by Scott Horton Antiwar.com August 17, 2005
â€œCasey knew that the war was wrong from the beginning. But he felt it was his duty to go, that his buddies were going, and that he had no choice. The people who send our young, honorable, brave soldiers to die in this war, have no skin in the game. They donâ€™t have any loved ones in harmâ€™s way. As for people like Oâ€™Reilly and Hannity and Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and all the others who are attacking me and parroting the administration line that we must complete the mission there â€“ they donâ€™t have one thing at stake. They donâ€™t suffer through sleepless nights worrying about their loved ones.â€
â€“Â Cindy Sheehan
International blowhardÂ Bill Oâ€™ReillyÂ has decided itâ€™s his duty to smear as a traitor the mother of a dead American soldier for standing up to the â€œpublic servantâ€ who sentÂ the young manÂ off to die forÂ lies. Cindy Sheehan is demanding a chance to speak toÂ BushÂ outside of the Crawford, Texas,Â pig farmÂ chosen for Bush by his PR menÂ duringÂ his presidential run. Oâ€™Reilly hides hisÂ accusationsÂ behind the presumed feelings of unnamed others.Â In an exchange with theÂ pro-concentration campÂ Michelle Malkin on the Fox News Channel, he said:
â€œ[S]heâ€™s the lead story on Michael Mooreâ€™s Web site on an almost daily basis. And she knows â€“ I mean, Michael Moore isnâ€™t a subtle guy. Everybody knows where he stands. I think Mrs. Sheehan bears some responsibility for this and also for the responsibility of other American families who have lost sons and daughters in Iraq who feel that this kind of behavior borders on treasonous.â€
Besides theÂ ridiculousÂ guilt by association (Did you hear sheâ€™s friends with a gal who once wrote nice things about Castro and that she obviously hates Jews since she uses the word â€œneoconâ€?), what exactly is it that sheâ€™s responsible for? TheÂ deathsÂ of the kids whose families he invokes? Their sadness?
Treason is the only crime defined in theÂ U.S. Constitution, and the definition is specific, â€œTreason 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.â€ They did this specifically to prevent the state from being able to label dissent against their policy as treason.
There is nothing that â€œbordersâ€ on treason.
â€œThis is the only definition of treason given by the Constitution, and it is to be interpreted, like all other criminal laws, in the sense most favorable to liberty and justice. Consequently the treason here spoken of, must be held to be treason in fact, and not merely something that may have been falsely called by that name.
â€œTo determine, then, what is treason in fact, we are not to look to the codes of Kings, and Czars, and Kaisers, who maintain their power by force and fraud; who contemptuously call mankind their â€˜subjects;â€™ who claim to have a special license from heaven to rule on earth; who teach that it is a religious duty of mankind to obey them; who bribe a servile and corrupt priest-hood to impress these ideas upon the ignorant and superstitious; who spurn the idea that their authority is derived from, or dependent at all upon, the consent of their people; and who attempt to defame, by the false epithet of traitors, all who assert their own rights, and the rights of their fellow men, against such usurpations.
â€œInstead of regarding this false and calumnious meaning of the word treason, we are to look at its true and legitimate meaning in our mother tongue; at its use in common life; and at what would necessarily be its true meaning in any other contracts, or articles of association, which men might voluntarily enter into with each other.
â€œThe true and legitimate meaning of the word treason, then, necessarily implies treachery, deceit, breach of faith. Without these, there can be no treason. A traitor is a betrayer â€“ one who practices injury, while professing friendship. Benedict Arnold was a traitor, solely because, while professing friendship for the American cause, he attempted to injure it.â€
HereÂ Spooner, a Boston Yankee, is defending those who had, in fact, renounced their allegiance to the state and waged war against it. All Cindy Sheehan, self-described â€œtrue patriot,â€ is doing is demanding to know the answer to her question, â€œWhy did my son die in Iraq?â€ She has not committed any â€œovert actsâ€ on behalf of The TerroristsÂ™, she just opposes this war.
The reason of a man like Spooner is no match for the feelings of a man like Oâ€™Reilly, who never misses the opportunity to take the side of the state against an individual, so letâ€™s go ahead and accept his definition of treason for the sake of argument. Since Bill canâ€™t bring himself to speak directly when leveling such accusations, letâ€™s go with the idea that those who argue for policies that supposedly help our enemies are traitors, e.g., Michael Moore and his co-conspirator Cindy Sheehan.
So far the war in Iraq has costÂ 1,846Â American lives with more than 14,000 wounded. More thanÂ $300 billionÂ has been wasted as Congress raises the debt ceiling toÂ $9 trillion, the value of the money is being destroyedÂ through inflation, and prices have soared â€“ including oil, which is nowÂ over $65 per barrel.Â Bond-holders,Â bomb-makers [.pdf], and base-builders are making a killing off the taxpayers, while the economy suffers. Some fear economic catastrophe; some actually hope an economic collapse will hurry up and destroy the U.S. before we start World War III.
The expertsÂ atÂ the CIA, theÂ Royal Institute for International AffairsÂ [.pdf], as well as anÂ Israeli think tank and the Saudi government, along with about everyone on earth who doesnâ€™t work for Fox News, can see that the war in Iraq has greatly expanded the number of jihadists bent on killing Americans. It is exactlyÂ what bin Laden wanted.
The Iranian mullahsÂ have a large new province, havingÂ long agoÂ won the loyalty of theÂ SCIRI and Daâ€™waÂ partiesâ€™ leadership. Hopefully this will not be just one more excuse toÂ invade them. The U.S. is well on the way to becoming the international â€œrogue stateâ€ that weâ€™reÂ alwaysÂ invading others for being (China is now more popular in worldwide polls). TheÂ PATRIOT Act, theÂ Department of Homeland Security, and so-called â€œenemy combatantâ€ status for Americans are destroying theÂ rights and separations of powerÂ that made America a great place to live in the first place.
The really interesting part is who did the lying: aÂ cabalÂ ofÂ ex-TrotskyiteÂ eggheadÂ civilian appointeesÂ toÂ the PentagonÂ (none of whom were ever in the military, and one of whom has beenÂ indictedÂ [.pdf] for spying), who had planned to invade IraqÂ for yearsÂ as part of their â€œClean Breakâ€ strategy for Israel. They funneledÂ the lies of Ahmed Chalabi, who,Â it turns out,Â was working for Iran all along, to the administration via their â€œstovepipeâ€ to theÂ vice presidentâ€˜s office, who fed them to us.
Two weeks ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari went to IranÂ to lay a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Khomenei. The majority of Iraqâ€™s elected officials want toenshrine sharia lawÂ in the new constitution. Barbers are beingÂ murderedÂ by the â€œpoliceâ€ in Basra, once the freest city in Iraq, for giving a man a shave and a haircut. That is the freedom the U.S. has brought to Iraq. The mission is complete: Majority rule is taking hold in Iraq, and if you think this is failure, just wait until the full-blown civil war breaks out.
George BushÂ saysÂ that to â€œjust pull out,â€ (not a very manly thing to do) would â€œsend a terrible message to the terrorists.â€ Never mind the local insurgents who want us out. No, must stay forÂ at least a decadeÂ toÂ advanceÂ the â€œGlobal Democratic Revolutionâ€ across the Middle East â€“ and to create a million more terrorists to kill later. Never mind that Bush has at this late date, besides repeating the foolish refrain â€œhe refused to disarm,â€Â reduced his pathetic excusesÂ for invading Iraq in the first place toÂ Abu Nidal, who had been dead since 2002, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose â€œterrorist baseâ€ was upÂ in Kurdistan, which, beneath the â€œno-fly zones,â€ was basically an autonomous region controlled by our friendsÂ BarzaniÂ andÂ Talabani. It has been revealed that the U.S. military had wanted to go in and kill Zarqawi, butÂ Bush would not let them attackÂ for fear it would undercut their fake excuse for war.
Bill Oâ€™Reilly keepsÂ â€œmouthingÂ thisÂ far leftÂ positionâ€ that the U.S. should tax and spend around the world, smashing societies and then socially engineering them back to wonderful â€œdemocraticâ€ health for the greater good. Add to this his national-socialist â€œpopulistâ€ brownshirt mentality â€“ â€œyouâ€™re either with me, or youâ€™re my enemyâ€ â€“ and you have two positions that couldnâ€™t be more destructive to the future of this country if they were designed by agents of the old KGB.
So, Bill, who is the traitor?