Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution defines treason as follows: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”  John Podhortetz asks in a NY Post op-ed that “Is Peter Arnett guilty of treason?”

The question is whether Arnett’s comments on Iraqi state-run television, a propaganda arm of Saddam Hussein’s regime, constitute “aid and comfort” to the enemy. If you analyze his remarks strictly as a matter of rhetoric, the answer is unambiguously: YES. Arnett used his time on Iraqi television to praise the Iraqi government and people in a way that might stiffen their resolve and lead them to hunker down against allied forces. Certainly, in a 21st-century context, his words were a “comfort” at the very least. […] Of course, the U.S. government will never attempt to try Peter Arnett. If he were to be charged with treason, reporters and news organizations everywhere would rise up to declare him a martyr. That’s because of the bizarre notion that because people make their living by interviewing other people and delivering information to the masses, they are in some way released from their obligations as citizens of the nations in which they live. Their obligation is not to their countrymen but to “Truth” – as they define it. [NYPost, April 2, 2003]

Senator Jim Bunning (R-Ky) also comments:

“I think he should be brought back and tried as a traitor to the United States of America, for his aiding and abetting the Iraqi government during a war,” Bunning said in a conference call with reporters. Later in a speech on the Senate floor, Bunning said: “Mr. Arnett can apologize all he likes for being a `useful idiot’ for Saddam and his barbaric regime. But that’s not enough for me, and it’s certainly not enough for our soldiers and many Americans.” [Try Arnett for treason, senator says, Enquirer]

Peter Arnett’s actions may or may not be treasonous (I am no constitutional lawyer); but they are desipicable–even for a modern “journalist.” Comment’s Paul Blair:

John Podhoretz arguing straightforwardly that what Peter Arnett did in Iraq falls under the meaning of giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, and that he should be prosecuted for treason. I agree. If we have laws against treason, and they are objective laws, then we should identify what they mean, and enforce them.

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