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"Most notorious traitor " Topic

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22 Oct 2017 1:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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14 May 2018 7:05 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Winston Smith22 Oct 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

Feel free to be free with the definition of each word in the title, including "most". I'm feeling generous today. grin
I expect a lot of arguments here too.

1. Judas Iscariot
2. Kim Philby
3. Benedict Arnold

This poll is of course not limited to the above. Some may wish to include George Washington, but he succeeded, didn't he? Traitors usually come from the ranks of the losers, as defined by the winners.
Was any Confederate ever tried for treason? Neither were the three above.

Otto, if you want to accuse me of trolling, well, go ahead.
And it's not DH bait, unless someone is STUPID ENOUGH TO VIOLATE THE 10YEAR RULE ON POLITICS.

McKinstry Fezian22 Oct 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

Guy Fawkes? Unlike those three he has his very own named holiday/celebration/bonfire.

USAFpilot22 Oct 2017 1:46 p.m. PST

Saruman, with his white robes and kindly old man appearance having everyone think he was one of the good guys.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Oct 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

Robert E. Lee
James Longstreet
Jane Fonda

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

George Washington.

Whether he succeeded or not, still a traitor

The Duke of Monmouth,a local contender

The Beast Rampant22 Oct 2017 3:07 p.m. PST

You're trolling.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 3:13 p.m. PST

I think there is a difference between people like George Washington and Robert E. Lee and other "traitors" in that they felt a dual allegiance, to their nation, the British Crown, or the USA, and their home state of Virginia. They openly declared themselves to be no longer bound by the former sovereign, and submitted themselves to a new, seemingly lawful, authority.

They fought openly and with full acknowledgement that they were trying to form a new nation. They were not acting alone, nor for their own personal interest, they were acting for the interest of their people.

I think they are very different from:

Judas Iscariot,
Benedict Arnold,
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and
Jane Fonda.

They each acted on their own, for their own personal gain.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

lloydthegamer Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 3:50 p.m. PST

Quisling from Norway and anyone associated with the leadership of the CSA, these come easily to mind.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 4:17 p.m. PST

Brutus comes to mind. His treason was also personal, as Judas's was.

Princess Leia. Darth Vader said she was. But then, so was he. Twice, if you think about it.

But maybe fictional traitors should be ruled out.

As for history, more often than not the "traitor" is in the view of the person on the side acted against. And if the treason is the right course of action, it's rather hard to condemn it.

dBerczerk22 Oct 2017 4:43 p.m. PST

I was not surprised to see Jane Fonda's name mentioned repeatedly in this thread.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 4:53 p.m. PST

Traitor should be someone who personal effect your country and our your freedom. So for me its

Cambridge 6 Spy Ring in UK
Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
John Anthony Walker
Bowe Bergdahl
Edward Snowden
Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley).

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 5:15 p.m. PST

George Washington was not only successful, but King George and his Government admitted he was right all along in the Treaty of Paris. He was the military commander of a free, sovereign, independent state. Therefore there was no disloyalty in his actions. Queen Elizabeth still obviously believes the same today given her warm relations with the United States.


Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 8:34 p.m. PST

I'll repeat again, Jane Fonda.

Winston Smith22 Oct 2017 8:45 p.m. PST

Here's yet another layer on top of Kim Philby.

Gratifyingly, the traitor is never trusted or liked by his new allegiance. Arnold wasn't loved by The British. Philby was distrusted by the Russians.
It's nice to know that Philby died bitter and alone.
He disliked being called a "double agent", since he never felt that he had any loyalty from the beginning, except to his Soviet masters. I don't know about that. I read his autobiography, and he seems to have done good work for the British. Was it just professional pride, or was it useful only as far as it aided a Soviet ally?
I like the debunking of him as a triple agent, though.

Winston Smith22 Oct 2017 8:52 p.m. PST

It's handy to think of Jane Fonda as a traitor, but I always thought of her as just another airhead celebrity, trying to "make a difference".
If she had ever done any real damage, she could have been prosecuted.
I wonder if it galls her that she was never considered all that important. Just annoying. Technically, she did give aid and comfort to the enemy. And posing with that anti aircraft gun could be considered "taking up arms".
But it would have been too much bother to actually prosecute her. I do hope it bothers her that nobody bothered.

The thing is that nobody ever took her seriously. Who did she convert?

basileus6622 Oct 2017 9:02 p.m. PST

Judas, no question about it.

Arnold or Guy Fawkes are notorious in their own countries, but outside Britain and the US they are not very well known.

Philby is marginally better known, but only between Cold War buffs.

Judas, on the other hand, is, at least in Western culture, the epithome of the Traitor.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 9:12 p.m. PST


Cristina Kitchner… (Very close to being condemned "For treason to her Homeland)


Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 9:29 p.m. PST

Judas Iscariot is a shoe-in!

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 10:07 p.m. PST

It is Arnold. But it should be Ted Hall.


377CSG Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2017 10:28 p.m. PST

Not Fond of Jane. Vietnam Veteran 1971-72

Cerdic23 Oct 2017 12:47 a.m. PST

Guy Fawkes. As somebody has already said, he has his own day each year.

If you asked the average person in the street in Britain to name a famous traitor, I bet most would say Guy. A few will say Philby/Burgess/McLean.

I know nothing of this Judas bloke….

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 3:50 a.m. PST

Go big or go home …


Smokin' Joe Stalin! Who didn't he betray?

I would also add…

the Cambridge 4/5/6/..?
John Walker
Ana Montes

daler240D23 Oct 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

Jane Fonda did it for personal gain? It damn near destroyed her career.

Timmo uk23 Oct 2017 4:11 a.m. PST

Lord HawHaw

The entire Parliamentarian Cause during the ECW. Theirs' was a just cause but technically they were all traitors. Only a few luminaries were executed for high treason after the Restoration.

bsrlee23 Oct 2017 4:44 a.m. PST

I'm with lloydthegamer on Quisling. Quisling is the only one to make it into the dictionary, where his name is defined as a traitor and/or collaborator. All the rest were/are small change compared to that.

I've also heard Guy Fawkes defined as the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions – I even know some of his distant relatives.

Old Wolfman23 Oct 2017 6:11 a.m. PST

Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval(at least ranking in a leading group of 10)

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 7:24 a.m. PST

Jane Fonda, aka Hanoi Jane.


Hafen von Schlockenberg23 Oct 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

Richard M. Nixon.

jdpintex23 Oct 2017 9:16 a.m. PST

Jimmy Carter

doug redshirt23 Oct 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Can't say without DH. But Deleted by Moderator

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 9:55 a.m. PST

Sean Penn is in a league with Ms. Fonda. Definitely traitors ("giving aid and comfort to the enemy"), but not effective ones. Irrational stupidity by emotional actors is rarely compelling, except on the big screen.

KSmyth23 Oct 2017 10:12 a.m. PST

I'm with Hafen. Nixon worked with N. Vietnam to spike ongoing negotiations to end the war during the elections in 1968. Anything Jane Fonda did was foolish but pales by comparison in terms of actual damage done.

Wargamer Dave23 Oct 2017 10:18 a.m. PST

Ask me in 10 years.

Hafen von Schlockenberg23 Oct 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

Yes, I finally,and reluctantly,opened my big mouth.

But I still don't care much for this thread.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

The guy who Deleted by Moderator

Gwydion23 Oct 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

Mr Iscariot seems an odd choice as a 'traitor' – he was part of the plan wasn't he? If he hadn't done what he did the whole thing would have gone kerfluey (spelling?).

Benedict could qualify but he saw the light and came back to the legally appointed government so is a reformed traitor.

Kim Philby – undoubtedly – a prime candidate for a good shooting if ever there was one.

Texas Jack23 Oct 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

This has been a fun read, so I feel obligated to participate as well.

1. Judas, although I really appreciate Gwydion´s insight.
2. Robert Ford, how could you, and in the back?
3. Kim Philby
4. Hanoi Jane, mostly because she killed my enjoyment of Cat Ballou.
5. Benedict Arnold

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 1:28 p.m. PST

As a Norwegian Quisling is a given.
Not sure Judas counts but that would fall under doghouse rules.
Am also not sure Americans that shows the American people their government not only breaks international laws but it's own laws too. Count as traitors.

willthepiper23 Oct 2017 2:59 p.m. PST

"Traitors never prosper. What's the reason?
If they prosper, then none dare call it treason!"

So I'm not counting Washington, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, Cromwell or any other 'founding fathers'.

I might as well throw in a couple of names:
William Wallace, executed for high treason even though old Longshanks was not King of Scots
Louis Riel – Canadian history nerds and nationalists can debate his fate ad infinitum!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Oct 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

Wang Jingwei – famous Chinese traitor
Aldrich Ames

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2017 3:25 p.m. PST

Brigham Young and his terrorists for the Mountain Meadows Massacre – America's first 9/11

Dagwood24 Oct 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

Quisling wasn't the only one to make the dictionaries. Judas is in the English one, and isn't Sicario (from Iscariot) the Spanish for assassin ?

piper90924 Oct 2017 11:29 a.m. PST

Traitors, rebels, winners, losers, it's all very tangled up when you analyze it.

I'll nominate Ephialtes, surprised he hasn't turned up yet, unless I missed it.

And Brutus. Depending on your viewpoint.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Oct 2017 4:19 p.m. PST

Brigham Young and his terrorists for the Mountain Meadows Massacre – America's first 9/11

The latest evidence exonerates Brigham, but believe what you want to believe.

Wulfgar24 Oct 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

Akechi Mitsuhide, the man who turned on Oda Nobunaga, and was responsible for his death, might be a good one to add to the list.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

And Brutus. Depending on your viewpoint.
For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men

I'm guessing the OFM agrees with your POV…

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

Mr Iscariot seems an odd choice as a 'traitor' – he was part of the plan wasn't he? If he hadn't done what he did the whole thing would have gone kerfluey (spelling?).

Actually, no. The arrest, trial, and crucifixion would have happened anyway, and had no need of Judas to take any action at all. That Jesus, as the Gospels recount, knew of Judas's betrayal beforehand is only relevant as evidence of omniscience, and therefore identity with God, not that Judas's actions were either foreordained or necessary. A lot of people get mixed up on this one, mistaking Judas as being either an automaton forced to follow a preset script, or a willing or necessary sacrifice unfairly abused by God and blamed by Christians. That's just bad theology and a misreading of the story. Judas had free will throughout. Jesus's foreknowledge of what Judas's free choice would be does not excuse Judas for making that choice, nor prevent him from choosing differently-- it was always his choice to make. He simply chose evil.

(By the way, as far as doctrine and explication go, that's essentially what the Gospels put forth. Whether you believe in their truthfulness, message, or theological premises is irrelevant to the discussion. This is not a discussion of nor advocacy of any religion or religious view, merely an explication of what a particular source of texts state-- the narrative, if you will-- regarding the individual in question and his actions. If you think of it all as fiction, well, okay. But the story is what I state, either way.)

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 11:22 a.m. PST

Well if we're going to allow mythological character like Judas, what about Set for the murder of Osiris?

Alternatively show me, a contemporary, historical source, not associated with the Bible, that shows Judas was a traitor.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2017 12:11 p.m. PST

*Sigh* The gospels are contemporary, historical sources. You may wish to reject them based on your own religious or non-religious biases, but as historical manuscripts go, they have more authenticity and closeness to time period than most other ancient works (many accepted without pause). It is well established due to content and significant historical clues (mention of particular events, obvious ignorance of hugely significant later events, namely the destruction of Jerusalem circa 70 AD) that the Gospel of Luke, for example, was composed within approximately 30 to 40 years of the events described. That's the equivalent of a book about Ronald Reagan being published today. This makes it highly unlikely that Judas Iscariot would be a mythical figure, but rather very much a known contemporary of Jesus and the remaining disciples, whose status as a traitor was already established among the Christian community of the day. Again, this isn't religion, it's basic scholarship. One might wish to cast aside the miracles as myth making (though it appears that the community accepted and shared these stories broadly and at least viewed them as fact), but the more mundane events would have been "news of the day," rather easily refuted, even by those already believing the nascent faith, as clearly would have been assertions about a close associate of Jesus made up out of whole cloth. So the existence of Judas and his actions, at least as understood by contemporaries, is most probably fact, regardless of one's own disbelief in the faith or personal animosity to the same. In this example, one must think like an actual scholar, not an iconoclast.

As it is, the likelihood of any other contemporary account of Judas, an otherwise obscure Jewish young man of no other note, is highly unlikely outside of something associated with the Bible, as really, who else would bother to write about him? You're expecting to find a letter to his Uncle Sal saying, "D*** shame about your nephew, Sal old boy, but I always knew that sneaky little twerp would come to a bad end"?

piper90926 Oct 2017 6:42 a.m. PST

Steve Bartman!

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