There is the law and there are principles of justice and sometimes they are not quite in alignment with one another. For Democracy to thrive there needs to be the free exchange of ideas and also the truthful sharing of experience from public servants and also from the media whose job it is to be the eyes and ears and voice of The People.
Every time a lie is told by a public servant in order to influence the public to believe something that he knows isn't true, it is an act of treason. A public servant is the servant and not the master. He is duty bound to be faithful in the execution of his duties and this must necessarily include fidelity to his honor.
If a public servant attempts to corrupt the values of subordinates by having them engage in unlawful acts or dishonorable activities, such as requiring them to lie to others or to put aside their own integrity, that too is treason.
If you are a subordinate and if you are unfaithful to yourself and the truth as you know it, in order to protect yourself or to carry out the agenda of someone who supervises you, then you are a traitor to yourself and to others.
If a military commander orders a soldier to execute an order he knows to be illegal or immoral, that is treason.
If the Commander-in-Chief or the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Defense asks you to lie, or you are purposely misled into reporting a lie or withholding the truth or misleading others, that is treason.
Can I take the Commander-in-Chief and have him prosecuted for treason if he lies to the Nation? I don't know. But I know that when the President of the United States or any public servant lies to the public or misrepresents his actions as one thing when he knows they are something else, then that public official is attacking our Democracy and the act is one of treason. This is how I see it.
Every lie acts to diminish, tear apart, and unravel the fabric of our society. And so does every lie that justifies a lie and every dishonesty that hides a lie, or hides the truth. This is the truth of how it is.
And if you haven't the courage to tell the truth, or the consciousness to honor the truth, or the love to love the truth, then one day you will not have the truth to tell, and soon thereafter you will not live in a place that will acknowledge the truth when it is told, and not long after that the truth will not be told for it will no longer be allowed. You cannot be a traitor to life, and then expect to live in a free and just society.
Who says so? I say so. Where is it written? In every blade of grass. In the sparrow's song. In a snowflake. In every sunrise and sunset. In every star that lights the sky. In every child's eyes. Every river that flows and every kiss of a lover's lips ... says it's so. Because it IS so.
And what if you are not a public servant or a member of the media? Every intentional dishonesty diminishes the fabric of life for we are all part of the weave.
I do not say this as an invitation to judge others, but rather as a reminder from time to time to look to see if the threads of our own expression are holding life together or allowing it to unravel.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are a part of every destiny. Everyone makes a difference, and simply the willingness to hold fast to life, to have faith, compassion and courage is what binds us together and creates the opportunity for us, and our children, and our children's children, to experience the blessings of freedom, happiness, and success.
From "The Answer"
By Mark A. Goldman
First Published in 2003
See also: On Citizenship
"Liberty lies in the hearts and minds of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it." -- Judge Learned Hand