Monday, June 24, 2013

Edward Snowden is denounced as a traitor and Robert E. Lee is considered a hero

Edward Snowden has been denounced as a traitor by Dick Cheney and Michelle Bachmann and probably others for informing the public that the NSA was extensively watching every one's Internet activity without a search warrant. I don't have anything to say about the NSA and its activities, nor is it my purpose here to pass judgement on Snowden and his activities.

What struck me is that Snowden's activities are vociferously denounced as treason yet Robert E. Lee is today considered a hero.

Robert E. Lee took an oath of loyalty as an officer. He headed the Confederate armies in the East in a war that killed well over 600,000 soldiers, a great many of which were American soldiers. His goal was to break up the American nation and was willing to use violence to achieve it. It seems to me he stands in the first rank of traitors.

Yet there is in Washington, D.C. the Alfalfa Club the sole purpose of which is to throw a party for Robert E. Lee each year. The attendees are the elite of the establishment in DC and other elite figures in the United States. Probably many of them are now busy denouncing Snowden in the media right now.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy gives away a Robert E. Lee award each year to a cadet at West Point, and other Confederate named awards to cadets at other U.S. Military academies.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans is involved with Junior ROTC and there is no criticism of it in the media.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a charity beneficiary of the Federal Combined Campaign.

And of course President Obama has been sending wreaths to the Arlington Confederate monument and unfortunately will likely continue to do so.

I have some of the federal government's support for neo-Confederates documented at this blog.

In the National Statuary Hall in DC in the old capitol building there is a statue of Robert E. Lee as well as Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate Vice-President Alexander H. Stephens and there are statues of Confederate generals.

In the military the Confederacy is also venerated with forts named after Confederate leaders.

It seems that treason is considered odious depending on who it impacts and the special interests of individuals.It shouldn't be, but it does seem to be the case.

Treason is a serious thing. Sometimes nations are powerful, but sometimes nations are in dire and extreme conditions. Think of occupied France in World War II. The nation depended on the patriotism of those who wouldn't collaborate and resisted and would receive no reward and faced every hazard in doing so.

Nations in dire straights in the end depend on their nationals who refuse to collaborate and understand what treason is. Who are loyal when there is no reward. Who have a clear understanding of who is a collaborator, that is a traitor.

Powerful nations need to have a clear sense of what is treason. They depend on the loyalty of its nationals.

If treason is made to seem inconsistent and arbitrary, the charge of treason is lessened in its impact. The value of national loyalty, patriotism is diminished. It initiates a process where by one treason or another can be excused by one or another rationalization.

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