God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Concept Of Treason

Ann Coulter says "take treason seriously." It isn't a hard concept to grasp, being very clearly defined in the Constitution and U.S. Code.

The U.S. Constitution:
Article III, Section 3: 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.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
By publishing that article the New York Times certainly seems to have met that standard. Let's look at the definitions of "adhering", "aid", and "comfort":
  • Adhere - to give support or maintain loyalty.
  • Aid - to help, to provide with what is useful or necessary in achieving an end, to give assistance.
  • Comfort - to give strength and hope to, to ease the grief or trouble of.
Congress has declared the punishment of treason thusly:

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2381. Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
I'm not saying anyone has committed treason, or should be tried for committing treason. But looking at how we define the concept, certainly puts the people responsible for that article on a slippery slope.*
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*NOTE: This post is in no way meant to impune Real Estate Agents. Real Estate Agents are the most patriotic group of people in the country and would never, ever committ treason.

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