We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"I am not really a religious man, only a sinner in a sailor suit" he says.
A few days ago, at a National Day of Prayer gathering in Washington D.C., Coast Guard Rear Admiral William Lee ditched his prepared speech, and delivered a scathing indictment of federal rules regarding expression of faith in the military. The video has just now become available.
A Coastie, no less! That's the sort of Admiral this son of a career USCG officer would sail into hell for. Had my eyesight been better, I might have had the chance to say this myself. We have a remarkable group of leaders among the Flag Officers of the various services in this generation!
The statement is mistaken on at least three counts. In the U.S., treason is specifically defined as, "Adhering to the enemy, giving him aid and comfort." 1.) Not all flag officers are in complete agreement as to the points ADM Lee raised. 2.) The insistence of each U.S. citizen's right to responsibly exercise Constitutionally-guaranteed rights is not treason by definition. 3.) Disagreement with any government functionary's implementation of policy that arbitrarily, materially and substantially infringes on any individual's Constitutionally-guaranteed rights is not treason by definition. With respect to point 2 and 3, officers in the U.S. military take an oath to "protected and defend the Constitution" precisely because the Sovereign power in this country is the Constitution, not a King, Dictator or other sort of flawed human being. I marvel at the extent to which ADM Lee and others will risk their fortunes to do this. Should there be a declared enemy, who by definition will be intent on destroying the Constitution, in whole or in part, these officers will risk, and if necessary forfeit their lives to defend it. As to any risk of their honor - the third virtue so highly prized by our Founding Fathers - this is not in question, especially in a time and a season in which there is so little honor left.
When the Congress surrendered it's constitutional obligation to make, fund, declare war and send our military into combat, they violated the constitution. It has been many years now since they have given over to the executive branch the powers properly residing with them. Thus, the congress actively and knowingly violated the constitution. Violating and destroying the constitution is treason. Since all service members take an oath which is functionally impossible to honor because they are serving under an unconstitutional commander in chief, they must all resign or be guilty of participating and supporting an unconstitutional, treasonous government. I place a higher obligation upon the general officer corps to resign because of their much greater responsibility. The executive is exercising power he cannot legitimately hold under the constitution. The congress is in default of it's constitutional mandate. The war powers are not optional. So, you sir, are incorrect.
To assert that the failure of any (or all) representatives to uphold any (or all) of the nations laws, including the Constitution itself, does neither relieve the individual of the duty to uphold such laws, nor does it in any way impair the individual's ability to do so. Both the government and the individual citizens are holders of rights and duties: the failure of the government to also be an effective guarantor of rights and duties does not in any respect alter the individual's responsibility as a holder of rights and duties. This is one of the reasons we have enjoyed more than a couple of centuries' worth of peaceful transitions of power, as opposed to a series of coups, dictatorships, reigns of terror and other such atrocities as may fill the history books.
As I noted above, the definition of treason under U.S. law is very specific and very narrow. The Founding Fathers did this for a reason, and we have enjoyed an unusually stable society because of it. We certainly have had our share of incompetence, dishonesty and deviousness among our leadership over the course of our history as a nation, and no doubt we will continue to have such as long as we endure as a nation: such is the nature of human nature, and such it will be as long as the human race endures. There is no case for treason, properly so-called. In this I am not mistaken.
If our leadership is lacking in character and/or derelict in their duties, shame on them; but remember they didn't get there on their own. Replace them in the next election, or if you can make a case, pursue the remedies available in law for malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance. Calling for the ouster of those in any level of government who have demonstrated sound character and the courage to act on it is, at best, counterproductive, and more likely to lead to the very situation you describe in your post.
Since the first paragraph of your reply is a re-statement of my point, I agree. However, unlike you, I do not view the abrogation of one's oath to defend and uphold the constitution to be a matter of mere deviousness or incompetence or dishonesty. You seem to be confused and distracted by the trees and are missing the forest. Destroying the constitution is rather a more serious matter than firing a few individuals for "malfeasance". You may be content to play word games and decorate the issue with technicalities. But there is no issue here about human nature or legalese. Of course people will tend to take the easy path, that is why the congress surrendered it's authority. And of course, if you wish, you may discuss the 'precise' meaning of words and phrases till the cows come home. But that is what lawyers and other con men do. The main issue here is that the founding mechanism of our republic is very badly damaged. So, it is not counterproductive to call for the ouster of all oath breakers and traitors. It is required. Your call for weak half measures to polish the fixtures on a sinking ship of state are impotent and misguided. You don't wish to throw out the babies with the bath water? Fine, but there are no babies. They are all oath breakers. I call them traitors. First you need to recognize the problem for what it is, not what you wish it was. This, you have yet to do.