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Yes, the "human shields" were and are guilty of treason.

By Scott Tibbs, November 21, 2009

Over on Herald-Times Online, an anonymous user posted the following comment:

When it mattered most, I remember you pounding the drums of war with your accusation that the Human Shields were traitors. Remember?

This is accurate. I supported the Iraq war not only in 2003, but for the next five years. I changed my position in 2008, and I am now opposed to the war in Iraq. See editorials from March 20 and March 24 of 2008.

However, I stand by my position that the so-called "human shields" were and are guilty of treason. Following is the relevant portion of my editorial from March 26, 2003 and the full text of my blog post from August 28, 2003.

Anti-war protests go over the line

CNN reports that some American anti-war activists have gone to Iraq to serve as "human shields" against a prospective U.S. bombing campaign against Iraq. On March 7, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin wrote that these Americans "betrayed their country and effectively renounced their citizenship." Malkin is right, and these people should be arrested and charged with treason immediately upon re-entry into the United States.

Ralph R. Reiland reports on NewsMax.com that the Iraqi Republican Guard moved the protesters to "more militaristic targets" as opposed to the humanitarian targets that they had originally proposed shielding. In other words, some American citizens were directly collaborating with the enemy's military to obstruct a future American military action. Why did these "human shields" think they would be protecting humanitarian and not military targets? As syndicated columnist Rich Lowry wrote on March 7, "even the Iraqi government isn't stupid or anti-American enough to think that the United States will deliberately target hospitals, mosques and schools."

Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution states that "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." The "human shields" that went to Iraq with the intention of blocking military action against Saddam's regime have crossed the line where civil disobedience ends and treason begins. By placing themselves in between an American bombing campaign and Iraqi targets, and collaborating with the Iraqi military, these "human shields" are clearly offering "aid and comfort" to Saddam's regime.

Treason cannot be ignored

The Evansville Courier and Press published an editorial on August 18 arguing that the U.S. government should leave the so-called "human shields" alone.

As a reminder, some anti-war activists went to Iraq to serve as "human shields" in the event of a war. They proposed staying near civilian targets to "protect" them from U.S. bombing raids. The Iraqi military asked them to move to military targets instead, and some complied. We had American citizens traveling to a enemy state with the objective of serving as an impediment to U.S. military action. Some of them collaborated with the enemy.

And the Courier and Press argues these people should be "left alone"?

The Constitution states that "treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (Emphasis added is mine.) Can it be denied that the "human shields" were adhering to our enemies? Can it be denied that the "human shields" were giving Iraq "aid and comfort" in the face of imminent war with the United States?

This is not legitimate activism or "free speech". This is an act of treason as defined by our Constitution. These people could have caused more American battlefield deaths if our soldiers had to contend with them in addition to a hostile Iraqi military, so the Courier's argument that "These are not John Walker Lindhs." falls flat.

The Courier astonishingly argues:

This country has a long tradition of honoring freedom of expression, no matter how wrongheaded, and Americans should be free to travel where they please - and at their own risk.

Since when is collaborating with the enemy with the intent of physically impeding the American military "freedom of expression"? No one is arguing that these people should not have the right to speak out against the war and engage in legitimate protests against it. The issue here is collaboration with Iraq and betrayal of one's own country.

If the Bush administration is doing anything wrong here, it is because the Bush Justice Department is not prosecuting these "activists" for treason. Sanctioning these "activists" for violating rules against "trade" is weak and cowardly. The Bush Administration should immediately seek charges of treason and punish these "activists" to the fullest extent of the law.