In the 1970s – during Leonid Brezhnev’s kinder, gentler version of the Soviet Union – the gulags of the Lenin and Stalin regimes were largely replaced by “psychiatric hospitals”.
Since disssent from government was considered a mental illness in the Soviet Union, naturally, dissidents needed “treatment”.
Author Dinesh D’Souza – one of the Obama administration’s most prolific and articulate dissidents – got caught up a few years ago in one of the web of speech rationing laws. These laws – commonly referred to as “campaign-finance laws” – are intended to, and eventually will, make all political speech and activity, including (I predict) this blog, potentially prosecutable.
Judges and bureaucrats referring to speech as “illegal” is nothing new; it’s the battle freedom will always have to fight.
But using the psychiatric profession to beat down dissent? It’s baaaack; D’Souza’s judge has ordered him, for a third time, to seek psychiatric treatment:
D’Souza’s defense counsel Benjamin Brafman provided evidence to the court that the psychiatrist D’Souza was ordered to see found no indication of depression or reason for medication. In addition, the psychologist D’Souza subsequently consulted provided a written statement concluding there was no need to continue the consultation, because D’Souza was psychologically normal and well adjusted.
But Judge Berman, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, disagreed, effectively overruling the judgment of the two licensed psychological counselors the U.S. probation department had approved as part of D’Souza’s criminal sentence.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” the judge explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.
Point of basic logic to Judge Berman: if you’re “requiring” the treatment, you’re not doing it to be helpful.