Does this sound like treason to you? *UPDATED*

Treason is a pretty simple concept.  Here are a few choice definitions:

A violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.

Violation of allegiance toward one’s country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.

1. a crime that undermines the offender’s government
2. disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior
3. an act of deliberate betrayal

Have you got all those definitions firmly in mind?  Now read this, from Amir Taheri, reporting in the New York Post:

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

When I was a young adult, one of the absolute worst charges Reagan’s political opponents leveled at him was the claim that, while he was running for President against Jimmy Carter, he reached an agreement with the Iranian revolutionaries that they would not release the American hostages until after the presidential election — something that would reinforce the American voter’s impression that Carter was weak and inept.

In the 1990s, both the House and the Senate investigated these charges and found nothing.  Nevertheless, amongst Democrats and those further to the Left, mention Reagan’s name and this charge comes up as yet another example of the Left’s ability to believe simultaneously that conservatives/Republicans are yokels with two-digit IQs and evil manipulators whose savvy enables them constantly to double-cross naive Democrats.

There is no doubt in my mind that Obama grew up knowing about this charge against Reagan, and saw  it as yet another example of Reagan’s and the Republicans’ myriad calumnies.  Heck, I don’t even doubt that Obama dismisses the official debunking and believes it’s completely true that Reagan engaged in this heinous act.  Or, let’s put it another way — an act that was heinous when a Republican committed it against a Democrat.

I also have absolutely no doubt that Obama used Reagan’s alleged negotiations with the hostages as an inspiration for his undermining the American government, not during a “crisis,” but during an actual war.  Nobody in the Justice Department is going to do anything about it, of course.  Nevertheless, we can at least call ‘em like we see ‘em — if the Iraqi Foreign Minister spoke the truth (and this is not merely an inchoate conspiracy theory, but something straight from a possibly reliable horse’s mouth), Obama committed treason, plain and simple.

And this is the man that approximately half of the country wants to see as Commander in Chief?  Someone who will betray his own country and keep American troops at risk for an enterprise he believes is unnecessary simply for his own personal aggrandizement?  If we needed any further evidence that Obama is unfit to walk through the door of the White House, this is it.

Others blogging:

Wizbang
Instapundit
Hot Air
Lucianne
Brutally Honest
The Anchoress

UPDATE: Charlie from Colorado made such a good point in the comments that I think his point and my response need to be moved up here, to the post:

Charlie (Colorado):

Bookie, this is the one case where the definition of a crime is established in the Constitution:

Article III Section 3. 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.

I think it would be pretty hard to claim this was an overt act of levying war or of adhering to the enemies of the USA.

Now, if you wanted to suggest it was a violation of the Logan Act I’d be right there with you.

Bookworm:

Interesting point, Charlie. Did Obama give aid and comfort to the enemy? From his own point of view, I think he did.

My take on the War — and this particular time in the War — is that our troops our in Iraq trouncing the bad guys. Obama’s point of view is now, and certainly was back in July, when he made these statements — that the war is a failure, and that our troops are there as target practice for some amorphous “insurgents.” (I say amorphous because the Democrats keep denying that these are Al Qaeda people and they’ve assured us that Islam is a religion of peace.)

Because Obama’s view is/was that our troops our in the equivalent of a turkey shoot, with them being the turkeys, when he specifically requested that those same American troops be left to the depredations of those amorphously identified insurgents, Obama provided aid and comfort to the enemy. More American turkeys for them to shoot could only be a good thing from their point of view. (Mind you, I’m looking at the Iraq theater through the Obama prism.)

Likewise, by bad mouthing our administration abroad and implying that it is ineffectual, Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Certainly, we’ve taken heart from captured communications between Al Qaeda and its fellow travelers in which the writers speak badly of their own command and troops.

And you’re right, of course — Obama’s also violating the Logan Act.

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  • Ymarsakar

    Treason doth never prosper. What’s the reason? For treason to prosper, none dare call it treason.

  • Ymarsakar

    So long as we have people like you, Book, willing and able to stand up to the domestic and foreign enemies of America, treason cannot prosper.

  • http://explorations.chasrmartin.com Charlie (Colorado)

    Bookie, this is the one case where the definition of a crime is established in the Constitution:

    Article III Section 3. 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.

    I think it would be pretty hard to claim this was an overt act of levying war or of adhering to the enemies of the USA.

    Now, if you wanted to suggest it was a violation of the Logan Act I’d be right there with you.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Interesting point, Charlie. Did Obama give aid and comfort to the enemy? From his own point of view, I think he did.

    My take on the War — and this particular time in the War — is that our troops our in Iraq trouncing the bad guys. Obama’s point of view is now, and certainly was back in July, when he made these statements — that the war is a failure, and that our troops are there as target practice for some amorphous “insurgents.” (I say amorphous because the Democrats keep denying that these are Al Qaeda people and they’ve assured us that Islam is a religion of peace.)

    Because Obama’s view is/was that our troops our in the equivalent of a turkey shoot, with them being the turkeys, when he specifically requested that those same American troops be left to the depredations of those amorphously identified insurgents, Obama provided aid and comfort to the enemy. More American turkeys for them to shoot could only be a good thing from their point of view. (Mind you, I’m looking at the Iraq theater through the Obama prism.)

    Likewise, by bad mouthing our administration abroad and implying that it is ineffectual, Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Certainly, we’ve taken heart from captured communications between Al Qaeda and its fellow travelers in which the writers speak badly of their own command and troops.

    And you’re right, of course — Obama’s also violating the Logan Act.

  • Allen

    Treason, no. Here’s why: Iraq is a putative ally so him talking with the government of an ally is not treasonous.

    He has however disregarded the Constitution, as many in Congress seem to do. The sole repository of foreign policy duties lies within the executive branch. The Senate can either confirm or deny the agreements the President comes up with.

    I would criticize him for the fact that he does not know this. Any pretense that the government of Iraq needs to take into account the US Congress in their talks shows he is clueless about the Presidency.

    Ready to lead on day one, with no knowledge of his Constitutional role.

  • http://explorations.chasrmartin.com Charlie (Colorado)

    I’m not a lawyer, Gods know, but this came up with reference to Kerry in 2004. And while I’m not a lawyer, Eugene Volokh is:

    The Supreme Court has held that “adhering” requires an intent to help the nation’s enemies. Merely knowledge that one’s actions will help the enemies isn’t enough. Thus, for instance, in Haupt v. United States (1947), the Court concluded that a father’s sheltering his son — a Nazi saboteur — isn’t treason if his intention was simply to help his son (as a result of “parental solicitude”). To be treasonous, the father’s actions had to be intended to aid the Nazis.

    If Kerry’s intercourse with the North Vietnamese wouldn’t be covered, it seems really improbable in the extreme that Obama’s intercourse with the government of an ally would.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I am a lawyer, but have always focused on business law, leaving Constitutional law to others (along with such vexing questions as the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin). As for Obama, one has to wonder: Yes, he wants to help himself, but the vehicle for helping himself is putting American troops at risk. That is, he’s not helping himself with an unintended byproduct of putting the troops at risk. Instead, the vehicle for helping himself is intentionally putting the troops at risk (and this is accepting his world view that the troops are in a giant turkey shoot situation). His intention is to harm America, with a byproduct benefit flowing to himself.

    And yes, I’m making a very technical argument here. Obama is certainly guilty of old-fashioned, non-Constitutional treason. He’s guilty of violating the Logan Act. And I think he’s also quite possibly guilty of Constitutional treason given that his goal was to harm American troops to benefit himself, rather than trying to benefit himself with the unintended or lesser consequence of harming the troops.

    No matter how you look at it, Obama is a “very bad man.” (That’s a Seinfeld quote, by the way.)

  • Ymarsakar

    Benedict Arnold’s “stated intention” was to help America by getting her to lose to the British, because America was going to lose anyways, this way less people would have to die.

    Contrast this with Obama’s intentions of winning an election by having more Americans die in Iraq, so as to provide better press coverage for Obama and more bad coverage for Bush’s war.

    Intention doesn’t have anything to do with it, actually. What is fundamental is catching people in the act. Having their letters, personal transactions (funds, weapons, information), and/or witnessed confessions of their own motivations.

    If you have such things, then a court, a tribunal even, can use it to prove an intention, even if there was no such intention.

    Given human self-deception capabilities. you have to rely upon concrete proof and actions, rather than biased and subjective readings of what people intend.

  • Mike Devx

    Only the Executive Branach is allowed to negotiate terms and conditions with foreign governments. The Senate is allowed to ratify or reject treaties.

    What Obama did is beyond the pale, if in fact he did do it. It’s worth repeating:

    Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence. According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

    The Obama campaign has strongly denied this with great vehemence, which indicates what a serious charge it is.

    Such private discussions, seeking to undermine the current administration, are clearly a violation of the Logan Act. But the Logan Act is a toothless paper tiger; it never will be tested. It’s better to point out the sheer nefariousness of such actions by Obama (if true). They also reveal the complete deception and treachery of his entire campaign: “Out of Iraq now!” was the drumbeat during his entire campaign against Clinton.

    Obama’s defenders might claim that Obama believes that the Senate reserves the right to vote on any such troop reduction act, and he was only defending that right. But that’s a Constitutional question related to the Senate’s role in ratification of treaties, and in no way excuses the idea that Obama visited a foreign country, spoke in private with its government representatives, and demanded that they agree to his demands rather than those of the Executive Branch’s representatives.

    The political question is Obama’s to debate in the Senate. He simply is not allowed to do what he did (if he did it). Let us not forget Pelosi’s visit to Syria’s Assad. There have been many questions surrounding that visit as well. The Democrats seem quite comfortable with these actions that violate all sense of American separation of powers.