Monday, March 6, 2017

Why Do You Expect Me To Have An Opinion On A Legal Case I Know Nothing About?

I don't know anything about this lady, Miriam Moskowitz, except what I've read since you sent me the snarky comment this afternoon.  I don't know what you expect me to do with the link.  I listened to it and read a few articles about her book and her failed attempt to get her conviction overturned.

From that I gather she was fingered when the infamous spy for Stalin, Harry Gold fingered her boss and lover, Abe Brothman, as his associate in espionage and he said she knew that he and her boss intended to lie about their involvement in something that might not even have been illegal.  Apparently she didn't say she knew that to the FBI and she got arrested and convicted for not telling them they were planning on lying, a crime.  One of the things I read said that things might have come out better if she'd testified on her own behalf but it would expose the fact that she'd had an affair with Abe Brothman,

Among the things Moskowitz sets straight is one of the reasons that she and Brothman did not testify on their own behalf: they did not wish to expose the fact that they were having an affair. (Time reported that they “sat mute and unblinking as dummies in a waxworks.”) “He was married,” she said the other day. “I had no right to do that. And I was overcome, I guess, with humiliation that I had ever let myself get into that.” Moskowitz, who grew up in Bayonne, and attended City College, says that she was bowled over by Brothman. “I was very flattered,” she said. “When he talked, he made such sense. He interpreted the universe. . . . It was like getting a secondhand education without cracking the books open.” Had it not been for her affair with Brothman, Moskowitz says, she might have testified on his behalf. The question of his testifying on her behalf never came up. “I never thought of that—sixty years later, and I never thought of that,” she said. “The lawyers never mentioned it. I didn’t count.” Her admiration for Brothman rapidly diminished after she was reunited with him, upon her release, in 1952, from Alderson federal prison, in West Virginia, having served two years. Brothman served a similar sentence. “He came to see me at my house,” she said. “We embraced, and as he embraced me he said, ‘I have had such a terrible time.’ And then everything got clear.” (Their relationship ended soon thereafter; Brothman died in 1980.)

I don't know how dumb a decision that was, to not testify on her own behalf so she could keep her affair a secret.  It was, of course, a different world about such things, though she did have the affair. That was her choice at the time and if it is why she went to jail she's had to live with it.

As I said this morning, I have no idea if Mumia didn't or did kill the policeman he was convicted of murdering, I don't know if this lady lied that she didn't know her lover and Gold planned on lying when they were questioned.  I don't have any obligation to pretend I know if her conviction was unjustified or justified.  I don't have to pretend that I have any kind of valuable opinion on that.

Apparently she and her lawyers weren't able to convince a judge in 2014 that her conviction should be overturned.  On that rests her contention that she's "a victim of the McCarthy era".  Not everyone who went to jail at the time was a victim, not those who were involved in espionage and other crimes.  From what I can see she was victimized by Harry Gold who fingered her, her boyfriend who didn't shield her and her own decision to not testify.

I wish her as well, if she's still with us,  as I would any other person who served their sentence and didn't hurt anyone as a free person.  I don't believe in eternal damnation.  What she was accused of wasn't a mortal sin, it was, at best, merely foolish.  I remember when Judge Irving R. Kaufman died, I think my reaction to that was similar to hers, he was a slime ball.  I certainly didn't think more highly of Roy Cohn who was even slimier. 

I will point out that if she were merely accused of what she was in the Soviet Union the Communists she ran with supported,  she would almost certainly have had a short show trial, if even that, and been shot. Most likely she would have been tortured to get a confession from her instead of her having the right against self-incrimination or choosing to not testify at her trial. Though, apparently, from what she said, she was already in the process of becoming disillusioned about that, herself.   I can't see why we're supposed to look back fondly on the Stalinists who lied for him as the world knew the nature of his regime, the mass murders, the show trials, the mass starvation in Ukraine, the oppression, the violations of every right in our Bill of Rights and other rights our own 18th century aristocrats didn't include in it.  I certainly deny that we should pretend that the people who spied for him were any better than those who spied for Hitler.

Update:  Oh, so you didn't even bother to find out why she'd been arrested and what she was convicted of, you don't know anything about her except what that little movie showed.  It's not my fault you're so stupid that you don't understand that in order to know what something is about you have to find out what it's about.  Let me get this straight, you did actually get past the fourth grade and someone graduated you from college?   I guess rural public schools had higher standards about doing research than where you went.

No comments:

Post a Comment