Archive for August 27th, 2022

Traitors on Ice

Virgil and Dante

Virgil and Dante in the Circle of Traitors-Gustave Doré Engraving

There are but two parties now: traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party.

Ulysses S. Grant, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to his father and his youngest sister, 1857-78

Watching the revelations from the redacted affidavit that was unsealed yesterday had me wondering if the stolen intelligence had already produced results that we might never know. After all, if a spy or informer in another country was killed or swept away as a result of this stolen intelligence, that news would never reach the general public and even if it did, it would have no meaning for us.

But later in the day I came across a NY Times article from October of 2021 with the title, Captured, Killed or Compromised: C.I.A. Admits to Losing Dozens of Informants. It described a cable sent out by the CIA at the time to all its stations around the globe, warning that they had recently lost a troubling number of informants. 

I don’t want to jump to conclusions here. That is left to the investigators of the DOJ. But I have to wonder, what if…? That would put us into the realm of treason and that is the highest crime against one’s country for which a citizen can be tried. It is the ultimate betrayal of one’s country, even more so when the person being accused has taken a solemn oath to protect this nation.

Again, I am not saying that this is how it is. But based on past performance, it is not out of the realm of probability.

As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

We’ve been watching that duck waddle for some time now and there’s no getting around it– it’s a duck. 

I am reposting a blog entry from about four years back that is every bit as pertinent now as it was then. To those of us who have followed politics for many years and the former president’s rise to infamy for the past 6 to 7 years, there is a level of frustration that warnings, such as the referenced article below from Rod Dreher, were often viewed by others as being hyperbolic. I guess some folks don’t want to believe that someone in that position would ever betray their fellow citizens. But to many, myself included, it seemed to be occurring brazenly in plain sight and would be easily proven if not for the control and manipulation of the legal system by the disgraced former president and his all too willing partners in crime in Congress.

I will stop crowing now and urge you to read the paragraphs below to see how close Dreher’s words came to the reality of the moment. I’ve also added two passages from Ulysses Grant that also seem to speak to moments such as this.

I came across the image above from an article in The American Conservative from September of 2016, written by a writer, Rod Dreher, who is labeled as a leading conservative intellectual. Neither the magazine nor the author are in my regular reading rotation and I might not find substantial common ground with either on many issues, but the article was an interesting read. The article had to do with the current [now former] resident of our White House in the run up to the 2016 election and his historic inability to keep his vows in all aspects of his life.

Here are two paragraphs that stood out for me:

“One of the themes in Dante’s Commedia is the terrible political consequences that result when people break their vows. Dante the poet was exiled through the constant strife in Florence, and throughout Italy. In his fictional person, a pilgrim through the afterlife, Dante learns that so much of the violence and discord that has torn Italian society apart has to do with the inability of people to trust others to be true to their word. In the Inferno, the lowest level of Hell is reserved for Traitors, the worst of whom — those whose treason had wide social consequences — are immobilized in a lake of ice for eternity. In Dante, punishments fit the crime. For Traitors, who lived with no ultimate loyalties except to themselves, because that preserved the absolute freedom of their will, the just punishment was to be frozen in place forever.”

“Why are Traitors the worst of all sinners, in Dante’s scheme? For one thing, they make social and communal life impossible. If you cannot count on people to honor their vows, you never know what is real, and who is trustworthy. For another, as the pilgrim Dante learns in Paradiso, free will is God’s greatest gift to a man. To make a vow is to make a gift of God’s gift — that is, to pledge one’s sacred liberty, to a cause, person, or institution, out of love. If vows are tossed aside lightly, love is cheapened, and the order of the entire universe is weakened. By breaking vows, we weaken the power of love and goodness in the world. This is how our free will, the gift most precious to God, the gift that tells us the most about His nature, becomes a source of disharmony and debilitation within ourselves and the community.”

Dreher later goes on to make a prediction about the election saying that if the Republican candidate ( I just cannot write that name!) won, his presidency would be, using terms from Dungeons & Dragons, at best neutral evil and at worst, chaotic evil. This is a conservative thought leader speaking, certainly not a Democrat or liberal voice.

His prediction has turned out to be prescient, unfortunately for us all, in his prophecy of chaotic evil.

But is [was] the [former] president* a traitor to more than his vows?

Hearing the word Treason yesterday come from the mouth of Judge Sullivan in the Michael Flynn sentencing hearing was a seismic shift in the ongoing Mueller investigation. To hear it in the clear air was a stunning thing, a movement of the whole affair into a new sphere that everyone had been dancing around for some time now. I know that the words, treason, along with its running mate, traitor, have been running around the perimeter of my mind for some time now.

For those of you who don’t follow this, you might think I am peddling conspiracy theories or just plain crazy talk. Maybe you’re right but every day seems to reveal more and more of a large criminal conspiracy. Like me, there are those of you who have been watching and trying to amass all the data points, all the massive amounts of information that are being dutifully exposed, on an internal flow chart that would take up the wall of a gymnasium in reality. You folks are most likely nodding in agreement.

Now is the time for us all to pay attention, like it or not. We may be on the verge of the exposing of a large circle of traitors, actors of treason who, along with a foreign adversary, have sowed division and violence among their fellow citizens for political power and personal gain.

We must now all serve as witnesses.

I do not know where this leads but if it leads to a band of traitors forever encased in a lake of ice at the lowest level of Hell, so be it.

[ 2022: Get that ice ready! Incoming!]]

If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason’s and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on one sight, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other. 

Ulysses S. Grant, Speech to the Society of the Army of Tennessee (1875)


Virgil and Dante in the 9th Circle of Hell, Gustave Dore, 1861

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