In the preceding chapter we largely discussed the occasions on which the defendants alleged that they had used extreme means but refused to allege that their intentions had been improper. We shall now consider the occasions on which the defendants resisted both these charges, stressing that they did not commit the extreme acts with which they were charged.
Bukharin's testimony most nearly approximated a general denial of the use of extreme means, as contrasted with, say, support of the Ryutin platform of 1932 which advocated organized opposition to induce the Party to remove the Stalin group from leadership. In his last plea Bukharin alluded to this:
". . . I regard myself politically responsible for the sum total of the crimes committed by the bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. . . .
". . . Nevertheless I consider that I have the right to refute certain charges. . . ."1
He made use of this "right" when the Uzbek leader, Ikramov, alleged that in 1933 Bukharin "set us [the Uzbek conspirators] a number of tasks. The first--wrecking activities, the second--kulak insurrection. . . . Further, he said, that the program of the Rights included the point about terrorism. . . . With regard to terrorism he set us no immediate tasks. Then he pointed out that it would be absolutely necessary to engage in diversionist, destructive activities."2 Vishinsky questioned Bukharin about his conversation; Bukharin admitted that it had taken place and that they "discussed political subjects.":
VISHINSKY: Is Ikramov presenting them correctly?
BUKHARIN: In substance I spoke to him along the lines of the Ryutin platform [ Ikramov had said that Bukharin "cited the theses which two months later became known as the Ryutin platform."].
VISHINSKY: So, in substance he is presenting it correctly.
BUKHARIN: That depends on which you consider the substance. . . .
VISHINSKY: . . . did you speak to him about the methods which should be applied in . . . [the!] struggle [against the Soviet government]?
BUKHARIN: About the methods which were included in the Ryutin platform. It . . . contained a vague allusion to terrorism.
VISHINSKY: Did you talk to him about wrecking activities as well?
BUKHARIN: No, I did not. . . .
VISHINSKY: . . . Did you talk to Ikramov about wrecking activities and acts of diversion in subsequent years?
BUKHARIN: No, I did not.3