by Jacob G. Hornberger
The U.S. government has now extended its assassination program to the drug war. According to the New York Times, the Pentagon now has an assassination list for suspected drug dealers in Afghanistan.
No arrests. No hearings. No attorneys. No judges. No trials. Just kill them.
Great! So now the occupation of Afghanistan has expanded not only to CIA drone assassinations but also now to Pentagon’s drug-war assassinations.
U.S. officials are justifying the drug-war assassinations as part of their counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. They say that they’re only going to be assassinating those drug dealers whose drug trafficking is benefiting the terrorists.
I wonder how they make that determination, especially without judicial hearings and trials.
Keep in mind that U.S. officials justify their occupation of Afghanistan as part of their overall “war on terrorism.” Keep in mind also that according to them, in the war on terrorism the entire world is a battlefield, including the United States.
As part of their war on terrorism, U.S. officials claim the power to treat Americans as “enemy combatants,” which entails the power to ignore the rights and guarantees in the Bill of Rights for people suspected of committing the federal criminal offense of terrorism. That includes the power to arrest suspected terrorists, incarcerate them for life, torture them, and deny them due process of law.
It also includes the power to assassinate suspected terrorists, a power that U.S. officials have exercised on “the battlefield” in such places as Yemen, where they assassinated an American citizen who happened to be traveling with a suspected terrorist, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. So far, they have not exercised the assassination power on that part of the battlefield that encompasses the United States, but they certainly now wield the post-9/11 power to do so.
And now they have extended their assassination power to the drug war. And without even bothering to ask Congress to enact a law giving them such power. Hey, this is the era of the war on terrorism. They don’t need no stinking assassination law. All they need is a presidential order to the CIA and the military to begin assassinating people.
Will they apply their assassination power to suspected drug dealers elsewhere in the world? After all, doesn’t the sale of heroin everywhere likely put money into the pockets of drug producers in Afghanistan, given that that’s where 90 percent of the world’s heroin originates?
We know that they are employing the power to assassinate suspected terrorists in different parts of the world. Time will tell whether they do the same with suspected drug dealers, including, of course, that part of the battlefield that encompasses the United States.
Meanwhile, families are mourning the deaths of three American DEA agents and 11 U.S. soldiers who died this past week in two helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.
Fourteen more senseless deaths. Where does this lunacy end?
End the assassinations. End the occupations. End the war on terrorism. End the war on drugs. There is no other solution for restoring freedom, morality, peace, prosperity, and security to our nation.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.