Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Debate: Treason: True or False?

OK. The web makes us lazy. Dictionary.com reports the following meanings for the word TREASON.

  1. the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
  2. a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
  3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
1. Treason, sedition mean disloyalty or treachery to one's country or its government.
  1. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance;
  2. the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government.
Reference.com's encyclopedia entry for Treason shows:

Treason, legal term for various acts of disloyalty.

The English law, first clearly stated in the Statute of Treasons (1350),
originally distinguished high treason from petit (or petty) treason. aka High Treason.

Petit treason was the murder of one's lawful superior, e.g., murder of his master by an apprentice. In the 1800's, English law was reformed; petit treason was abolished, and cruel methods of executing traitors were forbidden

High treason constituted a serious threat to the stability or continuity of the state.
  1. It included attempts to kill the king, the queen, or the heir apparent or to restrain their liberty;
  2. to counterfeit coinage or the royal seal;
  3. and to wage war against the kingdom.
Treason is specifically defined in the U.S. Constitution:
Article 3 of the Constitution thus provides that treason shall consist only in levying war against the United States or in giving aid and comfort to its enemies and that conviction may be had only on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or on confession in open court.
Status in USA:
There have been fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions.


Based on The new Bob Woodward book, The War Within: A White House divided
In an interview on NPR with Terry Gross, Bob Woodward discusses his fourth book on the Bush 43 Presidency. Listen to the interview HERE:
Woodward states quite clearly, based on personal interviews with the president, that "In key moments, the president was not there at the meetings where [administration members] were confronting the reality that they had a strategy that was not working.”
Hmm. Maybe it's NOT Treason after all. Perhaps "Dereliction of Duty" fits better. Or, perhaps, simply "criminally stupid"?


OK, you wanted a Political discussion: Here goes.

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