By introducing a fallacy into his testimony, or by allowing a fallacious statement of Vishinsky's to stand, a defendant might convey that his entire testimony was pervaded by falsehood.
KRESTINSKY: . . . it was agreed with Tukhachevsky . . . that the action [ Tukhachevsky's military coup] should be timed with war. At the end of 1936, the question was raised . . . that the coup should be expedited and not be timed to the outbreak of war.
VISHINSKY: That is, to act without waiting for war?
VISHINSKY: That is, to expedite war, to hurry?
Vishinsky attempted, as we have seen,2 to make the defendants redefine certain moderate terms in more extreme directions:
VISHINSKY: . . . In February 1932, you received a letter from Trotsky in which he already spoke of the necessity of getting rid of . . . [dots in the text].
VISHINSKY: . . . [dots in the text] of the necessity of removing; consequently you understood that terrorism was meant?
RADEK: Of course.3
The history of the term "to remove" as used by Lenin with reference to Stalin has been discussed above.4 Vishinsky's implication was a non sequitur for Radek.
A too ready support by the defendant of the prosecution's details of his alleged crimes suggested his willingness to apply to his past the rules of translation discussed above rather than to engage in factual recall. A reaction of "yes, of course" to such details could thus express not only excessive compliance,5 but also the absence of a sense of novelty, or importance, in connection with any allegations about details, as contrasted with the over-all resolve we just mentioned.
Vishinsky evoked such a reaction from Rykov on two occasions; the first time when he questioned him about some moderate oppositional activity:
VISHINSKY: Accused Rykov, during the period 1930-36, did you have meetings with other people [than Chernov] in your criminal activities?