Treason? Nope!

18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason

Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

§ 2381.
Treason

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.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(2)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

18 U.S. Code § 953 – Private correspondence with foreign governments

Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

§ 953.
Private correspondence with foreign governments

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 744; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)
In November 1968 I voted for the first time. Actually, I didn’t vote on November 5, I had already voted by absentee ballot, along with most other US military personnel. At age 22 – I turned 23 just before the election – 1968 was the first election I could vote in. As a legal Tennessee resident, that it is where I voted although I was physically at Warner Robins, Georgia at the time. I was on my second enlistment in the US Air Force, having reenlisted in Vietnam the previous year. I’d been back in the United States for a little over a year and already had orders back to the Pacific, orders that I knew would put me back in combat again. In order to vote, I had to send a request for an absentee ballot through our squadron voting officer to my Tennessee county’s election commission. The ballot went to my squadron, and I was notified it was there. I went to the squadron and saw the officer, who opened a safe and took out the ballot and gave it to me to mark. After I had marked my choices, I handed it back. He sealed it and put it in the mail.

Recently, political author John A. Ferrell wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times (obviously, to publicize his upcoming book on President Richard Nixon) in which he claimed he had “proof” that Richard Nixon tried to sabotage the 1968 election. He points as “proof” to notes written by Nixon associate and later Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman in which he briefly mentions noted Chinese newspaper woman and widow of Lt. General Claire Chennault that he found in an archive. Ferrell and Nixon critics immediately seized on the notes as definite proof that Nixon used Mrs. Chennault as a go-between to sabotage President Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to establish peace talks between South Vietnam and North Vietnam.  There is no doubt that Mrs. Chennault had a close relationship with the South Vietnamese government. Although she is alleged to have become an American citizen in 1950, she was Chinese by birth and an active supporter of the Nationalist Chinese government of Chaing Ki Shek. A virulent anti-communist, as had been her husband, she was active with the Republican party. However, that doesn’t mean that the very brief notes Ferrell found prove that she was acting on Richard Nixon’s behalf. If anything, they indicate that he knew she was in contact with Saigon and had been there numerous times. Since Haldeman and Nixon are both dead, there’s no way to know what the notes meant. That they are “proof” of Nixon’s “treason” is (erroneous) conjecture.

 Democrats and Nixon-haters like to claim that South Vietnam’s refusal to participate in peace talks cost Hubert Humphreys the election. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a myth that American voters wait until the last minute to decide who they are going to vote for. In fact, the vast majority of Americans know who they’re going to vote for as soon as the candidates are announced. The idea that people wait to the last minute to decide is a sham. Johnson announced that a halt of all offensive actions against North Vietnam on October 31, less than a week before the election. If it had any effect on the election at all, it was negative. I was an Air Force flight crewmember and had flown missions over North Vietnam as well as Laos. The general consensus among the officers and non-commissioned officers I flew with was that it was a mistake. As Johnson’s talk of impending peace talks, we paid little attention.

Was Anna Chennault’s relationship with the South Vietnamese treason? The answer is unequivocally NO! The definition of treason, shown above, is very narrow. It consists solely of waging war against the United States or providing aid and comfort within the United States and elsewhere. Anna Chennault was not supporting the North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese communist Viet Cong in any way. In fact, she was vehemently opposed to them. Did her actions violate the Logan Act?  At first glance, it appears she might have but a closer reading of the 1799 act shows that there must be with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States. Mrs. Chennault’s relationship with the South Vietnamese president and South Vietnam’s ambassador to the United States was purely to convey political information. There were no disputes or controversies with the United States involved. Incidentally, since the Logan Act was adopted by Congress in 1799, there has been only one person indicted and the subject, a Kentucky farmer who had written an article in the Frankfort, KY paper advocating a separate nation in the western part of what was then the United States to ally with France. He was never prosecuted.
There are parallels between Anna Chennault’s contacts with South Vietnam and the allegations of President Donald Trump’s relations with Russia, although the first is factual and the second is unfounded. There are allegations of violation of the Logan Act by President Trump’s security advisor, Lt. General Mike Flynn in that he had conversations with the Russian ambassador without White House clearance. A number of Democrats, including left-wing journalist and White House Press Secretary for LBJ Bill Moyers, are calling for a senate investigation of allegations against President Trump and using Anna Chennault’s activities as a basis for such an action. However, in both instances, Democrats are grasping at straws to explain why Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 lost the election.
Commentators often like to call the 1968 election “close.” In fact, it wasn’t. Nixon won by a 110 vote margin. Alabama Governor George Wallace, running for the American Independent Party, captured 46 votes and was the preferred candidate among young men, (based on exit polling.) In short, Nixon was the preferred candidate as the 1972 election proved when he received 520 votes, as opposed to his opponent’s 17. Similarly, Donald Trump won the 2016 election by a wide margin, winning 77 more votes than Clinton and winning 30 states as opposed to her 20 and the District of Columbia. Nixon and Trump didn’t win because of “dirty politics,” they won because they were popular and had large followings nationwide. I voted for both of them.
Canadian/British/American Conrad Black’s take on it.

Puritanical Hypocrisy

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on my blog, for a number of reasons. For one, I finished writing and published a novel, have been working on another, have read a few books, including the late Jim McDougal’s ARKANSAS MISCHIEF and started a memoir by a fellow loadmaster. Today I thought I’d take a short break and post some of my thoughts on the election, in which I will be voting tomorrow – for Donald Trump. Tomorrow is the first day of early voting here in Texas and I intend to take full advantage of it.

If there’s one thing that this election has made clear, it’s that there is a large wave of Puritan hypocrisy in this country, as the NBC audio tape have made clear. I’m not sure if people are so upset because Trump used the words “fuck” and “pussy” or because he told Billy Bush that he had once made a pass at Nancy O’Donnell, Bush’s coworker at Access Hollywood. Was it that he said “I tried to fuck her” instead of “I tried to get her in bed” or “I made a pass at her.” Then the media got all upset because he said that women throw themselves as “stars” – Trump was a TV star – and that he said “grab them by the pussy.” Of course, the media reported that Trump was talking about assaulting women when what he actually said was in reference to women who threw themselves at “stars”.

Now, the so-called “F-word,” fuck, is just that, a word, a word that goes back until at least the thirteenth century. That it’s in reference to sexual intercourse is obvious. It’s only a “dirty” word to people who (claim) don’t want to talk openly about sex, even though in today’s society it’s used in general conversation, particularly by so-called “millennials.” Broadcast TV shies away from it but the same can’t be said for cable, and particularly for Hollywood. That Trump used it should be no surprise – by the way, Hillary Clinton uses it too. The late General George Patton was famous for it. I first heard – or saw – the word over 60 years ago when someone wrote it on an outside wall at Lavinia Schoohere I was in fourth grade. I had never seen or heard it before and asked my buddies what it meant and they all burst out laughing. I hardly ever heard it growing up in rural West Tennessee but when I went in the military, it seemed to be every third word used in the conversations of men from Chicago and the Northeast.

Today’s Puritanism is not religious, but rather political, and it’s widespread in the media and among political pundits. Just as the English Puritans imposed certain conditions on their fellow adherents, today’s pundits impose strict conditions on, well, on just about everyone! It’s hypocritical (just as Puritanism was) because those who condemn others are guilty of the very same practices. They cluck-cluck when some woman “comes forward” (no doubt after having been paid) to claim that Trump kissed her without permission. Never mind that kissing on the lips is common among New Yorkers and in Hollywood. What is most hypocritical is that Democrats who accuse Trump of being a monster ignore the far more contemptuous conduct of presidents, particularly Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying about his relationship with a young White House intern, Lyndon Johnson, who brought a famous hooker to the White House, and John Kennedy whose flagrant sexual activities were well known but ignored by the media. Kennedy seduced and deflowered a 19-year old intern (who was enrolled in a well-known Christian university) then ordered her to give his special assistant a blow job! Yet the media and Democrats have gone ballistic over an 11-year old tape in which Trump relates how a woman turned him down!