Speaker Pelosi and the Sedition Act

by Gayle Plato

“This has been the disingenuousness that has been going on, and frankly the politicization of our national security,” House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in an interview with WLS radio in Chicago.

Representative Eric Cantor’s comments got me thinking.  Much is being said about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s odd choice to state that the CIA has been pointedly misleading and lying to Congress. I speculated that she’s being set up by underlings.  Nothing these high level politicians say is unplanned.  She may have gone off a bit, but someone floated the concept of saying how this misleading of her and others has been going on since President Bush.  Pelosi is claiming there is a conspiracy to lie to Congress and it’s being done by the CIA. 

The CIA acts in a military fashion for us, especially as in the capacity referred, the CIA is the intelligence of much field operation during war time.  We are at war.  Speaker Pelosi just said that there is a planned effort to manipulate Congress. 

Either she is telling the truth, or she is not.  If she is, then there is a serious affront of treasonous proportions.  If she is lying, then there are two issues of the comments made: 1) Did any staffers, employees of public officials, recommend to Speaker Pelosi to say the CIA and past administrations are known to have lied on a regular basis to Congress?  2) Did Pelosi openly say this on her own, and if so, is she lying about a military function of our government during war?

Either way, there is clear suspicion of Speaker Nancy Pelosi commiting an act of sedition.   As she is third in line to the President, she is required under oath to uphold the Constitution.  While not often invoked, it is not without precedent to consider Sedition.

“The federal Sedition Act of 1918 states, in part, as follows:

“Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States…”
This is very clear: if Nancy Pelosi is lying, we must file charges against her for Sedition.  If anyone purposely misled her or conspired to milead her during a time of war, then that is Sediton.  Either way, it must be investigated as possible Sedition in the context of a desire to dissuade government and the military activity  underway during a time of war.
“It has been like a constant drumbeat over the last several years on the part of Speaker Pelosi that somehow our interrogators, the Bush administration, and the lawyers at the Justice Department were engaged in criminal activity — when now it comes to light that she knew and was briefed on what was going on, and in fact has been reported that she was pressing the CIA to do even more,” -Eric Cantor
(http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/05/pelosi-cia-lied.html)

 


Comments

  1. The Sedition Act of 1918 was repealed in 1920, thankfully, if one is familiar with the history of it.

    I don’t know what Pelosi knew but if the argument is based on the claim that the CIA is truthful to Congress, well, there is a long history which clearly shows this to be incorrect.

    It is also worth noting from recent times that the CIA lied to a federal judge and claimed it had no video of Moussaoui’s “interrogations” and then destroyed the tapes. The CIA lied to the Sept 11 commission about the tapes and transcripts of “interrogations.” They have already had to correct their records about who was at a number of these intelligence briefings because the records they had were simply wrong. For instance they claimed Sen. Bob Graham (R) was at 4 of these briefings when he was in fact only at one and was not told about waterboarding.

    It is now coming to light that some of these abuses were done by the CIA before any of the legal memos they claimed authorized them too and it is also coming out that techniques even more abusive were being used in many of the CIA ghost prisons.

  2. Todd- Point of Carification: All references to Sedition still go to the 1918 act. It has morphed legally into the Smith Act(1940) still on the books and seen as a point in some terrorist trials. Also there are military grounds for sedition (still referncing the 1918 act) and I suspect the true intent of 1918 was included here:
    § 894. Art. 94. Mutiny or sedition

    I am not an attorney, any willing to weigh in please do—
    As third in line to the Presidency, she is in effect, of the executive branch chain of command too. Her actions and statements directly support or undermine the military, especially during times of war. Saying the CIA lies is in effect saying a military support service is crooked. That is subversive.

    I also suspect that BECAUSE she is a woman, she is given a pass as being flustered. This wouldn’t fly for a former like Hastert, Gingrich, or even ol Tip O’Neill

  3. I am not a lawyer either, but I don’t think the repealed Sedition Act of 1918 morphed into the Smith Act. The Sedition Act made it illegal to even make statements as a private citizen and people were thrown in jail for simply expressing opposition to WWI in conversations. It was certainly a low point in American liberty.

    The Smith Act directly related to people who seek to overthrow or encourage the overthrow of the US government. It was largely used to go after left-wing organizations, many of which did not even seek to overthrow the government. The whole thing turned into a farce and most convictions were overturned.

    Questioning the honesty of the CIA doesn’t seem to even fall under the Smith Act anyway.

    The law you cite is from the Uniform Code of Military Justice which only applies to members of the armed forces.

    I would also disagree with you – she is not receiving a pass but this is being focused on quite intensely by the media.

    Lastly, is the problem that she is correct that the CIA lies but she should be punished for saying it, or are you saying that what she said is incorrect AND she should be punished for saying it?

    • Glenn Monson says

      I would love to know which of these left wing organizations your referring to did not seek to overthrow our government. Since it seems they all, whether overtly or covertly have been shown to do so. i.e. CLOWARD/PIVEN, even if not openly voiced by the Democrat party, the Democrat party is always their preferred supplier. And inevitably seems to adopt all the radical concepts they espouse.
      More importantly this topic seems an unnecessary venue considering you would be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t aware Democrats have openly called for the removal (by any means necessary) of a duly elected sitting president. I believe that statement alone coupled with the obvious lies and false information produced daily by Democrat representatives is enough to prove intent. Which I’m not even sure is a necessary requirement.
      Trying to even understand how anyone could claim this isn’t obvious is mind boggling. The evidence is overwhelming.

  4. Nancy Pelosi has lied numerous times about many issues including being warned about the issues with FHLMC/FNMA by the Bush administration. We are being ran by the enemy of the state. Very concerning. I hope she gets booted.

  5. Two attorneys I talked to casually before writing post agreed that although an outside and obscure read, say that any Congressional leader making comments about lies of the CIA, is in effect claiming a military entity ( especially in terms of the terrorists under watch and detainment)is criminally negligent. As she is in line to the throne as it were, she falls under the same guidelines as say an officer who pointedly defames a higher ranking official or group. The real issue is more of ‘are we technically at war’ If she feels she’s being lied to by an intelligence arm of the government, she is saying THEY are attempting to take her down; SHE is attempting to subvert the chain of command–classic action of mutiny or–ding ding SEDITION. It’s maybe semantics but in times like these, intellectual debate of out of the box thoughts provides grounds for study. Every day we are getting new layers of Power Grab. Maybe the entire Executive Branch leadership of the West Wing is trying to overthrow the systems of checks and balance. Is not that an act of treason? All worth debate is what I am presenting here.

  6. In the US we have a civilian government not a military one, at least not yet. Whether we are technically at war or not the Speaker of the House does not fall under the UCMJ. Thinking outside the box is great but I don’t see the substance of this.

    Again, I am still wondering – are you arguing she should face punishment even if she is telling the truth?

    Here’s some outside the box thinking for you. Why in a democratic republic do we have a large segment of the government which is secret and basically unaccountable to anyone?

  7. Do we really want to promote Woodrow Wilson era unconstitutional laws?

  8. Andres Jackson says

    Listen up children, and here’s the comment we’ll go to: “… Whether we are technically at war or not”

    This is for all you who are like the six blind folks trying to describe what an elephant looks like:

    WE ARE NOT AT WAR and haven’t been at war since 1945.

    For the US to be legally “at war” Congress must vote to declare a war against a legal known country or group of countries.

    Terrorism is neither, its a verb not a noun.

    When Congress grows a pair and assumes its responsibility over war (and currency for that matter), then we can discuss The Sedition Act and its benefits. Until then the matter is mute.

    The writer of this blog should return to a civics class.

  9. AJ, V V–whoever- One of the key elements of any civics class is to present thoughts–Look at a situation and the aspects. I think of some posts as a challenge–brainstorming. I do realize that people will kind of ask what the heck I am saying. It’s purposeful.

    In any Civics class I taught, I clarified debating the point v. sniping at the other person. Sedition is a concept, it is on the books, and it is worth noting the weight of an office like Speaker. She is in line to the Presidency and the rules of that are somewhat vague for behavior. I still say, the Speaker is getting a pass because she is a woman.

  10. Andres Jackson says

    Oh, you’re using the dialectic, why didn’t you say so.

    Sedition legally is a non-sequitur no matter how we *feel* about the Speaker.

  11. Veritas Vincit says

    Re: posting #5

    Veterans and soldiers take an oath to “… support and defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign AND DOMESTIC”

    This oath has no expiration date.

    Is it any wonder this present administration has been quietly meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to “revise” the oath to reflect a “more current” understanding of a soldiers obligation to the Commander-in-Chief?

    And to the individual who thinks this is a (European) *Democratic Republic* we are not – we were founded as, and we remain a Constitutional Republic. Learn the difference please.

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