On the Congress and Israel: The 4th Amendment does not shield near-treasonous behavior

In almost all cases, those who oppose the national government’s universal surveillance of U.S. citizens are correct. It is unconstitutional because it violates the 4th Amendment, undermines the 1st Amendment, and is only necessary because the national government has put the United States in a lose/lose situation. It will not stop the U.S.-led overseas military, political, and cultural interventions that motivate the Islamists to attack Americans, but it will not use the U.S. military to its fullest potential to destroy the enemy it has motivated to kill Americans. So long as this status quo continues, the civil liberties of Americans will be incrementally abridged and perhaps ultimately eliminated. That is simply the unavoidable result of prolonged and unnecessary wars, and the executive branch’s aggrandizement of power that inevitably accompanies such wars.

There is, however, one focus for surveillance that is absolutely necessary, constitutional, and ought to be demanded by all citizens. That is the surveillance of U.S. elected officials who travel to Israel or any other foreign country to develop plans with foreign leaders to undermine any sitting president of the United States. The 4th Amendment clearly was not meant to assure privacy rights for those who publicly demonstrate a flamboyant and war-worsening disloyalty to the nation.

It must be clear by now that I carry no brief for Obama. But the travel of nearly one hundred members of the Senate and House from both parties to Israel in summer, 2015, to privately collude with Netanyahu, the Israeli government, and other Israeli leaders against Obama’s useless Iran deal must not be accepted as “politics as usual”. Those elected representatives, in my opinion, were publicly engaged in giving what the Constitution describes as “aid and comfort” to the enemy, which Israel clearly is so long as one of its principle goals is to keep the United States involved in its eternal war with Islam, a war in which America has no genuine national-security interest at stake and yet is bleeding the republic to death.

So, in regard to this kind of surveillance, I believe it is an entirely appropriate and constitutional to monitor U.S. senators and congressmen — and their staffers — who travel abroad to privately meet with and seek support from foreign governments for their opposition to a sitting U.S. president and, ultimately, to win political advantage for themselves. Indeed, I would support surveillance against the same representatives and staffers when they privately meet with Netanyahu or any other foreign leader in the United States, if that meeting had not been ordered or approved in advance by the White House and the State Department.

In all cases of such surveillance, the verbatim transcripts of the conversations should be made available for publication on a non-partisan website, perhaps the one belonging to the League of Women Voters or a similar organization. We could start with the transcripts of the conversations of the senior Republican and the senior Democrat who traveled to meet Netanyahu in Israel on the Iran deal and plot with him against their own president and nation.

It is immensely important that all citizens know whatever it is possible to know about their elected representatives’ deliberate and too often successful efforts to secure foreign assistance — and probably foreign funding — to influence political/diplomatic decisions, public opinion, and national elections in the United States. On the face of it, moreover, there seems to be no option but to conclude that this sort of behavior by leading members of both parties and pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC comes pretty close to the Constitution’s definition of treason, as well as displaying an appalling willingness to compromise America’s independence of action for partisan political gain.

If that is not the case, the immediate publication of the above-mentioned transcripts ought to be demanded and welcomed by the senators and congressman who traveled to Israel in 2015.

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5 Responses to On the Congress and Israel: The 4th Amendment does not shield near-treasonous behavior

  1. arthur_m says:

    Right on Mike. I first read about this story in the Wall Street Journal last week. Good to hear your take on it.

    • Mike Scheuer says:

      Thank you for writing. It is always amazing to me that so many Americans seem to think that its okay for their elected representatives to collude with a foreign power to undermine and corrupt the U.S. political system — and enrich themselves — and a sitting president. This must, I think, speak to an education system that has ceased to teach the young anything remotely credible about American history, honor, patriotism, or about how nation-state must act to survive in a hostile world. The beginning of wisdom, it seems to me, is for the next national administration to utterly destroy the Department of Education. MFS

      • arthur_m says:

        I share your sentiments on the Department of Education. It's one of the many federal departments that should be abolished outright.

  2. David says:

    Keep dreaming brother. It will never happen. Too many Americans, and their representatives, are infatuated with Israel. Various reasons emerge: end times apocalyptic prophetic interpretation, Israel is an "ally and democracy", the Holocaust, secular Judaism/humanism, etc. This is complimented by Israel's consistent efforts to influence churches, institutions, Congress, etc.

    The contrary may bear out: those in the U.S. who oppose the treasonous relationship with Israel will themselves be subject to punishment.

    • Mike Scheuer says:

      Thank you for writing. While I edge toward your cynicism, I can say that it is easier to say negative things about the U.S.-Israel relationship than it was a decade ago — although still quite costly in terms of lost income. The problem here is not primarily Israel, it is Jewish-American and Christian Zionist citizens who are willing to sell out their own country. I recall that Colonel Lindbergh said that if he had been a Briton or a Jewish-American he might well have been trying to drive the United States into war with Germany. But he called both groups out on their disloyalty and said that all Americans must have a say on the issue and not be driven to war by a tiny and disloyal — though wealthy and influential — minority of citizens. He paid dearly for it in terms of reputation and his rightful place in history. Still, I revere Lindbergh\’s courage, accuracy, and plain speaking, and fully agree with him that nation-states will do what they must do to survive. In the present case, however, Israel would get nowhere in corrupting the U.S. political system without the help of disloyal and probably indictable Jewish-Americans and their Christian colleagues-in-disloyalty. Improving the situation is a longshot, but I guess I will keep pitching for a while yet. MFS

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