U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar has released a statement urging the attorney general to charge those involved with FISA spying abuses with “treason.” And I also have referred to the FBI-DOJ FISA abuses as “treasonous.”
How could the actions of DOJ officials (such as former attorney general Loretta Lynch and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein) and FBI officials be considered treasonous, if their alleged FISA abuses are proven correct? Well, what officials are alleged to have done was they knowingly used a partisan-paid political opposition research dossier as “evidence” to obtain a FISA warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on Trump campaign staff or volunteers, without telling the court the origins of their “evidence.” But there is evidence to show that the officials had no reason to suspect Trump campaign people of any criminal activity, or suspect any one of them of “espionage” with the Russians, and that the misuse of FISA spying powers on them was for purely political reasons.
The FISA spying apparatus is a part of the U.S. government’s general national security and war powers. As Thomas DiLorenzo noted here, according to the U.S. Constitution “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” In using the plural pronouns “them” and “they,” the writers are referring to the United States in the plural, the States that make up the union. So, “Treason against the United States,” consisting “only in levying war against them” is referring to U.S. government authorities or other groups waging war against the “States” or against the people of the States.
In other words, when the centralized U.S. government in Washington uses its powers of war against its own people, that’s an act of Treason. It is a betrayal of the government against the people, an act of disloyalty.
Unfortunately, there are authoritarians who believe the opposite. They believe in obedience, and that “treason” is when a citizen is “disloyal” to the regime in Washington. That is shown by people who get upset when someone “disrespects” the American flag, or doesn’t want to recite the Pledge of Allegiance (which is really a pledge of obedience and serfdom), or who get upset when Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning release documents exposing U.S. government’s war crimes.
No, the agents of the U.S. government must show loyalty to the people, and not violate their lives and liberty. So when using its spying powers against someone not suspected of criminal activity, or not suspected of acting on behalf of foreign elements, in my view such misuse of surveillance without suspicion is an act of Treason. It is an act of betrayal against the people who are supposed to be served by such government agents.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
So the people all have a right to be “secure” in their persons, houses, papers, and effects. That right to be secure “shall not be violated”! And I would say that one’s phone conversations or at-home or -office conversations, emails, texts, and so on, are part of one’s “papers and effects.” Officials need to have a reason to suspect someone of something criminal to then get a warrant.
U.S. government officials have sworn or affirmed an oath to support and defend, or to obey, the U.S. Constitution, which includes the Fourth Amendment. So when officials with the FBI, the DOJ, the IRS, or any other branch, use the searching and surveillance powers of the national security apparatus against someone for reasons other than that they suspect him of a crime, that to me really is an act of Treason, as written in the Constitution, and a betrayal, and it’s very serious. And this current bunch of stuff is in addition to the NSA collecting everyone’s personal Internet activities without suspicion.