Saturday, May 20, 2006



In law, acts or words tending to upset the authority of a government. The scope of the offense was broad in early common law, which even permitted prosecution for a remark insulting to the king. Although there have been several statutes in the United States forbidding seditious utterances and writings, the protection guaranteed to speech and press by the First Amendment to the Constitution has made them difficult to enforce except during periods of great national stress. The Sedition Act of 1798 generated so much opposition (see Alien and Sedition Acts) that similar statutes were not enacted until the 20th cent. During World War I the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) punished speeches and writings that interfered with the war effort or caused contempt for the government. Vaguely worded and broadly interpreted, they resulted in over 2,000 prosecutions, mostly against radicals and the radical press. The Smith Act of 1940, restricted in scope to the advocacy of violence against the government, was invoked only infrequently during World War II, though it was later used successfully to prosecute Communist party leaders, as in Dennis v. United States (1951). The libel decision of Sullivan v. New York Times (1964), by granting special protection to criticism of public officials, largely eliminated what remained of the crime of sedition in the United States.


In law, treason is the crime of disloyalty to one's nation or state. A person who betrays the nation of their citizenship and/or reneges on an oath of loyalty and in some way willfully cooperates with an enemy, is considered to be a traitor. Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour.

When the government no longer obeys the law. When innocent bystanders are imprisoned and tortured. When international treaties are ignored. When citizens are spied upon, harassed, and imprisoned for simply disagreeing with these crimes. When an entire nation refuses to see the cowardly immorality of it's fear and ignorance-driven policies, people of conscience have no choice but to defy the outlaw regime. When those in authority consider themselves above the law, there is no law.

The criminal Bush administration must be removed.

If this is treason, if this is sedition, so be it.

Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.

-Mohandas K. Ghandi


  • At 5:59 PM, Anonymous JMF said…

    Robert: Totally in sync with your chosen theme, John Dean has written a scathing historical overview here that makes perfectly clear who the actual "traitors" are in this country: How Does President Bush Compare with Other Wartime Presidents With Respect to Free Speech Issues?, by John W. Dean ==== Lately, the Bush Administration has been talking of using the Espionage Act of 1917 to prosecute the New York Times and the Washington Post. Yet these veteran newspapers' "crimes" consist merely of publishing Pulitzer-Prize-winning articles on the CIA's secret prisons, and the NSA's secret surveillance programs. ==== Not even Nixon sank so low. He might have initiated criminal prosecutions against the Times for printing the Pentagon Papers, yet did not. ==== And in other respects, the Bush Administration makes Nixon look like a piker when it comes to free speech, as well as other civil liberties issues: Its electronic surveillance of American citizens has been done in utter defiance of the law. ... [By all means, do read on.]


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