Is There Any Reason Why an Al Qaeda Member With US Citizenship Should Not Be Bombed?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


“Help me Ron Paul, you’re my only hope!”

Is there any conflict in which American citizens enlisting on the side of the enemy were immune to being bombed?

Did Americans who joined the German military during WW1 or WW2 require a special trial and prosecution before they could be bombed? The only practical difference was that they could be tried for treason if captured, instead of given POW status.

American citizenship does not mean immunity from being bombed if you join an enemy army or militia. It means that you will be treated exactly like every other member of that force, unless you are captured. A Nazi infantry unit could be bombed  regardless of whether it had American volunteers in its ranks. If Al Qaeda leaders and operatives can be killed by drone strikes, that remains true regardless of what citizenship they hold.

Drones are not being dispatched to kill Americans living in Philly. They are being dispatched to kill terrorist leaders in Pakistan and the Middle East. It really does not make much of a difference what passports those leaders have picked up along the way.

The existence of this ridiculous debate is a testament to the persistence of the anti-war movement in sabotaging even the most basic common sense warfighting measuures and the crippling of denaturalization practices that would simply have stripped American citizenship from anyone deserting or enlisting in an enemy army or force, thereby ending the entire discussion.

1. There is no serious debate over the question of whether we are involved in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda. Except by the Workers World Party/Paultard contingent who claim that Al Qaeda is really a CIA false flag, steel can’t melt and the world is run by four bankers living in a bunker in Baltimore.

2. There is no serious question that the United States has the right and duty to use armed force against an entity that murdered 3,000 people on its soil, attacked the Pentagon and attempted to attack the White House. September 11 was the best case for war in the entire history of the United States.

3. There is no legal obligation for the United States to practice non-reciprocal rules of war toward an armed entity that does not abide by those rules. In short, no laws of war apply to Al Qaeda because it follows none.

4. Once you enlist in a foreign army or militia, then you no longer enjoy any special rights or protections as an American. Only special penalties for treason and desertion.

5. Americans charged with treason must have it proven. Americans however who go abroad to enlist in a foreign force can be treated as members of that force so long as they are on a ‘battlefield’, which includes killing them, unless they are captured.

  • tagalog

    The killing of an American citizen – was it al-Awlaki? – by a drone generated a day or two of buzz back when we killed him. Now al-Awlaki (if that's who it was) is all but forgotten. Don't worry about it.

    • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

      Perversely, when it comes to Muslim terrorists, all of a sudden the radicals in Washington care about an American's citizenship! In other words, when a patriot does everything to ensure America's security, their welfare is hardly worth a damn. Don't believe it? Fine. But the proof is in DHS's edicts – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/09/03/the-hunt-agai

      Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

      • EarlyBird

        You'll notice that it was President Obama who was the one who had al Awlaki killed by drone. But supposedly Obama is a pro-Islamist terrorist "radical."

        • Daniel Greenfield

          I would say that turning over half the region to Islamists beats kill orders for Bin Laden or Al Awlaki.

          • EarlyBird

            Oh Lord, now Obama has turned half the region over to Islamists! Actually, your preferred neocon idiots did that by invading Iraq. Thanks.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Bush invaded Libya? Who knew. Did he also tell Mubarak to step down and help overthrow a friendly government in Tunisia?

          • EarlyBird

            Bush's invasion of Iraq added more than ONE TRILLION dollars to the US deficit, destroyed Iran's biggest enemy, strengthened Iran, created another failed state which is a playground for Islamist militants, and tipped off Bush's hoped for "spontaneous" revolutions in the Arab world.

            That massive deficit has made it crystal clear that we are simply unable to field another invasion and occupation force with which we could threaten Iran.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            The mullahs in Iran were wild eyed, American murdering terrorists long before Bush took office and racked up any debt. Obama's abandonment of Iraq to jihadis caused the problems you falsely ascribe to Bush, though he unintentionally freed up the logistical ability to do far more than threaten the mullahs with an invasion and occupation-not that a threat would work against them or an invasion would be necessary to exterminate them.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Bush's invasion of Iraq added more than ONE TRILLION dollars to the US deficit"

            You're still arguing like a child.

            "destroyed Iran's biggest enemy"

            We're Iran's biggest enemy. If you mean regional enemy, this is not a problem either. Plenty of Sunni regimes care plenty about containing Iran regionally. Iraq was a good tool for a time. The cost ended up being too high…unless you favor simple partisan delusional accounting. It seems you do.

          • EarlyBird

            Iraq was Iran's biggest regional enemy.

            And you apparently deny that Iran now has influence in Iraq, and terrorists use it as a playground because Bush broke the country apart.

            It is not "conservative" or "patriotic" or "pro-American" to refuse to admit mistakes, OFM. It's how we keep from making the same mistakes over.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Girlybird;
            Your first sentence was uncharacteristically correct because you parrotedobjectivefactsmatter.

            Al Qaeda terrorists are rampaging in Iraq because Obamarx abandoned it to them and the Iranian influence there doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

            The mistake is owned by the Incompetent in Chief.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "That massive deficit…"

            Caused by the left while Bush was in office because they kept us from the realistic decisive action the circumstances called for.

            "…has made it crystal clear that we are simply unable to field another invasion and occupation force with which we could threaten Iran."

            There you go again, oversimplifying everything.

          • EarlyBird

            What "…realistic, decisive action" were we able to take in Iraq, short of carpet bombing, or nuking Baghdad, that "the left" kept Bush from, OFM?

            McNamara…. I mean, Rumsfeld, insisted in going in very light while all the generals argued that we'd only have half a chance to secure that country EVEN IF we doubled the amount of troops.

            Bush failed from the outset with his go-light approach, his radical de-Baathification program which simply dismantled administrative abilities, to breaking up the armed forces, to letting Iraqis own weapons.

            What incredible intellectual cowardice to pin his failure on "the left." You can't possibly believe that bull s**t.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Girlybird,

            Bush realistically overthrew a genocidal tyrant, closed his terrorist haven, constructed a functioning country nearly from scratch and greased millions of terrorists while doing it.

            Obama invited the terrorists back in but the other accomplishments stand because he is much too incompetent to tear them down.

            Rumsfeld was replaced and he was not the general in charge of the "go-light approach." That man was also replaced. Do you remember his name?

            Iraq's infrastructure is functioning at levels galactically higher than it ever did in the past, including before Hussein destroyed it.

            What incredible intellectual cowardice to pin Hussein Obama's failure on "the right." You can't possibly believe that bull s**t.

          • EarlyBird

            I'll give you credit for admitting that Iraq was a disaster.

            I'd love to hear your theories about what we could have done to make it a success had Bush been allowed by "the left" to do whatever he wanted to do (hey, to his credit he was never one to be led by political opinion).

            Please, tell us the grand strategy we could used to make Iraq a secure, democratic base of American power, which was the aim. Please…

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Iraq's currency,manufacturing, exports, education, health care, police, government, farming and everything else is light years ahead of where they were before Bush's humanitarian intervention.

            Iraq is a secure democracy and will again be a base for American power projection once Hussein Obama has left in disgrace.

          • EarlyBird

            And for the record, you wanted the US to help crush the revolutions in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Unbelieveable. Because the US must control everything everywhere. Endless War is your preferred policy.

            Danny scared. Danny angry. Danny destroy!

          • Daniel Greenfield

            I wanted the US to let Gaddafi crush it. Then we wouldn't have Benghazi or a war in Mali.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Gaddafi led his nation as an actual moderate Muslim. That's why he needed to go. Moderate Muslims are high on the kill lists of all the jihadis.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Jihadis and Obama both.

          • EarlyBird

            Gaddafi was a monster, regardless of how "moderate" a Muslim he was. Libyans rose against him because they had no political or economic freedom, no hope, and because for 40 years his regime murdered political opponents en masse and he had tortured chambers filled with victims.

            THAT is why radical Islam is such a powerful force today, because so many people living under the tyrants you and Greenfield (and the US, Israel, oil interests and the CIA) "prefer," have given up on politics and government as a way to improve their lives.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            That's empty propaganda. And its implementation led to the Arab Spring and the Islamist takeover.

          • EarlyBird

            Uh…You may be aware that there had been a revolution pitting Islamists against the government and citizens of Mali well before anything happened in Lybia, right?

            Meaning, the Islamist in Mali were already there and there would, therefore, have been a problem there.

            But Danny is angry that Obama didn't use his superpowers to control every outcome everywhere.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Uh, you may be aware that jihadis had no power in Mali until Obama gave it to them, right?

            Meaning jihadis live everywhere islamopithecines do which is why it is monumentally stupid and irresponsible to arm them.

            But girly is angry because his Obamessiah &#%@$ up everything he touches.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "And for the record…"

            That's funny.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            So Greenfield is the one who wants jihad (endless war) and not the islamopithecines who are conquering North Africa?

          • A 23 Year Old Man

            Islamopithecine…I like this word. I've picked up another one from a facebook page– "moose limbs."

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            23,
            heh, heh.
            From Encyclopedia Americana: "Islamopithecus Atrocitus: A semi-erect Old World hominid characterized by a small cranium, inherent savagery and an offensive odor. The male of the species has the smallest pen!s in the animal kingdom."

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "And for the record…"

            Please use quotes when you start your claims that way.

            Thanks

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Bush invaded Libya?"

            George Bush went to Cairo in 2009 and spoke off his prepared notes in language that signaled to the Islamists that for his remaining term he would not oppose their ascendancy. Then Bush continued his policies of appeasement through today. Everyone just blames 0'Bama because he was in town and because he's black. As long as Bush is in office, he must accept accountability for his actions and policies.

            It's all Bush's fault and if gas prices keep going up, we need to impeach Bush and replace him with a black radical communist, preferably a Muslim. Only that kind of messianic "tranformational" figure can hope to lead us to heaven on earth.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Ha, ha!

          • EarlyBird

            You're repeating yourself Danny, because you got nothing. You don't even believe your own BS.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Oh Lord, now Obama has turned half the region over to Islamists! Actually, your preferred neocon idiots did that by invading Iraq. "

            Back to parroting leftist silly rhetoric. I'm disappointed. If you want to take that radical position, at least try to do it with an effort to build a rational argument.

            I think I read you criticizing David Horowitz for being motivated by anger, the implication being that this alleged anger was causing him to take irrational positions. This was clearly a case of you projecting your own motives on to David. Specifically that you are more than just angry, you are irrational because of it. That's what counts. If you can't write rational statements, you're just a waste of time.

            By the way, even if you could truly trace the root causes all the way back to Iraq, you'd still have a better case against the leftists who rose up against the war the moment they had their first pretext to do so. "OMG, Fighting insurgents was not in the plan. Bush must be a traitor. Bush lied, people died."

            And then 0'Bama pointed out that really we had so much to do in Afghanistan that Iraq was pointless. But even that is separate from everything that happened after 0'Bama was elected and went to Cairo. That was a game-changer and 0'Bama owns 100% of that.

          • EarlyBird

            Bush simply ignored Afghanistan after he invaded Iraq. You know that. You also know that Afganistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban and their guests, Al Queda were/are, is where the greatest threat to the US exists/existed. You also know that it is Obama, not Bush, who has waged massive war against these enemies.

            Bush had already lost Iraq well, well before the 2008 election, let alone Obama's inauguration. Yes, to do anything but get the hell out was to throw good American blood and treasure after bad. Obama made the right move.

            Also, remember that many people ridiculously blamed Nixon for "losing Vietnam" in the same way you are blaming Obama for losing Iraq. This is an intellectually dishonest position to take.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            The Taliban were hiding in Pakistan when Bush was President. You know that. You also know that Al Qaeda was completely impotent until Obama armed them and retreated from every advance Bush made. It is Obama who has made massive concessions to these once irrelevant enemies.

            Iraq is a (barely) functioning democracy in a part of the world that only has one other-Israel (which you hate.) "Blood and treasure" is idiotic even by metaphorical standards, and metaphors are always idiotic when they are used to describe reality. Obama made the right move-FOR THE TERRORISTS.

            Also, only leftards compare Vietnam to Iraq. This is an intellectually dishonest position to take.

            Does the short bus stop off at the hardware store on the way back from the DNC? You write like you've been huffing paint.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Islamopithecines are not rampaging across North Africa to avenge Saddam Hussein, Bush was never a lefty or neocon and he did not arm Al Qaeda in Iraq and bomb their enemies.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          google shaheed

        • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

          One has ZERO to do with another. In fact, hitting them "here or there" is nothing short of love taps, in so far as he empowered the Muslim Brotherhood Mafia – Al Qaeda's progenitor! – all over the region.

          Perspective….it's all in the perspective….and if the Islamist-in-Chief had his druthers, even they would still be alive…after all, his WH is an open sesame for their cohorts – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/26/the-white-hou

          Alas, it is the company one keeps too!

          Adina kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • ruby

      I think that the point many are missing is that this is not to be used exclusively for Al Qaeda and their associates. Many fear that since the Dept of Homeland Security has decided that most patriotism is now radicalism and possible domestic terrorism that they may be targeted by drones. Keep in mind that there needs to be no immediate threat. People have plenty to fear when your government thinks that dissent is terrorism and they feel justified to blow you out of the sky.
      p.s. I have no problem with this if it is an American citizen working with al qaeda overseas. you aid the enemy you deserve what you get.

      • A 23 Year Old Man

        "Many fear that since the Dept of Homeland Security has decided that most patriotism is now radicalism and possible domestic terrorism that they may be targeted by drones."

        You've hit the nail on the head. Potential "terrorists":

        Wayne LaPierre
        Dan Cathy
        Ted Nugent
        Alveda King
        etc
        And those of you who run the conservative Alt. Media sites.

        The common denominator is this: they are people who have political influence over others, and whose disappearance (in the case of Mr. Pierre, once the Mediacracy gets tired of covering "gun control") will be largely unnoticed by the majority of the country. And those who do notice will be powerless to do anything about it. Their outrage will amount to nothing and be ignored.

        Unless our 2016 or 2020 president is a true conservative — not just a Leftist Republican — this will be our future. Those who dare blog against the government will be targeted by Queen Hilary assassination. What difference at that point will it make?

    • Anon

      If an American citizen is shooting at American troops in a battlefield, that is one thing. I think we can all agree it is justified for American troops to shoot back.

      However, Awlaki as I recall was driving in a vehicle. That stretches the terms "shooting at American troops" and "battlefield" beyond any meaning.

      Awlaki deserved to die. However, before killing American citizens who are NOT shooting at American troops and NOT on a battlefield, it is reasonable to require some judicial process.

      Otherwise, people who are a bit more savory than Awlaki could be next.

      • A 23 Year Old Man

        Yes. This is the point.

      • tagalog

        "Hey, we've got that well-known al-Qaeda jihadist, Bob Smith, located right now. He's driving a jeep in the desert at X location. There's a cruiser in the Persian Gulf that can fire a drone at him. Let's get right on it!"

        "Driving a jeep? That's a non-violent act and it doesn't constitutie an imminent danger. Better get some judicial review of the drone thing, he's a U.S. citizen."

        Six months later…

        "We got the court's OK to shoot that drone at Bob Smith"

        "Bob Smith? Shoot a drone? Huh?"

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "However, Awlaki as I recall was driving in a vehicle. That stretches the terms "shooting at American troops" and "battlefield" beyond any meaning. "

        They aren't following any rules of war. If he's on the run where we don't have cooperation, and it makes sense to target an enemy, him being a citizen doesn't matter.

  • Mary Sue

    This reminds me of the flap over the capture of Canadian Omar Khadr in Afghanistan after he'd thrown a grenade at US soldiers, killing at least one and injuring at least one. Omar Khadr's entire family is terrorists, basically, right down to the brainwashed stockholm syndromed syster Zaynab who lives in Ontario. While Khadr was in Guantanamo, there were idiot Canadians demanding that Khadr be released because he was Canadian, as if that meant something.

    Khadr may have been born in Canada, but his heart belongs to Al-quaeda. There's a movement among MP's in Canada to have traitors such as Khadr who act against Canada in such a way stripped of citizenship, and the Canadian Left is having fits, whining about how that's not necessary. Oh, BS! Of COURSE it's necessary! Canadian Citizenship is NOT a Get Out of Jail (or Consequences) Free Card!

    • UCSPanther

      And of course, the Khadr Family were as much loyal Canadian citizens as Fritz Julius Kuhn was a loyal American citizen…

      • Mary Sue

        Did you see on Sun News where Michael Coren tried to talk to them a number of months ago?

    • BIG IRISH

      Mary Sue – Im a Canadian and I cringe when I think of that of that piece of animal excrement Khadr – and his whole filthy family – he should have been executed in the states – he killed an American soldier and wouldnt think twice about killing a Canadian – then he gets a slap on the wrist comes back to Canada and will be free in a few years!….un^$$^%%believable – with any luck his days will be numbered here on Canadian soldier when this piece of garbage is realeased.

      • Mary Sue

        Personally I think that a bullet should have been put in his head right then and there. We're lucky his brother was crippled and in a wheelchair though who knows, maybe Brother Khadr will organize the new Jihadi On Wheels Suicide Campaign…

    • EarlyBird

      Mary Sue, it should remind you of the flap over Obama's assassination of Anwar al-Waliki, an American who signed up with al Queda. It is by far the most relevant case to this discussion, and of course Greenfield conveniently leaves that out, in the event that it might show Obama in a good light.

      Remember; you are being propagandized here.

      • Mary Sue

        No I'm not. I know what the score is. The Khadr situation is very relevant as it is a parallel to the al-Waliki situation, the only difference being neither Canada, nor America who once had hold of Khadr, put a bullet in his head like they should have when they caught him.

        0 ordering a drone strike on al-Waliki doesn't mitigate the absolute disaster that his presidency has wrought vis a vis Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.

        • EarlyBird

          Don't miss the point, Mary Sue. Next time you spout off about Obama being in league with terrorist devils, ask yourself why he was willing to knock off his "fellow" Muslim terrorist in Yemen.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Because his plan was to aid political Islamists over Al Qaeda.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Because his plan was to aid political Islamists over Al Qaeda."

            You just blew his mind beyond recovery. That's too complicated.

          • EarlyBird

            Danny, Obama could cure cancer and you'd find fault with it.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Cure cancer? Obama couldn't handle a wet dream and this article defends his policy of blasting terrorists wherever they are=you drooling imbecile.

          • Mary Sue

            He has to keep up appearances, after all. The Infiltrative MuSLIM Brotherhood is more his style than the blatant active terrorists, though he's coddled actual terrorists too.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "He has to keep up appearances…"

            What do you mean? A politician? But 0'Bama is so transparent, Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty,
            Brave, Clean, Reverent (and probably gay, but he's not a boy scout so…).

      • Rifleman

        "Remember; you are being propagandized here." – Lol, we figured that out about you early on, EarlyBird.

  • JacksonPearson

    When an American goes to fight for the other side against America, then they've left themselves wide open for prosecution, and death in any number of ways…drones included.

    Take a look here Daniel…
    The question of drone use against Americans, on American soil has just been exposed here: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/0

  • IsraelFirster

    I would think that an American who joins Al Queda would be the first one targetted.

  • F.K. Jakereh

    In the universe liberals and Rontards live in, the Confederacy not only won the Civil War but went on to conquer the North and establish slavery in all 50 states. That happened because Union troops couldn’t shoot back. After all, all the boys in gray were full-fledged American citizens.

  • Lawrence Johnson

    A person who willingly joins the likes of al Qaeda is trying to attack the American people .
    Ipso facto, this person has relinquished all rights and privileges of American citizenship and should be prosecuted as an enemy combatant with the most extreme prejudice possible. Before Al-Awaki was killed,
    he no longer was my fellow countryman, he had become a despised Islamofascist traitor.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Exactly

    • EarlyBird

      I agree too, Lawrence. I also give Obama credit for assassinating Al-Waliki. You'll notice Greenfield doesn't dare mention that it was Obama who did so.

      • Ziggy Zoggy

        Al Awlaki was not the target, He was collateral damage.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Before Al-Awaki was killed, he no longer was my fellow countryman, he had become a despised Islamofascist traitor."

      There's barely any distinction, and while there are some to be made, I'd say that the burden of proof for making accusations against the state for violating his right of due process is extremely high. Nearly impossible to show the state was wrong here.

      That doesn't stop lying whiners on the left though.

  • EarlyBird

    Most definitely the anti-American self-defense left (I hope we're all ultimately "anti-war") wants to embroil the US in legal disputes aimed to limit common sense military actions against our enemies.

    But there are two important points that liberty lovers should consider:

    1.) Law really is important. We were at war with Germany and Japan during WWII and so the rules of war applied. We are not legally "at war" with a nation or standing army, but a shadow organization far more like a mafia organization than an army.

    So, those who care about law and order and American Constitutional rights, should actually consider the legalities of treating American mass criminals – not members of declared enemy armies or nations – as regular enemy soldiers, and assassinating them abroad.

    2.) This weird type of war actually COULD end up with the US some day sending drones to kill an American "in Philly" or a desert enclave in Nevada. Why not really dig down and clarify the legal aspects of how the US government can treat traitors.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Comparing Al Qaeda to a Mafia is completely wrong and typical rhetoric from the anti-war left.

      The Mafia was a criminal organization. It was not at war with the United States. Members of an armed force at war with the United States are not engaged in criminal acts, except to the extent that they are, as Americans, also traitors.

      Americans serving in foreign armies have never been treated differently on the battlefield.

      • EarlyBird

        I understand the problems with the comparison. But you need to consider the problems with comparing them to an enemy state army, too, in relation to giving our federal government the tools to assassinate Americans without trial who join up with them.

        IS there any problem with assassinating Americans camping out in the Southwestern desert practing jihad? If so, why? Where do we draw the line in regard to surveillance, imprisonment, assassination without trial, etc.? I thought conservatives were the guys concerned about giving too much power to the government?

        Since you're so certain Obama is an Islamist Manchurian Candidate devil, it seems you'd consider these points.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          If the Southwestern desert becomes a battlefield held partly or wholly by an enemy force, then it's no longer under the control of the United States.

          Since no place in the US is likely to meet that fate, this is an empty conversation.

          This isn't about giving power to the government, it's about convention warfighting

    • Ziggy Zoggy

      GirlyBird,

      1.) I would (not really) be interested to hear what law supposedly prohibits the killing of Al Qaeda terrorists overseas (American citizens or not) and why you think "legal rules" of warfare apply to them. And why you REALLY want to protect them.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "I hope we're all ultimately "anti-war""

      Everyone is anti-war in some sense, even Hitler. He wanted to end his own war after he controlled all the resources he wanted. So it really depends on how you define that phrase.

      Few Americans think war is a good thing intrinsically. There are philosophers who did push that you know, but that's another discussion.

      In reality, It's about conflict management on a global level. Conflict will never dissappear and leftist pretend that we're the source of conflict and we simply have to choose to "let go." Some people are realistic and others are not. Everyone also thinks they are realistic.

      You're not realistic either.

      • EarlyBird

        I am for any military action, large or small, that is necessary and smart and not counter-productive to our goals, which are to defeat Islamist terrorism and protect Americans AND the American way.

        I am also a realist in knowing that to not appreciate the limits of militarism is to go down the road to ruin. To fight everyone everywhere, to see every rag tag bunch of nutjobs in every corner of the earth as an existential threat that requires massive military action is the way we will exhaust ourselves and lose. We can win every battle and lose the war this way.

        • Ziggy Zoggy

          Way to beat off that straw man, Girlybird.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "1.) Law really is important. We were at war with Germany and Japan during WWII and so the rules of war applied. We are not legally "at war" with a nation or standing army, but a shadow organization far more like a mafia organization than an army. So, those who care about law and order and American Constitutional rights, should actually consider the legalities of treating American mass criminals – not members of declared enemy armies or nations – as regular enemy soldiers, and assassinating them abroad. "

      If the Mafia behaved like Jihadis, you'd have a point. They don't. Their crimes can be dealt with by sovereigns as police matters. We have international agreements that allow us to divide jurisdiction and prosecute according to those agreements.

      Hello, these criminals are also informally representing sovereign nations and create an unlawful state of war. So your analogy is wrong in the sense that you got the right factors but your algebra is wrong. They're like the Mafia of armies. They are exponentially worse than the Mafia or any regular army. They leave us no choice but to prosecute them without restraint. They literally surrendered every human right they have in a legal sense. Nobody owes them anything. Period. I mean that very literally.

      If we as a society on some occasions to show some measure of mercy to them for our own sake, that is our choice on a case by case basis.

      Terrorists have no rights. Citizens have almost none when they join the enemy and for all practical purposes, they threw them all away when they joined international terrorist groups at war with us.

      • EarlyBird

        Abroad in failed nations like Afghanistan, western Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Mali, southern Lybia, etc., where they operate like an army, the most effective way to deal with them is to wipe them out militarily.

        In small cells inside the West, they operate far more like an organized crime squad, and the most effective treatment is law enforcement tactics. We know that, because law enforcement has been so good at catching them this way.

        • Ziggy Zoggy

          The areas you dem failures have all received aid from Obama. There are no "small cells" in the West. That is just another idiotic journalistic metaphor. Hamas, Hezb'allah, Al Qaeda, etc. are all based in foreign countries and their members attack targets in America when they can.

          There have been hundreds of terrorist attacks carried out in America large and small because law enforcement is a joke. And law enforcement cannot touch terrorists outside the country.

          Do you have nightmares because Muhammad is burning in Hell?

      • EarlyBird

        Also, though I know everything that Obama does to terrorists is written off as "window dressing" by this idiotic crowd, don't miss the point that Obama is the one who wants to assassinate Americans abroad who join up with AQ, and that the left is attempting to thwart HIM.

        Or are this another example of Facts you Object to Don't Matter?

        • Ziggy Zoggy

          Al Awlaki was not the target, He was collateral damage.

          Or are this another example of Facts you Object to Don't Matter?

          You're so special that if you picked your nose, your head would collapse.

  • EarlyBird

    Oh, let's also take note that because Greenfield is a hack and a propagandist, he makes no mention of, and gives no credit to, OBAMA's assassination of American-born traitor and Al Queda leader, Anwar Al Waliki by drone, which is by far the left's biggest complaint in regard to the treatment of Americans at war with the US.

    • Mary Sue

      Dude, everybody knows about it, why would he have to mention it? In context of the article, al-Waliki is an example of taking care of an idiot who had citizenship. The purpose of the article wasn't to rehash where this has happened, but to argue WHY it should happen.

      • EarlyBird

        It must be beaten into your heads, that's why.

        • Ziggy Zoggy

          What should beaten into our heads? We all know a Moby troll when we see one.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "It must be beaten into your heads, that's why."

          Delusional projection of your own flaws.

          • EarlyBird

            People are truly so stupid on this board, so ignorant, so empty headed and ready to ingest any lies that are fed them, they need to be beaten about the head with the truth for it to sink in.

          • Ziggy Zoggy

            Girlybird is truly so stupid on this board, so ignorant, so empty headed and ready to ingest any lies that is fed her, she needs to be beaten about her head with the truth for it to sink in.

  • Anonymous

    I have severe reservations about Obama's killings. If you read the "white paper", one will discover the following: 1) This is *not* about killing al-Qaeda Americans on a battlefield — obviously, on a battlefield, say in Afghanistan, American citizenship does't grant immunity — regardless of "citizenship" you're apt to be killed by US soldiers if you are stupid enough to engage American soldiers in combat. Obama's assassinations are taking place "outside the area of active hostlities." 2) Obama's lawyers re-define the common sense understanding of the term "imminent threat." According to Obama's lawyers, "imminent threat does not require the U.S. to have clear evidence that a specific attack…will take place in the immediate future." This is like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland — words, in and of themselves have no meaning — meaning is contingent on how one feels at any given moment and can be made up based on whims 3) there is no "geographical limitation" — my, how comforting. (I have to laugh, imagine a drone strike on the Khadr family in Canada — the Obama lawyers could argue "capture was not feasible, since the relevant country declined to consent to a capture operation." 4) Obama's lawyers (to skirt the presidential ban on assassinations) assert that "a lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination". Why not? Cause they say so, I guess. 5) Finally let us not forget that there have been (according to reports) at least 2,200 persons killed in drone strikes in Pakistan alone — and we are to believe that these were all senior al-Qaeda people?

    • ruby

      well sai

      • ruby

        oops – well said!

    • Anon

      These are good points. It is true that anyone who shoots at our soldiers is subject to being shot at.

      HOWEVER, it behooves us to be wary of potential government abuses if they feel they have too much permission to go around killing people. Sooner or later (and probably sooner) they will abuse it.

    • Ziggy Zoggy

      Anonymous,

      you listed some reservations you hold but not why you hold them. What troubles you? Obama's continuous power grabs? His continuous deceit? His continuous law breaking? The obvious possibility that he is doing all three with these killings? His overall reptilian nature? Surely you don't object to the deaths themselves?

      • Xlmz@telusplanet.net

        I fear Obama. And it is every single reason you list — his lying, his reptilian nature (! ), the power grabs (the utter lack of Congressional oversight — as if he should reign as a law unto himself, a filthy, treacherous tyrant in the making. Who knows where this will lead? what other Americans will he choose to target? Who else will be on his personal kill list? And, no, I certainly do not "regret" the death of terrorists — as I believe I mentioned earlier, when/if an American joins up with the enemy, he has at that point lost any claim to American citizenship — it has been forfeited.

  • Edward Cline

    From where I sit, any American civilian who enlists in an enemy force to fight our forces, has forfeited his American citizenship. American servicemen who desert to the enemy do require special attention insofar as the charge of treason is concerned. But any American civilian who joins the enemy cause and actively works to defeat our forces, either in combat in the field or in espionage outside the U.S, has forfeited any and all protections afforded Americans.

  • A 23 Year Old Man

    *sigh*

    I'm hesitant. I agree with the idea that enemy combatants have no special rights as US citizens. And I am by no means a supporter of Ron Paul. All I had to hear from him was some nonsense about isolationism and abandoning our allies and I immediately discarded him as an idiot concerning foreign policy.

    That said, I've seen a lot of stuff in the "precedent-setting" vein, that has led to unintended negative consequences. Who would have guessed that James Madison's moderately overlapping check-and-balance federalism would one day lead to Obama discarding congress and using Executive Orders as an executive branch alternative to legislation by due democratic process? It doesn't make Madison wrong. But it's an instructive lesson a la "if you give a mouse a cookie…"

    The precedent this sets is that the US president can order assassinations of US citizens without getting permission from Congress or the Court, simply by declaring them a "terrorist." I fully agree that Al Qaeda is a terrorist group and that you have no claim to your life if you go that route–but I think getting killed in a firefight in an actual combat situation versus our military (as Bin Laden did) is very different from getting targeted by the Man himself and exploded by a missile. One is an actual warfare situation. The other is death penalty by presidential fiat.

    Consider the context: plans are in the works to put 20,000 drones in the skies above the US in the next 10 years, right? I canforesee a future in which political enemies of the democratic dictator-in-chief are assassinated by armed drone strikes, whereafter the compliant media blames it on a convenient terrorist scapegoat.

    I have no problem with the logic in your piece, Daniel, I just think, in light of the way this president has been behaving, that the argument should only apply to actual acts of the US military, and not to Obama's "Kill List."

    I mean no disrespect. You may yet persuade me otherwise. By all means, anyone, counter this post. I can't be sure I'll see the response, but your words could influence later readers, as I hope this comment will. Cheers.

    • Anonymous

      I have to agree with your analysis. (In part it is also the lack of transparency — who makes the determination that X needs to be killed, what is the process here? and where is the oversight? These are powers that *no* president, other than a monarchical tyrant, should possess — just too open for abuse).

    • tagalog

      Enemy combatants have renounced their rights as U.S. citizens by their own knowing and intelligent actions. They have gone to war for a foreign power (grounds for revocation of citizenship) and have made war on the U.S., the definition of treason. They are now fair game.

      If the Philly cops could bomb MOVE, our military can send a drone to kill a U.S. citizen in al-Qaeda's ranks. Hell, we assassinated bin Laden almost in his bed. Imagine the hell there would have been to pay if bin Laden had been a U.S. citizen.

    • EarlyBird

      So well said. I also am torn, because I want hardened American terrorists to be killed. But to answer this question:

      "Who would have guessed that James Madison's moderately overlapping check-and-balance federalism would one day lead to Obama discarding congress and using Executive Orders as an executive branch alternative to legislation by due democratic process?"

      Those raging, anti-American lefties in the ACLU, for one, and serious conservatives, also.

      This is not a right/left thing: once we give power to the government, it never gives it back to us voluntarily. What Obama is doing is expanding on the executive powers that Bush put in. Obama's lawyers building legal briefs allowing assassination of Americans abroad with no trial, etc., is the parallel of Bush having John Woo write legal briefs supporting his torture regime.

      We must be careful. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, but it's not toilet paper either.

      • Ziggy Zoggy

        Destroying the Constitution would be the only thing you enjoyed about killing your terrorist brethren. Good thing your prophet Obama doesn't have the power to do it.

  • Ziggy Zoggy

    "Is There Any Reason Why an Al Qaeda Member With US Citizenship Should Not Be Bombed?"

    Careful, man. It's a federal offense to threaten the President!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Careful, man. It's a federal offense to threaten the President!"

      That's the first person I thought of too.

      • EarlyBird

        And I'm supposed to take you seriously as Front Page Mag's resident "thinker"! Oy vey!

        • Ziggy Zoggy

          And I'm supposed to take you seriously as Front Page Mag's resident troll! Peace be upon you!

  • Loyal Achates

    Incredible, an article on FPM defending Obama's right to kill whoever he wants without trial!

    • Larry

      Target
      Target
      Missile free
      Fire.

      Dead terrorist

      Exactly how it should work, US citizen or not. They consider themselves muslims first, there fore treat them as such, not as US citizens.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It's called war. You may have heard of it.

      • EarlyBird

        Ever hear of the Constitution?

        I applaud that you actually support an Obama policy, by the way, Danny. But since you are a paranoid Zionist, I'm surprised you aren't more worried that Obama's going to start targeting American synagogues on the High Holy Days.

        Perhaps you're letting on that you don't believe 98% of the lies you spout about Obama after all? Hmm..

        • Daniel Greenfield

          The Constitution does not say that Americans who enlist in foreign armies cannot be killed on the battlefield.

          Maybe the Chomsky Constitution, not the Founding Fathers one.

  • Carette

    Anyone, regarding of creed, origin, gender or belief, claiming to be an al'qaeda member is to be considered an "Outlaw". That is, NO LAW protects him and he can be shot dead by anyone ! PERIOD !
    If a traitor, then the mandatory sentence is DEATH, no option here.
    We have to keep thing simple and efficient, lawyer free indeed.

  • Carette

    "regardless of" sorry !

    • tagalog

      Shoot first, say "Sorry" later.

      Think of Bluto smashing Steven Bishop's guitar in Animal House. "Sorry."

  • fmobler

    The rationale in the DOJ memo is disingenuous. We have precedence in FISA for how to provide honest judicial review of very difficult and sensitive cases. If Obama were even remotely concerned about civil rights and rule of law, he would ask congress to help establish a special court for this. You can bet that even the republican House would get on board with that. Like FISC, it would mostly defer to the administration, but it would also keep a watch on possible abuse. But of course, Obama has nothing but contempt for the constitution and rule of law.

  • Joel
  • figment newton

    @A 23 yr old man:
    Consider the context: plans are in the works to put 20,000 drones in the skies above the US in the next 10 years, right? I canforesee a future in which political enemies of the democratic dictator-in-chief are assassinated by armed drone strikes, whereafter the compliant media blames it on a convenient terrorist scapegoat.

    that was my exact thought. especially since tea partiers, conservatives, people who want small, acccountable government, returning veterans, have all been labeled as "extremists" and "possible terrorists" by DHS, the miltary elite paper pushers at West Point.

    "First they killed enemy combatants on foreign soil without a trial and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an enemy combatant, then they killed 'enemy combatants' on American soil… – baby steps. like Martin Niemöller stated.

    • tagalog

      Look at how much hell is being raised over droning an al-Awlaki. You can bet that the decision to send the first drone to kill a U.S. citizen in circumstances not involving Muslim terrorism will be greeted with near-rebellion.

      • figment

        >>Look at how much hell is being raised over droning an al-Awlaki.

        Um where? On online forums? SO?

        Or is Congress having some kind of pow-wow about it that I don't know about ?

        • figment

          Actually that's a joke. I crack myself up.

          Congressional hearings on not saving four americans under fire. yeah. dog and pony show.

          • tagalog

            Well, it seems certain that the "I don't know about" thingie isn't a joke.

    • Laura

      "First they killed enemy combatants on foreign soil without a trial and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an enemy combatant, then they killed 'enemy combatants' on American soil… – baby steps. like Martin Niemöller stated.
      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
      I can't believe any American, a supposed conservative no-less, is identifying with al qaeda terrorists. If this is the current face of conservatism, I want no part of it. This is certainly not Reagan conservatism. It looks as though the paulbot wing has finally become the mainstream of conservatism. I never thought I'd be hearing and reading "conservatives" use the talking points of code pink.

  • Joel

    Gee, maybe Hussain will target Al Qaeda in NYC … Syrian rebels (al Qaeda) to open offices in Washington and New York City http://theobamafile.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_…. Or is this drone stuff meant to kill off The Tea Pary?

  • Joel

    I don't know the validity of this report, but … http://theobamafile.websitetoolbox.com/post/show_

  • John Stone

    Well, label me severely disappointed. This is the most flagrantly propagandist article I have come across in frontpagemag. Dishonest for starters. The debate is over using drones to execute individuals inside the US, not abroad. Correct or otherwise, we are already doing that, ratified by deed.

    Second, just to cut to the chase, it amounts to giving the police the right to summarily execute people, inconvenienced only by the fact that they have to call in a drone, instead of pulling the pistol out of a holster and gunning you down directly.

    Note that the way the current legal opinion is written it does not require an imminent hazard, only the expectation that taking the guy in could be dangerous. And by extending the privilege of assassination to any legal authority they effectively extend it to all of them, because that is the way governments work.

    Now mind you I like James Bond movies. You know, 007, the guy who has a license to kill. But do we want this to be general policy, really?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Confusing the military acting abroad with the police acting at home is willfully dishonest.

      • EarlyBird

        Every word you write is willfully dishonest, Danny.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The debate is over using drones to execute individuals inside the US, not abroad."

      Who debates that question? Are you serious?

      "Correct or otherwise, we are already doing that, ratified by deed. "

      But that is what we're debating. You're misinformed.

  • Laura

    "and the world is run by four bankers living in a bunker in Baltimore".
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
    That would be Jewish bankers.

  • Laura

    Reading the comments here makes me feel like I'm on the dailykos or huffington post.