Gresh Replies to Armstrong
by Steve Gresh, June 25, 2002
My wife, Joan, read the article that you wrote about me (www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/gresh.html).
She told me, "Ari's right. You're an idiot!"
I, of course, disagree with her.
She also told me that she still plans to vote for me, though. And, I confirmed with her that she plans to vote for Rick.
I'll elaborate on my analogy between Republican politicians who fail to criticize President Bush and Nazi sympathizers. During our phone conversation, I also mentioned those German citizens who did not attempt to prevent the atrocities that were committed by the Nazis.
Yes, I consider all such individuals who participate actively in the betrayal of their country (i.e., the betrayal of the constitutional principles which the people of a country have ordained and established), watch passively as their fellow citizens ar e killed, or, for example, vote to exterminate Jews or any other group of people, to be guilty of treason.
Passivity is a conscious and purposeful act of treason when an individual possesses information and has a reasonable opportunity to act on such information to thwart those who are betraying his country by waging war against it or any of its people. Many German citizens in the 1930s were aware of the Nazis' plans and had opportunities to speak out against those plans before they were implemented. Those who failed to act when it was reasonable for them to do so (i.e., when there was little or no risk to their personal safety) were just as guilty of treason (i.e., war crimes) as the prominent Nazi Party leaders and activists who were tried and found guilty at Nuremberg. The excuses, "I was only following orders," or, "I was only doing what I was told to do," are clearly not valid defenses. Members of the U.S. military, for example, have a duty to disobey illegal orders. They can be prosecuted for obeying orders which they can reasonably be expected to know are illegal.
Do I believe that those millions of additional German citizens should have been indicted, tried, convicted, and hanged for their acts of treason? Yes.
However, for the same reasons that I don't think it would have been possible for that to happen then, I really don't think that it's possible for Lynn or Joel Hefley (or Wayne Allard or any other Republican or Democratic politician for that matter) to be hanged (after being tried and found guilty of treason) now. It would simply be impractical in terms of time and the expenditure of scarce, taxpayer-funded resources to conduct fair judicial proceedings against so many traitors in accordance with their 5th and 6th Amendment rights to due process, to not be compelled to be witnesses against themselves, and to speedy and public trials by impartial juries.
As to whether voting for or signing the USA Patriot Act are treasonable offenses, Ron Paul states in his April 29, 2002 column (http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2002/tst042902.htm), "Erosion of civil liberties will continue as our government responds to fears of terrorist acts by making generous use of unconstitutional powers obtained through the Patriot Act."
A member of Congress who supports unconstitutional laws violates his or her oath to "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 a nd allegiance to the same; ...."
A president who supports unconstitutional laws violates his or her oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
I submit as evidence of treason Ron Paul's statement that the Patriot Act provides our government with unconstitutional powers. Those members of Congress who voted for it and the president who signed it violated their constitutional oaths. Furthermore, the unconstitutional powers that our government has obtained through the Patriot Act are a betrayal of the constitutional principles, especially the Bill of Rights, which the people of our country have ordained and established. I consider all of this to be sufficient evidence to indict, try, convict, and hang those members of Congress and the president who have levied war against the United States and its people.
Is it likely that we will ever have trials for those traitors that are similar to the ones that were conducted for the Nazis at Nuremberg in 1945 and 1946? Probably not.
It's not that I don't think that such trials are appropriate. I just don't think that they're possible.
Yours in liberty,
Ari Armstrong responds: I agree that the majority of those in Congress have violated the U.S. Constitution. However, Gresh merely asserts that this is the equivalent of treason, even though the language of the Constitution indicates it's not treason. The appropriate punishment for violating one's oath of office is typically to be removed from office. And again, U.S. politicians who voted for the USA PATRIOT Act are hardly in the same category as the Nazis, who after all murdered millions of people in cold blood.