Trump and Treason.

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The Romulan Republic
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Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 07:02am

https://lmtribune.com/opinion/did-you-v ... 55c77.html
This must be the season for treason.

In the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump gave a lesson on American justice to the visiting South Korean president. Speaking about the Mueller investigation and its origins, Trump said: “This is actually treason.”

This wasn’t offhand. On April 10, Trump tweeted that the probe was a “Treasonous Hoax” and that “what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS.” That same day, boarding Marine One, he reaffirmed that what Democrats and Justice Department officials did in the Mueller probe “was treason.”

On April 6, he declared it’s “about time the perpetrators ... start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts.” He added an injunction associated with the Holocaust: “Never Forget!”

This has become routine. Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “It was really treason. ... You are talking about major, major treason.” Minor treason is a thing?

Trump has publicly invoked “treason” or “treasonous” on 26 occasions, according to the Factba.se compilation of Trump utterances. That’s in addition to various and sundry “traitor” references. He began by accusing the likes of Bowe Bergdahl, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, then moved on to include the executives of Univision and Macy’s, Republicans who didn’t support him, Democratic lawmakers who didn’t applaud him, the failing New York Times, the media generally, people in his administration who leak, and Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Huma Abedin, James Comey, James Clapper, Rod J. Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

The Constitution specifically says treason “shall consist only in levying war against” the United States “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort,” and it requires two witnesses. The U.S. Criminal Code requires that those guilty of treason “shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years.”

The strict definition and grave punishment make treason cases rare: only about 30 in U.S. history. Trump must know this, because he has vowed to protect all 12 articles of the Constitution, even though it has only seven. He appeared to recognize the gravity of the treason accusation when it was leveled against him. “When they say ‘treason’, you know what treason is? That’s Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for giving the atomic bomb,” he said in 2017. (Actually, the charge was conspiracy to commit espionage.)

Because Trump knows the seriousness of the charge, he therefore must be interpreting treason the way King Henry VIII did, in the lese-majeste sense: Treason is anything that offends the dignity of the sovereign. Disagreement with Trump is an offense against the state, just as Henry executed unfaithful wives for treason.

This means the following people have committed capital crimes: All journalists and late-night hosts. Anyone who leaks. All Democratic members of Congress and people who worked in Democratic administrations. Anyone who ran against Trump. Anyone who criticizes Trump on social media. Anyone who voted against Trump.

This means 65,853,514 Hillary Clinton voters will have to be imprisoned or executed. The U.S. criminal-justice system can’t handle much more than the 2.3 million people it already holds.

This unfortunately argues for mass execution — unless exile is a possibility? Imagine the size of that caravan heading south toward Mexico.

Early on, Trump was relatively restrained in his treason talk. He even criticized Kim Jong Un’s liberal use of the treason charge. (Trump now calls Kim his “friend.”) He began applying the label more to the Mueller probe, and FBI officials, in 2018. He determined that “leakers are traitors” and said critical news coverage of his talks with Kim was “almost treasonous.” He said an anonymous op-ed writer and the New York Times both committed treason. He said Democrats who did not applaud at his State of the Union address were “Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’”

Democrats continue to commit treason by disagreeing with Trump on immigration, though most treason these days is committed by Justice. An image Trump retweeted in November, showing various current and former senior law enforcement officials (including Trump’s own appointee Rosenstein) behind bars, asked: “When do the trials for treason begin?”

Trump’s new attorney general, William Barr, has been fueling Trump’s paranoia. His declaration this last week that law enforcement officials were “spying” on the Trump campaign prompted a new cry of treason.

During his confirmation hearings, Barr said that “the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this is all over.” Maybe they can reminisce about their friendship while Mueller awaits his turn on the gallows.

Milbank writes for the Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter, @Milbank.
And from the Atlantic:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... son/586915
Donald Trump swore to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution declares, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

On Wednesday, President Trump wrote, “I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” As having an “open border mindset” is not levying war against America nor giving aid and comfort to its enemies, Trump is guilty of levying a false accusation of unsurpassed gravity and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III, which defines treason as “only” those offenses.

That same day, the oath-breaker wrote, “So, it has now been determined, by 18 people that truly hate President Trump, that there was No Collusion with Russia. In fact, it was an illegal investigation that should never have been allowed to start. I fought back hard against this Phony & Treasonous Hoax!”

The people who started Robert Mueller’s investigation did not levy war against the United States, adhere to its enemies, or give them aid and comfort. As such, Trump is guilty of levying another false accusation and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III.

Days before, Trump wrote, “Why should I be defending a fraudulent Russian Witch Hunt. It’s about time the perpetrators of this fraud on me and the American People start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts. How and why did this terrible event begin? Never Forget!” Trump, it turns out, violates his oath of office a lot.

On February 18, he wrote, “‘The biggest abuse of power and corruption scandal in our history, and it’s much worse than we thought. Andrew McCabe (FBI) admitted to plotting a coup (government overthrow) when he was serving in the FBI, before he was fired for lying & leaking.’ @seanhannity @FoxNews Treason!” Trump appears to regard himself, rather than the people, as the nation’s sovereign, like the tyrant king whom the Founders rebelled against.

In 18th-century England, royal accusations of treason were “a means of suppressing political dissent and punishing political opponents for crimes as trivial as contemplating a king’s future death (what was known as ‘compassing’), or speaking ill of the king (‘lèse majesté’),” the University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck wrote. “King Henry VIII even had two of his six wives executed for alleged adultery on the ground that such infidelity was, of itself, ‘treason.’”

Vladeck continues:

The English abuse of treason was anathema to a nascent republic dedicated to the rule of law and the right of peaceful dissent. Thus, to ensure that treason could not likewise be co-opted for political or personal purposes, the Constitution’s drafters not only defined it precisely (it’s the only offense specifically defined in that document), but also specified, “No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act ...”

The Framers were guarding against the possibility that Americans would one day elect a man so morally weak and corrupt that he would falsely accuse political enemies of treason. In 2016, Americans narrowly elected a man who is that degraded. Congress and the judiciary have a constitutional duty to check his abuses of power, and the public has a patriotic duty to oust him from office. But as yet, most Republicans show no inclination to mount a 2020 primary challenge, as if they are content to continue supporting a man of low character.

Their failure, while disconcerting, is not treason, as it is neither levying war against the United States nor adhering to its enemies nor giving them aid and comfort.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Ralin » 2019-04-17 08:21am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 07:02am
Donald Trump swore to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution declares, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

On Wednesday, President Trump wrote, “I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” As having an “open border mindset” is not levying war against America nor giving aid and comfort to its enemies, Trump is guilty of levying a false accusation of unsurpassed gravity and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III, which defines treason as “only” those offenses.

That same day, the oath-breaker wrote, “So, it has now been determined, by 18 people that truly hate President Trump, that there was No Collusion with Russia. In fact, it was an illegal investigation that should never have been allowed to start. I fought back hard against this Phony & Treasonous Hoax!”

The people who started Robert Mueller’s investigation did not levy war against the United States, adhere to its enemies, or give them aid and comfort. As such, Trump is guilty of levying another false accusation and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III.
So, ah, what exactly is the working definition of ‘the United States’ enemies' here? Because I don't want to go digging for quotes but I'm pretty sure you've referred to countries like Russia and North Korea as enemies before, and we’ve never declared war on them (something which the Constitution gives a very specific definition of). If the answer is that they’re hostile to the interests of the United States or something like that then that’s pretty fucking nebulous and could just as easily apply to Jane Fonda and people who are hardcore anti-Iraq and Afghan war.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 08:36am

Ralin wrote:
2019-04-17 08:21am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 07:02am
Donald Trump swore to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution declares, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

On Wednesday, President Trump wrote, “I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” As having an “open border mindset” is not levying war against America nor giving aid and comfort to its enemies, Trump is guilty of levying a false accusation of unsurpassed gravity and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III, which defines treason as “only” those offenses.

That same day, the oath-breaker wrote, “So, it has now been determined, by 18 people that truly hate President Trump, that there was No Collusion with Russia. In fact, it was an illegal investigation that should never have been allowed to start. I fought back hard against this Phony & Treasonous Hoax!”

The people who started Robert Mueller’s investigation did not levy war against the United States, adhere to its enemies, or give them aid and comfort. As such, Trump is guilty of levying another false accusation and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III.
So, ah, what exactly is the working definition of ‘the United States’ enemies' here? Because I don't want to go digging for quotes but I'm pretty sure you've referred to countries like Russia and North Korea as enemies before, and we’ve never declared war on them (something which the Constitution gives a very specific definition of). If the answer is that they’re hostile to the interests of the United States or something like that then that’s pretty fucking nebulous and could just as easily apply to Jane Fonda and people who are hardcore anti-Iraq and Afghan war.
I'm not a legal scholar, but in my opinion, Russia would probably not meet the definition of an enemy for the purposes of a treason charge, as it has traditionally only been applied to those the United States is actually at war with. I've argued that Trump colluded with Russia and will continue to do so, but I'll be the first to acknowledge that unless said collusion involved plotting acts of war against the US, its not treasonous.

North Korea we actually fought a war against (declared or not), and never signed a peace treaty, so you could make a stronger case there, but I doubt whether someone would actually be convicted of treason for aiding North Korea, because proving treason is a really high bar in the US, more so than in many countries.

But since you've mainly responded to the topic by trying to turn it around into nebulous and unsupported questioning of my posting record, in what I assume is an attempt to "prove" that I am guilty of a double standard, let me ask you: do you agree that Trump has abused his office by abusing the definition of treason for political purposes?
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Ralin » 2019-04-17 09:29am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 08:36am
But since you've mainly responded to the topic by trying to turn it around into nebulous and unsupported questioning of my posting record, in what I assume is an attempt to "prove" that I am guilty of a double standard, let me ask you: do you agree that Trump has abused his office by abusing the definition of treason for political purposes?
I think there's usually a distinction between the everyday usage of words and how they're defined in legal and professional jargon, and off the top of my head I said the same when you made comments about treason in 2016/2017.

Though that said, basically anything the president says in public is for political purposes and if he isn't entitled to decide who is and isn't an enemy of the country I'm not sure who else would be.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 09:36am

Ralin wrote:
2019-04-17 09:29am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 08:36am
But since you've mainly responded to the topic by trying to turn it around into nebulous and unsupported questioning of my posting record, in what I assume is an attempt to "prove" that I am guilty of a double standard, let me ask you: do you agree that Trump has abused his office by abusing the definition of treason for political purposes?
I think there's usually a distinction between the everyday usage of words and how they're defined in legal and professional jargon, and off the top of my head I said the same when you made comments about treason in 2016/2017.
There is indeed such a distinction. However, Trump's words as President carry more weight, and he has been very explicit in accusing his opponents of treason, while his press secretary goes out and explicitly notes that treason is a death penalty offense.
Though that said, basically anything the president says in public is for political purposes and if he isn't entitled to decide who is and isn't an enemy of the country I'm not sure who else would be.
That position, that the President has the right to unilaterally declare someone an enemy of the country on his personal whim, is an explicitly authoritarian one. Though I'm not terribly surprised to hear it from you.

The US is (theoretically at least) a constitutional republic founded on the rule of law. The President is not meant to be a despot who's word is the final law, and if you understand the first thing about the United States, or bothered to read the articles I posted in the OP, you know that. He is accountable to the law, to the Constitution, which he is sworn to uphold. It is the Constitution, and legal precedent, and the courts (appointed by the President and approved by the people's elected representatives in the Senate) that interpret them, that define what is or isn't treason.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-17 05:09pm

If Presidents are accointable to the law, how do you explain (as perhaps the biggest example) Bush's invasion of Iraq and subsequent lack of prosecution?

Also, I think that "enemies of the US" was supposed to originally mean people with whom the US was at war, but since the US hasn't been at war since the forties, that distinction is troublingly antiquated, like a lot of US law.
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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 06:32pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-17 05:09pm
If Presidents are accointable to the law, how do you explain (as perhaps the biggest example) Bush's invasion of Iraq and subsequent lack of prosecution?
Note that I said "theoretically". Some of Bush's actions as President were, I believe, illegal. He escaped prosecution. But the law does not cease to exist because a particular criminal gets away with his crime. The Constitution still exists, and still defines treason, and not as "doing anything the sitting PotUS doesn't like".
Also, I think that "enemies of the US" was supposed to originally mean people with whom the US was at war, but since the US hasn't been at war since the forties, that distinction is troublingly antiquated, like a lot of US law.
The US hasn't been formally at war, but when we're actively trading bullets and bombs with another country, its safe to say that for practical purposes we are at war with them.

In either case, Trump's actions represent a troubling precedent even beyond the abuses of recent Presidents, and should not be excused, ignored, or downplayed.

Or are you telling me that you see nothing new, or concerning, about the President freely accusing anyone he doesn't like of a capital crime?
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Ralin » 2019-04-17 06:39pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 06:32pm

The US hasn't been formally at war, but when we're actively trading bullets and bombs with another country, its safe to say that for practical purposes we are at war with them.
"The law doesn't cease to exist because a particular criminal escapes prosecution, but it's safe to safe to say for practical purposes that the law has ceased to exist here and that being at war doesn't mean what the Constitution says it does because presidents like Bush have been disregarding it for awhile."
In either case, Trump's actions represent a troubling precedent even beyond the abuses of recent Presidents, and should not be excused, ignored, or downplayed.

Or are you telling me that you see nothing new, or concerning, about the President freely accusing anyone he doesn't like of a capital crime?
Given that said accusations weren't backed up with drone bomber assassinations? Not especially.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 06:45pm

Yeah yeah, I know your argument, I've heard it before from every "anti-establishment" fascism apologist on this board. "The US sucks and always has, therefore Trump is just like everybody else and everything he does is no big deal." Often with an added implication of "you're a hypocrite/imperialist/racist if you call Trump out or acknowledge that he is something different".

No, he hasn't droned anyone domestically yet. But he and his administration have fired people from the Justice Department for blatantly political reasons, pressured the NFL to fire players who kneel during the Anthem, called for at least one sitting Democratic Congresswoman to be expelled from Congress, demanded investigations into the people investigating him, and, most troublingly, has repeatedly and willfully incited violence against his opponents, refused to condemn Right wing violence, and during his campaign, Trump even offered to pay the legal fees of supporters who engaged in violence IIRC. He also dragged his feet on the Kashoggi murder, and was generally sympathetic toward the official Saudi narrative.

What it amounts to is- he hasn't yet had domestic political opponents directly murdered, probably because doing that shit domestically will provoke a bigger political backlash than doing it overseas. Instead, he has essentially outsourced the violence to other parties- inciting his supporters to violence with a wink and a nod that the Donald has their back, and sending a message to allied authoritarian governments that if they murder US journalists, he will have their back. And because he has outsourced the despotism to others, people like you can pretend it doesn't matter.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-17 06:53pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 06:32pm
Note that I said "theoretically". Some of Bush's actions as President were, I believe, illegal. He escaped prosecution. But the law does not cease to exist because a particular criminal gets away with his crime. The Constitution still exists, and still defines treason, and not as "doing anything the sitting PotUS doesn't like".
If a law isn't obeyed or enforced, is it a law?
The US hasn't been formally at war, but when we're actively trading bullets and bombs with another country, its safe to say that for practical purposes we are at war with them.
Please think through the implications of this statement. Does this apply to NGOs? Selling guns to friendly regimes doing the US' bidding? And so on? War (for the US) is a legal status declared by congress, and if reduced to people merely on the end of American state violence means that the US may be at war with its minority populations.
In either case, Trump's actions represent a troubling precedent even beyond the abuses of recent Presidents, and should not be excused, ignored, or downplayed.

Or are you telling me that you see nothing new, or concerning, about the President freely accusing anyone he doesn't like of a capital crime?
I find the whole office of POTUS concerning, given how untouchable the position seems to have become. But nothing Trump has done approaches Iraq.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
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Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Ralin » 2019-04-17 06:59pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 06:45pm
What it amounts to is- he hasn't yet had domestic political opponents directly murdered, probably because doing that shit domestically will provoke a bigger political backlash than doing it overseas. Instead, he has essentially outsourced the violence to other parties- inciting his supporters to violence with a wink and a nod that the Donald has their back, and sending a message to allied authoritarian governments that if they murder US journalists, he will have their back. And because he has outsourced the despotism to others, people like you can pretend it doesn't matter.
No, he hasn't droned anyone domestically yet. But he and his administration have fired people from the Justice Department for blatantly political reasons, pressured the NFL to fire players who kneel during the Anthem, called for at least one sitting Democratic Congresswoman to be expelled from Congress, demanded investigations into the people investigating him, and, most troublingly, has repeatedly and willfully incited violence against his opponents, refused to condemn Right wing violence, and during his campaign, Trump even offered to pay the legal fees of supporters who engaged in violence IIRC. He also dragged his feet on the Kashoggi murder, and was generally sympathetic toward the official Saudi narrative.
It takes some truly awesome cognitive dissonance to think that any of those things are comparable to Obama having people executed by drone bomber. Especially since they did 'provoke a bigger backlash.'

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 10:39pm

The difference, of course, is that neither Obama or Bush Jr. really sought to change the fundamental structure of the American government from "republic" to "autocracy". Trump does.

But rather than engage with this point, you will dodging the point with Whataboutism so you can keep insisting that Trump is no worse than anyone else, or even an improvement, because America is evil, everything it does is evil, and therefore nothing matter- including moves in the wrong direction. And insulting me for thinking otherwise otherwise. You think you are being progressive and fair- in fact, you are being useful tools.

Yes, Bush was a piece of shit. But Bush isn't PotUS now- Trump is.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-17 10:48pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 10:39pm
The difference, of course, is that neither Obama or Bush Jr. really sought to change the fundamental structure of the American government from "republic" to "autocracy". Trump does.
Huh?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-17 10:59pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-17 10:48pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-17 10:39pm
The difference, of course, is that neither Obama or Bush Jr. really sought to change the fundamental structure of the American government from "republic" to "autocracy". Trump does.
Huh?
The statement is pretty self-explanatory. What part do you object to? The notion that Obama and Bush did not seek to make the US an autocracy, the notion that Trump does, or the notion that this distinction matters? Please clarify, and then back up your position with evidence.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-18 12:22am

The statement is self explanatory, but I'd like to see the evidence behind it, especially given the autocratic strides made by Bush and Obama. They've both got quite the resumés for Trump to match.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-18 01:01am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-18 12:22am
The statement is self explanatory, but I'd like to see the evidence behind it, especially given the autocratic strides made by Bush and Obama. They've both got quite the resumés for Trump to match.
When did they define the press as the enemy of the people? When did they launch investigations into the investigators, or into their political opponents? When did they incite mob violence? When did they lock anyone trying to immigrate or claim asylum at the southern border (asylum claiming is entirely legal, remember?) indefinitely in concentration camps as a "deterrent?" When did they try to ban an entire religion from coming to the US?

Bush did more damage overseas than Trump has so far, but on the domestic record, Trump is incalcuably worse than either.

In any case, all this is a deflection, a distraction. I don't have to prove that Trump is worse than Bush or Obama to prove that his actions are a problem that need to be taken seriously. If this is how it had been for the last few decades, then surely all the more reason to oppose it? The response to Trump's crimes should not be "But X was worse!" That's classic Whataboutism. Its providing cover for Trump by trying to shift the topic to something else, and discredit his opponents by framing them as hypocrites for criticizing Trump instead of (insert X).

I'm no fan of W, and even Obama I have some pretty sharp criticisms of, but guess what: Bush and Obama aren't PotUS now. There actions do not have the impact Trump's do, at this point.

Edit: And I know you don't support Trump, but the thing is- when people just have a general uniform hatred for all things America, such that you are unable or unwilling to make meaningful distinctions between a Trump and an Obama, well, that makes it very easy for people like Trump to become normalized, and for the accelerating slide of the US towards full-blown fascism to become easy to ignore. And Trump and his supporters use that sentiment to shield themselves; to make "anti-establishment" progressives who should be their enemies into unwitting enablers of fascism.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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Re: Trump and Treason.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-18 06:01am

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-uses-tr ... ac0dfcdee/

This article does perhaps a better job of explaining the definition of treason in the US, how it is applied, and what the significance of Trump's rhetoric is (I took the liberty of underlining the key sections):
President Donald Trump likes to describe anyone who disagrees with him as “treasonous.” This week, in a span of less than 24 hours, he used the phrase to describe both the individuals who conducted the Mueller investigation as well as Democratic lawmakers who disagree with his border policy. But not only is Trump misusing the word, he’s doing so in a way that appears to intentionally inflame political divisions.

The word “treason” has a very specific — and very narrow — meaning written right into the U.S. Constitution. It refers to “levying war” against the states or “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” According to U.S. treason law, the word “enemies” refers to a nation or organization with which the United States is in an open or declared war.

Virtually none of Trump’s references to “treason” meet this definition. The same could be said for some of his detractors who have described his willingness to accept election support from Russia as treasonous. While Russia may be an adversary of the United States — and there are other reasons why such alleged collusion could be considered illegal — it would never meet the definition of “treason” because the United States is not at war with Russia.

Of course, most people are likely to think about “treason” in a more colloquial sense. While even dictionaries define the term with references to extreme acts like killing a nation’s leader or overthrowing the government, it still speaks to a general sense of betrayal of the nation. And that’s exactly how Trump appears to wield the term as a weapon to demonize his opponents.

Take, for example, Trump’s claim that it was “un-American” and “treasonous” for some congressional Democrats to have not applauded him during his 2018 State of the Union address when he touted low unemployment rates among people of color. In that very speech, he claimed he would be “extending an open hand to work with members of both parties,” asking his fellow leaders to “set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”

The contradiction speaks to the way Trump tries to frame his positions as the only positions that actually serve the interests of the country. As slogans like “Make America Great Again” and “America First!” indicate, he’s attempting to co-op patriotism, such that any opposition to Trump is by extension anti-American. Thus, asking for cooperation means exactly the same thing as asking for obedience, and being rebuffed is the same as betrayal.

In an interview last year, Washington University law professor Greg Magarian drew this exact conclusion, describing the president as setting up a logic under which “anyone who votes against Trump in the next election will be guilty of treason. Any person who criticizes Trump is guilty of treason. The mere act of allegiance to the opposition political party is treason. Trump is America, and America is Trump.”

If that kind of leadership model sounds like fascism, that’s not a coincidence. When cultural theorist and media researcher Umberto Eco laid out 14 properties of fascism in his 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism,“ among them was “disagreement is treason.” Such a sentiment, he explained, runs directly contrary to the way that disagreement helps improve knowledge. Many of Eco’s other indicators resonate with the Trump administration in overlapping ways, including promoting a fear of immigrants, obsessing over a perceived threat, and speaking with an impoverished vocabulary (what George Orwell called “Newspeak” in his novel “1984”).

Magarian connected the same dots. “The idea that the leader is the state carries seeds of fascism,” he said.

University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck has echoed a similar drumbeat about the misuse of the word “treason.” In a 2018 op-ed, he explained that the Founders were particularly sensitive to false accusations of treason, having seen such abuse used rampantly in England (e.g. King Henry VII executing two of his six wives on the ground that their alleged infidelity was “treason”). That’s why the Constitution makes it very difficult to convict someone of treason, specifically requiring two witnesses to testify “to the same overt act.”

As a result, the United States has convicted very few people of treason — the last conviction was 67 years ago. As Vladeck explained, even people commonly seen as “traitors” haven’t been convicted of “treason.” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, for example, were charged with espionage for conveying nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union — not treason.

“The more we use the t-word to refer to conduct that doesn’t remotely resemble the constitutional definition,” Vladeck wrote, “the more we are — willfully — turning a blind eye to the sordid history of treason that led to its unique treatment in the U.S. Constitution.”

Moreover, Trump isn’t lobbing the word “treason” in a vacuum. The concept of treason — real treason — is very much part of the DNA of the United States, and often in association with positive concepts like liberty and justice.

The country was founded on an act of treason against Britain. The country also endured a massive act of treason in the form of the Civil War, and only in modern times are activists untangling the “Lost Cause” propaganda that rewrote the history of that traitorous act in a flattering light with language like “states’ rights.” A core tenet of modern advocacy against gun control is the belief that guns will be necessary to respond to a tyrannical or oppressive government. Treason, in a sense, is something that many Americans are actually primed and ready for — if they believe it necessary to protect their freedom.

But in addition to desensitizing the public to the narrow meaning of “treason,” Trump also regularly signals to his supporters that violence is a valid way to silence and intimidate their opponents, especially the media. If he convinces them that doing so is patriotic because those who disagree are, in fact, traitors to the country, the results could be quite violent.

But it still wouldn’t be treason.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals Sherman and Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"They are nearer to me than the other side, in thought and sentiment, though bitterly hostile personally. They are utterly lawless - the unhandiest devils in the world to deal with - but after all their faces are set Zion-wards."- Lincoln on radical Abolitionists.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada.

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