Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

When Is It Treason?

Between Adam Gadahn, Jane Fonda and Lynne Stewart, I've been doing a lot of posts on the topic of treason lately. Lest some think that I use the term lightly, in fact my accusations have been quite specific.

In the instance of American convert to Islam and al-Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn, his was a clear cut case of treason if there ever was one. As the first such American charged since WWII, Gadahn was a more than appropriate candidate.

Of Lynne Stewart, the leftist lawyer with a prediliction for defending and aiding the machinations of Islamic terrorists, there too it is a fairly straightforward case. But the slap-on-the-wrist sentence Stewart received, not to mention her legions of leftist apologists, make the charge of treason one with which some will inevitably argue.

Then there was my suggestion that actress and liberal activist Jane Fonda be charged with treason for her role in making propaganda radio broadcasts for the Vietnamese Communists during the war. Very few dispute that her actions aided the enemy and contributed to harming American soldiers.

Still, it seems there are some for whom nothing would constitute treason. Instead, all such actions are ascribed to "dissent" or simply expressing "different viewpoints," no matter how outrageous. But at what point do "differing viewpoints" or being a mere "useful idiot" cross over into actively providing aid and comfort to the enemy? And if as a society we are too squeamish to ever apply the "T" word, has treason itself become meaningless?

Here's how I look at. If someone wants to flat out join the other side (of whatever war America is engaged in at the time), then they should come right out and do it. Renounce his or her citizenship, move to said third world paradise and join the military and/or government. (At least Adam Gadahn had the guts to do that much). Then pay the consequences accordingly.

But you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Then again, if Lynne Stewart and Jane Fonda are any indication, I guess you can.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.

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