On the April 26 edition of MSNBC Live, during a discussion with host Chris Jansing and South Carolina Democratic Party chairman Joe Erwin, South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson asked: "Which one of the Democrat [sic] contenders are going to take [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-NV] to task about giving aid and comfort to the enemies by claiming the global war on terror is lost?" Jansing did not challenge Erwin's assertion, which amounted to an accusation that Reid has committed treason. Dawson also asserted during the segment that "Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as leaders of the Democrat [sic] Party on Capitol Hill" are "gloating" over "this defeatist legislation that just passed" -- referring to the Iraq war supplemental funding bill that passed the Senate on April 26, which would require American troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq by October 1.
In asserting that Reid had claimed that "the global war on terror" is lost, Dawson was referring to Reid's April 19 press conference discussing Congress' stand-off with President Bush over emergency funding for the war in Iraq. In fact, Reid was referring specifically to the war in Iraq when he asserted that "this war is lost." Furthermore, during the same press conference, Reid's added that "the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically, and economically."
As Media Matters for America has noted, on the April 20 edition of MSNBC Live, Republican strategist Brad Blakeman said that Reid "is absolutely, 100 percent wrong" in suggesting that the Iraq war "is lost" and added that "[h]is statements give aid and comfort to our enemy and demoralize our troops." Media Matters also noted a similar assertion Blakeman made regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) recent meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus. On the April 6 edition of MSNBC Live, Blakeman said that Pelosi "abandoned her post up on Capitol Hill" and went to Syria "to give aid and comfort to him [Assad] instead of funding our troops."
According to Article III of the U.S. Constitution, "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."
Furthermore, as Media Matters has documented, numerous print and television media outlets have reported Reid's statement that the Iraq war "is lost" without noting his subsequent statements that "the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically."
From the 2 p.m. ET hour of the April 26 edition of MSNBC Live:
JANSING: For those who don't know, your state is one of the reddest of the reds. It really ranks right up there. Most of the major offices held by Republicans, as we said, it hasn't gone Democratic since before 1976. But could this be the year, given the war in Iraq and the dissatisfaction with what's going on in the White House right now?
DAWSON: Chris, I don't think so. I think the Democrat strategy of running on us losing a war is going to be a fatal political strategy. I mean, today I think is a defining moment for this defeatist legislation that's just passed -- Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as leaders of the Democrat Party on Capitol Hill gloating. And the question I'd like to pose tonight is which one of the Democrat contenders are going to take Harry Reid to task about giving aid and comfort to the enemies by claiming the global war on terror is lost?
You know, I understand there's nothing pleasant about war. And we understand it's not very popular. But -- because I don't know of a war, ever, that's been popular. So I do differ with Joe in the fact that their strategy is who's going to go to the far left right now? Who's going to talk about raising taxes? And who's going to give an answer and a solution that I know South Carolinians won't buy, but I suspect the rest of the nation won't, in my opinion.