The Oslo court has declared that Anders Behring Breivik is sane and inspired by an evil, right-wing extremist Islamophobic ideology, which also happens to be exactly what the entire political establishment from the state broadcaster NRK and national newspaper VG to Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg wanted the judges to say. So far, none of the involved parties have indicated that they will appeal this decision to a higher court.
In the end, Breivik received three months in jail for each of the human beings he killed in cold blood, which believe it or not is the maximum punishment possible in Norway. This is being hailed as a great victory for Norway’s glorious and humane justice system.
I admit that I have mixed feelings about this sentence. First of all, if Breivik actually is sane enough to be held accountable for his actions, sentencing him to a mere three months in jail for each of his murder victims is a sick joke that makes a mockery of the entire Norwegian justice system. It’s the symptom of a society that values the right of brutal criminals over the rights and well-being of their victims.
I have never met Breivik, but to the best of my abilities I would say that he represents a difficult case somewhere between insanity — as his very twisted worldview sometimes indicates — and the calculated cynicism he displayed during his terror attacks. He might have been declared sane in the USA, for instance.
However, it is not and should not be up to random journalists to decide this legal matter, which it sadly looks like it partially was in the Breivik case. We have to question whether we live in a democracy, a society ruled by the people, or a pressocracy, a society ruled by the press and those who control it.
The simple truth is that the outcome of this trial has been largely dictated by the mass media, who conducted an extremely aggressive campaign to overturn the first report of the court-appointed psychiatrists stating that Breivik is criminally insane. We were eventually presented two different reports with diametrically opposite conclusions, and the judges chose to simply overlook the first one of these entirely.
The official statements of the female head judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen and her co-judges closely mirrored what many pro-Multicultural newspaper columnistshave written over the past year, parroting the line that Breivik was part of a dangerous and delusional Internet-based “right-wing extremist” subgroup and that his massacre on July 22, 2011 was basically the logical conclusion of reading Islamophobic blogs.
Today, I published at Frontpage Magazine an essay about increased surveillance of Islam-critics in Norway, which is now also seen in several other Western countries. Unfortunately, it is likely that this trend will get worse after the latest court ruling in Oslo. Siv Alsén, a senior advisor in the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), openly admits that the security services are now closely monitoring anti-Islamic websites and groups, since they are seen as a security threat.