Monday, February 20, 2006

"History Is Like A Constantly Changing Tree"

And David Irving is like a pyromanic in a forest.

Some good reporting from the Associated Press, which isn't afraid to call David Irving what he is: a right-wing British historian:

VIENNA, Austria -- A right-wing British historian said Monday he would plead guilty to criminal charges of denying the Holocaust as his trial opened in Vienna.

David Irving, 67, told reporters he now acknowledges that the Nazis systematically slaughtered Jews during World War II. "History is like a constantly changing tree," he said as an eight-member jury and a panel of three judges prepared to hear charges that could put him behind bars for up to 10 years.

Irving has been in custody since his arrest in November on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 in which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews.

A verdict could come later Monday.

Irving's trial comes amid new - and fierce - debate over freedom of expression in Europe, where the printing and reprinting of unflattering cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad has triggered violent protests worldwide.

I'd oppose the criminal law on principle, but I've got no sympathy for Irving. He could've stayed clear of Austria, but chose to return to the country to spread his propaganda, knowing the consequences.

Perhaps his time in prison will allow him to finish his memoir. It did wonders for his fellow right-wing fraud, Jeffrey Archer. (Not so much for Judy Miller, though.)

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