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The List: Famous traitors throughout history
Question of the Day
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been called a traitor by some critics for posting confidential U.S. government documents on the Internet. This week, The List, looks at other characters who have been labeled traitors in the past.
- Mata Hari — Born Margaretha Zelle in Holland, Mata Hari was known to be sultry princess of espionage and a seductive spy who may have betrayed the allied cause to the Germans in World War I. She was executed by the French for espionage in 1917.
- John Anthony Walker Jr. — The U.S. Navy officer spied for the Russians from 1968-1985. Walker developed a spy ring involving his son Michael, brother Arthur and Navy officer Jerry Whitworth. He helped the Soviets decipher more than one million encrypted naval messages. He is sometimes described as the most damaging Soviet spy in history. All the members in the spy ring, besides Michael, received life sentences.
- Vidkum Quisling — The Norwegian army officer collaborated with the Germans in World War II and made himself president of occupied Norway from 1942-1945. He was tried for high treason after the war and executed by firing squad. Today in Norway and other parts of the world, “quisling” is a synonym for “traitor.”
- John Walker Lindh — Dubbed the “American Taliban,” Lindh, 29, attended lectures by Osama Bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks. He participated in Afghanistan’s Taliban army against American troops and was captured in the bloody prison uprising near the Afghanistan city of Mazari Sharif in 2001. During the uprising, American CIA agent Johnny “Mike” Spann was killed. He had questioned Lindh earlier in the day. Lindh is serving a 20-year prison sentence for treason.
- Aldrich Ames — The CIA operative began spying for the Soviet Union in 1985. He even passed two polygraph examinations. He was arrested in 1994 just before flying to Moscow and convicted of spying for the Soviets. According to news reports, he earned more than $4.6 million from his espionage. His activities led to the death of numerous Russian double agents.
- Benedict Arnold — The America’s Revolutionary army, who was honored by George Washington himself, defected to the British in 1779. He obtained command of West Point in order to surrender it to the British, but his plot was exposed. He led British forces on raids in Virginia and Connecticut in the war. In 1782, Arnold moved to London. He died in 1801 and was buried at St. Mary’s Church, Battersea in London.
- The Cambridge Ring — Harold “Kim” Philby, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess were the most notable of the ring. The Cambridge-educated trio spied for the Soviets until being detected in 1951. Maclean and Burgess fled to Moscow. They had both worked in the British Embassy in Washington in 1950s, and passed on information concerning U.N. strategy in the Korean War. Philby rose so high in MI6 that he was tipped to be the new director. He fled to Russia in 1963, where he admitted he had spied for the Russians for nearly 30 years. All three turncoats died in Russia.
- Judas Iscariot — According to the New Testament, Judas, one of the 12 disciples, betrayed Jesus with a kiss for “thirty pieces of silver.” He later hanged himself.
- Lord Haw Haw — American-born William Joyce was educated in England and later joined the British Union of Fascists. He moved to Germany in 1939 and worked as a radio announcer for the German radio’s English service. He was dubbed “Lord Haw-Haw of Zeesen” by the British press. He was charged with treason and was hanged on Jan. 3, 1946, at Wandsworth Prison, at age 39.
- Tokyo Rose — Born in Los Angeles to Japanese immigrants, Iva Toguri D’Aquino moved to Japan and worked on the English-language propaganda broadcast show “Zero Hour” transmitted by Radio Tokyo to Allied soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II. She called herself “Orphan Ann,” but became identified as “Tokyo Rose.” In 1949, she was convicted of high treason and sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was granted a presidential pardon in 1976 by President Gerald Ford and died at age 90 in Chicago in 2006.
- Marcus Junius Brutus — The Roman politician turned against his patron, Roman dictator Julius Caesar, and took a leading role in the assassination conspiracy against Caesar in 44 BC. “Et tu, Brute?” (“You, too, Brutus”), were Caesar’s last words. Two years later, after being defeated by Mark Antony’s army, Brutus committed suicide.
Compiled by John Haydon
Sources: traitorsinhistory.com, The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
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