June 13, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Edward Snowden NSA Leak: It’s Not Treason Just Because You Say It Is
A message with love to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), and anyone else calling Edward Snowden’s NSA leak “treason.”
Edward Snowden’s NSA leak is not treason just because you say it is. This goes along the same lines of constitutional vs. unconstitutional. You can say something is unconstitutional because, well, the constitution protects your right to do so. But if it’s not spelled out in the constitution, then it’s really the court system, and ultimately the Supreme Court that decides what is or isn’t constitutional. Anything else is simply conjecture. And so it is the same with treason, the only crime specifically defined in the constitution, for which the founders set a high bar to avoid abuse.
United States 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. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
There’s probably little question Snowden broke the law, but sometimes laws need to be broken to arrive at a greater good. We can leave that up to debate because my only intention with this post is to call out public figures who say Snowden should be tried for treason.
As written in the constitution, treason requires one to initiate war against the United States and/or conspire or assist its enemies. You can 100% disagree with Edward Snowden’s act. You can believe he committed a crime. You can even believe he harmed national security. But what you cannot do is link Snowden’s act to treason. You can say it’s treason, you can call him treasonous, but as I pointed out, it doesn’t make it so. Snowden did not levy war against the United States. There’s no evidence Snowden adhered to enemy orders, and no evidence he offered aid and comfort to an enemy. But even if that’s not convincing enough for you, good luck trying to find two witnesses who will testify Snowden did those things. — So do us all a favor and seek treatment for your overactive hyperbole disorder.