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Treason? Not treason?(48 posts)

Treason? Not treason?OldEdScott
Dec 29, 2003 12:48 PM
Which side are you on?

So far we have $$ and 53T on record as saying disagreeing with the President in not treason. I can only assume they include disagreeing about the war, which seems to the the bone on which the charge of treason is generally hung. Correct me if I'm wrong, gentlemen.

So this is a poll. Here's a statement:

"This evil Bush character and the gangsters who surround him are disastrously wrong on Iraq, and the troops need to be brought home NOW."

Is that statement treason or not treason?

Don't argue the merits of the statement. Just answer if SAYING IT is treasonous. You may say why, as long as you don't argue the merits of the statement.
Legally, no (nm)bill105
Dec 29, 2003 12:54 PM
Not. Unlesspurplepaul
Dec 29, 2003 1:05 PM
they are holding a gun to the president's head while they're saying it.
Depends who's saying it...TJeanloz
Dec 29, 2003 1:08 PM
Though I think your obsession with "treason" is childish and stupid, I'll answer this one.

I think the above is fair game for any citizen of the world to say, except direct subordinates of the President/Commander in Chief. Coming from the lips of an army officer, I think it might rise to the level of "treason" - but I'm not entirely sure if it does cross that threshold.

Either way, anybody who says it is exhibiting extraordinarily poor taste.
Not treason if said by militarysn69
Dec 29, 2003 1:11 PM
But it would constitute a criminal violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and could result in formal reprimand or prosecution.

Treason is a different critter entirely, regardless of what Ms Coulter likes to say.
Much that you say is childish and stupid, basedOldEdScott
Dec 29, 2003 3:51 PM
in an incredibly lofty 'let them eat cake' detachment. I would even say naivety. But I'm normally kind enough to not point that out. Let us hope you gain kindness as you age.

The issue of treason is raised by the right, not by me, son. I'm just responding to their, and now your, slanders.
Thank you ever so much for that last post....nmbicyclerepairman
Dec 29, 2003 4:09 PM
Here is the problem53T
Dec 29, 2003 5:59 PM
The issue of treason is not "raised by the right" as you say. Hell, I am the right, and I'm not raising it. Your insistance that someone (some real person) is truly crying treason is what is drawing the criticism of your question.
I can name names. Ho, ho.OldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 5:47 AM
'Naming names' was what McCarthy wanted in his hearings, wasn't it?

I commend you for being a principled right winger, and truly respect that. You and $$ both seem from the rational right. Just part of the American political spectrum, a necessary part, and I have no quarrel with you. Hell, I started life as a Gioldwater Republican.

Oh, names: Well, the lovely Ms. Coulter has a book TITLED 'Treason' that has some felicitous subtitle about 'liberal treachery.' She has talked about 'detention camps' at least once in an interview that I personally heard, with Sean Hannity, who wholeheartedly agreed that treasonous liberals might need to be rounded up. I have heard personally a Rush Limbaugh substitute (Dr Williams, is that his name?)talk with Ms. Coulter about liberal treason, calling her a 'great American' for finally daring to speak this 'important truth.'. On this very board, Live Steam has wholeheartedly endorsed the Coulter-Hannity-McCarthy position. I can't keep up with all the right wing radio hosts out there, they are legion, but a couple of weeks ago on Clear Channel's 'The Weekend' I heard some raver all jacked up on Democrat treason, and his callers were rushing to agree.

I dunno, man. Seems like an idea out there in the Right. And if you're bothered by it, good for you! -- we need REAL conservatives in the debate, and I encourage you to fight to take your party back from the radicals.
Moderation in persuit of justice is no virtue.53T
Dec 30, 2003 6:44 AM
So, amoung credible right wingers you have Ann C., Dr. Williams, Hannity and LiveSteam. Surely, as a former Goldwater-ite you can tell the real thing from the fool's gold!

Our party is really not in the hands of the radicals. GWB himself is somewhat to my left, although decidedly right of center, particularly on economic issues. He believes in trickle-down (I'm not afraid to use that term!). He has, however, selected several advisers who do not toe the conservative/liberatarian line on social issues. Chief amoung them is the AG John Ashcroft. If the AG was a real conservative we would have seen the repeal of the rifle ban by now. He also would have used the terrorist situation as an opportunity to trumpet individual civil rights in the face of adversity, rather than trample them like every other soft-core adminstration since Jefferson has done.

I'm not advocating doing anything differently that is being done now, but a different spin should have been put on it all. The administration should have set itself up as the protector of the rights of American Muslims, the captured Afgan fighters, and all citizens and residents (while of course continuing with the secluded interegations, military trials, and other investigations). The Total Information Awareness Act should never have been launched, since it does nothing that could not have been done by departmental action, out of the spotlight. The Dept. of Homeland Defence is a good idea, partly because Tom Ridge is a good conservative. A less principled man would surely run amuck with that department. I hear libs complain that they don't see anything happening at Homeland Security, of course they don't recognize conservative governance when they see it. The same folks complained the the Congress under Gingrich could not accomplish anything, which is exactly what we wanted!
Neo-cons are leftists, man! They're freakin'OldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 7:14 AM
Trotskyists, permanent world revolution and all that, fixing all the bad shyt in the world behind an American Vangard!

You Repubs need to TOSS these crypto-liberal Trots and get back to your economic-conservative roots. Read! It's a GREAT nutty right wing Goldwatery site. I absolutely love it. Here's a bit of VDare:

"(Neoconservatism is) a leftist revolutionary movement.

For that is what neoconservatism is. The reason the self-defined Trotskyist editors at Le Monde published on April 16 a lavishly laudatory feature article [Le stratège et le philosophe, April 16, 2003 Le Monde] on the Straussians and neocons - something they would never dream of doing for a real American or European conservative - is that they recognize the family resemblance. Unlike Buchanan or the Flemish separatists, whom Le Monde and the French neocon daily Le Figaro attack as xenophobes, Le Monde's self-described former Trotskyist chief, Edouard Plenel, knows global revolutionaries when he sees them. Thus Le Monde asserts that the Religious Right "skirts anti-Semitism," but it presents the neoconservatives as "brilliant" and fundamentally opposed to "fascism" (a Trotskyist-neocon code word for the Right).

Similarly, the anti-Communist Jewish liberal Sam Tanenhaus focused his attention (April 16, Slate) on the Trotskyist theme of "permanent revolution" that he and others have found to be at the heart of neocon policies and rhetoric. (Tanenhaus, following the sacred principle that paleoconservatives should never be credited with anything, attributed this insight to derivative liberal interpreters.)

And the New York Times religion editor Ian Buruma has just devoted a long column in the London Times (April 19, If we ruled the world: a tale of two revolutions) to making the same argument.

Thus my term "Goldbergism" designates a particular leftist sectarian tradition, like "Lovestoneites," "Trotskyists," or "Bernsteinians." That all these leftist sects were descended from Jewish founders redounds to our ethnic credit. One would not expect Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, or Cal Thomas to found anything of note. Indeed, neocon goyim seem to be picked for their invincible stupidity—or for never straying from a prescribed neocon position.

Now allow me to call admiring attention to a few near-thoughts in Jonah's April 18, 2003 syndicated column. ["Conservatives want change--when it's necessary"]

In it, Jonah complains that he is baffled by "the inconsistency of the anti-war liberals." He's right. If such liberals were consistent about their leftism, as he says, they would want to "fix the problems of other countries" universally - which is the neocon project. Jonah wants to spend our savings "tearing down the crack houses of the world," e.g. Iraq.

In all of this, the neocons have shown themselves to be consistent leftists. Without frontally challenging the left at home - and indeed while celebrating a radicalized American government and society - neocons work to spread our form of "democratic modernization" throughout the world. Michael Ledeen, who is a fave at NR, tacitly pays homage to Trotsky's concept of permanent world revolution when he praises America's alleged universal commitment to "creative destruction."

GREAT stuff! Go to
for tons more REAL right wing enlightenment.
Permanent Revolution, why not?53T
Dec 30, 2003 7:49 AM
... as long as it doesn't cost too much! Thanks for the link!
this does not sound like principled conservatism to me:dr hoo
Dec 30, 2003 7:24 AM
"The Dept. of Homeland Defence is a good idea, partly because Tom Ridge is a good conservative. A less principled man would surely run amuck with that department. "

You are praising the creation of a huge governmental agency, one that you see as having the potential to "run amok"? Explain how that is conservative please. Goverment agencies don't shrink, don't go away, they just grow, and grow, and grow.

I judge government structures not by what happens when good people inhabit them, but what they can do when idiots or actively malicious people inhabit them. From your perspective, will you like the department of homeland security if Dean gets elected and puts some socialist do-gooder in place of Ridge? If that idea scares you, maybe you should think about what this agency mean for the future of this nation. The nation might be swinging far right now, but the pendulum always swings back... eventually.

FWIW, I worry about Homeland in that it seems to be slipping by without enough congressional and judicial checking and balancing. But given time, I hope things will change on that level. Hope springs eternal.

"The same folks complained the the Congress under Gingrich could not accomplish anything, which is exactly what we wanted!"

I WISH the republicans were for less government. Evidence shows though, that they are for MORE government, just in different ways than democrats. I don't like the republicans having control of everything in washington, and I would not like the democract having everything either. The best do nothing government we are likely to see is divided government.

I wish the libertarians would rename the party the "Repeal" party, and vow to pursue only legislation that would repeal laws and eliminate programs. THAT would be nice.
I believe you're making 53T's pointOldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 7:37 AM
Or at least agreeing with him. This gang of so-called 'Republicans' in Washington DOES want more and bigger government, something a real Republican like 53T does NOT want.
Really now53T
Dec 30, 2003 7:47 AM
What is Homeland Defence except a computer network that all these existing federal agencies now subscribe to? The only new agency that was created was the TSA, and I admit that there is some room for improvement there, but not much.

I've seen the TSA in action, and believe me, these folks were already on the gov't payroll in the form of diability, social security or just plain welfare of some sort. I have not seen a single one, below the supervisor grade, who is in any way employable in the private sector.

All in all, Homeland Defence might look like a big expansion, but is a lot less than meets the eye. And surely Ridge, as it's first chief, will have a big hand in the future operation of the group through his precedent setting daily activities.

Conservatives truly are in favor of less government, but not all Republicans are conservatives. The Chafee family from Rhode Island comes to mind. Gingrich was certainly a man dedicated to shrinking government. Wasn't it on his watch that the first Clinton Administration shutdown occured over budget disputes?
organizational structure:dr hoo
Dec 30, 2003 11:19 AM
According to the DHS website:

DHS has Five Major Divisions, or "Directorates":
The Department is comprised of five major divisions or directorates: Border & Transportation Security; Emergency Preparedness & Response; Science & Technology; Information Analysis & Infrastructure Protection; and Management.

Sounds like more than a "computer network" to me. If you look at the organizational chart, there is more there than just reshuffling existing people and programs; it includes many new postitions and layers of bureacracy. And it will only grow, as all bureacracies do. Who thought when Social Security was started in the 30s that it would lead to welfare (AFDC, etc.) in the 60s? (somewhere I have the specifics of what part of SS AFDC fell under, but it really doesn't matter for this discussion).

Ridge has power, no question. But how much of the bureaucratic inertia from 8 years of Clinton is still in operation in the current administration? Not a lot. The power will remain and grow, but keep in mind that the targets the power is aimed at can and will shift over time.
so in other words.rufus
Dec 30, 2003 10:48 AM
instead of coming right out and trampling on people's rights, they should do it quietly in the background, so no one knows its going on, all the time voicing platitudes about tolerance and defense of invidual liberties?

sounds pretty similar to what's going on. Clear Skies initiative-warm and fuzzy dialogue about making our air cleaner, while the actual legislation guts environmental protections so big business can have it easier. The Medicare reform act, which talks good about private insurerers and choice, and greater freedom, and prescription drugs, but will basically force all but the sickest off medicare.
Just checking in and found this bit of ....Live Steam
Dec 31, 2003 11:00 AM
misinformation :O) "On this very board, Live Steam has wholeheartedly endorsed the Coulter-Hannity-McCarthy position."

When did I endorse detention camps? Also, I have always said Sean Hannity annoys me. Why would I support some outlandish statement like this?

I see what you're up to though. Nice try! "Take back our party from the radicals" :O) LOL!! This is what we, conservatives, have been suggesting to you leftwing panty wastes! You have one big problem with your plan - there are more poeple from both parties that lean toward the conservative right than there are peace, luv and flower children that vote. More people see that detente does not work well in this day of international terror. It presents a weak front and opens up vulnerability. As I said last week, all nations are out to protect their own interests and are not concerned for the welfare of the World community. And, if that were not true, our "allies" would have stood shoulder to shoulder with us against Iraq and forced unfettered inspections by not holding out support of armed action. Instead they were more concerned about preserving a market for their arms and a source of cheap oil and gave Saddam reason to believe that he would survive yet another episode and make the UN look foolish and ineffectual.

So, in the end, you (the Dumocratic party) will be forced to rein in your radicals because they appear to be out of touch with the New World, or risk being slaughtered at the polls!

Happy New Year to everyone! May you prosper and live healthy and happy lives, for our time here is short!
Yeah, inflammatory rhetoric from both sides really helps (nm)TJeanloz
Dec 30, 2003 6:08 AM
And it makes the political types seem so mature.
Of course you can disagreemoneyman
Dec 29, 2003 1:09 PM
It would be pretty frightening if you couldn't. And no, your statement is not treasonous.

Don't think so...ColnagoFE
Dec 29, 2003 1:37 PM
here is the def of treason: "Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies."

I suppose it depends on how you define "Violation of allegiance" but I'd think for it to be treason you'd have to have some element of wanting to forcibly overthrow the president or waging war against one's country in it. I don't think criticism--no matter how harsh--qualifies. And just saying most things is covered by free speech. Though if you start talking about asassination or the like you cross the line.
addendum to dictionary.comColnagoFE
Dec 29, 2003 1:41 PM
It also mentions there "In the United States, treason is confined to the actual levying of war against the United States, or to an adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." And no...I don't think you can define liberals as "the enemy".
Sounds more like Sedition.MR_GRUMPY
Dec 29, 2003 2:03 PM
16 May, 1918
The U.S. Sedition Act

United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, pp 553 ff.
A portion of the amendment to Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917.

SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....

Lock up those Commies.
I'll race you...bill105
Dec 29, 2003 2:07 PM
to see who can turn Old Ed in first!
1st Amend. trumps statutes nmDougSloan
Dec 29, 2003 3:38 PM
I wonder how many people went to prison because of the Act.MR_GRUMPY
Dec 29, 2003 5:03 PM
I wonder if george will try to bring it back ?
evolving 1st AmendmentDougSloan
Dec 30, 2003 7:29 AM
The 1st Amend. is getting stronger all the time, with many thanks to the Supremes and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals here on the west coast. It's not what it used to be. Darn near anything that passes for speech is protected, short of threats of imminent violence. The courts are particular protective of political speech, so no one could ever be convicted (at least have it hold up on appeal) for criticizing the government any more.

No, GWB could not "bring it back," unless he could muster a constitutional amendment.

short of an amendment, wouldn't declaring...dr hoo
Dec 30, 2003 11:25 AM
... martial law allow it? I think General Franks comments would be consistant with this.
not aware how that would work; improbable nmDougSloan
Dec 30, 2003 12:21 PM
Don't give these people ideas!OldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 2:55 PM
But really, nah, the country would never stand for it, even if it could be legally done.
I'm not worried.dr hoo
Dec 30, 2003 3:12 PM
I am sure there are enough weapons in my neighborhood to overthrow a small latin american country. And a willingness to use them, should the need arise.
Not treason, but great incendiary politics nmPdxMark
Dec 29, 2003 2:33 PM
no; it's 1st Amend. protected speech nmDougSloan
Dec 29, 2003 3:35 PM
more US Code re: treason, etc.DougSloan
Dec 29, 2003 3:40 PM
Pretty scary that you have to ask, but spoze it were Clinton.Cory
Dec 29, 2003 3:50 PM
Not treason, IMO. Seems to me it's protected by the First A (which has been hugely overapplied, I think, even though I'm in the business). It's pretty scary that the subject even comes up.
A side issue, though: If criticizing Bush's policies, whatever they are, is treason, wasn't criticizing Clinton's policies, whatever they are, also treason? It's criticism of the OFFICE we're talking about, right, not the policies? .
Yeah, but Clinton was so obviously wrong.purplepaul
Dec 29, 2003 4:27 PM
Just joking!

I have to laugh at the hypocrisy of both parties. It's truly unbelievable that Republicans are doing things now for which they rabidly attacked the Dems. And a big vice versa.
Dec 29, 2003 5:07 PM that. Which is why the two-party hold on things never seems to end. Remember back in '80 when the main distinguishing factor between Reagan and Bush was that Bush was pro-choice (at least until Reagan made him his running mate)? These people will say anything for a vote and 97% of the voting electorate will buy it, then split hairs for four years on forums such as this.

And wasn't Ted Kennedy pushing for prescription drug benefits since 1842, when he was first elected to the Senate, until the day before Medicare reform was passed?

The only thing that is possibly worse is when obvious Dems or Republicans say that they're really "Greens" or "Libertarians" but then always end up voting Dem or Republican come election day so they don't end up "wasting a vote."

Dec 29, 2003 6:01 PM
OK, right now, name me one Republican who got a hummer in the oval office. That my "apathy now" friend is an act that will not soon be topped.
PS to your BSpurplepaul
Dec 29, 2003 6:11 PM
Actually, I believe it was common for presidents to have extramarital sex in the White House but reporters didn't cover it out of respect for the, ahem, position.

So, can I prove that a Republican had sex with a secretary or intern on the President's desk? No. But I would hope at least one of them has.

Now, exactly why is this such a national issue?
Warren G. Hardingmickey-mac
Dec 29, 2003 6:24 PM
Back in the day, old Warren G out-Clintoned Clinton. "You don't see what I see, everyday as Warren G."
excellent use of the Warren G. quote n.m.shawndoggy
Dec 29, 2003 8:14 PM
Harding was legendary.OldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 6:03 AM
Wouldn't have surprised me if Ike got a hummer somewhere in the White House from a woman not his wife. He had a gal friend, certainly. Then you have Nixon, who was sexless and, frankly, of doubtful human origin. Reagan was old in the years before Viagra. And there are very credible reports of Bush Senior and a certain female correspondent going at it hammer and tongs for several years, as both VP and P. I won't name names on this one, though, cause I truly don't give a shyt about politicians sex lives (or religious posturings). Dubya gets his rocks off in more manly pursuits, like executions and wars, which may or may not be an improvement depending on your sexuo-political leanings.
not treasongtx
Dec 30, 2003 10:04 AM
In my thoroughly biased opinion. Did someone say this? I like the "gangsters" part. And that was quite a stinger you delivered to TJ. Ouch.
Naw, I wrote it just forOldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 10:38 AM
the sake of the question.

I like 'gangsters' too. It's lively language, and accurate. Less off-putting than 'thugs,' which I also use a lot to describe the Bush-Cheney Junta.
only problem is...gtx
Dec 30, 2003 11:22 AM
'Gangsters' makes them sound a bit more fun and romantic than they actually are. And unlike real gangsters these guys have no experience actually pulling a trigger or doing any dirty work themselves--they're all a bunch of chicken hawks who have never put themselves in harms way (unless you include being behind a steering wheel when drunk). So how about 'shady, mean-spirited, disingenuous, manipulative creeps'?
First rule of political communication:OldEdScott
Dec 30, 2003 11:27 AM
never fall in love with your language, and keep it short and punchy. Your instincts and perceptions are correct. We just need to tighten you up a bit. 'Mean-spirited creeps' would do very nicely. Especially with soccer moms.
Not being a soccer mom, I'd prefer something likeStarliner
Dec 30, 2003 12:10 PM
"shady used car salesmen" or "cabal of card cheats"
yeah, they like sending other people's kidsrufus
Dec 30, 2003 12:01 PM
to fight and die for their "reshaping the world" fantasies.

I swear they see the world as one giant Risk board.