Ethel And Julius Rosenberg's Trial Analysis

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The Government against Two: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg’s Trial begins with a synopsis of the trial against accused spy Brian Patrick Regan in January 2003. Regan was accused of espionage and providing classified information to Iraq, Libya and China and became the first espionage defendant to face execution since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953. The author, Atossa Alavi, describes the correlation between the new war on terrorism in the Regan case and the era of the Cold War in the Rosenberg case. Both cases focused on patriotism, national security and the governments unwavering determination to punish traitors in our midst. The article goes into great detail about the Rosenberg case and depicts a trial that was unconstitutional, based …show more content…
It is a saga that depicts a family ripped apart, children becoming orphans and two alleged spies that took their marital vow of “till death do us part” literally. It was a time that was dominated by McCarthyism, the Cold War and a widespread fear of Communists in America. I found it interesting that the jury didn’t discredit the testimony of the Greenglasses since it was obvious that they were simply trying to save themselves by betraying their family. Alavi mentions that the opposite was true and that the jury believed “the Greenglasses’ version of events because if they were willing to do something as terrible as testifying against one's own sister and brother-in-law, they had to be telling the truth” (Alavi, 2003, p. 1070). I believe that the Rosenbergs were used as scapegoats to make an example of anyone that dared to be disloyal and defy the government’s mandate against Communists. This case was a travesty of justice in so many ways from the weak evidence and testimonies, leaks to the press and the sentencing under the wrong statute. The statute that should have been used in sentencing “barred the imposition of the death penalty” (Alavi, 2003, p. 1084). The government resorted to both legal and illegal tactics to convince the judge, jury, media and the public to believe that the Rosenbergs stole the secrets to the atomic bomb. The judge went so far …show more content…
The trial itself was rife with civil rights violations, government manipulation, exploitation, propaganda, and executions which have been prevalent throughout history. I believe that both anti-Communism and anti-Semitism were on display by the government and the public in this case. The manner in which the government persecuted the Rosenbergs was reminiscent of Fascism in some respects. Although the US claims to be the land of the free, that certainly wasn’t the case during the years of McCarthyism and the Cold War. The ideology at the time had Americans living in fear of Communists and everyone was under the microscope to see if they had any associations with Communism which reminded me of the Nazi’s view of the Jews albeit with different results. Throughout all of the readings in this course there was a common theme of nationalism, some more extreme than others, and this trial was just another example of a government demonstrating their power over their citizens to comply or face the repercussions. Additionally, the use of propaganda and the media was vital in this case as it was in WWI, WWII and the wars that followed. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people can be persuaded by ads, political cartoons, newspapers and the media at

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