Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr jared kushner...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

Foreign Policy Magazine is touted by the mediabias/factcheck website as being one of the least biased and most reliable sources for news on world affairs. The website says of the magazine’s rating….

“These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes).  The reporting is factual and usually sourced.  These are the most credible media sources.”

The drumpf maladministration should be very concerned then when Foreign Policy uses the very loaded T word in an opinion piece about Kushner’s attempts to string a tin can directly to Putin under the lede – “Jared Kushner’s Growing Stench of Treason.”

Emile Simpson dismisses the maladministration’s various defenses of Kushner’s actions with the simple argument that, if what was to be discussed via Russia’s secret ring decoder hotline to the Kremlin in their NYC Embassy were legal, there would be no need for secrecy. drumpf had made clear his intention to establish closer ties with Russia from the onset of his campaign, both in the WOT and in Syria specifically. 

What’s the big secret?

No, he argues, there must be another reason for this chicanery.

Personal gain.

Treason, he argues, need not defined only as aiding and abetting an enemy in time of war, but can also be the breaking of a broader social contract a citizen enters into with his nation and its people.

To understand this broader social meaning it helps to think about the history of the concept. In the Roman Republic, there were two treasonable offenses. One was called perduellio, which basically aligns with our current definition of treason of aiding an enemy in war. The other was called the Crimen majestatis populi romani imminutae, known commonly as maiestas, which was the offense of diminishing the majesty of the Roman people. It was only later, after the Republic collapsed and the emperors took over, that maiestas became the offense against the person of the emperor, given how in this kind of monarchy, there was little difference between the sovereign identity of the state and its ruler. (This is the origin of the offense of “lèse majesté” against monarchs still on the statute books in some states today.)

If Kushner’s actions should come to attract the stigma of treachery, it would be in the old Roman Republican sense of maiestas, when public values and their expression in state institutions still meant something. Thus, in the Roman Republic, maiestas was about punishing individuals for hijacking their state positions for their personal gain. It could be used, for example, to prosecute official maladministration, like corruption by provincial officials or military officers. An apt modern equivalent would be soliciting personal investments by selling political access or expedited visas to rich Chinese people, which Kushner’s family business has already independently been accused of.

In Rome, the punishment for maiestas was normally exile. Kushner’s fate is still to be determined. But the public response to it will tell us much about whether the American people, under their new monarch, still have the dignity to protect their ancient majesty.”

Kushner may not be guilty of helping a foreign power in war time, but of something potentially much worse. Helping the Republican Party to compete its obvious goal of destroying the American peoples’ faith in self governance itself.

And all for personal gain.

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