Signs and Portents
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ ” the attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., wrote to Mr. Paul. “The answer to that question is no.”
Carney added that, “if the United States were under attack, there were an imminent threat,” the president has the authority to protect the country from that assault.
So to avoid being killed out of the blue by the government, just don’t engage in combat, right?
Wrong: in a world where “imminent” includes “not imminent,” who knows what “engaged in combat” means?
Well, they’ll at least tell us what groups the government says are engaged in combat with the U.S. so that we can avoid associating with those groups, right?
Well, no. The list of groups with which we are at war ((Other than EurEastasia?)) is now classified. Because having the U.S. declare war you confers street cred and is a nifty recruiting tool.
But I don’t have to worry about all of that, because I have a right to disagree with the government, right? I’m not going to get singled out as long as I’m not plotting to hurt people?
Wrong again. The Southern Poverty Law Center carries the government’s water, tracking “anti-government ‘Patriot’ groups.” Because anti-government now equals “extremist.”
C’mon, Mark. SPLC isn’t a government agency. And the government would never categorize nonviolent dissent as terrorism.
Don’t count on it. The Concord, New Hampshire Police Department, in a grant application to the Department of Homeland Security to buy a tank, ((Because, really, if any town needs a tank it’s Concord.)) wrote:
The State of New Hampshire’s experience with terrorism slants primarily towards the domestic type. We are fortunate that our State has not been victimized from a mass casualty event from an international terrorism strike however on the domestic front, the threat is real and here. Groups such as the Sovereign Citizens, Free Staters and Occupy New Hampshire are active and present daily challenges. Outside of officially organized groups, several homegrown clusters that are anti-government and pose problems for law enforcement agencies.
Free Staters want to nonviolently build a better, more libertarian society. They plan to do this peacefully by moving 20,000 likeminded people to New Hampshire. They’re domestic terrorists in the way Henry David Thoreau was.
Nothing the government has said should give you any confidence that we are not bound for the crushing of all dissent. In a nation in which the President claims the power to decide, without public scrutiny, who we are at war with, and then to execute those people with no judicial review, dissidence is fraught. The only safe course is to agree.
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