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United States v. Barnes, 617 F. Supp. 2d 143 (D.D.C. 2015)

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too good for you @carterings
OH GOD IT’S STARTING JBB’S TAKING THE STAND

shot first @flyingsolo
WS being sworn in. What a joke #WSTrial

 

·

 

KRILL: Please state your name for the record.

BARNES: James — James Buchanan Barnes.

JONES: Mr. Barnes, I understand your memory hasn’t fully returned.

BARNES: Yes.

JONES: That’s all right. Could you tell the court what you remember about your captivity under Hydra?

BARNES: A lot of it’s in flashes. I remember the day they took me. I was in pretty bad shape — my arm was broken, bleeding out. They cut — they took my arm. I think I blacked out at that point. When I woke up, they’d given me another one.

[Steve Rogers looks sick.]

BARNES: I was pretty out of it, from the pain, and maybe they’d given me something, too. When I saw the arm, I panicked — I attacked one of the techs, tried to get free, but there were a lot of them and they strapped me down. Zola was there. He told me that I was to be the “new fist of Hydra”.

JONES: Go on.

BARNES: I mostly remember pain — not like breaking a bone or a bullet wound, but like every part of your body hurting all at once. It got so bad I couldn’t do anything but scream, and I did until I went hoarse, kept on screaming. Zola told me all I had to do was obey them, and the pain would stop.

JONES: How did you react?

BARNES: Told him to go stuff it.

[uncertain laughter]

BARNES: I don’t know how long that took. Might’ve been hours, might’ve been days. At one point I bit my tongue pretty bad, and they shoved something in my mouth. Couldn’t scream anymore. And then — then things get kinda fuzzy.

JONES [a little shaky]: Quite understandable. What else do you remember?

BARNES: The cold. Cryo used to — they hadn’t fully perfected the technology. Sometimes they didn’t get it right and I was in the cold for hours. Couldn’t do anything, just hope it’d stop, eventually.

JONES: Could you describe how a typical mission went?

BARNES: I don’t remember.

JONES: You don’t remember being ordered to kill?

BARNES: No.

JONES: Do you recall any of your kills?

BARNES: Some. There are flashes. I — blood. Screams.

JONES: Mr. Barnes, what would have been the consequence of your disobeying orders? Do you recall ever doing so?

BARNES [with some hesitation]: I don’t understand.

JONES: Were you aware, at any point during your missions, of the possibility of defying orders? That is, were you free to refuse them?

BARNES: What good would that be? You don’t make a gun that refuses to shoot.

JONES: Thank you very much, Mr. Barnes. Your witness.

 

·

 

Roy Van Dale @RV_Dale
Does anyone actually believe this? #WStrial #wakeuppeople

 

·

 

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, you’ve stated that you only recall some of your kills. Look at this photograph. Is this one of them?

[Exhibit #12.]

BARNES: I — no.

COYLE: We heard earlier from Ms. Naomie Finebaum, whose grandfather you shot in his bedroom, as he was sleeping. Do you remember him?

BARNES: No.

COYLE: A comfort, I’m sure, to his granddaughter. What about Anton Kairovski?

BARNES: [pause] Yes.

JONES: Objection! What is the point of this exercise?

COYLE: Your Honor, the defense has repeatedly pointed to this man’s memory in an attempt to exonerate him of his crimes; I’m merely attempting to ascertain how far the gaps in his memories go.

KRILL: Well, there’s no need to go through the entire catalogue of evidence. Wrap it up, please.

COYLE: Very well. Do you remember killing Mr. Ronald Sinclair?

[Exhibit #18.]

COYLE: You strangled him with your bare hands. Or, well, I say bare...

[uneasy laughter in audience]

COYLE: Do you remember that?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: Do you remember killing his wife, Cecelia?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: Now, Mr. Sinclair was the contractor. He was the target. His wife was an architect. She had nothing to do with her husband's work, and yet you — your bare hands — you still killed her. Why did you kill her?

BARNES: It was in the mission parameters.

COYLE: I see. It was in the mission parameters to execute a completely innocent woman, who was asleep at the time, in a different room of the house.

BARNES: Yes. It —

COYLE: Yes?

BARNES: Collateral damage was a. A matter of fact, for Hydra.

COYLE [disgustedly]: Collateral damage. You —

JONES: I object, your Honor! This is a deliberately inflammatory —

KRILL: Objection sustained. Please refrain from making value judgements, Mr. Coyle.

COYLE: Let's move on. Mr Barnes, do you recall planning this assassination?

BARNES: No.

COYLE: You killed this man and his wife, yet you cannot remember planning to kill them?

BARNES: Well, y’see, I was unconscious at the time.

COYLE: Unconscious how?

BARNES: They kept me on ice, when I wasn’t — when they didn’t need me.

COYLE: Very convenient.

JONES: Objection! This has been well-documented, Mr. Coyle is free to consult multiple sources —

KRILL: Sustained. [wryly] Mr. Coyle, refrain from actively doubting your witness.

COYLE: How well do you remember these assassinations, Mr. Barnes? Do you recall your feelings at the time? [pause] Were they agreeable feelings? What was your state of mind as you strangled them? Did you enjoy

JONES: Your Honor, I must pro— [interrupted]

[commotion; indistinguishable]

KRILL: Be quiet, please.

ROGERS [muffled]: — no right —

KRILL: Captain Rogers, if you don't go back to your seat and stop disrupting this testimony, I will have to have you escorted from the premises.

[commotion]

ROGERS: With all due respect, ma'am —

JONES: Your Honor, the prosecution's line of argument is both unfounded and clearly aimed at antagonizing the —

ROGERS: — this is preposterous. Bucky's the bravest and kindest man I've —

KRILL: Captain Rogers, I really must ask —

ROGERS: He doesn't deserve this. This country owes him more than a trial for treason and empty threats —

BARNES: Shut your trap, Rogers.

KRILL [exasperatedly]: Mr. Barnes —

ROGERS: Bucky.

BARNES: Please sit down.

ROGERS: You deserve better than this, Buck.

BARNES: Stop snapping at bullies, bud. I'm fine.

COYLE: Let’s move on. Mr. Barnes, have you ever been to Dallas?

BARNES: I don’t know.

[murmurs]

COYLE: You do not remember ever being in Dallas, Texas?

BARNES: No.

COYLE: Yet we heard earlier from an analyst that this is indeed the case. That you had a mission in November of 1963 that required you to go to Dallas.

BARNES: I’d reckon he knows better than me, then.

COYLE: We’ve heard Ms. Romanov testify that you are an excellent shot. Does your proficiency depend on the weapon?

BARNES: Not much. They — Hydra trained me to be comfortable with many models.

COYLE: Would you be able to operate a 6.5 mm Carcano carbine?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: And, using that weapon, would you be able to shoot a moving target — say, the size of a human head — from a distance of 265 feet?

BARNES: I’d expect so.

COYLE: You’d expect — could you hit that same target three times in the space of six seconds?

BARNES: Sure.

COYLE [voice rising]: And isn’t it true, Mr. Barnes, that on November 22nd, 1963, you did just that, shooting President John F. Kennedy from the windows of the Texas Book Depository —

JONES: Objection! Leading!

KRILL: Sustained. Please rephrase, Mr. Coyle.

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, who was your target in Dallas?

BARNES: I — I don’t know.

COYLE: [pause] I see.

[whispers]

COYLE: Mr. Barnes. According to earlier testimony, you were injected with the so-called supersoldier serum at Azzano, correct?

BARNES: Yes. Well. I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time.

COYLE: When did you become aware that your body had changed?

BARNES: They didn’t know if it worked at, at Azzano. If it had, they probably would never have let me go.

[Steve Rogers makes a distressed noise.]

BARNES: I guess it took me a while to notice. It’s — you don’t complain about your bruises healin’ maybe a little bit faster, do you?

COYLE: But you knew by the time of your fall, in 1944?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, why did you never tell Captain Rogers about these changes? As he was your commanding officer, wasn’t it necessary for you to report them? Didn’t you think this was relevant information that he would want to know?

BARNES: I —

COYLE: Furthermore, if Captain Rogers had known about your enhanced healing, he would have undoubtedly searched for your body after your fall. Did you wish to prevent this? Was it planned all along, that you would rendezvous with Hydra in this manner —

BARNES: No.

COYLE: Then tell us: why the secrecy?

BARNES: I guess — I didn’t want to think about it. Because it would’ve meant admitting that something had changed, that — that the war had changed me, and I didn’t want it to. I wanted it to be like back home, when I was just followin’ Steve into fights, watchin’ his back. Telling Steve that I was different would have, have made the war real. I guess I was trying to put it off for just a bit longer.

COYLE: Hmm. [pause] Mr. Barnes, can you remember the events at the Triskelion, as narrated by various witnesses?

BARNES: I — no. Not as — no.

COYLE: I see. So you do not remember killing Shaun Danforth, age 39, by kicking him into a burning jet —

BARNES: No.

COYLE: Or Janet Stobert, by tossing a grenade into the hold of an occupied airplane —

BARNES: No.

COYLE: Then please, what exactly do you remember?

BARNES: I. I remember Steve. I remember fighting him, I remember him telling me not to do this, that he knew me.

COYLE: Do you remember shooting Captain Rogers? Three times, I believe, once in his side, once in —

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: Do you also remember beating Captain Rogers, hard enough to crack his left cheekbone as well as several ribs, shatter his eardrum, fracture his fingers —

BARNES [barking]: Yes.

COYLE: Could you tell us about Captain Rogers’s fall from the helicarrier?

BARNES: He wouldn’t fight back. I was angry at him, because he wouldn’t fight. I beat him up pretty bad. Then I — [confused] I remember seeing him falling. And then I was falling, too. [Wryly.] Seems like falling’s something I just keep doing.

COYLE: Excuse me if I’m wrong — mere seconds before Captain Rogers’s fall, you’d been attempting to kill him.

BARNES: I — yes.

COYLE: Furthermore, during the course of your fight, Captain Rogers had dislocated your right shoulder. Is that correct?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: Is it also correct that you sustained considerable damage to your — the metal arm?

BARNES: Steve had banged it up some, yes.

COYLE [disbelievingly]: And yet, you’re expecting us to believe that upon Captain Rogers’s fall, you dove into the Potomac, with injuries sustained to not one but both of your arms, and still managed to drag out your would-be victim? This is a fairy tale, concocted by the defense in order to manufacture sympathy for the defendant —

JONES: Objection!

KRILL [nearly simultaneously]: Mr. Coyle —

BARNES: I don’t, I don’t expect you to believe it. I don’t know if I believe it. All I’ve got to say on that is, whoever did it, I’m real glad they saved Steve here. [softly] They must’ve loved him a whole lot, to do that.

COYLE: Mr. Barnes. As the Winter Soldier, you performed a number of acts that would be abhorrent to any reasonable man —

JONES: Objection!

KRILL: No, I think I’ll see where this goes. Overruled.

COYLE: — and yet, you never even tried to escape? To refuse orders?

BARNES [tense]: Not after — not after they — I couldn’t.

COYLE: I wonder, then, what was so different about the day in question that you were able to regain your own mind.

BARNES: Well, Steve was there, he was talking to me —

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, are you honestly telling this court that killing people — children — wasn’t enough for you, but that, that your name coming from this man’s mouth was? What kind of —

BARNES [helplessly]: I don’t know. I just — Steve’s been with me all my life, I’ve followed him into enough scraps to last ten lifetimes, he rescued me once before and it was like that then, too —

COYLE [dry]: Ah, yes, your friendship. We had occasion to hear yesterday Captain Rogers’s testimony regarding his feelings towards you. Did this come as a surprise?

BARNES: Yes.

COYLE: What was your reaction to his words? Were you in any way shocked, perhaps disturbed? Had the possibility ever occurred to you?

BARNES: It wasn’t, it wasn’t disturbing, no. Mostly I was surprised because you’d think I’d’ve known that, seeing as how I’ve been in love with him since ‘36.

[commotion]

KRILL: Order!

COYLE: Are we seriously to believe —

ROGERS: Bucky —

BARNES: Yeah, you big lump. Of course I was.

ROGERS: Got you beat there, Buck. Remember — remember that time in ’32 when ma was in the ward and I was sick? You brought me one of those buns and told me stories all night. Sat on my feet and wouldn’t get up even though I kept tellin’ you I didn’t want you gettin’ sick, too. And that’s when I thought — I knew — yeah.

BARNES [quietly]: I remember.

KRILL: Gentlemen, please.

 

·

 

too good for you @carterings
HE WAS TOTALLY NOT EXPECTING THAT ANSWER #JBBTRIAL

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
@carterings the prosecutor is an idiot, just look at their faces

commando #8 @ahowling
/since 1936/ heLP ME

commando #8 @ahowling
cap’s FACE when he heard

too good for you @carterings
@ahowling when they just started talking to each otherrrr

 

·

 

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, have you ever seen this building before?

[Exhibit #72.]

BARNES: No.

COYLE: Are you certain? Not during one of your missions, perhaps?

BARNES: I don’t remember it. ‘Course, that don’t mean much, nowadays.

[scattered laughter]

COYLE: Correct. This is a picture of the intersection of 5th Street and Morris Avenue in Brooklyn.

[Steve Rogers starts.]

COYLE: Captain Rogers would be familiar with this address, because before the area was rebuilt, it contained a tenement building in which you two resided from 1937 to 1939.

BARNES: I — I didn’t, I don’t —

COYLE: Could you take a look at the following document?

[Exhibit #73.]

BARNES: It’s a mission report. Dated June 1974.

COYLE: Yes. Please read to the court the section highlighted, there.

BARNES [slowly]: WS went rogue during routine mission in New York. Tracked him down to a studio on 5th and Morris. Did not respond to standard triggers, had to be subdued manually. Recommend wipe + care in deployment to this area in the future.

COYLE: Mr. Barnes, given this report, how can you still hold that your time under Hydra was entirely involuntary? It seems clear to me that you were indeed capable of resisting their methods —

JONES: Objection! This is entirely speculative —

KRILL: Sustained.

COYLE: Maybe you’d just given up? Or did you, perhaps, want

JONES: Objection!

COYLE: — like a faithful dog returning to its master —

KRILL: Mr. Coyle. Control yourself.

BARNES [quietly]: I tried. I swear to it, I really did.

COYLE: No further questions.

 

·

 

Luisa E @LEscarra
Judge called recess for lunch. Closing statements this afternoon #USvsJBB

shot first @flyingsolo
Don’t forget: he went back to them. #WSTrial #noacquittal

 

·

 

From: Sam [17:24]
Did you know

From: Sam [17:24]
About them, I mean

To: Sam [17:25]
I was starting to suspect

To: Sam [17:25]
Just look at them

To: Sam [17:29]
Why don’t I have someone looking at me like that

From: Sam [17:30]
That’s cause you don’t look at me enough

From: Sam [17:38]
Nat?

From: Sam [17:38]
Was that too forward

To: Sam [17:40]
Do you want to grab dinner after

From: Sam [17:41]
Please :)

From: Sam [17:42]
If this trial ever ends

 

·

 

Us Weekly @usweekly
In love for a century: Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes usm.ag/1p2qbHK

People Magazine @peoplemag
Through Ice, War, and Time: Just Two Boys in Love peoplem.ag/Bu3it

Irena E @IEscarra
Things getting pretty heated at Wendy's outside the courthouse #JBBtrial

 

·

 

COYLE: ...we are looking at a killer who has not even denied — who has admitted to a staggering sixty-three murders, and is hiding who knows how many more in his patchwork of memory. He is a man who admits to lying to his rescuer — his best friend and later his superior officer — about Hydra’s experiments in Azzano. Isn’t it strange that he claims to be telling the truth now? Now, when this “Arnim Zola” is a non-entity — now, when no one is left to contradict his claims of innocence?

[pause]

The defense would have you believe that this man is a victim. And I say this: this man, for seventy years, worked for Hydra — murdered children — shot President Kennedy, ladies and gentlemen — without once questioning his orders. His actions are not that of an innocent man; they are those of a man complicit, comfortable, even, in an organization that should be abhorrent to us all...

 

·

 

commando #8 @ahowling
i don’t wanna hate this guy for doing his job but he’s making it really hard #jbbtrial

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
@ahowling would not be surprised to find out that he kicks puppies every morning

shot first @flyingsolo
Great closing from the prosecution #WSTrial

 

·

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

You have a very difficult decision to make now. The prosecution and the defense have made their arguments — we've laid out our cases quite clearly, I hope—and now we have nothing left to do, no other choice to make, but to entrust all twelve of you with the life of this one man. The final choice will be yours, and it will have to be unanimous.

The prosecution has — repeatedly — reminded you of the crimes attributed to the Winter Soldier, but we are not denying that the Winter Soldier has committed them. We are asserting that James Barnes was coerced into becoming the Winter Soldier, that he never formed the intent to murder, and that he should not be punished for the offenses of other and more dangerous men. Despite the prosecution's penetrating closing argument, I won't do you the insult of going over the evidence of the trauma Sergeant Barnes has suffered for seven decades—all over again. I will only ask this: if, indeed, the Winter Soldier was complicit in Hydra's activities, why come back at all? Why rescue Captain America from the depths of the Potomac? Why not disappear, set up shop far, far away? Why turn himself in voluntarily and submit to this trial?

Of course, it's easy to think that getting rid of the Winter Soldier means getting rid of the problem once and for all — getting rid of Hydra, that sneaking wriggling intruder in our midst. The Winter Soldier's the Big Bad Wolf, the bogeyman, the ghost in everyone's closet. He's the thing that scares us in the dark. And we're so busy being scared of what's in the dark that we don't even stop to wonder who turned off the lights.

I beg you to remember that the accused is not a piece of weaponry one can throw away because it stopped working. He's not a ghost. He's a living, breathing, feeling human being, who once fought with all his heart for his country, and who now sits here waiting for his country to decide what will happen to him. I beg you don't forget what you have seen here — the videos, the photos, the files, all recounting the torture and the conditioning that James Barnes has had to live through for seventy years.

The Winter Soldier is not on trial. This isn't the Winter Soldier trial. The Winter Soldier is a fallacy, an invention, a fairytale. If we were to put in the dock every single doctor, every single soldier, every single politician who contributed to the Winter Soldier program, maybe we would come close to convicting the Winter Soldier himself. No: the man who's on trial right now, right here, that man is Bucky Barnes.

We all know Bucky. We've seen him in all our history books, all our class reports, our romance novels, our cinema screens, our television shows. Some of us have grown up watching Captain America and the Howling Commandos at breakfast every morning. Some of us watched it with our kids. Some of us even had Bucky Bears. We all know about Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter and the Commandos, and yet even that story we know so well sometimes turns out to be a little different from what we expected. Not quite finished yet. History, it seems, is never really dead. Sometimes it even comes back to life.

Bucky Barnes came back to life this week. Right here in front of our eyes. Don't let him be buried again.

This is not a decision that can be taken lightly. Take your time. Take the time to review every document in evidence, every report, every picture, every video. Make sure that yours is the only possible choice you can make within the circumstances. It'll be hard. It'll take courage and strength. But I have the greatest faith in all of you, and in your capacity — whatever your sentiments were when you entered this courtroom — to do the right thing.

Thank you.

 

·

 

Eve Gabler @E_Gablr
#dropthe @MicJONES

 

·

 

KRILL: Mr Barnes, is there anything you would like to say to the jury before they retire to deliberate?

BARNES [shakes head; hesitates]: I, yes. I've done — even if Hydra took me and — twisted me — and took any choice I had in the doing of it, those were still my hands and my face and my, my, my brain doing those things. I don't know if I can atone for them, even if I want to. I want to. I can't say how much. [shaky breath] But I was. I was killing people long before I was turned into the Winter Soldier. I killed people during the war, I killed people in the trenches, and I killed people for the SSR. I was killing people for the United States government a long time before I fell off that train in the Alps. Maybe — maybe part of me was made a weapon the second I set foot in that ol' enlistment center back in Brooklyn.

[indistinguishable]

BARNES: You know, they gave me a choice to go home, after Azzano. They said, You were tortured, you’ll get an honorable discharge, and no one'll think you're weak. I wanted to. God, I wanted to. But then this, this kid I grew up with, you might have heard of him — uh, he came up to me in a bar in London and said, I want to keep fighting, and I want you, I want you with me. And after that saying no wasn't really on the cards anymore.

ROGERS [muffled]: Buck, no —

BARNES: Shut up, Rogers, I'm having a moment. Thing is, I must've saved that kid's life about fifty times, during the war. Watched his back. Kept his six. I was tired all the time and sometimes I felt like my teeth’d rattle outta my skull, and it still kept me going, knowing that I was doing what I was doing because Steve needed me to do it, physically needed me there. Kept me real. That's what I was good at really — what I've always been good at — makin' sure he got out of scrapes safe. That's all I'm good at, not shooting a rifle, not flipping a knife. Just watching his back. And I haven't been able to do that since 1944. They took that from me, too. [pause] I won’t. Tell you what to think. God knows I’m not a good man. God knows I get the urge to lock me away an’ forget all about me. But we’re short-handed on good men — and me, I found one. I found that one kid who didn’t know how to run away from a fight, decades ago, the most stubborn kid in Brooklyn. Been following him ever since. Maybe I just wanna get the chance to follow him again.

 

·

 

short stripes @flightrisk
i believe, i believe #acquithim

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
So Cap’s crying. #JBBTrial

 

·

 

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
Cap refusing to leave courtroom #JBBTrial

too good for you @carterings
he’s just turned down a sandwich from falcon #jbbtrial

commando #8 @ahowling
2hrs 40. any bets on how long it’ll take? #jbbtrial

too good for you @carterings
@ahowling anywhere between 3hrs and the rest of our lives

 

·

 

To: Nat [23:05]
Five hours. How's the press outside?

From: Nat [23:06]
Not letting up. They're putting historians on. How's Steve?

To: Nat [23:06]
Still not eating. Says as long as Barnes can't, he won't

To: Nat [23:07]
Barnes's not looking too hot either

To: Nat [23:09]
Think he'll get out?

From: Nat [23:14]
I don't know.

From: Nat [23:31]
Coming back in. Need anything?

To: Nat [23:32]
Those beef dumplings from the place across the street

To: Nat [23:32]
? Please

From: Nat [23:45]
I'll get you a coffee

To: Nat [23:45]
:) :)

 

·

 

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
15 min since Cap & JBB have looked away from each other #JBBTrial

commando #8 @ahowling
@rogerthat they’ve waited ninety fucking yrs

too good for you @carterings
I THINK CAP JUST MOUTHED “I LOVE YOU” #JBBTRIAL

commando #8 @ahowling
@carterings HE TOTALLY DID

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
@ahowling @carterings DID YOU SEE JBB’S FACE THOUGH

too good for you @carterings
@rogerthat @ahowling it was heartbreaking

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
@carterings @ahowling God, guys, just let them hug

The New York Times @nytimes
Breathless crowds await #WSTrial verdict in Times Square (Photo: Christopher Allen/NYT) nyti.ms/1pYr9ti

TIME.com @TIME
POLL: Should Sgt. Barnes be acquitted? ti.me/1t3tFXM

 

·

 

Historian to discuss Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Queer Theory

By Jean Luther

Q: Ms. Krantz, you are one of the authors of the highly controversial Captain America and Queer Theory: The Narratives of Heroism, which was first written in 1999 and was re-popularized in 2010 after the attack on New York. Your book was one of the first to suggest that the relationship between Captain America and his best friend Bucky Barnes may not have been as platonic as people thought. For that reason, it's been called, I quote, inappropriate, offensive, and even defamatory — and yet the revelations of the past two days have proven that you weren't actually very far off the mark! Do you feel vindicated by this confirmation of your theories?

Krantz: Well, vindicated isn't quite the right word. Historical interpretation is very often a guessing game, you know, and our interest while writing was only ever academic. We weren't writing a gossip rag. There is a very great difference between postulating on the potential sexuality of a historical figure as a means of reflecting a different perspective on a period that's too often reduced to its conservative, acceptable components, and speculating on the sexual orientation and affairs of a living public figure who did not ask for that kind of scrutiny. Now, of course, historical figures being resurrected isn't something that happens every day — thank god, or we'd be out of a job! However, I will say that there is a certain amount of satisfaction in watching those of our colleagues who vehemently accused us of participating in an 'outlandish agenda' — you can see their words have stayed with me — well, they're trying frantically to talk themselves out of it now.

Q: What can you say about the counter-movement that has arisen for the past twenty-four hours or so — the petition online asking for Captain America to be stripped of his credentials and the #CanWeTrustHim campaign on twitter?

Krantz: It's unsurprising. It's also, unsurprisingly, absurd. Captain America is Captain America is Captain America, whatever his sexuality. What some people are going to have to wrap their heads around is that Steve Rogers was always — well, we'll say queer, for now:

it seems like the most appropriate blanket term. The man who accomplished the exploits related in every one of our history books was always in love with Bucky Barnes. And a lot of people are going to have difficulties accepting that, making the stereotypes fit each other. Hopefully, it will make some of them rethink the way they see, well, soldiers, LGBT people, and American wholesomeness in general. It might even make some people in academia stop painting historical figures as straight by default unless proven otherwise.

Q: Do you believe Bucky Barnes is innocent of the crimes attributed to him?

Krantz: Honestly, I do. Looking back at Barnes' military record from the 1943-1945 period, I find it difficult to believe that he could willingly betray either his country or Steve Rogers — or Steve Rogers' memory, as the case may be. We have held Bucky Barnes as a symbol of unfailing loyalty for seventy years, and during those seven decades he was being held prisoner on our own soil and subjected to the worst sort of torture. He deserves our sympathy and our kindness. He most certainly doesn't deserve to be tried for high treason and terrorism. We can only hope that the jury will recognize that.

Q: Will you want to continue writing on the subject of Captain America's life, since all this new information has come out?

Krantz: As much as my scientific curiosity would urge me to, I wouldn't want to force any more of the limelight on either of these men. That being said, if one or both of them ever wants to give an interview and talk about their shared history, then I hope they know that Alison [Cooper, the co-author of Captain America and Queer Theory: The Narratives of Heroism, ed.] and I, we'd — well, we'd be very willing to lend an ear!

READ MORE AT SMITHSONIANMAG.COM

 

·

 

Laura B. Castellano @LBCastellano
PSA to everyone who's saying Cap should be kicked out of the Avengers Initiative: don't. #CanWeTrustHim

Laura B. Castellano @LBCastellano
#CanWeTrustHim You're saying you can trust an ex-KGB assassin, an ex-weapons manufacturer, and a gigantic green dude with anger issues—

Laura B. Castellano @LBCastellano
#CanWeTrustHim —to protect and defend you, but you can’t trust a queer (gay? bi? shut the fuck up) man, even if most of you—

Laura B. Castellano @LBCastellano
#CanWeTrustHim —worshipped the ground he walked on yesterday. Cap didn't "lie" to any of us. He doesn't owe us shit. Think on that.

 

·

 

"— well, Shauna, it's now a little past one in the morning here in Virginia and the jury has been out deliberating for seven hours. Of course it's a tough call to make, and by the time the prosecution and the defense made their closing statements I think it's safe to say that neither side had truly made a penetrating argument that would definitely tip the balance in their favor. The defense, as you know, has maintained that the torture and brainwashing that James Barnes has allegedly been the victim of for the past seventy years exonerates him from the charges against him, including high treason and a count of sixty-three known assassinations. The defense's argument that Barnes was coerced into committing these murders by the terrorist organization known as Hydra might in fact lead to a full acquittal if the jury agrees with it.

"But the prosecution has been poking holes into this line of defense, and the trial's proceedings have been thrown into confusion by Steve Rogers' now infamous confession of love to Sergeant Barnes. We've been getting a lot of different feedback from people inside the courtroom, and our Twitter feed is exploding — at this point it's a little unclear whether public opinion will support Captain Rogers in this unexpected coming-out. Many have claimed that the similar confession made by the Winter Soldier during his testimony may be nothing more than a bid to gain public sympathy. Right this instant, the hashtags #acquithim and #noacquittal are both trending around the world — whatever decision is reached by the jury, it's sure to make a lot of people very unhappy — wait — Shauna, there seems to be some sort of movement back into the courtroom. Yes, I believe the jury's filing back in."

 

·

 

KRILL: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a unanimous decision?

FOREMAN: We have, Your Honor.

KRILL: Please step forward, Madam Foreman.

FOREMAN: In the case of the United States of America versus James Buchanan Barnes, on the charge of high treason against the government of the United States, we find the defendant Not Guilty.

[commotion]

FOREMAN: On the charge of terrorism against the people of the United States, we find the defendant Not Guilty. On the charges of sixty-three different counts of murder, we find the defendant —

[pause]

FOREMAN: Not Guilty.

[uproar]

 

·

 

The Associated Press @AP
BREAKING: Sgt. James Buchanan Barnes cleared of all charges apne.ws/1as8UOz

 

·

 

To: Nat [01:28]
he’s out.

 

·

 

too good for you @carterings
HE’S CLEARED HE’S FREE THANK GOD

commando #8 @ahowling
jbb looks like he can’t believe it

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
holy shit Cap just jumped the gate

commando #8 @ahowling
@rogerthat who’s gonna blame him they’ve been waiting so. long.

too good for you @carterings
ARE THEY GONNA

commando #8 @ahowling
@carterings THEY HAVEN’T EVEN UNCUFFED JBB YET

commando #8 @ahowling
@carterings oh. my. god.

boy from brooklyn @rogerthat
So. That happened. pic.twitter.com/1afs8WEx5p

 

·

 

Portrait of James Barnes as a Free Man

by Eileen Winters

Earlier today, James “Bucky” Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, was acquitted of all charges. The verdict, though surprising, was less unexpected than it had seemed at the beginning of the trial, during which it was revealed that Mr. Barnes had suffered deeply under the hands of Hydra and was forced to serve as a living weapon for several decades.

When Mr. Barnes exits the courthouse, he looks much better than he did during his testimony, which was marked with horrifying descriptions of torture and left everyone shaken. He has a smile on his face and eyes only for Captain Steve Rogers, his childhood best friend and a leading witness for the defense. The second day of trial saw a moving declaration of love from Mr. Rogers, to which Mr. Barnes replied in kind. Mr. Rogers is holding Mr. Barnes’s hand — the left one, which had been deemed a weapon and removed for the duration of the trial. Looking at the couple now, it’s hard to believe that the destruction wrought on Southeast Freeway and the Triskelion was the result of a desperate fight between them.

Both Mr. Barnes and Mr. Rogers decline to talk to the press — “He needs rest,” Mr. Rogers says firmly, wrapping an arm around Mr. Barnes’s shoulder as if to shield his partner. “A good meal and a chance to talk to family he hasn’t seen in seventy years.” When associate Natasha Romanov drives up, Mr. Rogers herds Mr. Barnes into the backseat, a hand at his nape.

Neither of them commented on the picture of them which has now gone viral. When, after the verdict, Mr. Rogers leaped the gate to tug Mr. Barnes down into a kiss, a member of the audience took a photograph of the moment and uploaded it to twitter. The original tweet was swiftly deleted, but copies of the picture continue to circulate and seem unlikely to disappear from the internet. Some people are already calling the picture “a disgrace” and demanding that indecency charges be levied, but others are far happier.

“They’ve loved each other for so long, you can see it in their bodies,” said Stephanie Katz, visual arts student from the University of Virginia. “I think it’s good that we’ve grown as a country to allow them this moment.”

READ MORE AT NYTIMES.COM