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Define "Enemy"

On fixing an incompleteness
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In the U.S. Constitution there is this:
Article 3, Section 3:
"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

It is GOOD that there is a formal definition of "treason". Too many regimes throughout History tended to define it as, "whatever the ruler arbitrarily declares to be treason".

Next, in Article 2, Section 1 is this:
"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, [[the newly elected President]] shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' "

That Oath has been copied and modified, and is applied to just about everyone who works in the U.S. Government. There are Laws specifying this. For example:
"An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:

'I, [[name]], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.' "

In other words, members of Congress must take that Oath. Bureaucrats must take that Oath. Cops must take that Oath. And everyone in the miltary, not just Officers, must take that Oath (or one very similar to it).


Do you see a possible problem when all of the above is together like that? The wording in the Constitution, regarding "Enemies", does not specify what causes someone to qualify as an "Enemy". Anyone who knows something about the anti-Communist hysteria in the 1950s, stirred up by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, should be concerned about ARBITRARY declarations that so-and-so is an Enemy. What good is a definition of Treason, after all, if it relies on something that is still arbitrary???

So, I suggest that we need a Constitutional Amendment that defines "Enemy". Naturally, I'll offer some tentative wording here. Feel free to comment! Certainly I expect to explain some of the reasoning behind this particular wording in the Annotations.

"An Enemy of these United States shall be any Entity who either declares self to be an Enemy, or who deliberately Acts in a manner consistent with the Effect of either Diminishing the Rule of Law within these United States, or Inflicting Hardship upon most of its People, or both."

Vernon, Apr 15 2008

The Constitution http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm
Text of the U.S. Constitution [Vernon, Apr 15 2008]

Some Oaths of Office http://www.apfn.org/APFN/oathofoffice.htm
[Vernon, Apr 15 2008]

About McCarthy http://en.wikipedia...iki/Joseph_McCarthy
If you never heard of him, you need to read this! [Vernon, Apr 15 2008]

A few more Oaths http://www.history.army.mil/faq/oaths.htm
Various things have changed, and other things have remained the same, over the years. [Vernon, Apr 15 2008]

Rage Against the Machine http://www.youtube....watch?v=4smim2MNvF8
Know Your Enemy [jaksplat, Apr 15 2008]


       Homework assignment: Research "sedition". Gotta love the weasel wording.   

       Extra credit assignment: Research "Patriot Act", "ECHELON", "Better part of valor".
normzone, Apr 15 2008

       Simplify further: legalize treason.
Ned_Ludd, Apr 15 2008

       Oh Ned, now you make me feel bad - did I start this? I was attempting to imply that it's unwise to voice criticism of the crown in these times.
normzone, Apr 15 2008

       The enemy is Eurasia. The enemy has always been Eurasia.
zen_tom, Apr 15 2008

       You mean to say you don't know who your enemies are?   

       Best to leave a catchall clause at the bottom for late entrants - eg "and all the hell-spawn of the day".
james_what, Apr 15 2008

       Seriously, though, if you can provide a definition of enemy that isn't so vague as to be as useful as a lack of definition, I'll gift to you an orchard made out of marzipan.
calum, Apr 15 2008

       I think you are chasing the wrong fox. The problem isn't in defining the meaning of the word 'enemy' but in having some formal way of identifying who is an enemy. For the purposes of this idea I would suggest that an enemy is anyone who is identified by formal vote in both the Senate & House of Representatives as an enemy. And, of course, the same process would apply to becoming not an enemy any more.
DrBob, Apr 15 2008

       Maybe a very loud noise could serve this purpose - perhaps a compressed gas horn and a parabolic dish?
bungston, Apr 15 2008


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