According to most dictionaries a traitor is someone who is guilty of treason or treachery, in betraying friends, country, a cause, or trust. Though no one loves a traitor there are some cases where things are not as black-and-white as they may appear at first glance. For example, is someone who betrays a government that oppresses its people a traitor or a hero/martyr? Is someone who betrays a project that would kill or harm thousands of people a traitor or a savior? You be the judge. Here are 25 most hated backstabbing traitors in history.
Aldrich Hazen Ames was arrested by the FBI in Arlington, Virginia, on espionage charges on February 24, 1994. At the time of his arrest, Ames was a thirty-one-year veteran of the CIA, who had been spying for the Russians since 1985. It is believed that Ames compromised the second-largest number of CIA agents—second only to those betrayed by Robert Hanssen.
Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan
Heenan was a captain in the British-Indian Army and was convicted of treason after spying for Japan during the Malayan campaign of World War II. Heenan was reportedly killed in February 1942 by his wardens while in custody during the Battle of Singapore.
John Walker Lindh
John Walker Lindh, also known as the “American Taliban,” is an American citizen who was captured as an enemy combatant during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan in November of that year. He’s considered by many to be the most famous American traitor of the twenty-first century.
John Anthony Walker Jr.
John Anthony Walker Jr. was a US Navy chief warrant officer and communications specialist convicted of spying and selling navy secrets to the Soviets for eighteen years in what has been described as one of the most damaging espionage operations of the Cold War. He died last summer while still in prison. He would have become eligible for parole this year.
George Plantagenet, First Duke of Clarence
Though a member of the House of York, the first Duke of Clarence switched sides to support the Lancastrians, before reverting to the Yorkists. He was later convicted of treason against his own brother, King Edward IV, and was executed allegedly by being drowned in a butt (a large barrel) of Malmsey wine.