Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gadahn's a Traitor - What about Hanoi Jane?

Much to the delight of those of us who thought that the legal concept of treason was dead in the water in these politically correct times, American convert to Islam and al-Qaeda propagandist Adam Gadahn is being charged with treason and providing material support to al-Qaeda.

Otherwise known as aka Azzam al-Amriki or "Azzam the American," Gadahn's anti-Western video rants on behalf of al-Qaeda have become an all too familiar sight these days. Not to mention his call for Americans to convert to Islam or die and for authors such as Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes to repent their infidel ways.

Unfortunately, Gadahn is not yet in custody, but unlike the slap on the wrist jail time meted out to "American Taliban" (or "Rat Boy" according to Michael Savage) Johnny Walker Lindh, at least he's actually being called what he is - a traitor.

Now if we could just do the same for actress and liberal activist Jane Fonda whose 1972 broadcasts on Radio Hanoi have just been made available by the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation.

WWII had its Tokyo Rose and the Vietnam War had its Hanoi Jane.

Fonda recorded 19 propaganda interviews for the "Vietnamese Committee of Solidarity with the American People." Mostly, they consisted of attempts to demonize and demoralize American soldiers, paint America as the bad guy and the Vietnamese Communists as freedom fighters, and in a nauseatingly familiar gesture, equate then President Richard Nixon with Adolph Hitler (Bushhitler, anyone?). The rhetoric is straight out of the leftist propaganda playbook and still being used today by the likes of Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, Medea Benjamin, et al.

Leftist author and professor extrordinaire Noam Chomsky (a favorite of dictators and Islamic terrorists worldwide) also paid a visit to Hanoi in the 1970's and found time to deliver his own fawning speech to Vietnamese Communism on Radio Hanoi (hat tip: Tim Starr).

The activities of other so-called antiwar activists such as Tom Hayden, Joan Baez and yes, John Kerry, also bordered on treasonous, a subject I wrote about a while back in a column titled "The Left's Vietnam Syndrome."

But unlike Adam Gadahn, none dare call it treason.

Or do they?

Update (9/09): Unfortunately, it looks like the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation website no longer exists and hence, the link I provided above to Jane Fonda's Radio Hanoi broadcasts is defunct. Please go to Winter Soldier instead.


Blogger Jeremayakovka said...

I entirely welcome stringent laws and other institutional standards regarding activities, including "speech", on behalf of terrorists by American citizens and residents.

Long live the spirit of the House Un-American Activities Committee!

Sunday, October 15, 2006 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Cavett said...

What about Hanoi Jane?

My guess is the statute of limitations has run out on that witchhunt.

Sunday, October 15, 2006 4:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not an attorney, but I believe treason carries no statute of limitations. If so, hanoi jane should not be the only one tried for treason.

The likes of Senator John Kerry, for his secret meeting with North Vietnamese Deleagtes in Paris, while he was still a member of the Naval Reserve and returning to teh US and advocating their position publicly, would qualify in my non-legal opinion.

Add to the list Ramsey Clark and all of those others who visited North Viet Nam while we had troops in harm's way.

Sunday, October 15, 2006 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

Cavett said...
"My guess is the statute of limitations has run out on that witchhunt."

Witchhunt? What witchhunt was that? The one where she was denounced internationally? No..that didn't happen. Couldn't be all the jail time she didn't serve, could it? Let's see, maybe it was the cost to her career. No, that didn't happen either.

She was criticized by a few (not enough) for her traitorous activities. Is that the witchhunt?

Monday, October 16, 2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

Near the end of your post, you make a reference to a previous column titled “The Left’s Vietnam Syndrome”. As usual, your columns are fascinating to read and I appreciate the numerous links. One section in particular caught my eye. “The after effects of U.S. troop withdrawal on Southeast Asia were none too pretty either. Millions were slaughtered in the Cambodian genocide and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fell prey to summary executions and re-education camps.” The implication is that American troop withdrawal led to Cambodian slaughter of its people.

Eric D. Weitz, chairman of the history department at the University of Minnesota, differs with you. He says: "The victory of Communism in Vietnam led to many atrocities, but “the massacre of huge portions of the population of Cambodia” was most certainly not one of them. The Khmer Rouge were the perpetrators of that horrific event, and their rise to power became possible only because the massive bombings ordered by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon impoverished and destabilized Cambodian society. Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 1979 actually put an end to the genocide. Because of American hostility to Vietnam, the United States under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush supported the remnants of the Khmer Rouge as the official government of Cambodia — a morally bankrupt policy if there ever was one.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 1:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cavett said...

Trying Jane Fonda for treason would constitute a witchhunt at this time. Putting "Hanoi Jane" on the stake would provide a rallying point for right wing bonding, the legal aspects of a trial would be less than clear cut.

According to "Were Jane Fonda's actions treason, or were they the exercise of a private citizen's right to freedom of speech? At the time, the legal aspects of this question were moot: President Nixon was engaged in trying to wind down American involvement in Vietnam and had to face another election in a few months, so politically he had far more to lose than to gain by making a martyr out of a prominent anti-war activist. (No requirement in either the Constitution or federal law states that the U.S. must be engaged in a declared war, or any war at all, before charges of treason can be brought against an individual.)
"On the one hand, Jane Fonda provided no tangible military assistance to the North Vietnamese: she divulged no military secrets, she gave them no money or material, and she did not interfere with the operations of the American forces. Her actions, offensive as they were to many, were primarily of propaganda value only. On the other hand, Iva Ikuko Toguri (also known as 'Tokyo Rose') was convicted of treason for making propaganda broadcasts on behalf of the Japanese during World War II (although she claimed her betrayal was forced and was eventually pardoned many years later by President Gerald Ford), and Fonda's efforts could fall under the definition of 'giving aid and comfort to the enemy.' It is also undeniable that some American soldiers came to harm as a direct result of Fonda's actions, an outcome she should reasonably have anticipated.
"The most serious accusations in the piece quoted above, that Fonda turned over slips of paper furtively given her by American POWs to the North Vietnamese and that several POWs were beaten to death as a result, are untrue. Those named in the inflammatory e-mail have repeatedly and categorically denied the events they supposedly were part of.
"'It's a figment of somebody's imagination,' says Ret. Col. Larry Carrigan, one of the servicemen mentioned in the 'slips of paper' incident. Carrigan was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and did spend time in a POW camp. He has no idea why the story was attributed to him, saying, 'I never met Jane Fonda.' In 2005, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Carrigan 'is so tired of having to repeat that he wasn't beaten after Fonda's visit and that there were no beating deaths at that time that he won't talk to the media anymore.'"

My question regarding the desire to criminalize Jane Fonda is what's in it for you? What kind of a country do you want, that shuts up dissident? This country was founded by dissidents. We can handle different viewpoints. That makes us great. Beating up on movie stars is wussy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

Well, I suppose if you consider making enemy propaganda and causing harm to U.S. soldiers, simple evidence of a "dissident's...different viewpoints," then you wouldn't consider Fonda's actions treasonous. But by those standards, what is treasonous---anything?

Here's the thing, if someone wants to flat-out join the other side (of whatever war we're engaged in at the time) then they should come right out and do it. Renounce their citizenship, move to said third world paradise, and join the military. But you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Then again, I guess you can.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 1:37:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

Quoting Eric D. Weitz?? The guy who wrote Popular Communism and a book on a century of genocide, which left out Rwanda? He's much happier when white people are the bad guys.

Anyone who would feel obliged to defend a woman who consorted with the enemy while her fellow citizens were being tortured nearby are leftist idealogues.

What's with all the quotes? Got nothing original to say?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cavett said...

I'm just interested in clarity. Usually when folks are foaming at the mouth over celebrities-gone-wild, distortion plays a part. The pro-treason position stated here could be summed up with an even shorter quote: "America, love it or leave it."

The America I love has endured propagandizing boat-rockers better than the damage to its international reputation and carnage inflicted through the actions of elected/appointed officials. To paraphrase conservative Republican war hero S. I. Hayakawa, words are not deeds.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 7:14:00 AM  

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