The following may help to clarify your understanding of treason and sedition under US federal law.
I am very familiar with federal law (i.e., the US Code), having violated federal law before (e.g., Title 18, U.S.C., Section 248), and I always like to keep-abreast of the fed’s latest definition of the words: “treason” and “sedition”.
As men who were both treasonous and seditious (against England) the Founder’s also made certain that NO ONE IN AMERICA EVER BE ALLOWED TO DO WHAT THE FOUNDERS THEMSELVES HAD DONE: THROW OFF A TYRANNICAL, OPPRESSIVE, AND MURDEROUS GOVERNMENT!
Well, WE aim to do just THAT. Non-violently, of course.
WE DARE THE FEDS TO FIRE THE FIRST SHOTS AT NONVIOLENT PROTESTERS IN AMERICA WHO BELIEVE IN THE PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO THROW OFF BAD GOVERNMENT AND INSTITUTE A GOOD GOVERMENT IN ITS PLACE SO THAT WE MIGHT LIVE IN PEACE AND SAFETY!
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
A “Clear and Present Danger”
After the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Americans pulled together. But Americans still speak out voicing many different opinions. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. And most Americans support the idea of free speech. But since the First Amendment became part of the Constitution in 1791, American citizens have sometimes gotten into trouble with the government for speaking out. This has happened when a speaker was considered “too unpatriotic,” “too radical,” or “too dangerous.”
Who should have freedom of speech? Should it apply only to those who voice opinions most people agree with? Or, should it be for everyone, even for those who hold opinions that most Americans hate?
Also, what does freedom of speech really mean? Does it mean that someone should be able to say whatever he or she wants at any time or place? Or, should speech sometimes be limited by the law?
Sedition Act of 1798
Just a few years after the First Amendment was added to the Constitution, the federal government passed a law restricting freedom of speech. In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act. War seemed likely between the United States and its former ally France. Members of Congress were convinced that people sympathetic to France would try to stir up trouble for the new nation.
Congress and President John Adams believed that the Sedition Act would help control pro-French troublemakers by forbidding criticism of the federal government. “Sedition” generally means the incitement of violent revolution against the government. The Sedition Act of 1798, however, went far beyond this. It required criminal penalties for persons who said or published anything “false, scandalous, or malicious” against the federal government, Congress or the president.
Twenty-five American citizens were arrested under the Sedition Act. Among them was a Congressman who was convicted and imprisoned for calling President Adams a man who had “a continual grasp for power.” Another citizen was convicted for painting a sign that read, “Downfall To The Tyrants of America.” Still another man was found guilty of sedition for saying that he wished that the wadding of a cannon fired in a salute to President Adams would hit him in the seat of the pants.
Despite the arrests and convictions, many people spoke out against the Sedition Act. The state of Virginia even threatened to secede from the United States over this issue. The act was never legally challenged before the Supreme Court. Instead, it simply expired in 1801. By that time Thomas Jefferson, a bitter political opponent of President Adams and the Sedition Act, had been elected President. He pardoned all those convicted under this law.
“Clear and Present Danger”
Another major attempt to regulate freedom of speech occurred during World War I. In 1917, Congress passed the Federal Espionage Act. This law prohibited all false statements intending to interfere with the military forces of the country or to promote the success of its enemies. In addition, penalties of up to $10,000 and/or 20 years in prison were established for anyone attempting to obstruct the recruitment of men into the military. In 1918, another law was passed by Congress forbidding any statements expressing disrespect for the U.S. government, the Constitution, the flag, or army and navy uniforms.
Almost immediately, Charles Schenck, general secretary of the American Socialist Party, violated these laws. He was arrested and convicted for sending 15,000 anti-draft circulars through the mail to men scheduled to enter the military service. The circular called the draft law a violation of the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of slavery. It went on to urge draftees not to “submit to intimidation,” but to “petition for repeal” of the draft law.
The government accused Schenck of illegally interfering with military recruitment under the espionage act. Schenck admitted that he had sent the circulars, but argued that he had a right to do so under the First Amendment and was merely exercising his freedom of speech.
The issue found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919). It was the court’s first important decision in the area of free speech. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the opinion of the unanimous Court, which sided with the government. Justice Holmes held that Mr. Schenck was not covered by the First Amendment since freedom of speech was not an absolute right. There were times, Holmes wrote, when the government could legally restrict speech.
According to Justice Holmes, that test is “whether the words…are used in such circumstances as to create a clear and present danger.” Holmes said that in Charles Schenck’s case the government was justified in arresting him because, “When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.”
In the Schenck case, the highest court in the nation ruled that freedom of speech could be limited by the government. But Justice Holmes was careful to say that the government could only do this when there was a “clear and present danger” such as during wartime. While settling one legal issue, however, the Supreme Court created others. For example, what does a “clear and present danger” specifically mean, and when should it justify stopping people from speaking?
The Angry Crowd
Another important free-speech case took place after World War II. It was only a few years after thousands of American soldiers had given their lives to defeat Adolf Hitler and the German Nazis. Arthur Terminiello was speaking before an audience in Chicago. His message was hate. He said that Hitler was right in what he did. He claimed that Democrats, Jews, and communists were all trying to destroy America.
An angry crowd gathered outside the hall where Terminiello was speaking. Bricks and bottles soon rained through the windows as his oratory continued.
Arthur Terminiello was later arrested, tried, and convicted for disturbing the peace with his provocative harangue. Like Charles Schenck 30 years earlier, Terminiello appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court (Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1). He claimed that he should not have been arrested since his speech was protected by the First Amendment. The city of Chicago, however, argued that the things Terminiello raved about in his speech so angered people that a “clear and present danger” to the safety of the community had occurred.
In 1949 the Supreme Court reversed Terminiello’s conviction. (Four of the nine justices dissented.) In the majority opinion, Justice William O. Douglas wrote that “it is only through debate and free exchange of ideas that government remains responsive to the will of the people….” Justice Douglas stated that in a democracy free speech must occur even if it causes disputes, unrest, or “stirs people to anger.”
Thus, according to Justice Douglas, “freedom of speech, though not absolute, is protected against censorship or punishment unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance or unrest.”
US CODE TREASON AND SEDITION
US CODE: TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2385
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a
Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
NEWS/PRESS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ALL MEDIA
AS OF JULY 4, 2011 – 12 P.M. Noon – the United States Federal Government, Washington, D. C., is hereby on notice. The aforementioned has ONE (1) YEAR from said date (July 4, 2011 – 12 P.M. – Noon) to establish Justice by turning America around, or We the People will (see: the Declaration of Independence for our Right to do so).
TO: United States Federal Government, Washington, D. C.
God has numbered the days of your rule and has brought it to an end; you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; your rule is ended and is returned to this People.
Then Justice will be established, though not without cost. Much innocent blood of the righteous has been shed by you wicked lot, and you will not escape the coming judgment. The People of America deserve justice and God demands it, now. No more will good peopleallow you to reign over us. We have seen you for what you are and we refuse to tolerate any longer your murderous and lying ways. Like your father the Devil, who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, God will soon destroy you with the breath of his mouth.
Certain Crimes of the Federal Government in Washington, D.C.
Murder – World War II (Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many additional offenses)
Murder – Support of Israel (1946 – present) (many additional offenses)
Murder – Vietnam War (1962 – 1975) (many additional offenses)
Murder – JFK
Murder – U.S.S. Liberty (many additional offenses) Israel also charged with Murder and many additional charges
Murder – MLK
Murder – RFK
Murder – Federalized Abortion on Demand
Murder – Central and South America during 1980’s – SOA (many additional offenses)
Murder – Iran-Contra (also: Conspiracy, Illegal Drug-trafficking, Illegal Arms Trafficking, Robbery, Theft, Running a Criminal Enterprise)
Murder – The War on Drugs (also, narcotics and weapons trafficking, kidnapping, robbery, theft, et al.)
Murder – The First Gulf War (many additional offenses)
Murder – Ruby Ridge
Murder – Waco, Texas
Murder – The Oklahoma City bombing
Murder – The First World Trade Center Bombing
Murder – The Embassy Bombings
Murder – 9/11
Murder – The War in Afghanistan (many additional offenses)
Murder – The War in Iraq (many additional offenses)
Murder – The War in Libya (many additional offenses)
Theft – Wage-Earner Income Taxes
Theft – Shipping-Out Our Jobs
Theft – Stealing Our Resources (giving them to the corporations)
Theft – Stealing our money (e.g. the IRS, the Fed, Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, et al)
Dereliction of Duty – Congress
Dereliction of Duty – President
Dereliction of Duty – Supreme Court
Violations of numerous (ALL) Articles of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution
We, the People, are DONE!
July 4, 2011
SUMMER OF JUSTICE – 2012 – D.C.
Beginning July 4, 2012
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D. C.
In loving memory of JFK, MLK, RFK – American Martyrs for Justice
SUMMER OF JUSTICE – 2012 – D.C.