I think this a good question:
Are we influenced by traitors in politics and in the media in this country?
Good evening, Ms. Hill.
I don’t know any politicians or members of the US media who have been tried and convicted of treason. How many do you know?
"Since the Constitution came into effect, there have been fewer than 40 federal prosecutions for treason and even fewer convictions. Several men were convicted of treason in connection with the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion but were pardoned by President George Washington. The most famous treason trial, that of Aaron Burr in 1807 (See Burr conspiracy), resulted in acquittal. Politically motivated attempts to convict opponents of the Jeffersonian Embargo Acts and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 all failed. After the American Civil War, no person involved with the Confederate States of America was tried for treason, though a number of leading Confederates (including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee) were indicted. Those who had been indicted received a blanket amnesty issued by President Andrew Johnson as he left office in 1869.
John Walker Lindh was captured as an enemy combatant during the United States' 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.
The Cold War saw frequent associations between treason and support for Communist-backed causes. The most memorable of these came from Senator Joseph McCarthy, who accused the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman administrations of "twenty years of treason." As chosen chair of the Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee, McCarthy also investigated various government agencies for Soviet spy rings (q.v. as revealed in the Venona project); however, he acted as a political fact-finder rather than a criminal prosecutor. The Cold War period saw few prosecutions for treason. On October 11, 2006, a federal grand jury issued the first indictment for treason against the United States since Kawakita v. United States in 1952 who was convicted at the time and sentenced to the death penalty, charging Adam Yahiye Gadahn for videos in which he appeared as a spokesman for al-Qaeda and threatened attacks on American soil.
Most states have treason provisions in their constitutions or statutes similar to those in the U.S. Constitution. The Extradition Clause specifically defines treason as an extraditable offense. Only three persons are known to have been prosecuted for treason on the state level. Thomas Dorr was convicted for treason against the state of Rhode Island for his part in the Dorr Rebellion, but was eventually amnestied. John Brown was convicted of treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia for his part in the raid on Harpers Ferry, and was hanged. The Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, was charged with treason against Missouri, at first in front of a state military court, but escaped to Illinois after his case was transferred to a civilian court and he bribed his jailers. Smith was then later imprisoned for trial on charges of treason against Illinois, but was murdered by a group of vigilantes while in jail awaiting trial."
John Brown (May 9, 1800 – December 2, 1859) was a white American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. During the 1856 conflict in Kansas, Brown commanded forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie. Brown's followers also killed five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie. In 1859, Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry that ended with his capture Brown's trial resulted in his conviction and a sentence of death by hanging.
Brown's actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist. Historians debate whether he was "America's first domestic terrorist"; many historians believe the term "terrorist" is an inappropriate label to describe Brown.
Treason is a word thrown around too much these days, often about people who tell the truth instead of letting the government lie to us.
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