It’s time to prosecute America’s new generation of al Qaeda lovers for treason

One of the most disgusting trends that has followed Hamas’s murderous attack against Israel and Israel’s response is a bold new respect for Osama bin Laden and, of course, by extension, for al Qaeda itself. What these new al Qaeda followers might not know is that we’re still at war with that terrorist organization, and they’re giving aid and comfort to a combatant against America, which is, by definition, treason and, technically, punishable by death.

On September 18, 2001, the 107th Congress issued a Joint Resolution authorizing military force “against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.” In other words, as of September 18, 2001, the United States was officially at war against al Qaeda, the organization that was responsible for the attacks on September 11.

Aside from the slow squeeze on our liberties, to which we acclimated so incrementally that most of us didn’t realize what happened, we’ve never felt this war too much at home. Unlike World War II, which involved a draft that affected everyone in America because husbands, sons, brothers, and friends were all drafted, it was different this time around. We had an entirely volunteer military that took the war overseas, and leftists didn’t (and don’t) have husbands, sons, brothers, and friends who volunteered.

Image: An al Qaeda supporter in America. X screen grab.

Still, war it was, which meant that all of the normal rules of war applied to this war. We have officially been on a war footing ever since then. The Joint Resolution has never been repealed, we have never declared victory, and al Qaeda has never officially surrendered.

There is a whole body of American laws dealing with war. One of those laws involves treason, which is the only criminal offense defined in the Constitution itself, at Art. III, section 3, clause 1:

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.

In 1917, Charles Warren took to the pages of the Yale Law Review to offer a definitive explanation of how the laws of treason work in America. Warren writes that, in 1790, Congress declared that the penalty for treason was death. During the Civil War, courts determined that the term “enemies” meant the subjects of a foreign nation in open hostility with the U.S.

“Aid and Comfort” remains an amorphous term and has received limited attention in court. Some things are obvious: Providing the enemy with goods and materials, sheltering foreign troops, spying on the enemy’s behalf, etc. But in 2023, as we’re seeing in Israel’s struggle with Hamas, war is a propaganda battle as well as a matter of boots on the ground.

For example, during an active war, going around telling fellow Americans that the enemy is right and America is wrong could reasonably be seen as treason. That’s what Jane Fonda did during the Vietnam War, and we all know that the only reason she wasn’t prosecuted was because (a) she was a member of Hollywood royalty and (b) the media supported her.

Where I’m going with all of this is that the latest TikTok trend (clearly fomented by our geopolitical enemy, China) is to praise bin Laden’s motive in launching al Qaeda’s attacks on America on September 11, 2001. One of the reasons bin Laden gave was that America supported Israel:

This is the entire text of the tweet:

Over the past 24 hours, thousands of TikToks (at least) have been posted where people share how they just read Bin Laden’s infamous "Letter to America," in which he explained why he attacked the United States.

The TikToks are from people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Many of them say that reading the letter has opened their eyes, and they’ll never see geopolitical matters the same way again.

Many of them — and I have watched a lot — say it has made them reevaluate their perspective on how what is often labeled as terrorism can be a legitimate form of resistance to a hostile power.

This is not limited to TikTok; similar videos have been posted on other social media platforms.

The Guardian had a copy of “Letter to America” posted, but once these TikToks went viral, the Guardian took it down, which has only led to more interest in the letter and conspiracies from TikTokers who say this is part of the media and the powers that control it trying to silence the truth.

Given that we’re still engaged in an active war against bin Laden’s organization, what these people are doing is the equivalent of walking around in 1944 praising Hitler and Tojo, telling people that Japan and Germany are right, and urging America’s surrender. Once we get a decent government in the White House, perhaps these TikTokers should be rounded up for treason, starting with Yashar Ali, just as the January 6 protesters were rounded up for “insurrection.”

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