Montana "seditionists"

As a born & bred Montanan with German ancestry on my paternal grandmother’s side, I embrace these heroes of sedition.

Especially since all it was really was free speech.

Mont. Governor Pardons 78 in Sedition Case
May 4, 4:49 AM (ET)


HELENA, Mont. (AP) – For casually saying that American troops were “getting a good licking” in France during World War I, a blacksmith named August Lambrecht was imprisoned for seven months in 1919.

After being released, he and his wife fled Montana for fear of being imprisoned again. He died in Portland, Ore., in 1957 – unable to outrun his conviction for sedition.

It was a black mark his family felt was grossly unfair.

“This is America,” said his great-grandson, David Gabriel. “Having freedom of speech and saying what is on your mind doesn’t make you a criminal and it shouldn’t.”

Gabriel joined about 40 family members at a ceremony Wednesday where the governor signed pardons for nearly 80 people convicted of sedition amid the war’s anti-German hysteria.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said the state was “about 80 years too late” in pardoning the mostly working-class people of German descent who were convicted of breaking what was then one of the harshest sedition laws in the nation.

“This should have been done a long time ago,” said Schweitzer, the son of German immigrants. They were the first posthumous pardons in Montana history.

The list of those pardoned included farmers, butchers, carpenters and cooks. One man was charged merely for calling the conflict a “rich man’s war” and mocking food regulations during a time of rationing….

Sounds a little too close for comfort, when you think of what some of the virulent Bush supporters would like to do with critics of either Bush or his unneccessary & immoral war.

Good job to the Montana Sedition Project for their work restoring the honor, if belatedly, of these common people.

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