There has been much conversation floating among grassroots Americans of treason or treasonous actions by our government at all levels. This has led to a study on what the legal definition of treason is and how it should be applied. This article is the result of that research. We never thought we would write something on this, but there are many things none of us thought we would have to do.
So, what is treason exactly? To legally define this term, we must first start with what it says in the U.S. Constitution. Article 3, Subsection 3, clause 1. It states:
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
We will be looking at the legal definitions of several words utilized in this definition in order to study what it actually means. All definitions provided, have been researched in Black's Law Dictionary and have been referenced with case law backing.
What is the meaning of the word “WAR”? The definition of war is not as easy as one may have thought. The legal definition is much different than the one we learned in school. That definition was an armed conflict between two countries. The legal definition however, is a much deeper meaning. Here is what that definition is (omitting the case law references):
Hostile contention by means of armed forces, carried on between nations, states, or rulers, or between parties in the same nation or state. A contest by force between two or more nations, carried on for any purpose or armed conflict of sovereign powers or declared and open hostilities, or the state of nations among whom there is an interruption of pacific relations, and a general contention by force authorized by the sovereign. “War” does not exist merely because of an armed attack by the military forces of another nation until it is a condition recognized or accepted by political authority of government which is attacked, either through actual declaration of war, or other acts demonstrating such position.
In other words, the “war on terror” having been announced by a sitting President, and including Nations who harbor terrorists or promote terrorist activities then becomes a state of War under the legal definition. In order to fully understand what this means as far as our Government’s treatment of terrorists we must then look to the definitions of “enemy”. According to Black's Law Dictionary there are several classifications of what an enemy is. For the purposes of this article, we must look at each of these definitions in order to see just how far away from actual law we have drifted.
1. “Enemy, in public law, signifies either the state which is at war with another, or a citizen or subject of such state, or a person, partnership, or corporation doing business within the territory of an enemy state or an ally thereof.”
2. “Alien Enemy, an alien, that is, a citizen or subject of a foreign state or power, residing within a given country, is called an “alien ami” if the country where he lives is at peace with the country of which he is a citizen or subject; but if a state of war exists between the two countries, he is called an “alien enemy”. And in that character is denied access to the courts or aid from any of the departments of government.”
3. “Enemy Belligerent, citizens who associate themselves with the military arm of an enemy government and enter the United States bent on hostile acts”.
4. “Enemy’s Property, in international law, and particularly in the usage of prize courts, this term designates any property which is engaged or used in illegal intercourse with the public enemy, whether belonging to an ally or a citizen, as the illegal traffic stamps it with the hostile character and attaches to it all the penal consequences”
5. “Public Enemy, a nation at war with the United States; also every citizen or subject of such a nation. Not including robbers, thieves, private depredators or riotous mobs. The term has latterly acquired, in the vocabulary of journalism and civic indignation, a more extended meaning, denoting a particularly notorious offender against the criminal laws, especially one who seems more or less immune from successful prosecution.”
Now that we know what the definitions of war and enemy are, we need to know what it means to “ adhere” or to “provide aid and comfort”. Then we can start to draw some conclusions.
“Adhering, (1) joining, leagued with, cleaving to; consists in giving to the United States the loyalty due from a citizen. (2) Any intentional act furthering hostile designs of enemies of the United States, or an act which intentionally strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or which weakens or tends to weaken power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies.”
“Rebels being citizens are not “enemies” within the meaning of the Constitution, hence a conviction for treason, in promoting a rebellion, cannot be sustained under that branch of the constitutional definition which speaks of “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort”.
“Aid and Comfort, Help; support; assistance; counsel; encouragement. As an element in the crime of treason, the giving of “aid and comfort” to the enemy may consist in a mere attempt. It is not essential to constitute the giving of aid and comfort that the enterprise commenced should be successful and actually render assistance. An act which intentionally strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or which weakens or tends to weaken power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies.
Now to tie everything together. We can more accurately say that the Constitutional definition would be as follows:
Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying a hostile contention of armed forces against this country and having been accepted by the sovereign of their nations and the United States as an act of War; or any intentional act furthering hostile designs of enemies (as defined in that section) of the United States, or an act which intentionally strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or which weakens or tends to weaken power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies; giving them help, support, assistance, counsel, encouragement, or the attempt thereof.
As you can see, this radically transforms the way we look at the actions of our government as well as the way we begin to view the world around us, the post 9/11 world. The world of Jihad around the world and the material support our government is sending overseas.
Every action any of our Representatives take, should be measured by these legal yardsticks to determine where they really stand. Do they stand on the side of America and its citizens, or have they committed any of these acts? How much supporting of our enemies, by legal definition, have they done or are they allowing to be done? How strengthened are our enemies, how weakened are we to repel or attack?
Every American, regardless of Party should be asking themselves these questions in light of the most recent news.
This is Part 1 of the legal definitions. Part 2 will include a definition for “Misprision of Treason”. This subject requires an article dedicated to just that subject, as it has to do with collusion either before or after the fact.