What is treason?

The charge of treason is thrown around by people on both ends of the political aisle who fail to show an understanding of what the word legally means in America.

Treason has a very narrow definition that prevents most people accused from having committed actual treason.

18 USC Ch. 115, S2381 defines Treason as:

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.

In order for an American to commit treason, war must be declared by Congress. Without war against a declared enemy, there can be no aid and comfort given to an enemy, which means there can be no treasonous activity committed.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were not tried for treason since war was not declared against the Soviets. They were convicted and sentenced to death for espionage.

From the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library:

In June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for conspiracy to commit espionage under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. Members of the communist party, the Rosenbergs were convicted of passing secret information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union in 1945. Their case remains a cause celebre today, with claims it was the result of Cold War hysteria. Their guilt has been confirmed by Soviet documents made available after the fall of communism.

The U. S. Constitution’s War Powers Clause is where the power for Congress to declare war can be found.

Article 1 Section 8, Clause 11 states:

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

An important thing to notice is the wording for what a Declaration of War is not included. Any Congressionally authorized use of military force is a Declaration of War.

The last time Congress declared war was on Sept. 14, 2001, which was the start of America’s War on Terror, which included:

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States:

The Iranian tyrants terrorizing their own people are the biggest financiers of international terrorism in the world. One of their many proxies is Hezb'allah, which, as Heritage accurately states:

Before September 11, 2001, Hezbollah had murdered more Americans than any other terrorist group. Despite al-Qaeda’s increased visibility since then, Hezbollah remains a bigger, better equipped, better organized, and potentially more dangerous terrorist organization, partly because it enjoys the support of the world’s two chief state sponsors of terrorism: Iran and Syria. Hezbollah’s demonstrated capabilities led former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to characterize it colorfully as “the A-Team of Terrorists.

Financing the Iranian thugs is financing international terrorism that kills Americans. It is considered treasonable under the War on Terror. Former President Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry have committed actual treason, unlike so many charges against other, including former President Trump and President Biden.

For a real case of treason, one must only go back to President Obama funding Iran.

Even the Los Angeles Times reported the amount:

The Obama administration is acknowledging its transfer of $1.7 billion to Iran earlier this year was made entirely in cash, using non-U.S. currency, as Republican critics of the transaction continued to denounce the payments.

Some 1.7 billion dollars was sent by Obama and Kerry to Tehran, in cash. There was no consent by Congress. That cash was the giving of aid and comfort to funders of international terrorism while America remains at war. That is the very definition of treason.

Bob Ryan is a writer who has an MBA. He is an American Christian Zionist who staunchly supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. He has been a weekly blogger at the Times of Israel since 2019.

Image: New York Public Library, via Picryl // CC0 1.0 public domain

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