Erasing the Sedition Precedents
There has been a new move in the US, in Montana specifically at this point, to erase the precedents legally regarding sedition in the US. Mind you, these are pardons, not the erasure that I claim that they are. But truly, why the legal move now?
The case involves the pardons of 88 Montanans convicted of the crime of sedition in 1918 during World War I. Anti-German sentiment did run very high at this time, as my family-in-law can attest to as well as many others of German descent who have been interviewed about this period in history. I think that this was a heinous reaction, especially as in the Midwest it was generally given over to the mob-rule of local citizens.
However as this article in the New York Times wants us all to recognize, there are parallels between the convictions of those found guilty of the crime of sedition (always hated historically by the Left, from the Alien and Sedition acts of the past centuries until the present day) and what is supposedly going on in America today.
Here are some real gems from this article, the story of which has been reported on estensively on NPR already. I felt it required a bit more press, however:
"The pardon ceremony is a result of a book by Clemens P. Work, director of graduate studies at the University of Montana School of Journalism, called "Darkest Before Dawn: Sedition and Free Speech in the American West" (University of New Mexico Press, 2005). The book chronicled a contentious period in Montana history when people were convicted and jailed for voicing their opinion about the war."
Mr. Work, who was conducting research for the book when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred, said he had found the similarities between 2001 and 1918 to be eerie.
"The hair on the back of my neck stood up," Mr. Work said. "The rhetoric was so similar, from the demonization of the enemy to saying 'either you're with us or against us' to the hasty passage of laws."
"Twenty-seven states had sedition laws during World War I. Montana's became the template for a federal law, enacted by Congress later in 1918. More than 30 Montanans were arrested under the federal law, though none were convicted, according to the Montana Sedition Project, which Mr. Work directs."
So therein lies the crux. Though the families have wanted their relatives pardoned for decades, the actual legal work was set into motion by the work of people who do not like similarities between the "rhetoric" of War, whether of World War I or the War on Jihad. As these cases DID set a national legal precedent for the prosecution of the crime of sedition, are the late pardons recently really to clear the names of these World War I seditionists, or is this a legal move to set a modern precedent ridding us of the ability to prosecute anyone for sedition in the future? Is treason next? Jubilant reports from Leftist sources other than the NYT lead me to believe that this is the case.
The irony has never been lost on me that never before has sedition been so popular or accepted in America. Nor the irony that Tim Robbins actually used a press conference (!!!) a few years ago to inform the public that "dissenters" were being silenced. Imagine any of us dissenters getting MSM coverage for speaking out against CAIR or other neo-jihadi groups as Mr. Robbins did. He made every MSM broadcast that day all to make the statement that the anti-war crowd was being silenced.
I beg to dissent, er, I mean differ. A dangerous move for all, disguised as justice.