3 thoughts on “Moral Lessons of the Rosenberg Case – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Thank you, Richard, for bringing it back to “what lesson can we learn from this today,” because that’s all that really matters. People born in the 70s and later don’t know who all these players are and would otherwise have no reason to care… The real issue is the rule of law. The real fight on our hands is to protect the rule of law.

    You wrote that today a lawyer would be prosecuted for what he did to Ethel Rosenberg — how do you know? How do we know what lawyers are committing malfeasance in prosecuting alleged terrorists at Guantanamo and elsewhere?

    I have never wanted to jump out in front of the Sami Al-Arian case, remembering the Rosenbergs and Sobell… I fear he is an innocent man being hounded for his loyalty to Palestine. I don’t know though. But at the very least his prosecution, conviction and subsequent treatment have included many many offenses against due process and the rule of law. Whether the guy is guilty of actual terrorism or not, he deserves due process, because we all deserve due process. It cannot be selective. The rule of law needs to apply to everyone, else it falls apart.

  2. @Leila Abu-Saba: I can’t say for certain, but given the record of this Administration & the racist attitudes & remarks of the Al Arian federal prosecutor I’m prepared to believe that Al Arian is not guilty of any crime. Now the gov’t on the other hand…

    I too didn’t write about the Al Arian case for the first several yrs after it began. But in the past 6 mos., when it became clear to me he was being selectively prosecuted & persecuted, I changed my mind & have been writing about it rather intensively.

    Regarding prosecutorial misconduct & the Rosenbergs…I think secrecy was more ironclad in that era. Somehow, I think such malfeasance would become known more easily in this day & age. Perhaps someone w. a conscience might’ve leaked something. THough perhaps I’m wrong…

  3. Thank you for your insightful article. Studying the facts of this case, it is clear that Julius Rosenberg didn’t avoid admission and clearing his wife not out of simple pride or devotion to his cause, but to avoid “naming names” that may send others to their death. If he would have done that to save his wife, he would be just as guilty as his brother-in-law, David Greenglass. I understand how he never thought (and clearly stated to the last day) that his wife (or he, for that matter) would be put to death. More importantly, I don’t believe the jury (or maybe even the prosecution) believed the Rosenberg’s would even be sentenced to death, as “conspiracy to commit espionage” is not a capital crime — under any circumstances. THAT is truly the hugest miscarriage of justice.

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