The Instigator
tylergraham95
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
ChristianPunk
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Ronald Reagan Should have Been Convicted of Treason and Impeached

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
tylergraham95
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2013 Category: People
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 992 times Debate No: 41957
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

tylergraham95

Pro

First round is acceptance only.
Second round is construction only.
No new arguments may be brought up in the final round. This includes new rebuttals/responses. You may only use this round to summarize, clarify, and/or restate what you have already said.

This debate is in reference to Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States; it is also referencing the Iran-Contra Scandal in the 80s.
ChristianPunk

Con

As a Ronald Reagan fan who thinks he was one of our best presidents, I'll take you on. You may begin your case.
Debate Round No. 1
tylergraham95

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting my challenge.


Under US law, treason is defined as such:

Treason-Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.(1)

For this debate, I seek to sufficiently prove that 40th POTUS Ronal Reagan was indeed guilty of treason following the Iran-Contra affair. This is to assume that the decision reached by the courts over the matter, were wrong in not convicting Reagan himself for the scandal. The Con may not say "Because the court found him innocent, he is innocent!" but rather may say, "For these reasons the court found him innocent, so he is innocent!" if he so chooses.


The Scandal
From '85 to '87

"The Iran–Contra affair, also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or the Iran–Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of several hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.

The scandal began as an operation to free the seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by a group with Iranian ties connected to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to Iran, and then the United States would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the U.S. hostages. The plan deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages" (2)

Summary
-Iran was subject of an arms embargo
-Further funding of Nicaraguan contras was banned by Boland Amendment
-The Reagan Administration violated the arms embargo by providing iranians with arms, and violated the Boland Amendment by funding the Contras


Reagan's Involvement

"I want you to do whatever you have to do to help these people keep body and soul together." - Ronald Reagan to National Security Advisor on Hostages

"In 1985, while Iran and Iraq were at war, Iran made a secret request to buy weapons from the United States. McFarlane sought Reagan's approval, in spite of the embargo against selling arms to Iran. McFarlane explained that the sale of arms would not only improve U.S. relations with Iran, but might in turn lead to improved relations with Lebanon, increasing U.S. influence in the troubled Middle East."(3)

The actions that spurred the scandal were indeed approved by Reagan, even though he acted mostly with the safety of those hostages in mind. Reagan's approval of this action makes him a co-conspirator to commit treason, as he did knowlingly approve operations that violated an arms embargo, us law, and even his own campaign promises ( to never negotiate with terrorists).

"Reagan, McFarlane and CIA director William Casey supported it. With the backing of the president, the plan progressed. By the time the sales were discovered, more than 1,500 missiles had been shipped to Iran. Three hostages had been released, only to be replaced with three more, in what Secretary of State George Shultz called "a hostage bazaar."(3)

WIth both the support and approval of Reagan, Iranian terrorists were being prompted to take more and more hostages to acquire thousands of missiles and other weaponry.


The Coverup

"When the Lebanese newspaper "Al-Shiraa" printed an exposé on the clandestine activities in November 1986, Reagan went on television and vehemently denied that any such operation had occurred. He retracted the statement a week later, insisting that the sale of weapons had not been an arms-for-hostages deal."(3)

Not only did he knowingly commit these treasonous acts, he then went on to knowlingly lie about them. First, he denied the operations existance, then he denied the truth of the matter. This is similar to Nixon's involvement with the watergate scandal (except Nixon didn't order the covert actions, only covered them up). Nixon was in the process of impeachment and conviction when he resigned as president and was later pardoned. Reagan is in a very similar situation to this, except he took the extra step further and actually aided in the premeditation and execution of the actions.(4)


The Treasonous Actions of Reagan

The actions that Reagan took are treasonous because he, The President of the United States, knowingly approved and supported a foreign policy that A) Violated US law B) Violated an arms embargo against an enemy of America C) assissted terrorists that were taking US citizens as hostages. These are all acts that knowlingly gave aid to enemies of the United States, and therefore are acts of treason.


Crime and Punishment

Just because one who commits a crime is well known and loved does not mean that they are any less guilty of their crime. Just because one commits a crime with good intentions makes them no less guilty of that crime. For justice to be upheld, Reagan ought to have been convicted of treason and impeached, then, if his successor found his crimes forgivible due to his past actions and good intentions, he could be pardoned.




Sources
1. http://www.law.cornell.edu...;
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
3. http://www.pbs.org...;
4. http://www.history.com...;
ChristianPunk

Con

Well the only main point I'll point out is that it was a tough situation and any president is going to handle it differently. And no 20th century president was not the clean president. Herbert Hoover sent a riot squad to attack veterans and homeless people who protested at the white house, resulting in the death of a mother and her child. This was from a textbook and a lecture in my Junior year of High School. Bush funded way too much of our money in the war in Iraq. Bill Clinton lied about him cheating on Hilary, hurting his reputation and our view on our president. I don't think Reagan should've been impeached for something alot of presidents would do.
Debate Round No. 2
tylergraham95

Pro

I thanky my opponent for their response.

"Well the only main point I'll point out is that it was a tough situation and any president is going to handle it differently."
I assume that this means that my opponent cedes that Reagan did commit what qualifies as an act of treason. I forward all of my points.

As for the rest of my opponents argument, they make the point that no president is without fault. This is true, but when a president violates the law, he must be impeached. Clinton was almost impeached (for purgury not adultery. Adultery is not illegal). Hoover recieved much negative attention, but was technically operating within the law. Nixon was impeached for purgurey as well. Reagan commited actions that constitute treason, a crime punishble by a minimum of 5 years in prison. A president, under US law, is impeached for any type of crime they commit. Treason is a crime that is of incredibly serious gravity, and just because someone is the president, doesn't mean that they are immune from the law.

In summary, my opponent justifies reagans act of treason by comparing it to other US scandals, that typically did spur the impeachment process, or weren't even violations of US law. Reagan violated US law and committed an act of treason. He deserved impeachment and conviction.
ChristianPunk

Con

Ok. Well one thing I may point out, is that people have been lied to us about several things. In 2007, one of the world's cover ups began while still under the presidency of George W. Bush.

http://collateralmurder.com...

This pretty much explains itself.

Now that we have this, I will also state that while people have done it and got away with treason, Why does Reagan not deserve impeachment. Who wouldn't negotiate with terrorists? Ever seen those movies where you see a clear way of making a deal and winning with a carefully devised plan. Terrorists aren't always going to be smart. So if you don't negotiate with terrorists, even when they have your people hostage, then you hate the American people and must want em to die. Imagine if that was your daughter. Just don't negotiate? Unless the better idea would be Special Ops attack. That may be a good idea. But Reagan wasn't for war. Why do you think he ended the Cold War?

And my main point is who cares? Reagan not only made a lot of good happen compared to other presidents, but he also is dead. So nothing can be done. Unless this is some sort of personal grudge you have with Ronald Reagan. Everything you have said is not news. It's happened since murderers started lying about murders.
Debate Round No. 3
tylergraham95

Pro

I thanky my opponent for their response.

The source my opponent cited is not explained at all by my opponent, but he is refernecing a military coverup in the middle east. This was not treasonous aciton, howvere. It wasn't even technically illegal, just highly immoral.

Reagan didn't just negotiate with terrorists, he armed them.

"And my main point is who cares? Reagan not only made a lot of good happen compared to other presidents, but he also is dead. So nothing can be done. Unless this is some sort of personal grudge you have with Ronald Reagan. Everything you have said is not news. It's happened since murderers started lying about murders."

This whole statement represents a fundemental flaw in my opponents understanding of the purpose of debate. I am arguing that Reagan should have been convicted of treason and impeached following the Iran-Contra scandal. No, that does not mean that he can be. I am just proving that the decision made was not the just one.

My opponent basically admits that everything that I have said is true. Therefore, Reagan did commit an act of treason. He attempts to dismiss the fact that Reagan should have faced the punishment for his crime by stating that he had good intentions, and that it was to save hostages. My opponent appears to have skipped the part of my argument where I proved that Reagans actions only led to even more hostages being taken.

My opponent cedes that Reagan committed treason, therefore, he should have been convicted of this crime. Along with such a serious crime, and impeachment would obviously be necissary (as presidents have almost been impeached for lesser crimes such as purgury).

VOTE PRO!
ChristianPunk

Con

Obviously a debate I shouldn't have taken since I have no interest in government or anything pertaining to it. As you can tell by my profile and picture, I am an anarchist who believes no government at all would be a good thing.

I would like to point out you said twice, "I thank my opponent for their response" Indicating you have stated that your opponent is more than one person when it is only a simple Christian anarchist. But I won't hold that against you. But I would watch out for that mistake in the future.

Reagan armed the terrorists? So do we. We practically have dirty pasts and histories. Reagan was trying to make allies, not enemies. And in the comments, tell me how were the hostages that were traded for the original hostages? Did they live or die?

And if I basically admitted that everything you said is true, then I would say you are truthful. But those words didn't come out until I gave this example. But anyways. This debate was alright, but I made a mistake and wish I could've withdrawn this completely. I thank you sir for bearing with me.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ChristianPunk 9 months ago
ChristianPunk
This proves that I suck at politics. :D
Posted by ChristianPunk 9 months ago
ChristianPunk
I find your definitions awkward. Christianity is that of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Anarchy in it's original format is none government. It refuses any government because all are corrupt and greedy. Anarchists believe that a world with no government, no authority figures, and no rules, would make the best world out there. As a Christian Anarchist, I am not for government even though I follow the laws, only out of respect since I am not one for violence. I am a pacifist. I believe words can have a much more powerful impact than action. I believe in obedience to God and God alone. I even believe most modern day churches forget the true meaning of Christianity. Christianity wasn't set to be a religion by Jesus Christ, it's founder. It was meant to be a way of life and a relationship that gurantees your right to heaven. I have met my English professor who is a Christian Socialist. Capitalism is what Anarchists are against. Capitalists make money only for themselves while being corrupt and evil. They just want money money money.Anarchists will usually just get things anyway they can.
Posted by tylergraham95 9 months ago
tylergraham95
@christiananarchist
I used their as the gender neutral third person term (as opposed to he or her) because one can never be sure of their opponents gender. It's a simple matter of political correctness is all, nothing too major.

Also I must say that I find your name at least somewhat paradoxical, as Christianity is a religion that endorses socialism and selflessness, and anarchy is the government that most caters to self-interest, and capitalism.
Posted by tylergraham95 9 months ago
tylergraham95
@kbub
Not always. The punishment would have to be determined by a judge. That being said, the punishment is irrelevant. If you commit a crime (even if you're the adored president of the right) then you should face the consequences that that crime brings upon you. Anyone guilty of treason should be punished accordingly. I am here to debate whether or not he was truly guilty of treason.
Posted by kbub 9 months ago
kbub
You realize that people are killed when convicted of treason, right?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 9 months ago
Beverlee
tylergraham95ChristianPunkTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con uses a tu quo que fallacy to argue that other presidents also behaved unethically, so Reagan wasn't unethical in the Iran Contra. If Reagan was guilty, someone else being guilty of something else does not make Reagan innocent.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 9 months ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
tylergraham95ChristianPunkTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins this debate easily with well thought out d concise arguments. Con did not even attempt a rebuttal and that is unfortunate for the voters. I have also awarded grammar and sources points to Pro. Conduct was a tie, as Pro and Con both did not lode their cool in a very one-sided debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 9 months ago
Mikal
tylergraham95ChristianPunkTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Dear God this was a thrashing by pro. Pro layed out details about the iran contra scandal and then went into specific detail about regans involvement and how it could be considered a cover up. Con conceded this point by saying presidents do bad things. The only thing left for pro to do at this point, is show that treason is a just cause for impeachment which he hammered home in the final rounds. sources also clearly go to pro for reliability.