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Which Side Committed Treason in the ‘Civil War’?

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The two people in America who seem to suffer the most from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) are Mr. Kellyanne Conway (a.k.a. George) and “Republican strategist” Rick Wilson, two old GOP political hacks who apparently lost their lucrative gigs with the party when Donald Trump was elected.  They, along with a gaggle of other sour grapes, out-of-the-loop D.C. Republicans, have created something called “The Lincoln Project” which they intend to use to vent their hatred for the president.  Their first effort was to (informally) join forces with the self-described Marxist revolutionary founders of Black Lives Matter (and Antifa for that matter) to accuse the president of being a ‘’white supremacist.”

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They did this with a television ad that made use of the decades of trial lawyer experience of a man like George Conway to craft the following legal argument:  1) The Southern Confederates were traitors; 2) People with Confederate flag t-shirts have been spotted at Trump rallies; 3) Therefore, Donald Trump encourages treason.  If there was a Nobel Prize for lawyering George Conway and Rick Wilson would surely be top candidates.

One thing that might stand in their way, however, is the plain historical fact that the truth is exactly the opposite of their main proposition that the Southern Confederates committed treason by seceding from the Union (as I discuss in more detail in my soon-to-be-released book, ).  These supposed defenders of the Constitution are apparently unaware of the definition of treason in the document.  Article 3, Section 3 of the U.S. 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” (emphasis added).  The all-important words here are “them” and “their,” signifying that, as in all of the founding documents, the words “United States” are always in the plural, meaning the free and independent states, not something called “the United States government in Washington, D.C.”  After all, it was the citizens of the free and independent states, as they are called in the Declaration of Independence, that delegated certain powers to the federal government, as delineated in Article 1, Section 8.  They defined treason in this way to attempt to assure that the powers of the federal government, which they had delegated for their mutual benefit, would not be used against them by means of a military invasion.  Levying war upon any of the free and independent states is the “only” definition of treason in the U.S. Constitution.

In other words, when Lincoln ordered the first 75,000-man invasion of the Southern states he, and all of his political associates, committed treason as defined by the Constitution.  He and the Republican Party have done everything possible to cover this up and pull the wool over the public’s eyes for generations.  Lincoln started this subterfuge by unilaterally redefining treason to mean any criticism of himself or his administration’s policies.  That is how he justified his illegal suspension of habeas corpus and the arrest by military forces and imprisoning without due process of thousands of Northern political dissenters including mayors, Congressman Henry May of Maryland, the entire Maryland state assembly, and dozens of opposition newspaper editors.

Of course, no president has the authority to redefine the Constitution in this way.  It was exactly the kind of tyrannical act that George Washington warned against in his Farewell Address when he stated that if the Constitution is to be amended there is a process for it in the document itself, namely votes by the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states.  Any other means, such as what Lincoln did, is what President Washington considered to be a deadly threat to democracy and the union itself by what he called “usurpation.”  The Lincoln administration’s redefinition of treason, enforced not by the judicial system but by armed soldiers, was arguably the worst “usurpation” and perversion of the Constitution in American history.  George Conway and Rick Wilson know nothing of this, so blinded are they by their apoplectic hatred of the man whose electoral success cut them off from the D.C. political insider gravy train.

Article posted with permission from Lew Rockwell

Thomas DiLorenzo

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is the author of many books, including The Real Lincoln and How Capitalism Saved America. A professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he has written for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Barron's, and many other publications. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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