I recently got into a discussion on another web site where the term “treason” came up. The host (a proud liberal) said that conservatives tend to toss around the terms “treason” and “traitor” very easily, and attempted to discredit me by association. I went into great depth about how I don’t use that term, myself, except when it is clearly justified. It’s a “big gun” kind of term, and I don’t like using those big guns except when truly justified and no other terms fit.
And it’s really one of the biggest guns, too. Here’s how the United States Constitution defines treason:
Clause 1: 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.
Clause 2: 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.
Now, one of the key elements of treason that isn’t spelled out explicitly above is the “betrayal” aspect. The traitor has, by definition, have to had prior pledged loyalty to the United States and then betrayed it in order to qualify as a traitor. For example, most terrorists don’t qualify as traitors; only those who are American citizens are.
Which is why I can’t consider The Arab Bank as a traitorous organization, despite this news.
But I think the evidence is clear that the Arab Bank has chosen freely to give aid and comfort to terrorists, in truly tangible and substantial ways. I think it’s time to investigate further and, if the evidence stands up, seize every single asset the Arab Bank has in the United States and bring charges against the officers of the Bank.
What this bank has done is to encourage and subsidize terrorism. They are literally giving out “blood money” and paying people to commit acts of terrorism. And they need to be stopped — as quickly and forcefully (nay, as brutally) as possible.
(Update: I would like to brag that I wrote this piece at around 6:30 this morning, and set it to publish at 11 — before Rob wrote his piece about it, and before Rob broke story of the Americans caught in Iraq. I liked Rob’s take on it, too. Timing is everything — even when it’s completely coincidental.)