"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Gerard Spong in the Limelight

Today one of the big stories in the Dutch media was that of Peter Jones, a 'Vegan streaker' famous for his antics, who is accused of plotting an attack on Queen Beatrix.

Apparently, the police have been quite heavy handed in their approach towards Jones and his girlfriend.

Step forward then, in defence of Jones, Gerard Spong.

For those of you not familiar with Spong, he is one of the most successful celebrity lawyers in The Netherlands - but he is also a very, very dangerous man.

He is one of the architects of the legal campaign against Geert Wilders and the decision to prosecute him for his political opinions:
The Dutch Muslim Council has called Wilders a “racist, fascist and authoritarian” and a threat to Dutch society. Several Dutch Muslim and leftist organizations and individuals have lodged more than 40 complaints against Wilders for incitement to racial hatred. Gerard Spong, one of the leading (and most expensive) lawyers in the country, has offered to defend their cases free of charge. Spong was a friend of the late Pim Fortuyn. Following the murder of Fortuyn in 2002 he lodged complaints against several Dutch politicians for having contributed to the hate campaign against Fortuyn which resulted in his assassination by a political adversary.

Spong, who is also the lawyer of a Dutch teenager indicted on murder charges in the case of Natalee Holloway, an American teenager who disappeared in Arubu in May 2005, told Dutch television that “Wilders cannot be compared to Fortuyn because Wilders incites hatred against Muslims, which Fortuyn who had sex with Moroccan boys in dark rooms, did not do. […] When Wilders says that half the Koran has to be ripped to pieces and burned, he is inciting hatred.” According to Spong the Dutch public prosecutor is a coward who is afraid to prosecute Wilders because the latter will claim that it is a political prosecution. [Of course, that decision has since been changed and the prosecution will go ahead].
July 22, 2008; a complaint by Mister G. Spong, lawyer in Amsterdam on behalf of 21 citizens:
  • Timo Eekhoudt [see note below]
  • Jörgen Raymann [TV comedian]
  • Sjoukje Maartje Aafke Wiersma
  • Evy Dewina Kasmo
  • Ali Al-Jaberi
  • Mohamed Yosuf Haydaty
  • Nan Luursema
  • Floris Alberse
  • Khalid Bedri
  • Milena Holdert
  • Klaas Stutje
  • Mirko V. van Pampus
  • René Boer
  • A. el Aqde
  • Cüneyt Kocak
  • Dirim Kutlar
  • Casper Thomas
  • Jennifer Tason
  • Allard Altena
  • Willemijn Kuper

That's bad enough in a society which considers itself tolerant and free, but it's not the worst of it.

When I hear the name Gerard Spong, I think of this:

On April 8th the Dutch TV program “The Devil’s Advocate” aired a mock trial in which lawyer Gerard Spong defended Osama Bin Laden. The title of the feature was “Is Osama Bin Laden actually guilty of 9/11?”

Our Flemish correspondent VH undertook the thankless job of listening to the recording of the entire program. He prepared this analysis and summary for Gates of Vienna:

The TV program “The Devil’s Advocate” concerns “controversial people in the news about whom there is always another story to tell.”

The “accusers” in this “case” are Charles Groenhuijsen and Glenn Schoen.

Charles Groenhuijsen used to be a freelance foreign correspondent in the United States of America for the Dutch TV News. He was also not particularly partisan (i.e. no leftist views). He was “called back” and replaced by a more leftist reporter. When he refused to live permanently in the Netherlands to become a newsreader (he lived with his family in Washington), he was sacked. In a magazine interview he accused colleagues of having a leftist attitude and of suffering from intellectual laziness, and he also once had said — as a joke — that the Dutch news team was a “schnabbel-gestapo”. However, he was elected by viewers the “best correspondent ever for the Dutch TV News” in 2006.

Glenn Schoen is a terror specialist, security analyst, and Head of Security & Integrity Services of Ernst & Young. He has appeared on CNN a few times to comment on terror acts.

The lawyer Gerard Spong, who is maybe best known for filing the recent “hate-speech” case against Geert Wilders, will defend Osama bin Laden (OBL) and his organization al Qaeda AQ).

The jury is made up of ordinary citizens.

Note: Spong during this “trial” is using classic tactics to deny that anything is real without proof it is real and to deny the proof to be real because anybody might be willing and able to fabricate so-called “proof”. An effective form of circular reasoning that affects the credibility of his opponents.

Basically Spong denies everything, of course, not by citing any proof, but by undermining the proof of his opponents and continuously repeating that OBL is innocent and the whole idea is a phantom.

The “trial” is in three segments.

Below is a summary (mostly of Spong’s arguments)*:

1. OBL gave the order for the attacks of 9-11

Spong argues that there is no proof of a direct command-line between OBL and the 9-11 attackers. He points to the FBI website, which does not officially mention OBL as suspect in this. Schoen explains that the charges against OBL already date from 1998 and thus don’t have to be updated. Therefore in the charges there is also room to charge him on other facts.

Groenhuijsen argues that there are even videos that prove a direct connection between OBL and one or a few of the hijackers.

Spong then comes up with Sheikh Khalid Mohammed who confessed to have organized the attacks, thus it cannot be OBL. Groenhuijsen states that the sheikh is in the hierarchy of AQ but at the top of that hierarchy is OBL, who since the early nineties has been involved in many bloody terror attacks.

Still Spong doesn’t accept any of that. “There is no hard proof that OBL commanded the hijackers that attacked on 9-11; thus he is innocent.”

On some videos he appears right-handed while he is left-handed and some translations are not correct. And therefore he concludes that there are no facts that prove that OBL had command over the hijackers.

[Verdict of the jury later: not guilty]

2. OBL financed the attacks and has blood on his hands

Here Spong argues that AQ does not exist and is a phantom. AQ is “invented” to be able to accuse OBL and used as an excuse for Iraq and Afghanistan, to increase the defense budget, and because of oil interests. For example, the link between Saddam and AQ was a mistake, he argues, and did not exist.

During the bombing of Tora Bora nobody was there, he argues, and there is no proof whatsoever that AQ exists.

Groenhuijsen and Schoen then argue that of course an organization like that will not have a receptionist, nor a coffee service, and certainly not papers filed with he company registration service of a government.

According to Spong all “events” are isolated. There is no connection, and there is a search for connections that are not there.

[Verdict of the jury later: not guilty]

3. OBL is a just a terrorist who misuses Islam to commit attacks and to incite to violence
Spong here avoids Islam and it is not mentioned. He argues that this is a situation of war, not of terrorism. This cannot be a war in which one party is allowed everything and the other party nothing, OBL is therefore a freedom fighter in a war against the Western world. Also he says the US government calls it a war: “a war on terror” (in which he avoids the word “terror” and keeps stressing on the word “war”).

Spong continues to put forward the idea that OBL is just like a rebel who struggles against the ruling power, who wants to achieve another order. A rebel will use violence if necessary to achieve this end, and often that is a better order, according to Spong. He cites Nelson Mandela, who also was seen as a terrorist, but is maybe one of the best-known folk heroes, he states. [a video shows the opposite with a terror attack by the ANC] Thus OBL is a folk hero just like Nelson Mandela.

Groenhuijsen jumps in: A folk hero for whom? For the three thousand who got murdered on September 11, in Indonesia, in the attacks on the Cole and so on?

No, Spong replies, but for a major part of the Arab people. Then one party is the police officer and the other a terrorist organization. OBL is standing up for his own Arab people, who have the right to live the way they want to according to their own cultural norms and values.

[Verdict of the jury: guilty]

Final verdict: The jury in majority finds OBL not responsible for the attacks. But the jury does find him a terrorist because OBL, as opposed to Mandela, causes terror all over the world.
Spong seems to crave publicity, but currently it does seem if there is a controversial bandwagon, then he will jump upon it, no matter what the consequences.

He can dismiss such dangerous nonsense as 'helping people to look at things from a different angle' - but ultimately he is playing with fire and undermining us all.

1 comment:

Solkhar said...

I have spoken with Spong and I find him arrogant beyond belief.

He is interested in being in the limelight (as does Wilders). He will jump to the case that gives him the most media time and that is why I dislike him.

That he does the right thing in a court case is another subject and it is only a shame that the cases against that racist bigot Wilders is done by someone who loves seeing his face on television and the newspapers is the one to do it. I hope he does the good job and that his personality does not screw it up.