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Generals Mercier and Boisdeffre . . made the fatal error of standing on the principle that Army justice was, like the Army itself, a thing apart, and that civilian conceptions of justice had no weight before a military tribunal ...
From this it will be seen that in reality the question of Alfred Dreyfus's guilt or innocence is minor to the far wider question of the position of the Army in a democratic State. No Republican could for a moment accept the claim that the principles of justice were not identical, whatever the tribunal and whatever the procedure.
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