National Basketball Association
LeBron chooses treachery over honor
National Basketball Association

LeBron chooses treachery over honor

Published Jul. 10, 2010 1:00 a.m. ET

America spent the week following its 234th birthday locked in the grip of a heartless traitor.

As anyone in Cleveland can attest, the ruthless treachery of LeBron James proved so limitless in its cold calculation that Benedict Arnold now has company in the lexicon of no-good backstabbers. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert ripped LeBron mercilessly in an open letter to Cavs fans, and Fathead — operated by Gilbert — has reduced LeBron merchandise to $17.41 to honor the year of Benedict Arnold's birth.


But even more damning perhaps, in the way it eerily presages LeBron’s betrayal, is this letter written by George Washington in the wake of General Arnold’s perfidious deception.


September 25, 1780

My fellow citizens, patriots;

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that Gen. Benedict Arnold has committed treason and fled in the night to the bosom of the very tyrant from which we endeavor to emancipate ourselves.

Benedict Arnold, whose name I hope will one day become synonymous with the lowest form of traitor, in a shocking act of disloyalty, has deserted the country of his birth in its hour of greatest need.

Gen. Arnold’s plan, learned through the confiscation of his private papers, is to join forces with Gen. Henry Clinton and Gen. Charles Cornwallis to form what he referred to as a “super team” of officers.

In his papers Gen. Arnold boasts of winning not just one war but “two, three, four, five, six, seven…” with this evil Empire that welcomes his treachery because it so closely mirrors its own national spirit.

As Commander in Chief of the Continental Army allow me to assure you that these states, united in our resolve to denounce and reject the absolute despotism of King George III, will win a war long before Gen. Arnold and his band of fellow snakes in Great Britain are able to.

One might rightfully ask, why, with the nobility of our cause so self-evident, would a man choose treachery over honor? The disquieting answer reveals itself over and over in the private papers of the traitor.

“I come by my decision not lightly,” he writes. “But am compelled to act in the best interest of Benedict Arnold.”

And later, “Benedict Arnold has to do what’s best for Benedict Arnold.”

And further, “To my detractors I say, ‘Do not trod on my face until you’ve walked in Benedict Arnold’s boots.’ [Note: Demand new boots from Cornwallis as precondition of ruthless betrayal.]”

In his correspondence with British Gen. Clinton, he writes not of solidarity with his new brothers in arms but egotistically avers, “I am bringing my talents to Southampton!”

Our dear brother and conscience, Thomas Paine, foretold of men like Benedict Arnold during that long winter in Valley Forge.

“The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in crisis, shrink from the service of their country,” Paine warned. “But he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Benedict Arnold has not merely shrunk from service to his country but clandestinely entered into service against it. Though he fought faithfully for the Continental Army for several years, his cowardly betrayal means we now owe him neither love nor thanks but rather contempt and derision.

While I have never held anything but the utmost respect for the military uniform, it warms my heart to learn that Gen. Arnold’s men, upon receipt of the news, have set about burning his waistcoat, jodhpurs and tricorn.

And I vow to you here, when we find him in his newly fitted redcoat, we’ll burn that too. Let the lobster-back feel the sting of his treachery on his own flesh.

Gen. Arnold would have us believe that he came by this decision upon waking yesterday morn. But we now know through his correspondence with Gen. Clinton that this die was cast long ago. He toiled for months, possibly years, next to men he knew he was going to betray. How low and insidious a creature has God thrust among us?

He is a mean mercenary, who, having adopted a cause for the sake of plunder, abandons it when pressed on that charge. Remember well, Judas sold only one man, Benedict Arnold sold millions.

Paine reminds us, “Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Gen. Arnold has chosen tyranny over freedom. He has sided with an Empire so vast Magellan himself could not circumnavigate it. What glory be there in abetting this imperial leviathan as it seeks to add one more subject to the many it enslaves?

Ah, but to slay that leviathan. A glorious triumph indeed.

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

We have offered Benedict Arnold the former. We will now happily provide him the latter.

Yours in liberty,

Gen. George Washington
Commander in Chief, Continental Army



Get more from National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more