Treason, as it is defined in the Constitution, is the act of waging war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to its enemies. Compared to the broad definition of treason that existed in English law at the time, the Founding Fathers defined it rather narrowly. English law of their day also included as treason the killing of a sitting justice. In practice, the charge of treason had been used in England as an excuse to execute political undesirables. It’s understandable that the Founders didn’t want to turn the charge of treason into a convenient tool to attack political opponents.

So it’s not surprising to me to realize just how infrequently treason has been prosecuted in the history of the United States. Wikipedia states there have been “fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions.” It has been more common for the U.S. to charge people with sedition (fomenting insurrection or undermining the government) or espionage (spying). Neither crime is treason, but they are certainly serious crimes in themselves. But these three crimes — treason, sedition, and espionage — all have a similar central characteristic: that of citizens working against their government.

There is another law on the books that addresses the issue of Americans working against their government — the Logan Act:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

While no one has been prosecuted, let alone convicted, of violating the Logan Act, I believe there are prominent living Americans who are guilty of having violated it or at least skirted very close. I’ve written before how President Carter is willing to “influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government,” specifically Iran. And I believe Speaker Pelosi acted in violation of the Logan Act when she visited Syria in 2007 against the warnings of the State Department. She wasn’t there to shore up President Bush’s policies, but to peddle her own. Sounds like a clear case of an “intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government” to me.

And speaking of trying to influence the conduct of a foreign government, Sen. Barack Obama attempted exactly that with his trip to Iraq this year. As Amir Taheri wrote in the New York Post, Obama asked for a delay in U.S. troop withdrawals until he arrived triumphantly in the White House:

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

Did you catch that? He basically asked Iraq to avoid agreements with our current President and his administration, describing them as weak and confused. That certainly sounds like trying to “defeat the measures of the United States” to me. Obama’s people are trying to say that Taheri is wrong, but Taheri is standing firm in a new article published in the New York Post.

In a long interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, Zebari says: “Obama asked me why, in view of the closeness of a change of administration, we were hurrying the signing of this special agreement, and why we did not wait until the coming of the new administration next year and agree on some issues and matters.”

Again, note that Zebari mentions a single set of agreements, encompassing both SFA and SOFA.

Zebari continues: “I told Obama that, as an Iraqi, I believe that even if there is a Democratic administration in the White House it had better continue the present policy instead of wasting a lot of time thinking what to do.”

In other words, Obama was trying to derail current US policy, while Zebari was urging him not to “waste time.” [emphasis mine - CM]

Sen. Obama’s actions in Iraq don’t constitute treason as narrowly defined in the Constitution, but “Obama was trying to derail current US policy” certainly sounds like a violation of the Logan Act. Not that the junior Senator from Illinois will ever be indicted for this crime. While Obama is a candidate for the office of President, he is not now President, and he shouldn’t be trying to negotiate with foreign leaders as though he were a head of state.

As I see it, Obama either has the hubris to think foreign leaders should treat him as President right now, or he’s clueless about the differences in responsibility between a Senator and the President. It’s too close for me to determine which it is.

There is a big to-do about a quote spoken by Rush Limbaugh about “phony soldiers” that was picked up by the leftist Media Matters site and glommed onto by leftist in media and Congress. Rush has done a great job is countering this unfair attack on his site, so I won’t dwell much on it. It is, however, a great example of the bias in the media. Rather than reporting the facts, they are reporting their spin on events.

I also spotted an interesting article on MSNBC yesterday. The title really caught my eye, “New type of bomb is unexpectedly lethal in Iraq.” Really? This is something I’ve not heard before. What could it be? Here’s how the article begins:

On Aug. 3, 2005, the deadliest roadside bomb ever encountered by U.S. troops in Iraq detonated beneath a 26-ton armored personnel carrier, killing 14 Marines and revealing yet another American vulnerability in the struggle against improvised explosive devices.

Why haven’t I heard on the news about this blast killing 14 Marines? Oh, wait. This attack was from 2005. Did I read that right? Yes, 2005. Uh, what exactly is new about this type of IED? It’s been used in Iraq for years now. The “news” report goes on for five pages about some of the activities taken by the military to combat this “new” type of bomb. According to the byline, it was last updated 12:04 a.m. PT Oct 2, 2007. Why was it on the front page? About 20 minutes later, it was off the front page, and today the link doesn’t work anymore. A quick search on Google shows that the article was spotted and several sites linked to it before the article vanished.

And it has vanished. Gone. Down the memory hole. George Orwell, call for you on line 2.

I find it interesting that the news report appeared and vanished again when the news from Iraq is different. “Iraqi deaths fall by 50 percent,” says this news article that is still around.

The number of American troops and Iraqi civilians killed in the war fell in September to levels not seen in more than a year. The U.S. military said the lower count was at least partly a result of new strategies and 30,000 additional U.S. forces deployed this year.

Although it is difficult to draw conclusions from a single month’s tally, the figures could suggest U.S.-led forces are making headway against extremist factions and disrupting their ability to strike back.

The U.S. military toll for September was 64, the lowest since July 2006, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from death announcements by the American command and Pentagon.

More dramatic, however, was the decline in Iraqi civilian, police and military deaths. The figure was 988 in September 50 percent lower than the previous month and the lowest tally since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.

There is good news coming out of Iraq, but you won’t hear that from liberal news sites like Media Matters. They are too busy trying to trash Rush Limbaugh for something he didn’t say.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that speaks volumes in just three lines. The problem is that one word turns the whole bumper sticker into a pile of peacenik propaganda and not something I could support. Here’s a quick HTML rendition of the bumper sticker:

HONOR THE DEAD
HEAL THE WOUNDED
END THE WAR

I certainly believe in honoring our dead, particularly our military dead. As our national anthem says, they stood “Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.” And we are forever in their debt for their ultimate sacrifice. I certainly cannot argue with the call to honor our dead.

And I certainly believe in healing our wounded. Since our military men and women have placed themselves in harm’s way for us, we as a nation have the responsibility to heal them when they are wounded. Shoddy care for our wounded is a stain on our nation’s honor, and it is a stain on our government’s honor, both on the elected representatives and the faceless bureaucrats who manage our military’s care centers. And it is not acceptable. If I were President, I would submit a budget to Congress that placed a higher priority on taking care of the health of our military.

But it is the last sentence that twists the previous valid statements into craptastic peacenik propaganda. Notice that it says “END the war,” not “WIN the war.” It’s a trivial task to end any war if you’re willing to run away from the fight. If we were to run away from Iraq, *poof* the war would be over, and these useful idiots could link their arms and sing “Kumbaya” in onanistic joy.

Morons.

Contrary to what the bumpersticker crowd would have you believe, merely ending the war will not result in lasting peace. Only winning a war results in peace. I explained how this works a year ago:

Peace comes through winning the war and making the loser beg to sit at the negotiation table. Peace does not come from going to the negotiation table and signing some documents, unless the war has already been fought and won. Don’t believe me? In an attempt to appease the Germans, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sat down at the negotiation table with Hitler, but there was no peace. Germany annexed the Sudetenland that same year, invaded Poland the next, and invaded the rest of Europe by 1940. That was no peace. But after Japan signed the terms of surrender on the USS Missouri, there was peace between the U.S. and Japan for more than 60 years.

I’ll take real and lasting peace through victory any time.

I want peace. Peace is preferable to war, but as long as there are zealous Islamic nutjobs willing to kill men, women, and children to further their goals of a world-wide Islamic state, we will not have peace. We may have brief lulls between fighting, but we will not have peace.

While I don’t put bumper stickers on my car, and I doubt I ever will, the following is a bumper sticker that I could agree with 100%:

HONOR THE DEAD
HEAL THE WOUNDED
WIN THE WAR

The good news continues to come out of Iraq. Here’s part of a story posted in USA Today on a lazy Sunday:

The number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

The high-profile attacks generally large bombs hitting markets, mosques or other “soft” targets that produce mass casualties have dropped to about 70 in July from a high during the past year of about 130 in March, according to the Multi-National Force Iraq.

Military officers say the decline reflects progress in damaging al-Qaeda’s networks in Iraq. The military has launched offensives around Baghdad aimed at al-Qaeda sanctuaries and bases.

“The enemy had the initiative and the momentum in ’06,” said Jack Keane, a retired general who is a chief architect of the increase in troop levels and mentor to Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. “We’ve got it now.”

Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters Blog looks at the same USA Today report and lists three reasons why the surge has worked so well:

First, the terrorists have no time to expand and strategize. They have to defend themselves from encirclement by American troops, which means they have to go on the run. Any time they move, they have to get out into the open, which exposes them to more danger. If they don’t run, they have to fight military troops, battles in which they do not have the skillsets to succeed.

Second, terrorist tactics have enraged Iraqis and driven them away from the insurgencies. Even other insurgencies have found it necessary to ally with the US military to stop the inhumanity of al-Qaeda control. The terrorists have had to use these brutal techniques to frighten people into compliance with their leadership — a sure sign of desperation. They’re losing the hearts-and-minds battle.

Third, our tenacity allows the Iraqis to rely on us — and that brings another level of unity. They have responded to our efforts by vastly increasing the intelligence that comes to the military, which allows us more success in tamping down the violence. They have begun to unify amongst themselves for their own protection as well, which helps build political strength for Iraq from the ground up. They feel liberated to participate in self-government.

Betcha you won’t see the nightly news TV shows lead off with this news story tonight.

The surge of troops in Iraq has been fully staffed, and Congress will get a report in September about the result of this troop surge. But Democrats in Congress are not willing to wait until September. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has three times said that we have lost in Iraq, and Democrats as a party have embraced defeat in Iraq. But rarely do Democrats stand up and so clearly state the truth that Democrats have wedded themselves to failure in Iraq. But Rep. James Clyburn, House Majority Whip, has said exactly that, as reported in a Washington Post report.

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be “a real big problem for us.”

Did you catch that? Positive news in Iraq would be a real big problem for Democrats. I’ll state it again: America winning in Iraq is a real big problem for Democrats. And one last time: America winning is a problem for Democrats.

Do you understand now why Democrats scream when people question their patriotism? They scream because it is a question that cuts them to the quick.

After seeing the Democrat-led Senate go through the silly over-night stunt to push a cut-and-run bill through, I have a rather simple question for everyone out there: is there anyone not convinced at this point that Democrats comprise the party of white flags, surrender, and running away?

And there’s a follow-up question: when has running away from people who hate and want to kill you ever made things better?

George Santayana is credited with the following quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is just as true today as it was when he first wrote it.

Liberals are comparing Iraq to Vietnam, and they are right, but not for the reasons they seem to think. What do we hear? We’re stuck in a “quagmire.” We can’t “win.” The war is already “lost.” And every night the news reports every death. The media is stuck in the same rut reporting on Iraq as though it were Vietnam. But it’s not a big deal, right? After all, Iraq is just like Vietnam; even President Bush talks like it is:

President Bush said in a one-on-one interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that a newspaper column comparing the current fighting in Iraq to the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, which was widely seen as the turning point in that war, might be accurate.

Stephanopoulos asked whether the president agreed with the opinion of columnist Tom Friedman, who wrote in The New York Times today that the situation in Iraq may be equivalent to the Tet offensive in Vietnam almost 40 years ago.

“He could be right,” the president said, before adding, “There’s certainly a stepped-up level of violence, and we’re heading into an election.”

So what are the memes from this? Iraq = Vietnam, and fighting in Iraq = Tet offensive. For the people who are don’t remember the Tet offensive, it was a military victory for the U.S., but it was widely reported and subsequently viewed as a major failure. Let me repeat — the failure didn’t happen in Vietnam; it was created by our press. Walter Cronkite reported that the fighting in Vietnam was unwinnable right in the middle of the Tet offensive, and this depressed President Johnson enough that he chose not to run in the 1968 presidential election. He reportedly said, “If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” We didn’t lose the Tet offensive, but it was reported as a failure.

And the North Vietnamese were closely watching the news. A former officer in the North Vietnamese army, Bui Tin, discussed the American media’s effect on the war in an interview by Stephen Young reported in the Wall Street Journal on August 3, 1995:

Stephen Young: How did Hanoi intend to defeat the Americans?
Bui Tin: By fighting a long war which would break their will to help South Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh said, “We don’t need to win military victories, we only need to hit them until they give up and get out.”

Stephen Young: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi’s victory?
Bui Tin: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

Stephen Young: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
Bui Tin: Keenly.

Stephen Young: Why?
Bui Tin: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win. [emphasis mine -- CM]

The murderous thugs in Iraq want the U.S. out of Iraq, giving them a free hand to rule and terrorize that country as they see fit. Democrats want the U.S. out of Iraq, and that will give the murderous thugs a free hand to rule Iraq with terror. Liberals scream when we question their patriotism, but why is it their desires so closely match the desires of the people who are actively fighting our military? The Democrats are the party of defeat. If Iraq becomes a peaceful country, only the Democrats lose. If we pull out of Iraq as we did Vietnam, the Iraqis will lose, our military will lose, and Democrats will win. Well, they will have won only until the emboldened killers in Iraq and around the world laugh at the American paper tiger, and they choose to bring fighting and terror to American shores.

Liberals are comparing Iraq to Vietnam, and they are right because their reporting and negativity are the same. And their constant negative reporting is bolstering the morale of the people who kill Iraqis and Americans. But there is another area of similarity: our decision to run from Vietnam led to millions of deaths, and the decision to run from Iraq will certainly lead to the same. But since liberals do not learn from history, it’s no wonder that they seek to repeat their past failures.

Iraqis stopped to remember those slain under Saddam Hussein on May 16th as “Mass Graves Day,” but you didn’t hear about that from the American mainstream media.

Traffic stopped in Baghdad’s main streets and squares Wednesday as Iraqis observed a moment of silence to mark a new national day of remembrance for the victim’s of Saddam Hussein’s regime who were buried in mass graves.

The Iraqi government declared May 16 as Mass Grave Day to commemorate the day when the first such grave was uncovered near the Shiite town of Mahaweel, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) south of Baghdad.

Human rights organizations estimate that more than 300,000 people, mainly Kurds and Shiite Muslims, were killed and buried in mass graves before Saddam was overthrown by U.S. forces in 2003.

Later, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki tied together the mass graves with current Iraqi events:

During a conference held to commemorate the somber day, al-Maliki described the graves as one of “the ugly crimes” of Saddam’s regime and drew a parallel with the current daily attacks against Iraqis.

“The criminals are the same. In the past, they created the mass graves. Today, they explode, kill and behead innocent people,” he said.

The killing fields of Saddam Hussein are closed down, but the mainstream media doesn’t care to report on this Iraqi remembrance because it would be reporting good news from the war front. And the MSM won’t do that if they can avoid it. I did a quick search for “Mass Graves Day” on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox News sites, with no results. I got one result from CBS, but that happened only because CBS searched for the individual words and not the phrase.

It is good news that Saddam is gone. It is good news that Iraq is working toward peace and prosperity. It is bad news that murderous thugs “explode, kill and behead innocent people,” but if it bleeds, it leads. This daily drumbeat of bad news is a tool used by the media to bash President Bush and demoralize the American people. Every time the media broadcasts body-count milestones and every bit of bad news, the murderous thugs in Iraq realize they just need to step up the suicide bombings, kidnappings or beheadings to get some media time.

Way to enable the enemy, media!

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit for finding the only media outlet who reported this, and kudos to the International Herald Tribune for not choosing to follow the pack.

Senator Barack Obama recently gave a speech about foreign policy, and the Junior Senator from Illinois outlined things he would do if he were President. If you have the stomach for it, you should read the whole thing, but I’ll excerpt a few parts:

We have heard much over the last six years about how America’s larger purpose in the world is to promote the spread of freedom — that it is the yearning of all who live in the shadow of tyranny and despair.

I agree. But this yearning is not satisfied by simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box. The true desire of all mankind is not only to live free lives, but lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and simple justice.

And how exactly do we accomplish this lofty and laudable goal? The Senator from Illinois explains:

Delivering on these universal aspirations requires basic sustenance like food and clean water; medicine and shelter. It also requires a society that is supported by the pillars of a sustainable democracy — a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force. It requires building the capacity of the world’s weakest states and providing them what they need to reduce poverty, build healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth. And it requires states that have the capacity to fight terrorism, halt the proliferation of deadly weapons, and build the health care infrastructure needed to prevent and treat such deadly diseases as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

And how is this laundry list of actions unlike the work we are already doing in Iraq? Contrary to the snide comment of “simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box,” the U.S. has been doing a very commendable job of rebuilding the infrastructure and quality of life in Iraq. Not that we’d hear that from the news, since they are only interested in reporting bad news.

Sen. Obama also said, “Our interests are best served when people and governments from Jerusalem and Amman to Damascus and Tehran understand that America will stand with our friends, work hard to build a peaceful Middle East, and refuse to cede the future of the region to those who seek perpetual conflict and instability.” Please tell Speaker Pelosi and other Democrat wanna-be Secretaries of State to stop sending mixed messages abroad. Then Sen. Obama explained that he would pay other nations to like us more:

As President, I will double our annual investments in meeting these challenges to $50 billion by 2012 and ensure that those new resources are directed towards these strategic goals.

The problem is that paying people to like us has not worked in the past. The Heritage Foundation recently released an analysis of U.N. votes by nations and aid money we give them. Of the top ten nations receiving foreign aid from the U.S., only Israel consistently casts its votes with the U.S. All the rest vote more times against our interests than for them. Imagine giving money to your out-of-work brother, only to have him rail against you at every family gathering. It would be obvious that your payments hadn’t succeeded in gaining you any good will. And since you couldn’t control how he spent the money, he chose to buy cases of beer for himself rather than food for his family. Do you really expect giving money to a dictator would have any better results than money given to your ingrate bum brother?

Jim Quinn of the Warroom recently brought up an interesting parallel. Back when the Barbary Pirates were seizing American ships and taking the sailors and passengers as slaves, the U.S. and other countries tried to buy the pirates off with tribute money. Payment didn’t keep the seas free of pirates, but the second Barbary War succeeded in doing just that. It appears to me that Sen. Obama believes paying off the pirates will have a better result this time. What is that phrase about people who are ignorant of history?

Since we are talking about historical parallels, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, met with the then-ambassador from Tripoli to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. When they asked Adja why Tripoli was so hostile to Americans, they got a response that could have recently fallen from Osama’s lips:

That it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

I can only come away with one opinion after reading Sen. Obama’s address: this foreign policy neophyte should never become President.

Well, both the House and the Senate have voted for defeat in Iraq, calling for our troops to leave October 1st. Make no mistake, if we pull out because of some arbitrary time limit, we will have lost in Iraq. Then the thousands of lives lost there really would have been lost in vain. President Bush has promised to veto the bill when it reaches his desk, and I believe that would make it the second veto of his Presidency. I am dismayed at how much the Democratic party leadership is mirroring the desires of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Here is a quick breakdown of what these three groups want:

What do these groups want?
Republicans Democrats Terrorists
U.S. to win in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq
Troops to stay Troops to leave Troops to leave
Fight terrorism Negotiate with terrorism Islam to take over U.S.

There is a common phrase that says, “American politics end at the water’s edge.” We can argue and debate our issues and goals within the U.S., but when we go overseas, we ought to be united. But this doesn’t hold true for the Democrats. Speaker Pelosi wanders overseas and actively undermines our sitting President. And now we see that the Democrats are ready to surrender Iraq to the very terrorists who explode IEDs in public markets. Way to stand on your principles, Dems!

I have a dream of an alternate reality in which Democrats support our war on terror. I imagine the Democratic party leadership standing next to President Bush and telling the world in word and deed that all America stands firmly behind our President and our soldiers fighting terrorists around the world. In this imaginary world, I see the terrorists realizing that they cannot succeed against a united America, they lose their morale, and they disband and go away. But in the world in which we live, every time a Democrat demands we leave Iraq or claims we have already lost, the terrorists’ morale improves and the morale of our own soldiers sinks. I would define that as aiding and abetting our enemies, wouldn’t you?

As Rush Limbaugh says, the Democrats own defeat.