SOURCE


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