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A Few Questions About 21st Century Treason To Consider Viewed 52,877 timesBy: Bill Tew
Published for Orem, Utah (Area-Info.net May. 15, 2012)
According to the late Dr. Cleon Skousen, “In colonial times, according to Blackstone, England had seventeen different acts which were described as ‘treason.’ The penalty was death by hanging until unconscious, followed by revival, then disemboweling, beheading and quartering. In the Constitutional Convention it was proposed that the Congress be allowed to specifically define treason because the Founders felt that this might be abused by federal officials as it had been in England. Treason became the only crime to be defined in the Constitution. It was limited to two offenses.”
How does the U.S. Constitution define treason against our country? We find the answer in 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.”
A question arises then, who are the enemies of the United States? How can we tell they are enemies?
Consulting the 1828 “American Dictionary of The English Language,” by Noah Webster, a man contemporary with the age the Constitution was written and ratified, we find some simple definitions for the word “enemy.” We read that an enemy is “A foe; an adversary….A public enemy or foe, is one who belongs to a nation or party, at war with another.”
So it would seem that by definition we can tell who an enemy is by discovering who is at war with the United States or what nations we are at war with, right? It may be recalled that American military forces fought in the “Korean Police Action,” commonly called the “Korean War,” during the early 1950s. That war was never completely ended, but rather a temporary “truce” or suspension of hostilities was put in place, but our soldiers remained at the 38th parallel on the South Korean Side, which have ever since been referred to as the “demilitarized zone.” Thus, our soldiers still face off against the “enemy” or foe across a demilitarized zone in a temporary truce. What nations constitute the “enemy” in the Korean War? In the Supreme Court’s opinion, none of the nations with whom we fought in the Korean conflict actually constituted “enemy” nations.
Some 50,000 American soldiers were killed in fighting in South Korea against enemy soldiers from the nations of North Korea and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Division of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers from the PRC were engaged in combat with American troops in the Korea War. With only a temporary truce in place, do we remain at war with North Korea and the People’s Republic of China? As evidence that such is the case, we can look at our 30,000 American soldiers that patrol along the demilitarized zone in Korea as if they are awaiting the resumption of hostilities any minute. But, the Supreme Court believes that we were never at “war” with North Korea or Red China, because Congress never declared our bloody-conflict to be “war.”
So, if by definition, anyone who gives “Aid and Comfort” to an enemy of the U.S. is committing treason, can we identify any Americans who have given “Aid and Comfort” to the North Korean nation or government or to the PRC? If North Korea and Red-China remain our foes across the demilitarized zone, wouldn’t any American giving “Aid and Comfort “to Red China or North Korea be considered a traitor? It would seem reasonable, wouldn’t it? But coming to that conclusion may not be so easy.
What constitutes “Aid” or “Comfort” given to an enemy? Aid can be defined as: “1) Help; succor, support; assistance. 2) The person who aids or yields support; a helper; an auxiliary; also the thing that aids or yields succor.” “Comfort” is defined as: “To strengthen; to invigorate; to cheer or enliven.” Would strengthening an enemy’s economy, or strengthening their trading position in the world, or strengthening their missile guidance system qualify as “comfort” given to them then?
However, according to Dr. Skousen , “The Supreme Court has held that a foreign nation cannot be classified as an ‘enemy’ until Congress has made a formal declaration of war against it. It will be recalled that there was no declaration of war in the Korean or Vietnam wars; therefore, a number of American who were sympathetic to the communist North Koreans or the communist North Vietnamese collected for blood banks and assembled medicine, clothes, and other supplies to give aid and comfort to those who were killing thousands of American soldiers.” (Page 622, THE MAKING OF AMERICA-THE SUBSTANCE AND MEANING OF THE CONSTITUTION) Those Americans giving aid and comfort to our foes were not charged with treason because our foes in battle were not defined as enemies under a Congressional declaration of war.
While Congress never declared war on North Korea, nor on the PRC, nor on North Vietnam, nor on countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan, is there any present day evidence that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People’s Republic of China government, and their armed forces constituted under the banner of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) constitute a threat to America just as an enemy of the U.S. upon whom Congress had declared war?
In the1999 book RED DRAGON RISING, authors Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II asserted that the PLA, the CCP’s enforcement power, is a threat to America. The authors claimed that the same PLA that fought American troops in Korea is today “targeting the American people with nuclear weapons and is developing entirely new generations of land-, sea-, and space-based strategic weapons systems capable of threatening any location on earth.”
They claim that the PLA “is preparing for computer warfare (“information warfare”) against the American homeland, putting all Americans at risk;”
The two pointed out in 1999 that China’s PLA has been “selling the critical equipment necessary to make nuclear weapons, poison gas, biological weapons, and ballistic and cruise missiles to the most brutal terrorist regimes- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and North Korea- posing a direct strategic threat to the United States and its allies, including Israel, Japan, India, and even southern Europe.”
Is the brutal expansionist regime in China, a foe of the US? According to the two authors, “In the winter of 1994-1995,PRC President Jiang Zemin told PLA generals, “I am aware of the fact that the West remains our chief enemy.” (page 133, RED DRAGON RISING). Isn’t America commonly considered as a nation to be a key element of that area of the world characterized as “the West” by political scientist and politicians? Then, we Americans are considered by the PRC’s leadership as their “chief enemy.”
If the PRC and their PLA are indeed foes of the U.S., was it an act of supplying “Aid” to an enemy and thus treason in January of 1996 for then President Bill Clinton to lift the ban on exporting supercomputers to China? Since within the next two years at “least six hundred of the versatile machines had disappeared into the PRC,” were those who sold the super computers giving aid to an enemy? Apparently, as explained by Dr. Skousen, by the Supreme Court’s reckoning such acts of betrayal are not “treason” because Congress failed to declare war upon nations such as North Korea and China that we have engaged in war with and thereby outlaw the support of a de facto enemy. The Supreme Court apparently made this decision based on the theory that the “no win” wars in Korea and Vietnam were simply peace-keeping missions or “police actions” to fulfill our obligations under the SEATO pact of the United Nations. The Founders made it clear that unless Congress declares a war, there is no constitutional authority to fight a war.
Still shouldn’t the voters at least recognize betrayal when it occurs and use the ballot box to remove elected officials from office when their betrayal clearly endangers the security of our country?
PLA rockets were made more reliable by the technical assistance of Loral Corporation, an American corporation whose president at the time was the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign’s leading donor. Was that aiding of the PLA a treasonous act by Loral’s executives? According to the Supreme Court, no, since there was no declaration of war against China in force at the time. Was cronyism at the heart of the Clinton-Gore decision to allow Loral to help China’s rocket program and in this case was such cronyism a betrayal of America as a foe was aided by such assistance? Sure, it is a betrayal, but by the Supreme Court’s standard not treason.
In this light, isn’t the question of war even more important? Should Congress declare war formally before allowing a president to engage in war? Wouldn’t such a declaration insure that citizens of our country and alien citizens of other countries living within our boundaries would not commit acts of betrayal because of the consequence of being charged with treason?
These are the kinds of questions nobody seems to ask as most our federal elected office holders pretend that the PRC is our ally at the UN Security Council. What is Treason? The Constitution defines it. Have some Americans committed treason? According to the Supreme Court’s opinion, since Congress has not formally declared war against any nation since it declared war on Japan December 8, 1941, no American has committed treason, even spies caught turning over our deepest military secrets to the Russians would not be guilty of treason, espionage, yes, but not treason. That doesn’t mean that betrayals don’t occur that ought to be punished by removal of from office does it?
Could Congress itself commit acts of betrayal by aiding and comforting our foes, but not be guilty of treason? What about granting “Most Favored Nation” status to Red China, was that aiding, comforting and strengthening the PRC’s trade position in the world? Yes, but the PRC is not defined as an enemy under the Supreme Court’s opinion so that aid to China is not an act of treason. Have some of our presidents committed acts of betrayal without their acts rising to the standard of treason simply because a declaration of war against nations we have treated as foes was not in place? What should happen in those cases?
Hold a BS degree from USU with a double major and an Associates degree from UVU. Works in political education field.
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