March 12, 2015

No, Kossacks, Joni Ernst did not break the law, let alone commit treason

Sen. Joni Ernst — nutcutter, yes, even a
wingnut. Not a traitor or close.
Equalled in stupidity by Democrats.
A Democratic wingnut at the Great Orange Satan thinks Iowa's junior senator, also a Lite Col in the Iowa National Guard, has violated that state's National Guard regulations.

There's nothing "contemptuous" in the 47 GOP Senators' letter to Iran. President Obama was not called the n-word, nor even a secret Muslim, nor a Kenyan native. Certainly not by any legally defined use of the word.

For those with open minds, and not Democratic Party, or para-Party, hacks, click that link and read the actual letter, OK?

Really? This is just another example of run-it-up-the-flagpole-and-salute Democrats-only partisanship. Happens in both major parties.

The letter itself was stupid, to be sure. It didn't violate any military oath for Ernst, or any other GOP senator who may have a Guard rank.

Nor, contra Democratic wingnuts, did it violate the Logan Act. The Department of State has had past opinions that the act doesn't cover Members of Congress, for one thing. Second, I argue that it's unconstitutional, at least as currently written, anyway.

And, even if it DID violate the Logan Act, such violations are NOT treason.

The details for the Logan Act are:
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments. 
 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.

That's it, period and end of story. Nothing about "treason," and with a max penalty of three years in prison.

As for treason? That's officially listed and detailed in the U.S. Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. 
 The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Again, nothing in there sounds even close to the Logan Act. And, there's a reason why.

"Treason," like "libel" only worse, had long been a tool of the British Crown for hauling people into Star Chamber type proceedings. And the Founding Fathers wanted to prevent something like that in the United States. 

As far as details of that first paragraph? We've not declared war against Iran; it would itself be a constitutional issue as to whether the imposition of sanctions have made Iran an "enemy." If not, then the rest of the first graf is nugatory. Even if Iran is an enemy, one would then have to prove the letter gave Iran "aid and comfort."

Thus, PuffHoes is right; the whole "treason" is nothing but Democratic clickbait for attention and campaign dollars. The Dems' Senatorial Campaign Committee is already working on that, per Politico.

In other words, this is at least the third event or pronunciamento of some size this week that's shown that both lamestream political parties can, do, and will engage in partisan hackery.

And, as for a counter-commenter on 3 Quarks Daily claiming I'm overstating things? Wrong. Between that DSCC item and 250K and counting people signing a White House petition claiming a Logan Act violation, I don't think so.

And, as I previously noted with my latest Clinton Emails update, there's "a vast left wing conspiracy about conspiracies," complete with para-political groups like MoveOn, Media Matters, etc. And, the Huffington Post piece I linked noted the same — this is all part of the vast para-Democratic outrage machine. So, sorry 3 Quarks commenter, but, I think you're wrong.

The real, real issue, per the Huff Post piece, which connects with Politico's piece on the DSCC, is this:
There are sites which send around petitions to charge Republican senators with treason, stating erroneously that the senators who signed the letter to Iran could be arrested for violating the Logan Act, and other nonsense. These sites get money for each click. Then they have your email or your Facebook and maybe all your Facebook friends, and will continue to send click bait. People waste time signing useless petitions and sharing them. This click bait money is not the same as supporting a political party, or a candidate. The click bait money props up the organization sending the click bait, and in my opinion this is all money and time that would be better spent funding candidates or real activists (who do more than send out crap on the internet).

In other words, like most things in democratic-government politics, it's all about the money. 

And, until people who claim to be Democrats recognize this, this will only get worse. And, if Tea Party wingnuts don't recognize it, that's fine. This isn't a zero-sum unilateral disarmament issue.

So, it's fun to spoof the GOP wingnuts, like claiming Ted Cruz wrote a secret protocol to that letter to Iran. It's also fun to spoof Democratic wingnuts on stuff like this. Maybe more so at times, because they tend to get huffier.

Update: It is quite arguable, that in addition to a cheap political stunt, Sen. Tom Cotton is guilty of the crime of stupidity, if he really is just now discovering that the Iranians are threateningly in control of the city of Tehran.

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