Skip to comments.Wartime 'Agitation' ('Civil War' vs. WoT 'copperheads')
Posted on 02/27/2007 12:23:29 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
I began this column last week with a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln in which harsh treatment was deemed warranted for congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military. It turns out to have been a paraphrase of our 16th president's attitude toward those who engage in such behavior, rather than a direct quote.
I regret the error and should, instead, have used the following, verbatim excerpt from a letter President Lincoln wrote in June 1863, as Robert E. Lee's army was on the march north to the fateful battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Lincoln wrote this letter after the arrest of a leading Confederate sympathizer legislator (or "Copperheads" as they were then known), U.S. Rep. Clement L. Vallandigham, Ohio Democrat. It forcefully explains the commander in chief's thinking about the latitude the Constitution affords to "silence" anti-war "agitators" whose conduct "damages the Army" and threatens to leave the nation without the military means to "suppress" its enemies:
"Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier-boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert? This is none the less injurious when effected by getting a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there working upon his feelings till he is persuaded to write the soldier-boy that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked Administration of a contemptible Government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert.
(Excerpt) Read more at frontpagemag.com ...
Gaffney's dead-on target!
What he does not go into is how we will be forced to give up freedom to deal with this seeminly uncontrolable menace.
I have given a lot of thought, and the West will have to choose between a lot of freedoms, and a loss of freedom in order to get these awful creatures under control
This is the natural result of what happens when a country wages a stupid "war on terror," as if a war on "terror" can ever be more effective than a war on drugs, war on poverty, etc.
Yes it will be a loss of freedom - unavoidable
That's exactly right. The term 'War on terror' was made to be as ambigious as possible. That cozy ambiguity has come back to haunt the crafters, as, rhetoric aside, there is no clear line between friend and foe. In the name of sensitivity, we've put ourselves in a position where we're not looking the enemy in the eye.
It probably started with Jane Fonda and John Kerry.
These two should have been arrested long ago when they were pushing their treason. However they werent punished, they were passed over.
Others saw this and realised that the punishment for treason had dissappeared and they started pushing the envelope. Now it is normal to aidn and comfort the enemies of our country. As if that werent enough they aid our enemies and still claim to be Patriots. These traitorous rat low-lifes actually stand on the floor of the House and claim to be Patriots while they sell out our military and our country.
A few of these traitorous vermin actually have the nerve to run for President.
See #6. I suspect there was no legal basis for pursuing a treason prosecution against any of those people you mentioned.
There are no laws against sedition. They come and go.
The crime of treason (including providing aid and comfort to the enemy) is defined within the Constitution and is NOT protected speech.
Meeting with the enemy to champioon their cause (as Jane Fonda, well known celebrity, did) or meeting with the enemy to negotiate "agreements" as John Kerry did or deliberately lying about the troops committing war crimes before Congress (as John Kerry did) are acts of treason.
Axis Sally wasn't convicted of treason for broadcasting Nazi propaganda from Germany, she was convicted for broadcasting a radio dramatization. She was also charged with impersonating a Red Cross nurse to obtain covert interviews with the American POWs (which she edited into Nazi propaganda) but she was not convicted of treason for this (which is a lucky thing for Michael Moore since his crew did the same sort of editing to interviews with wounded troops).
We successfully waged war against American insurgents (the Weatherman Underground, The KKK, The Black Panthers, The SLA,...) all of whom engaged in terrorist bombings, murders, and other attacks.
Defund the organizations and lock up or execute the violent radical element. The Saudi funded mosques and Nation of Islam have both been shielded from the RICO act for now.
Get real, no one is going to be arrested for opposing the war in Iraq, it just isn't going to happen, and publicly supporting the idea just makes you look like an authoritarian, and would make those arrested look like martyrs.
"The problem today is that there is nothing in U.S. law (i.e., in the form of a declaration of war) that actually identifies an "enemy" that anyone in Congress can ever be accused of conspiring with."
here is a question for you...was there ever a declaration of war in the Civil War?
"There are no laws against sedition. They come and go."
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2387 Prev | Next
§ 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally
(a) Whoever, with intent to interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States:
(1) advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States; or
(2) distributes or attempts to distribute any written or printed matter which advises, counsels, or urges insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term military or naval forces of the United States includes the Army of the United States, the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve of the United States; and, when any merchant vessel is commissioned in the Navy or is in the service of the Army or the Navy, includes the master, officers, and crew of such vessel.
Who was "the enemy" in the Vietnam War, and under what act of Congress was this identified?
As far as I know, these organizations were all "successfully" quelled through the prosecution in U.S. courts of their members for actual criminal activities in which they were involved -- none of which included even a single prosecution for "treason."
FYI . . . Anyone here who knows me well will tell you that I would hardly consider the actions of the U.S. (i.e., Union) in the years surrounding the Civil War a legitimate precedent from a legal or political standpoint.