Friday, December 20, 2013

Dare we call it treason?

I'm never quite sure what to make of former CIA guy Phil Giraldi.

He identified the "yellowcake" documents as forgeries, and later established the fraudulence of Iranian nuclear documents proferred by advocates for war. Admirable work.

But Giraldi has also served as Ron Paul's foreign affairs adviser, which puts him squarely in the Yet Another Fucking Libertarian camp. That's not a way to get on my good side.

Yesterday, Giraldi wrote a startling piece which, in essence, accuses various congressfolk of having greater loyalty to Israel than to the United States.
I am referring to a concerted "betrayal of trust" by a group of American government elected officials in openly advancing policies that serve the interests of a foreign country, specifically the senators and congressmen who are lining up behind Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to oppose the White House’s attempt to negotiate an equitable solution to the thirty-five year confrontation with Iran...
There just might be a congressman or two who actually believes that or who genuinely thinks that Iran poses some kind of threat to the United States, but it does not require any particular insight to realize that the opposition to talks with Iran overwhelmingly comes directly from Israel and its friends and from nobody else. The principal Israeli lobby AIPAC has basically declared war on the White House over the issue and the Senators who are leading the charge are firmly in Israel’s pocket. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is even being briefed by Israeli intelligence and Israeli cabinet ministers have been observed pleading their case on Capitol Hill to a very receptive audience. Several congressmen have angrily confronted Secretary of State Kerry when he was trying to explain the tentative agreement with Iran, citing information they received from the Israeli Embassy and even quoting the Israeli media.
Although I'd love to see AIPAC rendered toothless, Giraldi doesn't give us damning evidence of pay-offs.

There's also the distinct possibility that Giraldi himself might have an angle. He directs something called the Council for the National Interest, which advocates for fairer treatment of the Palestinians. Although I like that cause, I don't know who funds the organization. If a foreign government is involved, Giraldi has opened himself up to charges of hypocrisy.

Why do I draw your attention to Giraldi's piece? Because he opens with a very bold and thought-provoking suggestion -- one that takes us well beyond the Israel-Iran controversy.

He believes that congressfolk who toil on behalf of a foreign government should face the gravest legal consequences. The US Constitution is flawed, he says, in that it defines "treason" quite narrowly. From Article III:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
These words do not apply to a political figure who operates on behalf of a country which is not a declared enemy. Giraldi clearly indicates that he would like our definition of "treason" expanded to include loyalty to any foreign interest.

Seems to me that such an expanded definition could get messy. For example, FDR's foes might have used it to squelch the Lend-Lease program. "Loyalty" can easily become one of those eye-of-the-beholder issues.

Nevertheless, I too have argued (in previous posts) that Article III doesn't go far enough. The secessionist movement bugs the hell out of me. I think we should expand our definition of "treason" to include any politician whose loyalty to a proposed breakaway nation trumps loyalty to the present U.S. government. At the very least, secession advocates should be forbidden from holding office.

In 2012, the Republican primaries included two candidates who had flirted with secession. One was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who still seems interested in that dream.

The other, of course, was Ron Paul. The guy Giraldi wanted to become President.

So, Phil...do you really, really, really want to revise our fundamental definition of "treason"? Because I might countenance affixing the "traitor" label to congressfolk more loyal to a foreign flag than to the star-spangled banner -- but only if the same expanded definition also includes "secession friendly" political figures.

Such as Ron Paul. And perhaps Phil Giraldi.
Comments:
I think a restrictive definition of treason is a good idea, otherwise it would become a political weapon. I'm far from a fan of the American constitution, but that's one thing I think they got right.

I also don't think people should be forbidden from holding office because of their political positions, no matter how odd. Holding office should be down to how much popular support you have, and nothing more. Democracy. Rule by the majority. If the Scots want independence, fuck 'em, let 'em go.

As for Giraldi's history, if there's any time it's not a bad thing to be a libertarian, it's when you're dealing with foreign policy.
 
Joseph; I understand your pique with the visible layer of libertarianism. They are stealth conservatives, somewhat like liberals who ran away from the label in the 80's and 90's.

There are Left libertarians who have just as much concern with social issues as so-called mainstream progs.

Ben
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Ben: "Social issues"...ah yes. There it is again, the Great Libertarian Infiltration Tactic, or GLIT. I've talked about this before...

http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2013/12/glit-cell-phone-spying-and-more.html

Suffice it to say, this is the kind of Libertarianism that scares me MOST. No mater where you turn, there's another fucking Libertarian (backed by Yet Another Fucking Libertarian Billionaire) trying to find SOME way to bribe, seduce or cajole the populace into giving up Social Security and ceding all control to the corporations.

That's your cue, Ben: "We're not talking about ending Social Security. However, privatization can be..."

Yada yada yada yada...

I hope you're not under the impression that you have an argument up your sleeve that I have not heard before
 
Well, started out as a great post, but you lost me with your call for an expanded definition of treason. You know darn well it would only be passed by Congress if could be use it decent people.
 
I can tell you have strong feelings on this subject.
All I'm going to say is that the words 'Democrat' or liberal/progressive have been found wanting by me.

And.....I'd sure like to know what your first comment was. :)

Ben
 
Oscar: That was kind of my point.

Ben: The first comment contained even worse typos. That's all. I have a bad habit of hitting the button before I've re-read.
 
See what you mean. Okay. My bad.
 
Don't worry, Joe. It'll work itself out. If people like Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich don't get elected, people soon will either opt for secession or revolution in the midst of a Collapse.
Well, that'll be the first stage of working itself out, anyway.
 
OK, so if I agree with those ee-vil insidious satanically-clever Libertarians on ANYTHING, even on those two times a day their stopped clocks are correct (foreign wars, the War On Some Drugs), then next thing I know, I'll be brainwashed--BRAINWASHED, Cannon tells me--into supporting repeal of Social Security!

[snark] Nice to see you have such a high regard for our intellects, Cannon. [/snark] *rolls eyes*

"Paranoia, the destroyer..." ^_^
 
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