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Trial of the Norway Monster, Act I

The BBC offers a revealing snapshot of the Anders Behring Breivik trial:

The lawyer defending Anders Behring Breivik, who admits carrying out Friday’s mass killings in Norway, says his client is probably insane.

However he added it was too early to say Mr Breivik would plead insanity.

Mr Breivik’s lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told reporters: “This whole case indicated that he is insane.”

He said his client believed that he was in a war and that he would be vindicated in 60 years’ time.

So Breivik’s lawyer is willing to openly speculate that his client is probably a nutjob – and I’ll bet he hasn’t even made it through all 1500 pages of that bloated manifesto! – but he’s not sure if an insanity plea will be entered. 

Why does Mr. Lippestad think his client is nuts?  Because he believes he’s in a war, and will be vindicated in 60 years.  Well, every single member of al-Qaeda and Hamas thinks the same thing.  Do they all get an automatic insanity defense?

Is it lunacy for a small group of individuals to imagine themselves “at war” with civilization?  Look at how much damage modern technology allows them to do.  Consider how eager the global Left has been to give Breivik a seat at the table of civilized discourse after his bloody atrocities, because his self-identification as a “Christian conservative” makes him useful for bashing their enemies.  The BBC goes on to obligingly refer to Breivik as a “right-wing Christian extremist,” which is the same term most of the media uses for polite church-going middle-class types who don’t want their tax money used to fund abortions.

The real madness is when governments refuse to admit they are ”at war” with terrorists.  This is a consistent theme running through the Age of Terror.  Declarations of war keep arriving on their doorsteps, only to be treated as junk mail.  Breivik claims he had help pulling off the Oslo attacks, and at least two other cells of his terror network are still at large.  How many cells have to slaughter how many innocents before they’re taken seriously as an “enemy” engaged in a “war?”

Breivik is said to be surprised that it took an hour for the police to stop his shooting spree on Utoya island.  Survivors of the attack felt the same way, as Reuters reports them howling “Why didn’t you come earlier?” at the police. 

Special forces teams discovered they didn’t have helicopter transportation available.  A boat overloaded with cops took on water, while courageous civilians sailed into Breivik’s bullets to pull survivors out of the water.  The first cop to confront the heavily armed terrorist, Officer Trond Berntsen, was immediately shot dead, because he didn’t have a gun.  This gave the Monster of Norway enough time to gun down sixty-eight people, many of them teenage kids.

And yet, the police chief of staff chirps, “You can’t expect a better response than that.  We are very pleased with that.”  The Norwegian Justice Minister babbles about “fantastic” police work.  The New York Times quotes a spokeswoman for the police union allowing that “criminals are now carrying weapons, so some people now think that police officers should have weapons as well,” so the union will “form a commission to explore the issue.”

Who is more delusional: these guys or Anders Behring Breivik?  Which of them could more credibly be accused of not knowing what they are doing?  Who is going to study this incident more carefully, with an eye toward improving their performance: the Norwegian government, or the remaining terror cells?

If the early reports that Breivik faced a maximum of 21 years in jail – about eighty days per victim – blew your mind, then let your heart not be troubled, because the BBC says “police are considering also charging him with crimes against humanity, which carry a possible 30-year sentence.”  Take that, barbarian!  Hope your nose breaks when they throw the book at you!

Question: if they charge Breivik with “crimes against humanity,” will his lawyers still think he’s crazy for considering himself “at war?”

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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