These Are The Biggest Traitors In US History

10 Biggest Traitors In US History 10) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg When Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were brought before a jury in 1951, the event became the Trial of the Century At least until that title was stolen by another trail with the Kardashians and a certain footballer who DEFINITELY DIDN’T KILL HIS WIFE

The pair were accused of stealing atomic secrets from the US government to Russian spies The secrets were leaked to the couple by Ethel’s brother: who worked for the Manhattan Project At the time, many felt the Risenburgs were unfairly convicted Certainly, trumped up evidence was used to send them down But recently declassified cables from the Soviet Union’s VENONA project have since proved that they were in fact working for the Russian government

On top of that, Morton Sobell, who was tried along with the Rosenbergs, admitted in 2008 that he was a spy, and that Julius Rosenberg handed him the secret information Project Manhattan was an integral part of America’s nuclear deterrent against the Soviets, and had the Rosenbergs not been caught it would have been further undermined 9) Robert Hanssen Speaking of pretty low, that’s a pretty good way to describe this next traitor But Robert Philip Hanssen did it for one reason and one reason only: cold hard cash Hanssen was an FBI agent between 1979 and 2001

And throughout that 22 year period, he spied for the Soviet and then Russian governments Yep, even the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of an entire nation didn’t stop this guy selling secrets Working out of Virgina, Hanssen sold everything from nuclear secrets to the names of undercover US agents working in Russia In return, the Kremlin paid him over $14 million in cash and diamonds

Hanssen was arrested on February 18, 2001, in Virginia He’s currently serving fifteen consecutive life sentences at a federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado 8) James Joseph Dresnok Imagine voluntarily living in a country where there’s no food and everyone believes the leader can summon unicorns and fart rainbows That’s the life James Joseph Dresnok opted himself in for when he defected to North Korea Dresnok had been a US Army private stationed in Korea during the 60s

Presumably sick of constantly having to fend off women and winning Most Handsome Man awards, one day Dresnok simply walked across the DMZ between North and South Korea and surrendered Delighted at the potential for good press, North Korea accepted his surrender At first, Dresnok’s job was to teach American English to North Korean spies But he quickly became a propaganda weapon for the North Dresnok appeared in a number of government-made films, usually playing a ridiculous caricature of an evil Westerner

Dresnok continued to live in North Korea the rest of his life, never regretting his decision, even while other defectors fled back to the US Apparently he lived a comfortable life as a minor celebrity, continuing along happily until his death in 2016 7) Richard Nixon Generally, we’ve tried to avoid political figures in this video Technically you could make a case that Obama’s callous use of drones and abuse of the espionage act to arrest whistleblowers makes him a traitor Technically you could make the case that Bush’s illegal war in the Middle East and Trump’s violation of the emoluments act and unconstitutional actions at the border make them traitors

But if there’s one politician most people can agree betray the US, it’s Nixon Despite famously saying “I am not a crook” Nixon… well, he was a crook In January 1973, it was revealed that burglars had broken into the room of senior Democratic Party members at The Watergate Hotel and wiretapped them This surveillance had been done at the behest of Nixon himself, who wanted to get an edge on his political rivals Nixon tried to suppress and cover up the evidence, but his involvement in the scandal became more and more undeniable

Eventually, he was impeached and forced to resign over the matter, the first and last President successfully booted out of office 6) Aaron Burr Thanks to Lin-Manuel Maranda, Aaron Burr is probably best remembered as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton Spoilers for Hamilton there And also 19th Century if you’re still not caught up on that But Burr had a much fuller life than that

He was Vice-President for one thing And he was also one of the greatest traitors the United States ever produced After he shot Hamilton all up in the face, Burr knew his political career was over So he sent a letter to the British Ambassador asking them for a small military force His plan was to use the army to attack and invade Louisiana, claiming the territory for Britain

Knowing he also needed a great general for his plan Burr also sent the, now infamous, “Cipher letter” to General James Wilkinson, Commander-in-Chief of the US Army But General Wilkinson believed the plan would fail, and reported Burr’s plan to President Jefferson Burr was forced to flee the country However, he returned to the US four years later to work as a solicitor And weirdly, everyone just kind of forgot about the whole “treason thing”

5) Herbert John Burgman Being a Nazi is not only completley immoral It also goes against every principle America is supposed to propagate So operating a pro-nazi radio programme while America is at war with the Nazis, I’d say that’s unamerican enough to get you on a list like this During World War II, Herbert John Burgman ran the Voice of All Free America, a show he broadcast under the pseudonym Joe Scanlon for "Radio Debunk" In his shows, Burgman spread the lies about the American troops fighting in Europe, claiming they were all rife with STDs and hiring prostitutes every night

Actually that was probably true What wasn’t true was the idea he spread that Britain and the Soviet Union colluding against the United States to cause its downfall Or that World War 2 had only started because of the machinations of Franklin D Roosevelt and "his Jewish and Communistic pals" After the war, Burgman was arrested and charged with 20 counts of treason

He died in prison 4) Robert Ford Robert Ford is one of the most famous traitors in history Hell, he’s such a notorious backstabber that even the title of the film made about him calls him out But slow, meandering Brad Pitt vehicles aside, Robert Ford was an outlaw in the 19th Century As a part of Jesse James’ gang, Ford hijacked trains, robbed banks and collecting bounties

But as the gang began to fall apart from arrests and deaths, Ford started to scheme Ford reached out to Thomas T Crittenden, the Governor of Missouri, and got the leader to promise Ford a full pardon and $10,000 if he killed Jesse James Ford took the offer up gladly, shooting James in the back while he was dusting a picture What a coward At least the world finally got a good Rob Ford when Toronto elected their chad mayor, who proceded to smoke crack while in office and defended himself allegations he had an affair by saying he had more than enough woman to eat at home

3) Benedict Arnold A respected leader, Arnold rose to prominence fighting for the US in their war for independence against the British Yeah, to American our audience sorry about that whole “conquering you” thing So respected was Arnold that he quickly rose to the position of Commander of the West Point fort in New York, a vital strategic position for the independence troops Secretly though, Arnold wanted to side with the British So much so that he offered to surrender the fort to the Brits in return for joining their ranks

The plot was uncovered in September 1780, and Arnold fled to join the British Army as a brigadier general He was even given a £6,000 signing bonus Fighting for the British, Arnold led forces at battles in Virginia, New London and Connecticut When the British were defeated, Arnold went with his troops to Blighty, and lived there until his death It’s since been theorised that the reason Arnold joined the British was because he was frustrated with other American leaders taking credit for his ideas

But still selling out your nation because you’re pissed about idea theft is pretty low 2) J Edgar Hoover The first Director of the FBI was also comfortably its worst Hoover and the FBI were given a huge amount of power by President Coolidge, but it wasn’t enough for J Edgar, who consistently flouted the law and ethics to get his way Hoover’s list of crimes while in office is too long for this video, but some highlights include used using illegal methods to target activists and blackmailing the President In the 1930s, prohibition directly led to a violent uptick in organised crime, just like modern prohibition does

Attempting to cover up the government’s mistake, Hoover used FBI resources to suppress proof the American Mafia existed He even covered up a number of Mafia shootings In 1950, just as the Korean War was breaking out, Hoover pressured President Truman in repeal habeas corpus, the foundation legal precedent of Western civilisation, so that he could arrest 12,000 Korean-Americans without evidence Truman refused Over his career, Hoover turned the FBI into his personal police force, using his dirt to stop anyone kicking him out of office until his death

1) John Walker, Jr While working for the US Navy, this communications officer and David Cross lookalike snuck into the Soviet’s embassy in Washington DC and offered to sell important military secrets to them The Soviets agreed, and Walker handed them the settings for the KL-47 cipher machine That machine allowed the Soviets to decode secret US Navy messages And that wasn’t the last time he worked with the USSR

Over the next 17 years, Walker handed over to the KGB the locations of every single American nuclear submarine He also provided them with a detailed description of the procedure the Navy would follow in a nuclear war, and the location of underwater microphones the US was using to track Soviet nuclear submarines For all this work, Walker only ever received $350,000 The Soviets were very impressed One KGB defector even claimed that because of Walker, “If there had been a war, we would have won it

” Eventually, Walker was caught and jailed But not before selling out his co-conspirators for a nicer jail cell What a snake

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