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October 1, 2011

It is not clear how one gets on the American Proscription List

The obvious question for discussion is whether this activity is permissible or desirable under Constitutional Government
as part of the discretionary war powers of the President, and if so, do they apply within the United States as well as in foreign nations? It is not a simple question. What acts must a citizen perform to earn a place on the proscription list? One of those killed was "Samir Khan, who edited an online magazine that spread the word on ways to carry out attacks inside the United States", but is that the totality of his acts that made him an enemy of the people? (I say enemy of the people, but I don’t know what designation is given to people who may be killed on sight without trial.) What agents of the Republic are authorized to carry out the act of proscription? -- Proscription and Reasons of State « Chaos Manor – Jerry Pournelle

Posted by Vanderleun at October 1, 2011 5:05 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Precedence is a bitch you can't divorce. The first domino falling defeats the inertia holding us all upright, then we all fall down . We The People are now, each and all, in danger of being assassinated by Our Government. Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan declared political assassination illegal by Executive Orders, which have never been rescinded. This thug festival in DC is a criminal enterprise, murdering American citizens by proxy in Operation Fast and Furious with impunity, attacking the common citizen in every part of their life, and now assassinating an American citizen. This administration got hernias attempting to put foreign enemy combatants, captured in battle by our military, on trial in civilian courts in New York, insisting these jihadis were entitled to protection under American law and "innocent till proven guilty by a jury of their peers", whoever that is. Several of those "innocent" jihadis who were freed and returned to their country were later killed by American forces in combat. When one of us is denied due process, none of us can expect to receive it from this lawless power in charge. Things are going to get worse.

Posted by: twolaneflash at October 1, 2011 9:48 AM

When asked what would happen if KSM was found innocent in his trial in New York City, Obama said something to the effect that he would continue to be imprisoned because we know he's guilty. He had "tainted" the jury right then and there. They are not interested in justice, only in "fairness."

This operation was, IMO, legal and necessary. To assuage legal sensibilities it would seem a good idea to try in absentia by military tribunals those citizens who have joined as unlawful combatants in war against this country. The findings and sentence could then be published for all to know. When the sentence is then carried out by missile, SEAL team, or???, both the perp and the legal eagles of the left will have been properly notified of the legal consequences of taking up arms against one's country with a force that primarily targets civilians for assassination.

Everything the jihadis do is contrary to the laws of war and the long held idea that civilians are not to be primary targets. That, among other things, is what makes them unlawful combatants who can be tried in the field by miltary tribunal, and when found guilty, executed on the spot. This administration shows no consistency of policy because they attack those they know to be enemies with missiles and SEAL teams while enemy prisoners taken on the field of combat are subject to the niceties of Miranda and treatment as if they were normal POWs. It is the inconsistencies that boggle the mind.

Posted by: Jimmy J. at October 1, 2011 10:56 AM

Thomas Hobbes noted that a person who rejects the compact among citizens is an outlaw whose life is solitary, nasty, brutish, and short. I am sure there are all sorts of rationales based on the US Constitution and laws that provide the President as Commander in Chief with the power to kill outlaws. Once a person accepts or follows a different law than that of the US, or rejects the laws of the US, he is no longer a citizen, but an outlaw as to the US. Some of those who follow different laws are enemies adhering to a foreign power in time of war and can be summarily dealt with. Others, who reject the laws of the US are, by their acts within the jurisdiction of the US, subject to trial and due process.

Posted by: St. Thor at October 1, 2011 11:49 AM

It is interesting seeing the 'Reichstag Fire Argument' being made here. Every descent into tyranny has always been justified by necessity or the contingency of the moment.

It is amazing that people express any kind of confidence in the integrity, probity, competence or sense of restraint on the part of anonymous actors inside the Federal government. Hillary Clinton, for example, may have a say in this stuff, we don't know.

Of course, the greaseball should never, ever have been a citizen of this country in the first place, but that's another issue.

Posted by: Quent at October 1, 2011 2:02 PM

I'm glad we finally smoked Al-Awlaki, but is it too much to ask that all of our self-appointed guardians of human rights and peace and civil liberties, not to mention all the Democrats in Congress, all the newspaper editors, and all the movie stars, could support our right to take out our enemies any time our security requires it, and not just only when the rest of us Americans have qualified to receive their permission by having elected a Democrat President?

Posted by: sherlock at October 1, 2011 3:20 PM

In the Roman Republic under Sulla, a Proscription List was posted regularly
which included public officials and businessmen considered enemies of "the State".
Anyone could claim a tidy reward in exchange for the head of a listed 'enemy'.

There was no recourse to law.

Posted by: GaGator at October 1, 2011 4:22 PM

They whacked Al as well they should have. Kahn made the mistake f riding with his boss. Sorry about that one.

Posted by: Fat Man at October 1, 2011 4:22 PM

Lets see, I'd say "being in a foreign country in a time of war while assisting and fraternizing with enemy soldiers" is probably sufficient.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at October 1, 2011 4:46 PM

WRM knows what he is talking about, not this dofus.

Posted by: Fat Man at October 1, 2011 9:10 PM

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