Public Service Announcement

Due to the annoyance of encountering people in the U.S. screaming “TREASON!!” at virtually anything they don’t like, from supporting Wikileaks to even so much as suggesting military spending should decrease, I am doing my part to disseminate the fact that there is a legal definition of treason here, and a specific criteria for establishing guilt.  This is the standard:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open court.
-U.S. constitution, Article 3, Section 3

The best example I can give of how difficult it is to meet this standard, as compared to the ridiculously loose popular interpretation, is that John Walker Lindh (the U.S. citizen that actually went to Afghanistan and joined the Taliban in fighting) was not charged with treason.  Seriously.  “Material support”, yes, but not treason.  Somehow I doubt hosting a website the U.S. government doesn’t like can touch this definition if physically picking up arms for a foreign army can’t.


About b-psycho

Left-libertarian blogger & occasional musician.
This entry was posted in fevered barking, law. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Public Service Announcement

  1. Todd S. says:

    Would not one also have to be a citizen of the country as well to actually be charged with treason? Otherwise, you’d just be an enemy combatant.

  2. B Psycho says:

    Obviously. The people that don’t even get THAT I doubt can be helped though.

    BTW: I do find it hella amusing that the biggest jingoistic uber-patriot types are, in a way, adopting a form of globalism/”one world government” by acting as if the entire world is subject to U.S. law.

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