Bitch-slapping the Bill of Rights: brief notes on Senator Mitt Romney’s failed attempt
Tulsi Gabbard made NO factual statements which were either false or wrong. And the charge of Treason, under our Constitution, cannot be used to silence legitimate political opposition.
We covered the Ukrainian biolabs mess earlier in three separate posts   , but will provide an update as Tulsi Gabbard recently filed a cease-and-desist order again Senator Mitt Romney and media personality Keith Olbermann. (Who does not merit attention).
First, the basic facts. The labs do exist. The labs did — and this verified true as of early 2022, with no further information publicly available after the invasion — contain pathogen collections directly derived from the former Soviet Union bioweapons program. (The Soviet Union ended in 1991).
In the words of Robert Pope, PhD, director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program under the USA Defense Threat Reduction Agency, reported — and please note the date — on 25 February 2022:
“they [the Ukrainian government] have more pathogens in in more places than we recommend.”
“More pathogens in more places than we recommend” — does this sound like a security risk even under the best of circumstances? The known list of former Soviet Union bioweapon pathogens consists of Tier 1 Agents under USA law; and CDC Category A or CDC Category B Bioterrorism Agents.
For several of these pathogens, under USA and EU law, only a facility which meets BSL-4 standards for biosafety and general security will serve; for the remainder, only a facility with meets BSL-3 standards for biosafety and general security will serve.
Ukraine does NOT have a BSL-4 facility. (Map below of BSL-4 labs generated from GlobalBiolabs.Org). Ukraine also has NO facilities which are clearly and unequivocally up to BSL-3 standards. The Russian invasion greatly increased the chances that these pathogens would either escape containment or fall into the wrong hands.
On 11 March 2022, and again please do note the date, the Pentagon issued a FACT SHEET which confirmed both the biolabs and the existence of the pathogen collections. (For an analysis of the Pentagon Fact Sheet).
None of this was news to people familiar with either the activities of the DTRA or with biosecurity concerns in the former Soviet Union. On 9 May 2018, the DTRA acknowledged in an unclassified, publicly available for download presentation:
Over 2500 Global Engagements
2943 Site Locations
48 US States
The overview slide from that presentation (9 May 2018) clearly indicates DTRA activities in Ukraine.
At American Exile, we carefully reviewed Tulsi Gabbard’s statement made on 13 March 2022. Please note her remarks were made AFTER those of Robert Pope, PhD, director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (25 February 2022) and the issuance of the Pentagon FACT SHEET (11 March 2022).
In terms of her factual content, Tulsi Gabbard said
nothing — not one thing — that was false or wrong according to Pentagon sources;
nothing — not one thing — that was secret or not publicly available;
and nothing which could not be directly sourced to recent public statements by the USA Department of Defense (Pentagon, DTRA officials, and so on).
In her remarks, Tulsi Gabbard was critical — and we think rightfully — of how the Biden-Harris administration was ignoring the risk, and allowing the MSM to denounce both the USA-supported biolabs in Ukraine and their legacy pathogen collections as just QAnon conspiracy.
In 2018, again, DTRA acknowledged over 2500 Global Engagements, 2943 Site Locations, 2637 Missions, et cetera. DTRA’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, part of these “Engagements” and active in Ukraine, has also long been a matter of public record and scholarly research. (Slide below from 9 May 2018).
So who knew this?
To start, any professional or scholar concerned with preventing WMD proliferation, or bioterrorism, or biosecurity, or et cetera. In addition, DTRA has interacted with tens of thousands of internationals — many of whom in one form or another have discussed their activities.
So why was the Biden-Harris administration pretending that the Ukrainian biolabs did not exist? And that the pathogen collections did not exist? Why did Biden-Harris administration persist on colluding with the MSM as denouncing the well-known and established activities of DTRA as Russian disinformation? Rather than simply and openly correcting the Russian account?
The testimony of Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on 8 March 2022, left the Biden-Harris administration playing catch-up and doing damage control. (We run down some key statements here). Effectively, the Biden-Harris administration undermined and compromised 17 years of DTRA work in Ukraine. Why?
We do not know — and think this was a poor communications strategy. Even if it resulted in a transient domestic political victory, this seeming denial and then “circle-back” is costing the USA credibility globally. Far too many people in far too many nations know about DTRA. But our own government has made DTRA look nefarious — look evil. If we had nothing to hide, why were we hiding it? We need the cooperation of nations who now have increased reason NOT to trust us.
Regardless, even if one for whatever reasons agrees with the Biden-Harris approach, Tulsi Gabbard has a First Amendment right to her opinion on how they handled it.
To wrap up the first part, everything Tulsi Gabbard said was either factually true and correct based upon the best available public information, or was her opinionated call for an immediate cease-fire to prevent a possible deadly biohazard outbreak and even a regional pandemic. Based upon what pathogen collections these labs contained, both events were possible.
So what are the grounds for treason? Tulsi Gabbard made no factual claims that were wrong or dishonest. She called for an immediate cease-fire: for Russia to halt their offensive. And she criticized in passing the Biden-Harris administration for dismissing the real possibility of these pathogen collections escaping containment or falling into the wrong hands.
By calling for Russia to implement an immediate cease-fire, did Tulsi Gabbard betray the USA? Because she criticized in passing the laissez-faire deny-the-potential-catastrophe approach taken by the Biden-Harris administration?
Paul T. Crane, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Appellate Section, and Deborah Pearlstein, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at Yeshiva University Cardozo Law School, explain (boldface added):
Treason is a unique offense in our constitutional order—the only crime expressly defined by the Constitution, and applying only to Americans who have betrayed the allegiance they are presumed to owe the United States. While the Constitution’s Framers shared the centuries-old view that all citizens owed a duty of loyalty to their home nation, they included the Treason Clause not so much to underscore the seriousness of such a betrayal, but to guard against the historic use of treason prosecutions by repressive governments to silence otherwise legitimate political opposition.
So the treason clause in our Constitution — consistent with the later Bill of Rights —specifically PROTECTS legitimate political opposition. Yes, one may criticize the Biden-Harris administration.
Since we are not in an openly active or declared war with Russia, Tulsi Gabbard may say what she pleases. (Below, Jasper Johns, Three Flags, 1958).
You may consult ArtIII.S3.C1.1.2 Treason Clause: Doctrine and Practice, original source and legal history courtesy of the USA Congress, for further guidance.
Senator Mitt Romney could not be bothered first checking with the Pentagon for basic facts about the biolabs in Ukraine. It seems also Senator Mitt Romney cannot be bothered with the United States Constitution, despite the oath he swore to take his seat as a Senator.
Since he serves neither our nation nor evidently the people of Utah who are part of that nation, one must ask: Who does Senator Mitt Romney serve?
On April 4th, we said:
Call his [Senator Mitt Romney’s] behavior what it was: asinine, inexcusable, and legally actionable.
So Tulsi Gabbard, as is her right under law to do so, has taken action and filed suit. But as she pointed out in her interview, this is not just about her. We will phrase the issue more crudely:
Senator Mitt Romney tried to bitch-slap the Bill of Rights.
He failed, but we must take seriously his attempt also to threaten Tulsi Gabbard with death. Treason is a capital offense, punishable by death.
Senator Mitt Romney used the vile charge of Treason, a crime which carries a capital offense, in an an apparent effort to silence legitimate political opposition — legitimate political opposition to an obviously and now dangerously incompetent administration. Tulsi Gabbard made in his eyes the crime of calling for a cease-fire. Senator Mitt Romney will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. He is not alone.
We now have former USA intelligence officials formally claiming that centralized censorship power is vital to our national security. Tech monopolies working hand-in-hand with the state: good. Information monopoly: good. Unalienable rights: bad.
Did we defeat the Soviet Union to become it?
Perhaps the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments have never mattered more in our history. The remainder of this decade will prove interesting.