Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: treason ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: treason
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jeraboo-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 28 Oct 2006 10:28 PDT
Expires: 27 Nov 2006 09:28 PST
Question ID: 777800
If treason is strictly defined as giving aid and comfort to the
enemies of the US, and since there are numerous groups around the
world who have complicated relationships with the US, how does one
determine which groups/states are enemies?
Subject: Re: treason
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 30 Oct 2006 11:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear jeraboo-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Well,
first of all treason is not strictly defined as ?giving aid and
comfort to the enemy?. There are a number of definitions for the act
of treason and what constitutes the offense, the conspiracy to commit
it and the commission thereof. For example:

Article III of the US Constitutions says:

?Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War
against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and

The United States Code says: 

 2381. Treason
?Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against
them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within
the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer
death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under
this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of
holding any office under the United States.?

Clearly, aid and comfort are not the only prerequisite here, rather
?warring against the US or ?adhering? to its enemies are also
considered prima facie evidence of the offense. Does this mean that
one cannot ?adhere? to the tenets of some government, party or
organization that is in opposition to the US as a matter of
Constitutional free speech and free thought? I suppose that would be
determined by how badly the US government wished to build a criminal
case against you. Admittedly the wording is rather ambiguous and
broadly defined but since was the basis upon which some of the
McCarthy era persecutions were founded it can obviously (at least
historically) be construed that way and in that manner (whether the
end result is successful or not).

In addition to this are the other legal minutiae relative to treason: 

There is  2382 ?Misprision of treason?, which dictates that any
person who has knowledge of treason is thereby guilty of treason

There is  2383 ?Rebellion or insurrection? that dictates that any
person who ?incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any
rebellion or insurrection? is guilty of treason.

There are also many other variations of acts constituting treason
under the US Code. Here are some just to name a few:

 2384. Seditious conspiracy

 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government

 2386. Registration of certain organizations

 2387. Activities affecting armed forces generally

 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war

 2389. Recruiting for service against United States

 2390. Enlistment to serve against United States

Ok, so we?ve pretty well defined who, under the law, is considered
guilty of treason. How does the US go about tagging a specific entity
an ?enemy?? Well, that?s an issue that is older than the United States
itself. From the very beginning the governing bodies of the Colonies
held certain entities to be enemies by virtue of their outright
aggression al the way down to the simplistic nature of conflicting
ideologies. Aggressive acts (overt or otherwise) universally represent
themselves as adversarial, but differing ideologies were (and to some
extent still are) viewed as antagonistic. Since ideologies often
evolve it is not unheard of for entities once considered sympathetic
to the US to become formal enemies at some point when their counter
ideals cross the threshold of what is accepted to be merely
oppositional and antagonistic to become downright revolutionary,
seditious, or terrorist.

There are many nations, governments, organizations and entities that
are not held out to be ?friendly? but this does not necessarily and
automatically make them enemies of the state. As we?ve seen in recent
litigation the government has had difficulty defining ?enemy
combatant?, much less the more broadly defined enemy nation. Suffice
it to say that an ?enemy? is typically the force (operative word here)
be it government, party, organization, etc. that is, by it?s
aggressive nature, actively and forcibly opposing forces of the US
government, such as in times of war. A more modern definition however
seems to dictates that an ?enemy? is whomever the government chooses
an ?enemy? to be according to the needs of the definition at any given

The answer to the question you pose actually runs much deeper than a
reader might initially expect. I, for one, believe it is a very
pertinent and thought-provoking inquiry that deserves much study by
political geniuses, philosophers, sociologists and others who wear
taller hats than me. It is a veritable hornet?s nest of what is
certain to be hot and deeply dividing debate. If they can, in their
infinite wisdom, figure out once and for all ?how? and ?why? enemies
come to be so defined, perhaps mankind will learn to stop finding new

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



Google ://







[ PS:  Who is this person? I like him/her! Bring it on jeraboo! ]
jeraboo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Tutuzdad's answers are so good, I'm starting to run out of money!

Subject: Re: treason
From: barneca-ga on 28 Oct 2006 14:03 PDT
probably defined by a jury of your peers.
Subject: Re: treason
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Oct 2006 03:33 PST
Use common sense.

"Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general
information, and are not intended to substitute for informed
professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal,
investment, accounting, or other professional advice."
Subject: Re: treason
From: barneca-ga on 30 Oct 2006 12:23 PST
i like jeraboo's questions too, but as for jeraboo him/herself, i'm
not sure i'd want to meet them in a dark alley if i had $300 and they
had a fake belize passport...


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy