Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Kerry has a long and well-documented history of providing "aid and comfort" to the enemy in time of war -- particularly in the case of North
Vietnam, Nicaragua and Cuba.
First it is good to note the source of this email. It is clearly part paraphrase, part direct quote, from this Free Republic post.
Aid and comfort to the enemy: The Kerry record...
Next, how does the Constitution define treason? Article 3, Section 3 says 'Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war
against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Critics of Kerry like to define treason as giving aid and comfort to
the enemy, conveniently leaving out the word "adhering". Webster's Third International defines "adhere" as" to hold, follow, or maintain loyalty
steadily and consistently
(as to a person, group, principle, or way)".
No wonder Kerry critics don't properly define treason as "adhering to the enemy, giving aid and comfort." Is anyone going to argue seriously that
two visits to North Viet Nam constitute following or maintaining loyalty, steadily and consistently?
However, "adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" within the United States or elsewhere, is the most important treason. It
was last prosecuted at the Second World War and some argue that Jane Fonda should be charged with adhering to the Vietnamese enemies. The Constitution
does not define "enemies" - this is assumed to be self-evident. Some case law defines this as subjects of a foreign Power in open hostility with the
United States (Stephan v. US, 1944; US v. Greathouse 1863) but it can also include US citizens who join enemy forces (US v. Quirin). This new "war on
terrorism" also gives the term new meaning. So it seems that "enemies" is ever-changing and unclear. It is clear, however, that "adhering to their
enemies" means "with intent to betray the United States" (US v. Cramer) and such intent must be manifested by an overt act.
Is anyone going to argue that Kerry intended to betray the United States, and that his intent was manifested by an overt act? If Kerry had given
information about U.S. war plans, troop strength, or military deployments, that would be an overt act. If he had contributed money or labor to the
North Viet Namese war effort, that would be an overt act. Talking to them in an effort to bring an end to the war is hardly an overt act intended to
betray the United States.
Why are Nicaragua and Cuba brought into the discussion? For those who don't remember, during the Reagan administration the United States provided
financial and military aid to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, in violation of U.S. law. That was called the Iran-Contra affair. If Kerry
talked to the Nicaraguan government, that government was not the enemy, since our participation in the civil war was illegal. Why Cuba was brought
up, I have no idea. The last time there were military hostilities against Cuba was in 1961, during the U.S. initiated Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Kerry, by his own account of his actions and protests, violated the UCMJ, the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. Code while serving as a Navy
As mentioned in the Free Republic post, Kerry admitted to participating in free-fire zones, harassment and interdiction fire, search and destroy
missions, etc. While such activities may technically be violations of the UCMJ and Geneva Conventions, they were extremely common in Viet Nam.
Kerry met, on two occasions, with North Vietnamese negotiators in 1970 and 1971, willingly placing himself in violation of Article three,
Section three of the U.S. Constitution, which defines treason as "giving aid and comfort" to the enemy in time of warfare.
Notice how the word "adhering" is not mentioned. As discussed above, claiming that Kerry's two visits to North Viet Nam constitute treason
doesn't pass the laugh test. Kerry was still a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserves at the time of his visit. If he committed treason, why
didn't the U.S. military prosecute him for it?
[edit on 8/2/2004 by donguillermo]