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Thread: Should Robert Novak Be Tried For Treason

  1. #1

    Default Should Robert Novak Be Tried For Treason

    Due to his direct actions Valerie Plame was ousted as an undercover agent, known under law as an act of treason which Novak does not deny. Bush said the person responsible should be held to trial yet never was due to politics. Should this man be held responsible for his actions? Should treasonous acts be held to the letter of the law (ie death)? Should we deal with individuals convicted of treason with hanging as the mode of death?

  2. #2

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    Wait a minute here, the Constitution defines treason as:



    Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
    Novak did none of these. No one did.

  3. #3

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    Short answer,no.
    Longer answer:
    He was acting as a member of the media and would be protected under the First amendment, more importantly he was not authorized to have access to the information, therefore he was not bound by any agreement not to release the information and at no point did he waive any of his first amendment rights.

    Also, in this specific case Mrs. Plame was not undercover at the time she was "ousted" and there has been reasonable doubt conveyed if she was even a reasonable undercover asset in the future, but at a basic level she was never put in physical danger.

    Also, as far as the question of should treason be punishable by death, which for the reasons I noted above I feel is not applicable to this case, the answer is in some circumstances. During wartime, if the act of treason results in the death of US assets or personnel then I feel that, as with the case of certain civilian crimes, the death penalty should be an option. Treason is a serious crime, and is one of the few actually defined in the Constitution, however we must be clear on what treason is, and while releasing an agent's name to a media source might fulfill the criteria for other offenses,it in no way meets the burden for Treason against the United States since you are not directly providing aid or comfort to a declared enemy of the United States or carrying out an act of war against it.

    Edit: Forgot to address hanging: No, regardless of the debate on the death penalty there is no need to bring back methods of death such as hanging. Modern technology has allowed us to develop much more effective and less painful both to the condemned individual and the others participating then hanging, and there is no need to go backwards and return to that.

  4. #4

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    When Novak ousted Plame, he ousted her while she was doing undercover work while investigating nuclear arms issue in iran. being so deeply seated he endangered the lives of many intelligence agents over there as well as jeopardize the whole investigation into nuclear arms being passed on into terrorists groups thus endangering america as a whole and opening up security holes to our enemies.

  5. #5

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    But he did not actively provide aid and/or comfort to the enemies of America. Therefore, treason is not applicable here.

  6. #6

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    Actually according to sources at the time the Agency stated that no undercover agents had to be withdrawn or relocated due to the Plame exposure. Also, while Plame might have been working on Iran, that doesn't mean she was in country at the time off the exposure, it has been mentioned by multiple sources that she was in fact working out of the United States at the time, therefore she was in no risk. However on a more basic level sparkmaster makes the only necessary point and the rest of this is just interesting theory.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkmaster View Post
    But he did not actively provide aid and/or comfort to the enemies of America. Therefore, treason is not applicable here.
    Other then saying this person is a covert agent and suggesting they may have knowledge no one else or few people may have. Either way it knocked her out of a job. I assume we would all be fine if someone forced us out of our jobs.

  8. #8

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    ok, so he shouldn't be tried for treason, but was his intent of mentioning her name with malice or is this just a trumped up charge by the democrats?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Other then saying this person is a covert agent and suggesting they may have knowledge no one else or few people may have. Either way it knocked her out of a job. I assume we would all be fine if someone forced us out of our jobs.
    His actions did not actively aid the enemy. In every case of treason in US history, the convicted actively sought to hurt the United States and help an "enemy" country. For it to be treason, there must be intent to provide aid to a country that is an Enemy of the United States.

    John Walker Lindh is a good example of what Treason is.



    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    ok, so he shouldn't be tried for treason, but was his intent of mentioning her name with malice or is this just a trumped up charge by the democrats?
    I'd love to see a source saying Democrats think Novak should be tried for treason.
    Last edited by Martin; 10-Dec-2008 at 09:22. Reason: Merging doublepost, use the multiquote feature.

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