Republican Rep. Allen West is known for his lies and half-truths, his racist and anti-gay comments, and his Nazi analogies and Nazi comments, possibly more than any other freshman member of Congress. But last week, Congressman West went further than he ever has, possibly crossing the line — if you look at a basic definition — into sedition. In an on-the-air conversation with ultra-right wing radio host Mark Levin, Rep. Allen West told America’s military generals that their responsibility was to the service members serving under them, not to the President, and suggested not only that they should buck orders they didn’t like, but that they should defy their Commander-In-Chief, and, if they were frustrated with President Obama, they should quit the armed forces.
Ben Armbruster at Think Progress reports:
Last week, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said that President Obama didn’t consult with the military when formulating the new global strategy he announced last week. “I have heard some rumination” that Obama ignored military leaders, West said (of course this is not true).
LEVIN: Seems to me if I’m one of the highest ranking generals or admiral in the Navy, and this was being done to my force structure – that is, to my men and women in uniform, I might think about stepping out. You know what I mean? Moving on to another career.
WEST: I absolutely understand what you’re saying. And you know I’ve had a lot of people ask me about that because the responsibility of our senior generals has to be to the men and women in uniform. They have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military. And I think that when you understand that President Obama said he was going to fundamentally transform the United States of America, you’re seeing him destroy our economy, and now you’re seeing him destroy our military capability.
Levin stepped in and tried to save West. “What we’re saying so you’re liberal haters don’t screw this up,” Levin said, “we’re saying is they should consider stepping down.” “Well yeah,” West responded, “What you’re saying and what I’m saying is that your silence is consent.”
Any questions? This is pretty clear, and I’m surprised someone hasn’t suggested charges be brought against the Tea Party Congressman, himself a former military officer forced to resign in disgrace.
Here’s the definition of sedition, via Wikipedia. You tell me – listen to West’s comments, then tell me if they fit this definition:
In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.
Typically, sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history of these legal codes has been traced, there is also a record of the change in the definition of the elements constituting sedition at certain points in history. This overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within the study of state persecution.
The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort. Nor does it consist, in mostrepresentative democracies, of peaceful protest against a government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).
Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one’s state. Sedition is encouraging one’s fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one’s country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws.
Last month, Congressman West stated that he was very concerned that Obama was using “divisive rhetoric,” like the words, “equality and fairness,” because they have nothing to do with the pursuit of happiness in our Constitution. West also suggested that equality and fairness get in the way of “the right type” of monetary and fiscal policy.
In an October interview, West repeated the Daily Caller/Fox News lie that the EPA is going to hire 230,000 regulators that will cost the taxpayer $21 billion.
Recently, West has associated homosexuality to ice cream, opposed gays in the military, said, “you cannot compare me and my race to a behavior. Sexuality is a behavior,” called an LGBT group “intolerable,” called Obama supporters “a threat to the gene pool,” attacked fellow Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and more.
Congressman West has also said of homosexuality, “Unless I’m Michael Jackson I can’t change my color. But people can change behavior.”
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