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Monday, September 30, 2002

Accusing someone of a crime is slander per se. This means that the person making the accusation is guilty of slander unless that accuser can prove the truth of their assertion, that the person has really committed a crime. Treason is a capital crime, so accusing someone of treason would be the grounds for a slander lawsuit. Maybe this is a way to shut Ann Coulter up: the next time she tells an opponent of the Iraq war to his or her face that they are part of the "treason lobby," call her on it. Pin her down. Ask her "Are you seriously accusing me of committing the crime of treason, such that the federal government could try me and if I am found guilty, execute me?" If she says she is, then sue her for slander. Then Coulter will have to prove in court that the person really did commit treason by opposing the Iraq war. She would not be able to do so. On the other hand, Coulter's a lawyer, so she may well be smart enough to back off, and reply that no, she was engaging in a bit of rhetorical hyperbole. If she does that, then blast her for engaging in such dangerous rhetoric, that could inspire some right-wing nut who takes what she says seriously to go shoot someone.

Jack Clark 9:43 PM [+]  
Post #82349745

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