Question of the Day: Are You Terrorist?

Chilling news from the New York Times: “Obama administration lawyers have asserted that it would be lawful to kill a United States citizen if ‘an informed, high-level official’ of the government decided that the target was a ranking figure in Al Qaeda who posed ‘an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States’ and if his capture was not feasible, according to a 16-page document made public on Monday.” As someone who watched the Left demonize Tea Party activists as proto-terrorists and insurrectionists (after the Gabrielle Giffords attack), and as someone recently labelled a terrorist, I wonder: is that where this is going? If so, private militias better check their six. They’ll be the first to go. Or maybe the last. Your thoughts?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

50 Responses to Question of the Day: Are You Terrorist?

  1. “‘an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States’ and if his capture was not feasible, according to a 16-page document made public on Monday.” Is Obama’s capture feasible?

    • avatarMark says:

      The Capitol Police should take him into custody for violation of oath of office.

    • avatarDaniel Silverman says:

      My understanding of the document is that they need to be an active member in a a terrorist organization and this is only for overseas, but I do understand the reason for concern here.

  2. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    anything overseas is fine with me…here on our home turf…i don’t think so

  3. avatarLance says:

    Ok now I know we must refute Jesse No Brain Jackson and say we need anti aircraft weapons now that Obama can have a Drone send a Hellfire missile threw my bedroom window with no law to stop him. LOL

    We should buy FIM-92s now LOL

  4. avatarWilliam says:

    We’re already demonized as the new terrorists. Don’t put anything past President Drone Killa.

    • avatarSammy says:

      Yea, and Ft Hood was “work place violence”. They are demonizing Vets because they would stand against tyranny and terrorize the tyrants. But a Jihadist in our uniform isn’t a terrorist he’s a disgruntled worker.

  5. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    I thought it said overseas terrorists./// I was helping some friends pick up food at a church & heard a black guy saying obama thought he was the enabler of MLK’s “dream”. Reassuring words indeed. It’s difficult to determine how nuts this guys going to get, Randy

    • avatarOddux says:

      It does actually specify they are not on US soil. Along with the stipulation that capture is infeasible.

      The whole thing is more disgusting for the lack of due process and the complete lack of oversight. One person can decide the fate of an American and sign the order for their death to be carried out and no court will find out until after the fact, nor can they do anything even then.

      It doesn’t surprise me in the least this is what the GWOT has come to. The part I find truly incredible is that it was MSNBC that reported it. How the heck did they pull their lips away from Obama’s shorts long enough to show something he’s doing that is clearly wrong?

      • avatarAnon in CT says:

        The Obama admin has completely abandoned the idea of capturing tangos. That’s a huge mistake, since captured AQ types were the source of most useful intelligence prior to this shift in policy. So it’s more humane to kill a terrorist along with his family and some neighbors than it is to capture a terrorist and subject him to one belly slaps, loud music and sleep deprivation? Sorry, but Lib/Prog “ethics” leave me cold.

        • avatarGyufygy says:

          From what I’ve seen, the drones are used in areas where sending in troops to capture baddies is a sticky proposition, e.g. Pakistan, Yemen, and North Africa. bin Laden was a huge exception based purely the target being bin Laden. I know in Iraq and Afghanistan, SF troops were busy as hell capturing baddies on raids and developing the intelligence that the CIA couldn’t give them.

      • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

        “It does actually specify they are not on US soil. ”

        That almost sounds like this makes it ok. My thoughts are that once this is institutionalized in their standard operating procedure, the precedent will have been set and it will only take a nudge to extend it to home soil. Am I right in thinking this isn’t something passed into law, this is a Presidential Decree and is subject to change as “needs” change?

        • avatarOddux says:

          Did you not read my entire second paragraph? It is most certainly NOT ok, I was pointing out the “US soil” thing as a point of clarification, not an excuse for this one-man Judge-Jury-Executioner crap.

  6. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Gun-rights advocates are at times accused of caring about only one right, but this should never be true. When we don’t care about the whole list of rights that all human beings have, every right is at risk. We can’t tolerate any kind of violation, no matter who in government does it or which party the person belongs to.

    This is not just a war on guns. It’s a war on all rights. Pick your side, defend your allies, and get busy.

  7. avatarKCK says:

    To Randy’s question, please clarify:
    On US soil???

    • avatarRalph says:

      Who cares? The 5th Amendment right of due process applies to all citizens, not just the ones who are inside the US. It doesn’t say that “no citizen can be deprived of life, libery or property without due process of law, except when they’re on vacation at Club Med.”

      • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

        The bill or rights applies to all people whether they are citizens or not. They are not protective privileges granted to U.S. citizens, and we make a mockery of our Constitution every time we selectively apply it.

        • avatarrosignol says:

          “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

          It would have been better if there had been a trial, and the feds had presented two witnesses who personally observed that guy in Yemen ‘adhering to our enemies’… but our leaders have been very reluctant to charge anyone with treason for a very long time, even in situations where it was obviously applicable.

          So we end up with stupid arguments over if it was appropriate to pop a jihadi with a hellfire.

          I’d rather have a stupid argument about why we keep electing leaders who act as if charging someone with treason is the ultimate faux pas.

  8. avatarDelano says:

    That’s because the “Left” are stupid little indoctrinated brats.
    Everything is OK as long as their Peace Prize winner is doing the killing.
    (And of course stealing money from people who earned it and handing the loot over to them)

  9. avatarSammy says:

    Under this law, would it be permissible to “drone “Alex Jones if he were to leave the country to travel? This is a very slippery slope. I’m not an AJ follower, but he must be considered some sort of threat to someone in government. When will it turn from it’s OK to kill terrorists to it’s OK to kill the AJs of the world. I do not like this.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    They say we’re paranoid, while their Dear Leader assassinates Americans without due process. Not in battle. Not after any kind of judicial review. But just because some political appointee says so.

    Life’s funny sometimes.

  11. avatarRob G says:

    I really wish I could fully understand why our government has chosen to declare war on “We the People”.

    Exactly what did we do to them? Well, other than foolishly elect them to office…

    • avatarSammy says:

      The dollar is going to collapse and they are preparing for riots…They are prepared to murder millions of people.

      What we do to them? Failed to submit and obey.

      Politicians are terrorist psychopaths that will never leave others alone.
      It should be obvious to everyone by now.

  12. avatarIng says:

    Any American citizen who is a ranking member of Al Qaeda is clearly a traitor and should die. That’s not even a legitimate question; Al Qaeda is a well known enemy and they’ve been trying to kill us for a long time.

    On the other hand, the question of process does raise disturbing (if remote) implications. Who gets to decide what terrorism is in the long run? Who will the next enemy of the state be?

    The thing that scares me is that the current anti-gun movement is only a tiny glimpse into the ugliness of mass hysteria. It’s a slippery slope and we don’t know how far things could go downhill.

    • avatarlp3056 says:

      The govt. has a duty to this: (From the Constitution)

      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
      The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      • avatarIng says:

        Thanks for the Constitutional quote.

        For treason, the bar for due process is set pretty low: “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

        It’s either open confession in court OR the testimony of at least two direct witnesses; no trial necessary, and Congress decides the punishment. So drone strikes it is.

        And since (as far as I can tell) there’s pleny of evidence that the couple of so-called Americans who have been targeted by drone strikes were obviously levying war against the US, adhering to our enemies, and giving them aid and comfort, it’s pretty clear that justice was done according to the Constitution. (At least, as far as it’s possible for any of us to know.)

        The tricky part is that when it’s all done in secret, nobody knows whether the gov’t has done it constitutionally or not. The sad part is that our government, regardless of which part is in charge at the time, has given us no reason to trust that it will do the right thing.

        • avatarlp3056 says:

          I can’t see why the charge and trail for treason for these people can’t be done in a public court room, they don’t even need to be present, this doesn’t need to be done in secret and I think it only damages us in the future.

        • avatarelnonio says:

          Ing: By definition, a conviction can 0nly be had in court. So both prongs (2 witness statemement or confession) must take place in court. The confession has to be in open court, but the 2 witnesses can be in closed court (i.e. no audience) in the interest of preserving secrecy.

          The “no trial necessary” is not supported by the language used.

        • avatarrosignol says:

          For treason, the bar for due process is set pretty low: “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act

          Interesting question: Recorded video did not exist at the time the Constitution was written. Would a video recording of a treasonous act be sufficient evidence to convict?

  13. avatarChuckN says:

    Here is the 2009 report from DHS warning of “right-wing extremism”.

    http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf

    Meanwhile let’s gloss over the fact that many of the left wing
    organizations either aren’t named or are downplayed.
    Also it is often conveniently forgotten or ignored, to make room for
    right wing conspiracies, that JFK was murdered by a leftist
    radical. Even the vaunted right wing extremist Timothy McVeigh
    had ties to Saddam Hussein which raises the question of how
    much was his doing and how much was fostered by a foreign
    entity. Lastly, we should all be aware of the fact the the President
    is also personal friends with William Ayers, member of the leftist
    group Weather Underground and responsible for several deaths
    and bombings. But I guess for this administration left wing
    extremism is okay when you agree with the objectives.

  14. avatarJavier says:

    This is why we need to repeal NDAA and impeach him.

  15. Ah, Duh… can you say “Chris Kyle”

  16. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    That’s a neat trick – write the law you want, sign it, then assert that its legal for you to do what you want to do…. according to the law that is.

  17. avatarNelson says:

    No.

    But, we do have a Sociopathic Authoritarian Tyrannical Dictatorship PoliceState ‘popularly’ voted in by a nation filled with delusional and loud useful idiot statists who are nothing more than geopolitically/historically/Constitutionally/philosophically/economically imbecilic morons and “educated idiots,” by any other word.

    If you knew about, or actually read the text of 1994 CALEA, TeleComm Act of 1996, ECHELON, War Emergency Powers of 1933 which de facto instituted an annually renewing PoliceState in Amerika, since 1933, GWB’s ‘Patriot’Act/PDD51/Military Commissions Act/John Warner Defense Authorization Act, oBUSHma’s Sept. 30, 2011 extra-judicial Drone Kill order vs. THREE American citizens abroad (if you don’t give a shit because they happen to be Muslims and ‘they deserved it,’ WTF makes you think once the POTUS declares that he alone can decide who is or is not a ‘terrorist’ whom he arbitrarily rationalizes he has the power to unitarily murder without any judicial review or due-process, that he can’t or won’t decide that gunowners, libertarians, paleo-conservatives, PTSD-ed returning vets, Christian-Pro Life activists, TeaPartiers, or liberal ACLU activists, environmentalist, Occupy Wall St. Activists are ‘terrorists deserving’ of his drone kills??) his NDAA of 2012 & 2013, this ‘revelation’ is no revelation at all, but just another phase in a Tyranny continuum.

    Even Nazis DIDN’T OPENLY WRITE this shit down, at least not immediately.

    Oh by the way, did you guys notice that US govt/NATO GAVE Alqaeda in Benghazi Libya brand spanking new FNH F2000 and the current Islamist Mali rebels EOtech mounted AKs???

    Think Fast & Furious, Africa Edition.

    Again, false flags never occur, controlled oppositions don’t exist, pinko commie Carter didn’t fund OBL’s Mujahadeen that became the Alqaeda, the DoJ/ATF/DEA/CIA don’t traffick drugs and guns to our stated ‘enemies,’ Wall St. banks don’t launder money for drug cartels nor do they manipulate LIBOR rates: these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

    The only question left is, with mathematically inevitable currency collapse via overexposed derivatives to the tune of almost $2QUADRILLION (that’s almost two thousand trillion dollars, by Bank of International Settlement’s own 2010 fiscal yr estimate) soon to be kicked off by the current bond market bubble, predictably followed by massive civil unrest in America and worldwide: which shoe will drop first??

    But know this: one would be safe in presuming that the moment the current resident at 1600 Penn or the one after, or some aberrant state governor declares martial law/authorizes a SINGLE American murdered via UAV drone’s Hellfire missiles WITHIN CONUS ‘to put down civil unrest,’ all bets are off.

  18. avatarDisThunder says:

    If I had to offer as cool-headed an opinion on this as I can offer, I’d have to say while very broad-reaching, and with ramifications far beyond what this administration has obviously considered, I don’t think this is targeted specifically at activists or gun-types. Not that they’d mind if it was.
    I think this is some big talk at anyone even thinking about becoming a whistle-blower.
    With so many things leaked and showing up these days, I think the administration’s getting real sick and tired of having to answer for the ugly stuff they don’t want to talk about.
    So, instead of “Loose lips sink ships” it’s “STFU or we’ll jam a Hellfire up your ass, no matter where you hide.”

    • avatarlp3056 says:

      “With so many things leaked and showing up these days, I think the administration’s getting real sick and tired of having to answer for the ugly stuff they don’t want to talk about.”

      Yes tired of having to answer for breaches of law and violations to the Constitution.

  19. avatarRoadrunner says:

    If I remember international law correctly, unlawful combatants can be summarily executed. Terrorists are unlawful combatants. That said, the people who made so much noise about GWB dripping water up the noses of three terrorists are altogether deaf and dumb about President Dronestrike offing about 2500.

    Here’s something 1984ish, though: From a reliable source in the federal government, DHS warned that an American flag on a car might be a sign the occupant is a terrorist. While adherents to the religion of peace bringing down airliners are man-caused disasters. This outfit is more nervous about a veteran with a flag in his front yard than about a guy yelling Allah Akbar driving his jeep into a crowd.

  20. avatarAharon says:

    My thoughts: it is going to be another slippery slope. The definition of who is a terrorist, how the assassination legal-order can be used, and what is an immanent threat will all expand.

    Parts of our criminal justice system have already transformed into ‘guilty until proven innocent’. What’s next; government declaring us all terrorists until government decides we’re innocent?

  21. avatarDerryM says:

    This is a disconcerting development. It is immoral, Unconstitutional and foreboding. The POTUS has declared HIS Government can now decide to kill American Citizens in foreign countries at will (!?!!). Yeah, I have no love for Traitors who plot to kill their Countrymen, but the Constitution guarantees “due process” and “trial by a jury of your peers” to US Citizens wherever they are and whatever they are accused of doing and doesn’t specify any “yeah, buts”. We argue all-the-time for the absoluteness of RKBA and we cannot support anything less for the other Rights specified in the Constitution without being as hypocritical as we accuse the gun prohibitionists of being.
    On another tack, this move is like the expanded Background Check…opening a door that can lead to further and worse abuse in the future here at home. It needs to be stopped.

  22. avatarLowne says:

    Are we terrorists?

    No, we’re patriots.

    Those who would encroach upon the rights gifted, BY BLOOD, to the American people are terrorists and woe be unto them that infringe upon those rights.

    Those who are more concerned with the rights of scum who stream across our borders to murder and violate the rights of our citizens; they are terrorists.

    The politicians who have sold their soul to gain more wealth at the expense of the common folk; they are terrorists.

    Those who tax the common folk while handing bags of money to the bankers to pay for their mistakes; they are terrorists.

    The true terrorists are leading this country. I’ve had enough of following them!

  23. avatarLTC F says:

    I have a Gadsen Flag (Don’t Tread on Me) a Gonzales Flag (the cannon with “Come and Take It” flown during the Texas Revolution). I’m pretty sure a Predator is circling my house now.

    In all seriousness, I am appalled that the President has determined that he can execute an American Citizen without trial. I am no fan of Anwar Awlaki. Yes he was an Al Qaeda leader. If he was engaged with US troops and got killed, so be it. But he (and his 16 year old son, also a US citizen) were summarily executed on order of POTUS. If W did it he would have been impeached.

    Listen to Obama’s speeches. He demonizes anyone who disagrees with him. He talks as if we are enemies. Is it a reach to think the time will come when he declares us enemies?

  24. avatarAMR says:

    In the 2013 National Defense Appropriations Act a citizen/ group (?) could be declared a suspected terrorist and could be arrested by the military and held without charges and indeterminately. Whether or not this was included in the 2014 NDAA I haven’t researched. My Congressman fought to have this removed and it’s repeal made it through the House; the Senate I don’t know. Supposedly this was asked for by Obama. Last year, a federal judge in PA stayed enforcement of this portion of the NDAA. Beyond that . . .

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