Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 637, September 18, 2011

"Due process gets in the way of kidnapping
and torturing their perceived enemies"

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The Conspirator
by A Mini-Review by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I've just finished watching The Conspirator, an historic drama directed by Robert Redford about the trial—an unconstitutional military tribunal—of Mary Surratt and several others accused of conspiring to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

Redford says straightforwardly that he did this film to protest the similarly illegal treatment being dealt out to individuals considered enemies by the Bush/Obama regime. The film does a very good job of that, with Kevin Kline and Colm Meany being the principal villains. Meany, a particular favorite of mine (and probably yours, too), plays the presiding general of the court. Kline is quite shocking as Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. I didn't recognize him at all.

The treatment is a bit timid, in that it avoids, however, the wider—and deeper—issue of Stanton's motives and his likely part in the events. I have long believed that the assassination and the brutal attacks on other Cabinet members that occurred that night were part of an attempted coup by Stanton. On the other hand, nothing in the movie rules it out, Stanton's justifications for his behavior are seriously lame, and I'll bet Kline agrees with me about the man..

I recommend that you RedBox this one and see it for yourself.

The Conspirator

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