By Scott Tibbs, August 28, 2003
The Evansville Courier and Press published an editorial on August 18 arguing that the U.S. government should leave the so-called "human shields" alone.
As a reminder, some anti-war activists went to Iraq to serve as "human shields" in the event of a war. They proposed staying near civilian targets to "protect" them from U.S. bombing raids. The Iraqi military asked them to move to military targets instead, and some complied. We had American citizens traveling to a enemy state with the objective of serving as an impediment to U.S. military action. Some of them collaborated with the enemy.
And the Courier and Press argues these people should be "left alone"?
The Constitution states that "treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." (Emphasis added is mine.) Can it be denied that the "human shields" were adhering to our enemies? Can it be denied that the "human shields" were giving Iraq "aid and comfort" in the face of imminent war with the United States?
This is not legitimate activism or "free speech". This is an act of treason as defined by our Constitution. These people could have caused more American battlefield deaths if our soldiers had to contend with them in addition to a hostile Iraqi military, so the Courier's argument that "These are not John Walker Lindhs." falls flat.
The Courier astonishingly argues:
Since when is collaborating with the enemy with the intent of physically impeding the American military "freedom of expression"? No one is arguing that these people should not have the right to speak out against the war and engage in legitimate protests against it. The issue here is collaboration with Iraq and betrayal of one's own country.
This country has a long tradition of honoring freedom of expression, no matter how wrongheaded, and Americans should be free to travel where they please - and at their own risk.
If the Bush administration is doing anything wrong here, it is because the Bush Justice Department is not prosecuting these "activists" for treason. Sanctioning these "activists" for violating rules against "trade" is weak and cowardly. The Bush Administration should immediately seek charges of treason and punish these "activists" to the fullest extent of the law.