It came on Christmas Day, 1868; it may be the worst Presidential proclamation in American History. Any possible grant of amnesty to people in the USA illegally today, pales in comparison.
I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the Constitution and in the name of the sovereign people of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare unconditionally and without reservation, to all and to every person who, directly or indirectly, participated in the late insurrection or rebellion a full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof.
Treason, The Constitution, Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
The sweeping amnesty even reached traitor number one, Confederate President Jefferson Davis who claimed 14th and 5th Amendment constitutional protections of “due process” and double jeopardy from the very Constitution he betrayed.
Recently, 149 years after jailed Davis was released on $100,000 dollar bail before all charges were dropped, two incidents occurred that perpetuate the arguments by the traitors of the day and their present day supporters.
The Daily Caller (Rob Shimshock) reports, “The Alabama Senate passed a bill…which would prevent the changing of the names of Confederate memorials and removing of historic Confederate monuments.”
The battle continues, resurrected by removal of statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.T.G Beauregard in the heart of the Confederacy, racial segregation and White Supremacy– New Orleans, Louisiana.
New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu in the Washington Post: “The record is clear: New Orleans’s Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were erected with the goal of rewriting history to glorify the Confederacy and perpetuate the idea of white supremacy. These monuments stand not as mournful markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in reverence of it. They are an inaccurate recitation of our past, an affront to our present and a poor prescription for our future.”
The Alabama senate bill “would prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument that has stood on public property for 40 or more years.”
Alabama Black Democrat Senator Hank Sanders says the monuments represent, “oppression to a large part of the people in the state of Alabama.” This self-serving shallow statement ignores mass “treason” and what should have been punished by far more than denial of the right to hold public office the 14th Amendment specified.
The Daily Caller quotes Alabama State Rep. Mack Butler, a white Republican lawmaker, “Are you good with the sanitizing of history as we are seeing in New Orleans?” The Senate passed the bill on the same day the last four Confederate statutes in New Orleans were removed.
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” (Actor Paul Newman’s “Cool Hand Luke” movie)
In Germany today, mentions or representations of the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis) or Adolf Hitler and his cohorts, or the display of the infamous Nazi flag in any non-historical sense is forbidden by law. One does not see statues in Italy of Dictator Benito Mussolini or many of V. Lenin in Russia.
History is history.
Treason to the United States is treason; it should not be looked at approvingly or memorialized. Such, about the Civil War or as Southern die-hards continue to call it — the “War of Northern Aggression” — insults historical truth. To absolve traitors to the United States for any reason is the ultimate dishonest “historical truth.”
Every Confederate politician including Jefferson Davis and Confederate officer of colonel or general rank should have been imprisoned for life and had their properties confiscated (like that of Robert E. Lee). Or, suffered the death penalty if responsible for war crimes; e.g: Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forest for the execution of 300 Black Union soldiers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, by his troops. Why the mass execution? For the Confederate-defined crime of being a Black Union soldier.
War criminal General Forest wasn’t charged; he went on to found the Ku Klux Klan, he walked like President Jefferson Davis and both have statues throughout the South – for now.
Contreras is the author of THE MEXICAN BORDER: IMMIGRATION, WAR AND A TRILLION DOLLARS IN TRADE and MURDER IN THE MOUNTAINS: WAR CRIME AT KHOJALY both by Floricanto Press