Source: Harper’s Magazine

The Reichstag Fire next time

By: Masha Gessen

That we seem so certain of the outlines of the Reichstag fire to come reveals the fact that it has already occurred. Among the victims of the sixteen-year-old state of exception are hundreds of individuals identified, prosecuted, and sentenced under emergency rules. Since the war on terror began, the United States has prosecuted an average of forty terrorism cases per year, about half of them on the basis of informant operations. Convictions that result from such cases—and convictions result almost without fail, usually as the result of a plea bargain—fetch higher sentences because of something known as the terrorism adjustment in federal sentencing guidelines. The adjustment went into effect following the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 but was used most widely after 9/11. Read more here.

 

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