March 15, 2016

"I think it’s important that we give him this trial. It is a victory in itself for us, as a society, not for him."

"Even terrorists have human rights. We have to keep in mind, though, that even though he is just one man, he represents an idea that we need to combat."

Said Bjorn Ihler, a survivor of the Utoya massacre that killed 77 persons, mostly teenagers. The convicted terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year-sentence (with the prospect of longer detention if he is deemed at threat), is getting a trial on his complaint that the conditions of his solitary confinement are torture within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights. The conditions are described in the first paragraph of the NYT article as follows:
He lives in a three-room suite with windows, about 340 square feet, that includes a treadmill and other exercise equipment, a fridge, a DVD player, a Sony PlayStation and a desk with a typewriter. He has been taking distance-learning courses at his country’s main university. He has access to television, radio and newspapers. He prepares his own food, and he entered the Christmas gingerbread-house baking contest at his prison.
The last paragraph of the NYT article connects Breivik — who gave a Nazi salute in court — to present-day Norwegian politics:
Norwegian politics have shifted to the right since Mr. Breivik’s conviction. In 2013, a conservative-led alliance came into government, replacing a previous coalition of social democrats and environmentalists. The Progress Party, a right-wing party that opposes immigration and seeks to lower taxes, and of which Mr. Breivik was briefly a member, is part of the new governing coalition.
The mother of one of the child victims is quoted: "What I fear most today is that he gets a venue to spread his extreme-right message...." 

59 comments:

Sebastian said...

"he represents an idea that we need to combat." True. The idea that solitary in a 3-room suite is "torture," that 21 years for 77 killings is just, and that Norway is sane.

The Drill SGT said...

sounds like a suite deal to me...

Roughcoat said...

The Eloi have taken over Norway.

Birkel said...

There go those National Socialists again.
What is it with the collectivist and their murdering?

Socialists everywhere should be ashamed.

buwaya said...

Properly speaking he should have been executed.
That would have been the ancient penalty, arrived at through ancient experience.
Burke is the guide here.

On another matter, consider this - the form of a US civil-guerrilla war will not look like Vietnam, it will not look like 1861-65. It will more resemble Iraq, 2003-2007, but much more than that it will resemble Utoya, x thousands.
There are probably 10,000,000 people in the US equipped at least as well as Anders Breivik.

TreeJoe said...

Wow, if all my other options for success in life are depleted and my family passes away, mass murder in Norway sure sounds like it offers an attractive lifestyle. Heck, that suite sounds better than most New Yorkers get to experience.

coupe said...
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dreams said...

Consider our history, and we think we're so much more enlightened today, so much more wonderful.

"At 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, 1901, President McKinley died.[77] At the time of McKinley's death, Roosevelt was on his return journey to Buffalo, racing over the mountain roads by carriage to the nearest railroad station, where a special train was waiting. When he reached that station at dawn, he learned of McKinley's death."

"After a bare half hour of deliberations, the jury convicted Czolgosz; he was subsequently sentenced to death and died in the electric chair on October 29, 1901. Acid was placed in the casket to dissolve his body, before burial in the prison graveyard."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_William_McKinley

damikesc said...

"he represents an idea that we need to combat." True. The idea that solitary in a 3-room suite is "torture," that 21 years for 77 killings is just, and that Norway is sane.

One thing I noticed that did sit ill with me is that, while his sentence is 21 years, it can be extended out longer if they feel he is a threat.

A sentence is a sentence. If they wish to sentence him absurdly weakly, that should stand.

holdfast said...

"The mother of one of the child victims is quoted: "What I fear most today is that he gets a venue to spread his extreme-right message"".

As a parent, my heart breaks for her. As a political animal, I can't help thinking that Norway's hippie-dippy politics and culture of unearned [oil] wealth has fully earned the farce of Breivik's "incarceration". They certainly could have avoided a lot of trouble if the arresting officer had invoked the Mozambique Protocol.

mccullough said...

I could see Ginsburg and Sotomayor issuing a dissent that not allowing a prisoner access to an X-Box violates his first amendment rights.

Curious George said...

"What I fear most today is that (because of our lefty policies) he gets a venue to spread his extreme-right message...."


How do you say "ironic" in Norwegian.

dreams said...

If they had put him to death, he would be gone and forgotten but they didn't and so his evil continues.

Bay Area Guy said...

The man murdered 77 people. That's beyond a mere crime, which ordinarily does require a trial in a civilian court of law. It's more akin to an act of war.

He should have been shot by firing squad or hung. Instead, enlightened Europeans give him a nice suite with TV for 3 years.

Ben Franklin said: "Neither a lender nor a borrower be.: In this context, I would say: "Neither a predator nor a prey be."

Norway and these mushy European atheist socialists get the first part right, but are clueless on the second part.

Bob Boyd said...

Apparently it's the solitary confinement he's complaining about.

I say move the red-headed ingrate into a tiny cell with the biggest, hairiest, scariest father-raper in Norway who has his own ideas about making a gingerbread house.

SGT Ted said...

This is why the death penalty has a purpose. If he were in the ground, he wouldn't be wasting other peoples time with this.

Tank said...

His "message" is probably getting more popular every day in Europe. Of course, if he were dead, as he should be, then he would be spreading no messages.

The idea that they need a hearing to determine whether his living conditions are torture is pretty ... stupid?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

21 years? Wow.

eddie willers said...

The Times would probably offer to pay his bills and keep his family well kept if he would just declare that Donald Trump made him do it.

Xmas said...

These aren't mutually exclusive statements.
1) What Breivik did was awful
2) His punishment was very light for his crimes (from an American point of view)
3) Breivik's cell and privileges are very comfortable.
4) Solitary confinement is a form of torture.

He's crazy and he'll take any opportunity to shout his beliefs to the world. But he does have a thread to pull on here about his solitary confinement.

If he was in the US, he'd get the Ted Kaczynski treatment.

Sal said...

It's uncivilized to let people exploit your civilization to this degree. He should have been executed, which is the most civilized outcome.

Barry Dauphin said...

Send him to Mar-a-Lago and make his stare at that waiting everyday.

Barry Dauphin said...

Try again
Send him to Mar-a-Lago and make his stare at that painting everyday.

traditionalguy said...

His sentence amounts to a 90 day sentence for each child execution, to be served consecutively.

I want to know his lawyer's name. That guy is really good.

dreams said...
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n.n said...

First Breivik. Then Ihler and his ilk.

dreams said...

Every time he is in the news, it is figuratively tearing and scratching the scabbed over wounded hearts of the families of those who were killed which I'm sure never even occurred to or was considered by those who chose to reward themselves for being so wonderful for not imposing the death sentence.

Bobby said...

Interesting how so many commenters here think foreigners and foreign leaders have no business commenting on US affairs, but are so quick to judge the domestic affairs of other countries. There's a word for that... I can't remember what it is, though.

Steve Uhr said...

I hope support for the death penalty has increased because of him.

I agree he should be put in with the general prison population. It worked out well for Jeffrey dahmer.

holdfast said...

@bobby

We can BS among ourselves. I don't think that the Norgies would appreciate it if we went over there and started lecturing to them. Similarly, foreigners are free to discuss US politics to their heart's content - I just don't particularity want to hear about it.

Bobby said...

holdfast,

Oh, I know. It's always different when we do it.

traditionalguy said...

Ever since Sweden sent Ann Margaret over here, American men my age have been intensely interested Swedish life.

The three Swedish made films of the Swedish author Stieg Larsson's trilogy of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo makes Sweden even more interesting They are on Amazon Prime.

traditionalguy said...

And the Swedish understand the difference between being a Nazi and not being a Nazi quite well.

Hagar said...

Actually, Norwegians are very worried about what the rest of the world thinks of them and they read the NY Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, etc., to find out what they need to stay abreast of in order to keep the title of being the most noble, liberal, and enlightened people in the world.

Michael McClain said...

Three-room suite? DVD player? Internet access? Sounds like a 21-year vacation to me. Better the traditional Viking punishment of the "Blood Eagle" for him.

Hagar said...

But Breivik is a nutcase, not a terrorist.

Terry said...

"Even terrorists have human rights."
They have the rights the Norwegians chose to give him. They could have chosen to give him different rights, or no rights at all.
I hate this passive voice crap. If you are a human being, you make moral choices. If you can't make moral choices, you should not be considered an adult.

tim maguire said...

I'm assuming the complaint is 21 years of solitary confinement, not the lack of pepperoni on his pizza. But all things considered, I'm not absolutely certain it's not because the prison-issued Nikes clash with his Motorhead T-shirt.

I agree with damiksec that the threat of extending the sentence after he's served it runs counter to our sense of justice. If they want to hold him for more than 21 years, then they need to sentence him at trial to more than 21 years.

n.n said...
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Hagar said...

It is unfashionable in these times, but not long ago there were a lot of institutions for the "criminally insane" in this country.

n.n said...

With proper framing, he would be called a social justice warrior, or Nobel laureate.

Outside of the elitist sanctuaries and enclaves, Europeans are not exactly thrilled with the consequences of anti-native policies.

tim maguire said...

Bobby, I have two observations: first, hypocrisy is irrelevant to international relations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with one country demanding another country not do something they themselves do. It's about power and influence, not consistency.

Second, nobody on here is a head of state. Which is pretty important to your hypocrisy claim (bar stool philosophers the world over are free to pontificate whenever they want, what we object to is foreign leaders telling us how to run our country).

traditionalguy said...

OK, this is Norway (Norge). They were conquered as one of Hitler's first targets. They remember Nazi Occupation Rule well. But they like living in a pretend bubble where nothing like that ever happens to good people.

Quaestor said...

Breivik's current living conditions are the result of decades of political dominance of Norway by the Left (socialists. greens, what have you... all Red under the skin)

Perhaps with the Progress Party in charge (What an insidious name for a political movement, every wickedness imaginable is done in the name of progress.) Norway can regain a sense of the value of human life. As it is now they admit that murder deserves only 23 days confined to an efficiency apartment. In this country where life is more valued a murderer gets nearer what he deserves.

William said...

I hope that there is a chance that the 21 year sentence can be reduced with good behavior. It is important that our prison population have such incentives in order to reform their behavior.......I read about that 94 year old concentration camp guard being charged for his crimes during WWII. I also read that there have been only three convictions for the crimes committed by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia......There are many trials and conviction that are more demonstrative of our inability to dispense justice than of our wish to dispense justice.

Bob Boyd said...

@ Bobby

We can do it because we're not foreigners. Duh!

n.n said...

The left-wing wanted class diversity to marginalize native opposition. They disrupted civil assembly of native people, and denied addressing their real grievances. They thought they could bribe them with redistribution of cake. All while sustaining a leering condescension from their ivory towers and sanctuaries of the common people beneath them. Perhaps their current global humanitarian disaster and progressive refugee crisis will create an opening for a long overdue conversation, and they can avoid revisiting another French-style revolution.

Robert Cook said...

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with one country demanding another country not do something they themselves do. It's about power and influence, not consistency."

Sure there is. It is about consistency.

William said...

I recently read the Manchester biography of MacArthur. After the war, he came in for a lot of criticism because of his leniency towards the Japanese Emperor and the Filipinos who had collaborated with the Japanese occupation of their islands. Perhaps perfect justice would have been better served by their execution but a whole new cycle of war crimes would have been initiated. Sometimes leniency works. Sometimes it doesn't. The human race has a faulty understanding of the dynamics of justice.

Hagar said...

In this country - at least as evidenced in the media - "justice" is generally conflated with revenge.
But the state's interest lies in maintaining order; it is not to act as a surrogate champion for exacting personal revenge.

Big Mike said...

I commend this "Seconds from Disaster" video, which not only details what Breivik to did and how he did it, but especially, how it was that the police took 55 minutes to respond to the massacre on Utoya. The local police were ordered not to cross to Utoya island, when they could have responded relatively quickly.

Breivik was the perpetrator, there has never been any doubt about that. But the reason his "score" was so high, and so many children died, was because of the inept response of the Norwegian police.

The Drill SGT said...

traditionalguy said...
Ever since Sweden sent Ann Margaret over here


Ingrid Bergman??

Hagar said...

"This sort of thing only happens in America, not here" - except that this once, it did.

Fernandinande said...

TreeJoe said...
Wow, if all my other options for success in life are depleted and my family passes away, mass murder in Norway sure sounds like it offers an attractive lifestyle.


Norway has, by far, the highest "mass/rampage shooting" rate in the OECD: Here or here.

Gahrie said...

Let me get this straight....he killed 77 people, and is rewarded with a 21 year sentence in living conditions better than 95% of the world's population, with no requirement to work in any way...and he's complaining?

Ingrate.

He should be taken out and shot for his ingratitude alone.

Dr Weevil said...

Even if it is arguably cruel and unusual punishment to keep him to in solitary, wouldn't it be equally cruel and unusual punishment of other prisoners if they were made to share a cell (or suite) with this horrible creature? (If this were a tweet, I'd add #Dilemma #NoWayOut.) If someone is inevitably going to be treated cruelly and unusually either way, better him than some lesser criminal.

Freeman Hunt said...

"He lives in a three-room suite with windows, about 340 square feet, that includes a treadmill and other exercise equipment, a fridge, a DVD player, a Sony PlayStation and a desk with a typewriter. He has been taking distance-learning courses at his country’s main university. He has access to television, radio and newspapers."

That sounds a lot like what it might be like to live as a regular person in Norway in winter.

Paul said...

That's exactly right Gahrie. Over there you can kill at will and get nice accommodations.

I have no doubt ISIS terrorist are well aware of this. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Hamas, Al-Shabaab, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.

And they know for easy pickens, that's the place to go. Funny thing is, now lots of Muslims are trying to get there!

James Pawlak said...

Such terrorists do have a basic right---To accept or reject a blindfold.