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May We Speak of Reason, Rather Than of Treason?

May We Speak of Reason, Rather Than of Treason?

Tom Gallagher

If we needed a reminder of why we might not be so quick to bandy about charges of treason—in regard to Donald Trump or anyone else—there came the obituary of one John A. Stormer, a name much less recognized than the book he wrote—“None Dare Call It Treason”—an “Influential Red Scare Book of the ‘60s” as the obit headline read.


Were it only so, then, just maybe, there might be some hope for the American left.


Yup, as a Marxist and anarchist who has been “treasonous” all my life, I really don’t like this “treason” crap coming from the US liberals. The threat of the Trump-Putin axis - with the terrifying prospect of many more joining it from European states in the next election cycles, is not one of “treason”. Screw “treason” along with all states and nationalisms! The threat is this so-called “multipolar” alliance of capitalist-oligharch-fascist states - which is a threat to ALL the freedom-loving peoples of the world!


The source for the title of Stormer’s book—whiich I recall seeing on my aunt’s bookshelf as a child—is from John Harington:

“Treason doth never prosper
What’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper
None dare call it treason.”

Those who have prospered so greatly in this country certainly don’t seem to hold our democratic values in high regard, judging by their deeds rather than by their words.


As I often try to point out in comments on this type of article, the Constitution is pretty specific about what constitutes treason, and the law is pretty well established regarding who is an “enemy.” All those running around with their hair on fire screaming “TREASON!!” would do well to research the facts a little more and realize that it is highly unlikely that any POTUS will ever be so charged in the first place, and would likely be preemptively pardoned anyway, as was Nixon.

I am not a constitutional scholar or authority, but as a long-time observer, I can state emphatically that, especially with a Republican House, Senate and Supreme Court in place, there will never be charges of treason brought against Donald Trump. This is all a waste of time and energy and we should be concentrating on getting progressives elected in the coming midterms and making Trump an historical footnote in two years.

As to the assertions in the article that the left seems to be hypocritical in its sudden support of NATO, NAFTA and some other things (like the (Intelligence Community) that liberals have been decrying for decades, remember that there are those who say that Obama and Clinton were guilty of treason for selling arms to an actual enemy, that being al Qaeda.

Oh, I’m sure that’s very, very different, since they are both Democrats and Obama was the “best president ever,” and Trump the worst, but as we continue to pressure for charges of treason, we should remember that what goes around, comes around.

Let’s settle down now, and concentrate on electing some Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes and others like her, and in two and half years get a president that can overturn all the reverses to democracy that we are witnessing today. If Trump can mess it up this bad in just two years, someone with half a brain should be able to fix it in four…


Clinton and Obama never sold arms to Al Quaeda - although Reagan did sell arms to Al Quaeda’s extremist processors in Afghanistan.

Recall that in those days “godless communism” was the enemy. So the god-full Muslim extremists were considered allies.


The constitution is fairly clear on this, although not concrete. It does say of course giving “aid and comfort” to an enemy is the baseline for a charge of treason. However, it doesn’t really state what constitutes and actual “enemy.” It’s implied that an enemy is anyone linked to, or hailing from, a nation that we have declared war against and are participating in active hostilities with. This gray area may be why you never see the US congress ever declare war anymore. They just abdicate their war waging responsibilities to the POTUS in order to avoid any of those pesky situations like decision making.
In short, it’s very hard to be treasonous or to prove treason. Proving conspiracy however, which is the direction I feel Mueller is heading, should be a lay up considering the careless and public nature of the trump administrations numerous transgressions. Hopefully, he doesn’t finish until years end, as handing recommendations for indictments against a republican administration to a republican controlled House would be the text book definition Quixotic.


The first person I heard using the word "Treason, " about Trump talking to Putin was the Brennan person.
Is he on some kind of drug that makes his eyes seem so dead looking.?He doesn’t seem like an actual human in face and movement…so is there some weird medical issue there?


Mark my words, this will not end in treason charges of any kind. It will end as most mafia related investigations do, with multiple indictments against any and all of the Boss’s capos and thugs. The prosecutor will then let nature take its course and wait for the inevitable plea wheeling and dealing to begin. In an effort to save their skin almost everybody will roll on the Boss.
What’s different here is that the Godfather can literally pardon all of his accusers before they testify. No, this will not end in any satisfying manner. Trump, like most wealthy criminals, will walk away from DC on a road of bones.


Yes, I agree. But to me turning America into a capitalist-fascist-oliogharch state is treason to everything that I see our democratic republic as having once stood for and what we ought to stand for. America is not supposed to be a right wing fascist dictatorship, or even a pseudo fascist right wing dictatorship where millions of Americans don’t have their right to vote or fair and free elections do not exist and corrupt partisan right wing judges get away with unjust rulings just to keep the oliogharchs in power and there is no rule of law because there is one law for the wealthy and another law for the poor, and one law for republicans and another law for democrats, and one standard for republicans and another standard for democrats. The entire Republican Party in my opinion is committing treason, not just because I disagree with their policies but because they don’t care about what makes America America anymore. All they care about is that their tribe always wins no matter how bad that is for our country as a whole and they cannot put their country before their party and if not treason, it is a serious betrayal of America and what America is supposed to stand for. And in my entire life I have never seen republicans behave this badly or with such contempt for every moral, ethical, or legal standard that used to be the backbone of what made America and Americans a great people. Trump and these republicans are not making America great they are trashing the place, robbing it blind and shaming us by attacking our friends and kissing up to our enemies, they are making America a shame and a by word, a place to avoid, a toxic waste dump of every kind, physical, moral, ethical, legal, and in every way possible. Russia’s cyber attack onto our country and its election systems, electrical grid and nuclear power plants is an act of war, but not only will republicans, including even our president not defend us, but are actually siding with our enemy Putin, and are lying to the American people by saying the whole attack is a fake conspiracy theory made up just to get rid of Trump for no reason but partisan politics. This is a huge betraying lie! The sick thing is that these right wing partisans have taken over every democratic institution and usurped it and taken it over for their own partisan financial gain, even our churches have been poisoned by them and taken over for political purposes using massive lies 24/7. This faction doesn’t care about America, or our Constitution or any principle except plunder for money and anything they can get away with for personal gain. These republicans have no principles except all for themselves and nothing for anyone else, and that is a betrayal of everything that once made America great, because under republicans we have no other value than everyone for themselves and whatever you can get away with and grab for ones self with no alliegience to any God or country except the god of greed or Mammon. If this is not treason what is?

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But the legions of Right wing shock jocks like Wiener -also from SF- Levin, Limbaugh and Laura Ingrahham have no qualms stating liberals and Democrats are the enemy. They call for war against the liberals.

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Tom Gallagher is a voice of reason and sanity in a time of over-reaction. We should heed his advice.


Treason is a simple way to capture the feeling a lot of people are confronting with respect to the president. I think it’s a waste of time to get all technical about it—a lot of people are feeling that way. When you have a president that seems to do the bidding at every step of a repressive fossil fuel oligarch and his buddies, crapping on renewables and countries pushing them, pissing on climate science, advocating for the dissolution of NATO, and just generally acting like he takes orders from the Kremlin, it’s a tough word to avoid.

That’s true, but let’s not forget that Jimmy Carter was the one who started seling/giving arms to Al Qaeda because Zbigniew Brezinski (apologize for spelling) said they could give the USSR their own “Viet Nam”.


NATO should have been dissolved 25 years ago. It is now the iron fist of the global elite.which is bleeding us financially dry.


We need something to keep up those arms sales to Europe, one of our best friends.Russia doesn’t need our war toys. They have plenty already. Can’t , absolutely can’t make Russia friends.

I’m just guessing, but perhaps freeopinions is referring to Obama and Hillary Clinton as SoS not Bill Clinton and Obama presidencies. There are stories of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of arming Syrian rebels where the weapons ended up in the hand of forces aligned with extremist factions related to Al Qaeda. Whether the US should have realized this was going to occur or not is in dispute (if you ask me, we should sell zero weapons to the current government of Saudi Arabia).

As far as the thesis of the article (which I liked) goes, I wonder if I’ll be able to give up my charge of treason against Nixon for what he did before he was president to undermine any peace deal Johnson would have been willing to commit to. That is the most treasonous charge of presidents in my lifetime that I know of, and I’ve been calling it treason for so long, I’m not sure I’m ready to drop that term. These days public opinion has a very strange dynamic but it could be that some charge against Trump’s behavior being treasonous might stick in the court of public opinion. Do we want to forego playing that card? I’m not sure, but of course I want more Ocasio-Cortez type candidates.

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