Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is Major Hasan a Traitor?

Austin Bay makes a strong case in his StrategyPage column today that the answer may be yes. Writes Bay,
One word aptly describes Ft. Hood mass murderer Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan: traitor.

Traitor is a tough word. It doesn't smudge and squish. "Traitor" draws a hard line, one that sharply divides essential life-determining values and marks a defining personal choice between the profound and the profane.

Treason is one of the few crimes specifically defined in the text of the United States Constitution. As defined in Article Three, Section Three,
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.

Well, then. Major Hasan was a voluntary member of the United States Army, sworn to protect the United States and furthermore, he was a member of the Army Medical Corps, sworn to serve his fellow soldiers. He voluntarily swore two oaths to that effect. Yet he opened fire on his unarmed fellow soldiers, on a military base on his country's soil. He did not take the honorable course of resigning and seeking to fight as a part of our enemies' forces, but instead hid behind his rank and shot down his fellow soldiers when they could not defend themselves. I would say that this meets the characterization of 'levying war' as well as 'adhering to their enemies'. Taken together, this is a pretty clear picture of a traitor. Colonel Bay compares Hasan with Benedict Arnold and I believe that to be a fair analogy but I would classify Hasan's acts as even more despicable than Arnold's.

Bay also takes to task journalists and activists like Joe Klein and the partisan hacks at for abusing the word treason - a word that in some cases (ie. Eric Lichtblau and James Risen) actually applies better to those same abusers. Bay says of these contemptible members of the chattering class,
Self-styled mainstream journalists with no regard for the awful moral weight and terrible consequences of the actual act of sedition heedlessly employ the accusation as a word weapon to thwart discomfiting political criticism. For example, Time Magazine's Joe Klein wrote this past Oct. 23 that "some of" what Fox News presents ("peddles" was Klein's verb) "borders on sedition."

Klein's rash innuendo (so indicative of people who live in a relatively safe world protected by cops and soldiers) is lightweight prostitution compared to the thoroughly dirty work of the hard left propagandists at, who all but called Gen. David Petraeus a traitor.

This is unfortunately true. Many members of the left like to throw around words like this in an attempt to silence their political opponents. However, treason has a deeper meaning - simply disagreeing with a President's policies, and pointing out the flaws and problems with those policies, is not treason. That is dissent, and is the lifeblood of a free country. The Left, however, prefers to silence their adversaries than to hold an open debate. I would suggest that my readers, such as they may be, might want to take note of that tendency. Republicans and conservatives are not known for silencing debate - quite the contrary. It is the Left who wishes to shut down open discourse, whether by the Orwellian 'Fairness Doctrine' or by cruder threats, such as frivolous lawsuits or even using their SEIU shock troops.

Did Major Nidal Malik Hasan commit treason? Based on the available evidence the answer appears to be a resounding yes. I fully support a full investigation in a military courts martial. However, should the resulting judgment agree with this assessment, we can only hope that a military overcome with dangerous political correctness can and will take the necessary steps to execute him for actions against the men and women he was sworn to protect and serve.