Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In View of all of the talk....

As others have already commented on this at some length, I will only post a few references and resources for your use and consideration, and leave you with one question:

Has your Senator, Representative or other elected official been true to their oath of office? Read the Constitution, check his or her voting records. Read their public statements and stands on the issues...and make your own decision as mature men of freedom and as responsible adults.


The Oath of Office

The oath of office required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and as provided by section 2 of the act of May 13, 1884 (23 Stat. 22), to be administered to members, Resident Commissioner, and Delegates of the House of Representatives, the text of which is carried in 5 U.S.C. 3331:

"I, ____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

The Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact!
In the Terminiello case, the majority opinion, by Justice William O. Douglas overturned the disorderly conduct conviction of a priest whose anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi rantings at a rally had incited a riot. The court held that Chicago's breach of the peace ordinance violated the First Amendment.

Jackson wrote a twenty-four page dissent in response to the Court's four page decision, which concluded: "The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I--CRIMES CHAPTER 115--TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES

Section 2381. Treason Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PART I--CRIMES CHAPTER 115--TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIESSec. 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war (a) Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so--Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. (b) If two or more persons conspire to violate subsection (a) of this section and one or more such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as provided in said subsection (a). (c) Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. (d) This section shall apply within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, and on the high seas, as well as within the United States.

TITLE 18--CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PART I--CRIMES CHAPTER 37--ESPIONAGE AND CENSORSHIPSec. 798. Disclosure of classified information (a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign
government to the detriment of the United States any classified information-- (1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes--Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Aid and Comfort to the Enemy

The Cramer Case.—Since the Bollman case, the few treason cases which have reached the Supreme Court were outgrowths of World War II and have charged adherence to enemies of the United States and the giving of aid and comfort. In the first of these, Cramer v. United States,1343 the issue was whether the “overt act” had to be “openly manifest treason” or if it was enough if, when supported by the proper evidence, it showed the required treasonable intention.1344 The Court in a five-to-four opinion by Justice Jackson in effect took the former view holding that “the two-witness principle” interdicted “imputation of incriminating acts to the accused by circumstantial evidence or by the testimony of a single witness,”1345 even though the single witness in question was the accused himself. “Every act, movement, deed, and word of the defendant charged to constitute treason must be supported by the testimony of two witnesses,”1346 Justice Jackson asserted. Justice Douglas in a dissent, in which Chief Justice Stone and Justices Black and Reed concurred, contended that Cramer’s treasonable intention was sufficiently shown by overt acts as attested to by two witnesses each, plus statements made by Cramer on the witness stand.

The Haupt Case.—The Supreme Court sustained a conviction of treason, for the first time in its history, in 1947 in Haupt v. United States.1347 Here it was held that although the overt acts relied upon to support the charge of treason—defendant’s harboring and sheltering in his home his son who was an enemy spy and saboteur, assisting him in purchasing an automobile, and in obtaining employment in a defense plant—were all acts which a father would naturally perform for a son, this fact did not necessarily relieve them of the treasonable purpose of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Speaking for the Court, Justice Jackson said: “No matter whether young Haupt’s mission was benign or traitorous, known or unknown to the defendant, these acts were aid and comfort to him. In the light of this mission and his instructions, they were more than casually useful; they were aids in steps essential to his design for treason. If proof be added that the defendant knew of his son’s instruction, preparation and plans, the purpose to aid and comfort the enemy becomes clear.”1348
1343 325 U.S. 1 (1945).
1344 89 Law. Ed. 1443-1444 (Argument of Counsel).
1345 325 U.S. at 35.

1346 325 U.S. at 34-35. Earlier, Justice Jackson had declared that this phase of treason consists of two elements: “adherence to the enemy; and rendering him aid and comfort.” A citizen, it was said, may take actions “which do aid and comfort the enemy . . . but if there is no adherence to the enemy in this, if there is no intent to betray, there is no treason.” Id. at 29. Justice Jackson states erroneously that the requirement of two witnesses to the same overt act was an original invention of the Convention of 1787. Actually it comes from the British Treason Trials Act of 1695. 7 Wm. III, c.3.

1347 330 U.S. 631 (1947).
The Court held that conversation and occurrences long prior to the indictment were admissible evidence on the question of defend-ant’s intent. And more important, it held that the constitutional requirement of two witnesses to the same overt act or confession in open court does not operate to exclude confessions or admissions made out of court, where a legal basis for the conviction has been laid by the testimony of two witnesses of which such confessions or admissions are merely corroborative. This relaxation of restrictions surrounding the definition of treason evoked obvious satisfaction from Justice Douglas, who saw in the Haupt decision a vindication of his position in the Cramer case. His concurring opinion contains what may be called a restatement of the law of treason and merits quotation at length:
‘As the Cramer case makes plain, the overt act and the intent with which it is done are separate and distinct elements of the crime. Intent need not be proved by two witnesses but may be inferred from all the circumstances surrounding the overt act. But if two witnesses are not required to prove treasonable intent, two witnesses need not be required to show the treasonable character of the overt act. For proof of treasonable intent in the doing of the overt act necessarily involves proof that the accused committed the overt act with the knowledge or understanding of its treasonable character.’

‘The requirement of an overt act is to make certain a treasonable project has moved from the realm of thought into the realm of action. That requirement is undeniably met in the present case, as it was in the case of Cramer.’

‘The Cramer case departed from those rules when it held that ‘The two-witness principle is to interdict imputation of incriminating acts to the accused by circumstantial evidence or by the testimony of a single witness. 325 U.S. p. 35. The present decision is truer to the constitutional definition of treason when it forsakes that test and holds that an act, quite innocent on its face, does not need two witnesses to be transfomred into a incriminating one.’ 1349
1348 330 U.S. at 635-36.

1349 330 U.S. at 645-46. Justice Douglas cites no cases for these propositions. Justice Murphy in a solitary dissent stated: ‘But the act of providing shelter was of the type that might naturally arise out of petitioner’s relationship to his son, as the Court recognizes. By its very nature, therefore, it is a non-treasonous act. That is true even when the act is viewed in light of all the surrounding circumstances. All that can be said is that the problem of whether it was motivated by treasonous or non-treasonous factors is left in doubt. It is therefore not an overt act of treason, regardless of how unlawful it might otherwise be.’ Id. at 649.