Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the Definition of Treason

I sometimes cross post what I write here at the Daily Kos, where I'm sure to get a few comments anytime I bring up the T word. I enjoy the smart comments there, as the dKos readers are some of the smartest on the net. It's why I'm a longtime member there.

Regarding my last post about why I call it Bush Treason, I got a response that laments the dilution of the term.

Because the Constitution, which I remember even if Dick Cheney tried to shred it, actually defines treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

That is a high standard to attain.

Did the Bush administration actually invade the United States? No. Did they actually help the terrorists in their plot? No.

No treason. There are a variety of reasons to consider the Bush administration the worst ever, but debasing the word treason does not help.

My response:

Did they actually help the terrorists with their plot? Well, could the plot have been carried out if they had done their job? Would the plot have been carried out if Bush had read the PDB and done something about it? Would the plot have been carried out if Ashcroft hadn't told people to stop telling him about terrorism?

...adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Is it that much of a stretch to say that we created Osama, and that the neo-cons (especially Cheney) funded him, supported him, and basically created him? Same with Saddam... These people were not exactly friendly to the US, but in the neo-con zeal to fight the USSR, Cheney et al certainly gave Aid and Comfort to future enemies.

But, say, OK, but they weren't our enemies at the time. Well, then when they got reports about imminent terror attacks and chose to ignore them, isn't that aid and comfort? When Ashcroft said he didn't want to hear anymore about terror, that's willful ignorance which led to our enemies operating without any kind of Justice Department effort to stop them.

But, again, I'll go with you and say, no, ignoring a threat is not the same as helping someone attack us. Even then, when you come out after the attack and lie about what you did to stop it... When you lie to make yourself look more heroic, when you cover up what went wrong, when you attack someone who had nothing to do with it thereby sucking resources away from the good fight, are you not helping the enemy get away with it? When you have the guy who did it cornered in Tora Bora and you let him get away, isn't that being an accessory after the fact?

I could go on and on. To me, I am not debasing the word treason because I don't limit it's definition. I'm trying to say that there's a whole series of actions by Dick Cheney et al which actually did give aid and comfort to our enemies. Just because Dick wasn't on a plane with a box cutter doesn't mean that he didn't do his damndest to make sure we got ourselves a Pearl Harbor Type Event. All he had to do was not do his job.

Further, I haven't even delved into a possible alternative explanation of the definition of enemies. Since the P and VP are sworn to protect and defend the constitution, and by extension US Law, then by torturing, wiretapping, and who knows what all, they actually became the enemy!

I do see your point, but I don't understand why sticking to such a narrow definition of treason is so important. By sending this country into an illegal war based on bullshit and lies, they essentially declared war on the US. They helped those who are truly our enemies with recruiting, with milking us dry economically (think the trillion dollars we will spend on Iraq is going to help us economically?), and by taking our focus away from the people who really attacked us. To me, that's treason.

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