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What is treasonable?

In light of the recent charge of treason being levied on Snowden, I would ask what is justifiably treasonable vs. freedom of citizen information? How does the charge of treason in this case compare to say, George Bush Jr., who brought a whole nation to war based on his selected information and thus causing the deaths of tens of thousands of our citizens?

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    Jun 28 2013: treason is a nonexistent moral category. it was invented by kings and rulers, and it is nothing but a lame excuse for crushing the opposition, any voice of dissent. convicting someone for treason is an act of violence in order to restore or maintain dominance. such a concept has no place in modern societies, and its existence demonstrates the amount hypocrisy we have to stomach every day.
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        Jun 28 2013: kings and rulers can be held accountable ... by the new kings and rulers.

        gaddafi imprisoned, tortured and killed his opposition. this is his crime, not treason. imprisoning, torturing and killing is immoral, regardless of it is being treason, or a punishment for treason.

        releasing information about evil actions is moral, even if it is treason.

        therefore, treason is nothing but a term to label those that did not commit any crimes otherwise, but the powers that be want to punish them.
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        Jun 28 2013: you are a very talented spokesman for the government. but alas, it has nothing to do with reality.

        society is not a real entity, it is only a somewhat useful term with very limited scope. one can not hurt society, one can only hurt people. if you hurt the people, you are committing crime. such crimes have names like murder, theft, fraud, threatening, extortion and so on. the very notion that a specific crime is "against society as a whole" underlines that said crime is not a real crime, it hurts nobody but some powerful elite that does not want to admit that, and instead they use heavily loaded words to cloud the view of the less vigilant. like you for example. you have bought that propaganda on face value. you allow evil acts of violence if they are explained cleverly.

        you should not. it is quite safe to say that a traitor is your true friend, and those that catch the traitor are the tyrants.
        • Jul 2 2013: To 'Not Here": that's America's problem right now.... the government isn't being held accountable by society any longer; they feel they can do as they please and ignore the will of their constituents.
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        Jun 28 2013: don't getting personal includes not calling your opponent in a debate "Pinter", but it is a good sign that you later edited it out.

        contradiction is not refutation. where are the arguments? you have a tendency to get really aggressive when facing any opposing opinion. that attitude usually leads to leaving the forum sooner or later.
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        Jun 28 2013: no you didn't. you just contradicted.
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        Jun 29 2013: if two people disagree, they repeat their opinion over and over without backing it up with anything or trying to refute what the other said? well, then i'm certainly doing it wrong. one of us is doing it wrong.
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        Jun 29 2013: tl;dr
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        Jun 29 2013: do you have google in your country? last time you have managed to google-translate something, so i suppose you have
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        Jun 29 2013: no it shows i have not too much patience
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        Jun 29 2013: it also happens when someone writes an entire page of text that contains not so much new about a topic that is already discussed.

        i expect people to be brief and straight to the core of their argument.
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        Jun 29 2013: yes, i'm aware that you will not write your opinion in a concise way.
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        Jun 29 2013: you were so concise you ran into character limit
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    Jun 26 2013: Naturally I think nothing should be considered treasonable - a crime should be just that. The term treason implies a crime that undermines the offender's government. Here people mistake government for the people - if the Snowden exposure achieved anything is dispelling that myth. He did what he did for the people and yet the government want him for exposing their operations to the people. If we can separate the state from the people then sedition would be an offence against the people and not the state; in which case NSA should answer for treason – not Snowden.
    • Jun 26 2013: According to my understanding of the defintions for treason and crime: in democracies crimes are more against one or more individuals whereas treason applies to crimes against one's government. This can be very different in countries ruled by a monarchy or plutocracy where the "people" cannot be interchaged with the "rulers".
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    Jun 26 2013: It is a betrayal. But to who? Snowden violated an agreement with the government. But he was true to the American people. Therefore he did not commit treason. Some will say there has to be secrets for national defense but this is abused so politicians can hide their skeletons.
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    • Jun 26 2013: I don't believe Wikipedia is necessarily a defintive source for facts.It is often changed or altered by private individuals who have no better access to the facts than a private person would have.It promotes itself as "the people's dictionary"; no more and no less. Due to the Freedom of Information Act, many secretive and false dealings of the government have since come to light. A case deemed "secret' by the government may not be so...in a democracy, who should have the power to decide what's a critical secret and what is not?
  • Jun 26 2013: The question is why is Snowden's act considered more treasonable than President Bush's lie to the world (which lie cost the nation many more citizen lives)? It seems to me that if one is considered treasonable, surely the other must also be considered treasonable. Does this conclusion make sense?
  • Jun 29 2013: True....except that Wikipedia says espionage is also giving secrets to another country. I don't think Snowden has done this. He revealed the contents of some of his info to the world, not a single country.
    • Jul 2 2013: Touche..maybe i should have check my own definitions before posting lol. that is a good point though, which only further questions the charges being brought against him
  • Jun 28 2013: Merriam Webster states: TREASON: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family

    In my personal opinion, in the case of Snowden,going by this definition, unless he leaked this information in an attempt to overthrow or cripple the governing bodies and not just to open the eyes of the public to an invasion of privacy then its not treason hes guilty of. It would be more under the category of espionage which he is afterall being charged with.
  • Jun 28 2013: Thanks for web article and information. I would question whether or not the American people sanctioned the Iraq war but anyone who did so, was given what Bush knew was his false, hand-picked lies, as has since been revealed. In essense, I gather the government can charge any citizen with espionage or treason based on distorted facts.
  • Jun 28 2013: Tha
    nks for your explanation, not that Ifully understand it but thank you anyway.
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    Jun 28 2013: If an act of treason if justifiable,then it is not a treason. The truth is both cases can be reasonable,namely lots of excuse,it's the power that defines an act,therefore brings out the consequences.

    In Bush's case,he and the power behind him is the government,they are the ones dominating the affairs,they create rules,they interpret the laws.In this world,power seems has been caged in democracy,but power is the ultimate strength,which can turn black to white.

    Conversely,Snowden is an ordinary intelligence employee,his act in the way of its damage,is far less than Bush did,nevertheless,he can not make his voices being justly heard,the government officials enforce the law against him.

    In this world,there is no 100% justice.
  • Jun 27 2013: Pardon me...further rtesearch says Snowden has been charged with 3 counts of espionage, carrying sentence of 10 yrs. each. My question is why wasn't Bush charged with treason as his lie caused 70,000+ US deaths vs. Snowden's causing no deaths?
  • Jun 26 2013: I am an 'independent' voter in the US. who merely seeks the factual truth; this often conflicts with 'accepted truth'.
  • Jun 26 2013: That is not what was reported by CNN and ABC News. Of course, the media sometimes gets things wrong. Will research it.
  • Jun 26 2013: Of course he did' He knowingly chose to ignore facts proving the contrary as provided by the U.N. arms inspector, ambassadors and all who proved the contrary. As Colin Powell said, he will carry his lying speech to the UN to his grave.
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    Jun 26 2013: I suppose what Snowden did is treason, but a fairly light form of treason. Really, if people like Snowden have a problem, they should go within the system to rectify it.

    I don't take Snowden's actions too seriously because I think the program he revealed could not have been kept a secret, the program was too vast, if he hadn't revealed it someone else would have.
    • Jun 26 2013: The US history on "whistle-blowers", who "go within the system to rectify it" is pretty dismal. Most of them are ultimately silenced, lose their jobs etc. I.e. all the women who were raped by servicemen, contractors, all the CIA and NSA whistle blowers regarding 9/11 etc. Suggested reading: 'factCheck', 'Politifact' and especially "POGO' (Public government oversight) To me, this borders on a 'police state'.
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        Jun 26 2013: Before I reply, M-L, may I know where you're from, I find that often even in a conversation of "pure ideas," it is helpful to know something about the other person's background, as one may phrase one's comments a bit differently.