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“Highly Suspicious” Saudi Civil Defense trucks spotted on Texas highway

A very concerned All News Pipeline reader just sent us the pictures seen above showing a pair of Saudi Arabian ‘Civil Defense’ trucks on a flatbed trailer deep in the heart of Texas. According to our reader, he saw three flatbeds, each of them with two of these vehicles upon them, just the latest strange sightings of foreign military vehicles on American soil and in ‘Jade Helm 15’ Texas at that. These were seen traveling southbound on I-45 just north of Houston, Texas.
Screenshot_from_2015-06-11_203323Foreign militaries on US soil, however, aren’t the only highly suspicious events we’ve been watching unfold in America as for some reason, MANY Wal Marts across the country, specifically in the south and the midwest, have been being evacuated for hours at a time, and to some people who are paying attention, these evacuations just don’t make a whole lot of sense. The 1st video below fromHollywood Joe Tussing adds more mystery to the mix as a massive barge of military vehicles is unloaded in Texas while a Las Vegasmilitary convoy has a blackhawk chopper escort. His warning shortly after the 50 second mark that martial law signs were spotted making their way to Texas has not been confirmed by All News Pipeline.

Between the years of 2008 to 2014, Wal Mart stores across the nation were evacuated a total of approx 16 times according to the interesting new 2nd video below from Professor Doom1; during the first 5 months and 10 days of 2015 alone, Wal Mart evacuations have occurred AT LEAST 30 times across the nation as proven in this 1st video and the story links at the bottom of the page for those who want to check these out themselves. This is not a ‘conspiracy theory’, all of these Wal Marts needing several hour evacuations as outlined by Doom, but a coincidence, or so it seems.

Our videographer tells us that in making this video, he is not stating as fact that even one of these evacuations is for nefarious purposes. He is, however stating that HE believes that AT LEAST 20 of them ARE, but has no proof. Yesterday, a Wal Mart in Alabama was evacuated for 4 hours and federal agencies were involved in the ‘pursuit’ of a man who allegedly stole a car. Just a coincidence, or something more? Police believe that the fact that at least 30 Wal Mart stores in 13 different states have had bomb threats called in is not just a coincidence and believe they are connected.

After receiving the pictures above from the ANP reader in Texas, we decided to do a Google image search of this graphic seen on the front door of the truck; in doing so, we have positively determined that these vehicles are part of Saudi Arabia’s civil defense as seen in screenshot of story below right. What these trucks are doing in the heart of Texas is a different story and one I’m sure we won’t get a satisfactory answer from the govt nor MSM about. Back in 2013 a local Texas outlet ran a story called “Texas Is On Its Way To Being ‘Saudi Texas.'” Did they know something that we should know?

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This 1st video is from Hollywood Joe Tussing and he shares with us some startling news at the 50 second mark; this is, however, unconfirmed news and as with all reports on the internet (and TV news for that matter!), attempt to seek confirmation of everything before buying completely. In speaking with the videographer I was told he is attempting to acquire pictures of martial law signs but as of this moment, has been unable to do so.



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FBI Warns: Terrorists to Attack Fuel Storage Plants Inside U.S.

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As the men in power prepare to play their next card in-hand, the stage has been set by the FBI to usher in a “new Pearl Harbor” in America just as globalist white papers reveal.

NEW YORK — With all of the media rhetoric and hype about the Syrian situation it’s hard to catch every report. However, this one is important.

According to a recent write-up, the FBI handed out a warning during an energy conference which took place about one week prior to the 12th anniversary of the September 2001, attacks, which in turn prompted the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) to release a statement to its members.

Certain people in-the-know take this as a red flag, considering that similar warnings followed by rhetoric circled just before the attacks of 9/11.

Reuters reported, “The PMAA message to members said the FBI warned fuel marketers should be on alert for new customers who are not from the area, drivers who are not familiar with truck or vehicle operations, and people who store fuel in unusual locations or containers.”

This is startling to say the least. And to top it off, it’s an eerie feeling knowing that key power players control the oil and gas industry itself, likely paving the way for a new false flag operation to take place inside U.S. borders. Exactly what the globalists need to get their war inside Syria kicked off.

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FEMA Preparing For Something Major In Region 3 While Nuke’s Transported To S. Carolina

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Following the bread crumb trail of FEMA orders, retired State Senator Sheldon R. Songstad of South Dakota State issued an “Emergency Fema Region 3 Alert!!!,” on August 13th. Region three is comprised of; Washington DC, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. What I find peculiar is just under region 3 is the Carolina’s. As we saw in my recent post Sen Lindsey Graham said on CBS news : He says if there is no U.S. response, Iran will not believe America’s resolve to block Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Graham also says those nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists could result in a bomb coming to Charleston Harbor.  He says he’s working to convince South Carolinians weary of war that the situations in Syria and Iran are linked. Graham says Syria could destabilize the entire Middle East. We also know that Alex Jones had received special information from what he says is  a very reliable source that  in Texas at Dyess Air Force base, nukes that were secretly being stored there were being shipped to S. Carolina. There was no signature, no paper trail which leads us to believe that if this information is true, that it is being kept secret by the government. Why S. Carolina? Watch this Alex Jones video below:

What is this meant for, Syria, Russia? Who knows? Are FEMA preparations in connection with this information? If not, what is FEMA preparing for?

Many branches of the government has been preparing for something big for some time now. DHS buying up billions of rounds of ammo, IRS ramping up with AR-15’s, FEMA buying millions of MRE’s, the Center of Disease Control ordered $11 million worth of antibiotics, where are they going? FEMA Region 3. All DHS agents MUST now qualify with sidearm, shotgun and AR 15’s by September 28th. Less lethal qualifications are not mentioned. Has one eye brow raised? The DHS will receive 2800 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP’s) that must be delivered by October 1st.  All National Guard units will complete their annual two week training in riot control and disaster assistance. All units MUST have their training complete by September 30th. However, the Eastern-based Coast Guard units will not be performing their usual training in the Gulf, this year they will be trained in Virginia and Delaware for 10 days beginning September 26th.  Coincidentally, the Emergency Broadcast System will begin daily testing beginning on September 25th thru October 2nd. All of this kind of reminds me of the bomb sniffing dogs being trained at the Boston Marathon for the first time ever. FEMA purchase orders deserve a little attention too. They ordered over $14.2 million for MREs and heater meals and 22 million pouches of emergency water, to be delivered to Region 3 by October 1st. An additional order of $13.6 million worth of MRE’s and heater meals will be delivered to Austin by October 1st.  Over 300 school systems will be issued a 3 day emergency kit for each student in September.  If all this information is accurate, we are on the doorstep of whatever these preparations are for which Oct. 1st seems to be the deadline.

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NASA Whistleblower Says The US Closed Its Embassies Because Billions Are About To Die UPDATED

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This is an updated version of the same article I started this morning as I keep stumbling on more and more of these videos of Pattie Bassard. Please use your own discernment on this as I have seen many of these types of “warnings” in the past amount to nothing, but I want to at least provide for you what is in the alternative media. Apparently starting the 11th of August our binary sun will be visible for all to see. Below you will see an assortment of videos with interviews with Patty. God bless.

NASA Whistleblower Says The US Closed Its Embassies Because Billions Are About To Die

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I just watched a couple videos late last night that were relevant to this same topic, one of them was YouTube’s channel Jason A, I’ll post the video below.  Afterwards I watched a handful of videos about the US embassies closing down and different theories on why, but this morning I stumbled into this video by CourageousNerd z:

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Is it true, who can say? I will at least provide you with what people are talking about. God bless.

UFO Files from UK Gov’t Released

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Why did the British government shut down its official UFO Desk in 2009?

The truth can now be revealed, as the final cache of documents and UFO reports compiled by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been released to the public.

Apparently, the MoD concluded that operating the UFO Desk was a massive waste of time and money, according to SkyNews.

An official memo from 2009 to then-MoD Secretary Bob Ainsworth found “no defense benefit” in documenting the alleged UFO sightings: “The level of resources diverted to this task is … diverting staff from more valuable defense-related activities.”

After manning the UFO Desk for more than 50 years, the officials found that “no UFO sighting reported to [the MoD] has ever revealed anything to suggest an extraterrestrial presence or military threat to the U.K.,” the memo stated.

For sheer comic relief, however, the UFO files may have unprecedented value. In 2007, a man in West Glamorgan contacted the UFO Desk to complain that he “saw spaceships and then saw that one of them abducted his dog, car and tent when he and some friends were out camping,” according to the files. MoD officials coolly advised him to contact the local police.

Then, in July 2008, a woman in Coventry saw “two orange balls” hovering over her backyard. She asked the MoD if she and her dog “could be contaminated” by the UFOs.

And in 2009, a schoolgirl from Manchester wrote a letter describing strange lights she saw in the sky, and included her drawing of an alien spacecraft. In response, the UFO Desk sent her a small bag of trinkets and “goodies.”

Many of the reported UFO sightings were attributed to the growing popularity of Chinese lanterns (lightweight lanterns that rise through the air, buoyed by burning candlewicks). The lanterns have been blamed for a number of alleged UFO sightings worldwide.

The release of the UFO files is guaranteed to generate some controversy, as has occurred in the past. When British officials released an earlier cache of files in 2011, there was no information related to the “Rendlesham Forest Incident,” a UFO sighting sometimes referred to as “Britain’s Roswell.” Some UFO enthusiasts reportedly thought the omission was a government cover-up.

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And an Australian Freedom of Information request in 2011 revealed that virtually all of the government’s UFO reports had been lost or destroyed.

A former MoD employee recalled his time on the UFO Desk with some whimsy. “Whatever you think about UFOs, the release of these files shines a light on one of the most intriguing subjects ever studied by the British government,” Nick Pope told SkyNews.

“I hope people have as much fun reading these real-life X-Files as I had working on them,” Pope said.

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Hot on the trail for Jimmy Hoffa?

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After two days of digging in a suburban Detroit field, FBI Special Agent in Charge Bob Foley called off the search of James Hoffa.

The FBI has called off the dig for Jimmy Hoffa in a suburban Detroit field where a tipster insisted he was buried alive.

No human remains were found during three days of excavation on the one-acre parcel, officials said.

“We’re disappointed,” said Robert Foley, head of the FBI’s Detroit office.

The feds were led to the site by Tony Zerilli, who claims he was told the Teamsters Boss was whacked with a shovel and then entombed beneath concrete slabs in a barn.

“I know he’s there,” Tony Zerilli told NBC News before the search ended. “I’m not wrong.”

Since Hoffa vanished in 1975, authorities have searched dozens of spots for his body. Informants have claimed he was dumped at Giants Stadium, fed to the alligators in the Everglades and shipped to Japan in a compacted car.

Investigators took Zerilli’s claim seriously because he’s alleged to be the former underboss of a Detroit crime family. Zerilli denies he was in the Mafia or involved in Hoffa’s disappearance from a Detroit area restaurant.

Workers did find concrete slabs on property in Oakland Township, lending Zerilli’s story some credibility. But backhoes and cadaver dogs failed to unearth anything to solve one of the country’s most enduring mysteries.

The FBI said it deployed 40 agents for the search but did not say how much it cost.

“We do not have a profit margin as a bottom line,” Foley said.

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Law enforcement officials from the Michigan State Police help search the area in Oakland Township, Mich., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 where officials continue the search for the remains of Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa who disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in 1975.

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China accusing US of planting H7N9 as Bio Weapon

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Amidst allegations by a highly placed Colonel in the Chinese army that the U.S. has released a bioweapon in Mainland China, concerns are ramping up that this year’s version of the avian flu, H7N9, may turn into a major pandemic.

The last few years have seen several false alarms on the pandemic front. Neither the bird flu of 2004 nor the swine flu of 2009-2010 ended up being of much concern, although agencies from the WHO on down certainly created quite a flurry around both of these flu bugs.

H7N9 has already shown itself to have a high mortality rate, higher in fact than the Spanish flu of 1918, which caused 50 million deaths worldwide. The latest figures show H7N9 as having a mortality rate of 21- 24% . Out of 131 reported cases, thirty-one have died and most remain on the critical list. The bug has already jumped from Mainland China to Taiwan and a number of articles on H7N9 have nervously published the flight paths out of China to the rest of the world, which show how quickly an infected person or persons could create a global pandemic.

According to Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health, security and the environment, “This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we have seen so far.”

Already, there are questions as to whether H7N9 has mutated and is now transmissible from human to human. Of those who have been documented as infected with this flu, several are family members of others who have been infected. As quoted in Quartz on April 18, “The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission said on Thursday it could not rule out human-to-human transmission in the case of a Shanghai family—two brothers, at least one of whom has the virus, and their 87-year-old father, who was the first confirmed H7N9 fatality. A husband and wife in Shanghai also both contracted H7N9.”

 In a carefully worded statement (http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_05_07/en/index.html), WHO has declared: “So far, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.” So the fact is that while H7N9 may have already mutated to afford the leap to human-to-human transmission, this has not yet been noted as a regular event.

H7N9 is made up of four strains, which have been delineated as coming from a migratory bird in East Asia, a duck from the Yangtze River Delta and then subsequently mixed with poultry. Its novel gene sequence is already considered to have enabled it to adapt to human hosts.

H7N9 is considered to be resistant to the popular flu countermeasure, Tamiflu.

After Chinese PLA Colonel Dai Xu posted a scathing attack on the United States, accusing the primary global power of releasing H7N9 as a bioweapon on the mainland of China, the U.S. was quick to respond, denying the allegations. However, Dai Xu’s accusation , posted on the Chinese microblog Sina Weibu, brings up an inconvenient fact. The United States has already been documented as violating the international biological weapons treaty, known as the BWC and has launched a covert program of offensive biological warfare research.

 

Should the U.S. intend to launch a global pandemic for the purposes of population reduction and/or genocide, what better mechanism than to plant a bug in a faraway country, to obscure the genesis of the initiating event and to make this appear as if this were out of the U.S.’s control and jurisdiction?

 

The fact that several selective delivery systems for biological/chemical warfare have already been documented within the borders of the United States adds credence to the perception that a flu planted in another country could be used as a cover for a selective devastation of certain demographic groups within the First World. The declaration of a global pandemic gives the WHO the power to mandate vaccinations, overriding sovereign national law concerning the right of refusal.

Vaccines, imposter pharmaceuticals, the double line water system —any and all of these mechanisms could be used to launch a bio/chem attack under the cover of a global pandemic.

Speaking under conditions of anonymity in a recent interview, a well-connected U.S. microbiologist stated that he believed that the United States was launching a covert program of biological warfare which would selectively impact designated target groups. He also stated concerns as to H7N9 being one of the tools which could be used to accomplish a genocidal agenda.

China, he also pointed out, has possibly the largest depository of rare earth minerals in the world. “You can’t get at them with all these billions of people living right on top of them,” he said.

A number of insiders, including Dr. Daniel Gerstein of the Department of Homeland Security, former Senators Bill Talent and Bob Graham of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Center in Washington, D.C. and vaccine manufacturer, Dr. J. Joseph Kim of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, have stated that a major global pandemic is likely to take place before the end of 2013.

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Obama officials refuse to say if assassination power extends to US soil

Barack Obama announcing John Brennan as his choice to lead the CIA.

The administration’s extreme secrecy is beginning to lead Senators to impede John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA

The Justice Department “white paper” purporting to authorize Obama’s power to extra-judicially execute US citizens was leaked three weeks ago. Since then, the administration – including the president himself and his nominee to lead the CIA, John Brennan – has been repeatedly asked whether this authority extends to US soil, i.e., whether the president has the right to execute US citizens on US soil without charges. In each instance, they have refused to answer.

Brennan has been asked the question several times as part of his confirmation process. Each time, he simply pretends that the question has not been asked, opting instead to address a completely different issue. Here’s the latest example from the written exchange he had with Senators after his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee; after referencing the DOJ “white paper”, the Committee raised the question with Brennan in the most straightforward way possible:

Obviously, that the US has not and does not intend to engage in such acts is entirely non-responsive to the question that was asked: whether they believe they have the authority to do so. To the extent any answer was provided, it came in Brennan’s next answer. He was asked:

Could you describe the geographical limits on the Administration’s conduct drone strikes?”

Brennan’s answer was that, in essence, there are no geographic limits to this power: “we do not view our authority to use military force against AL-Qa’ida and associated forces as being limited to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.” He then quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as saying: “neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan” (see Brennan’s full answer here).

Revealingly, this same question was posed to Obama not by a journalist or a progressive but by a conservative activist, who asked if drone strikes could be used on US soil and “what will you do to create a legal framework to make American citizens within the United States believe know that drone strikes cannot be used against American citizens?” Obama replied that there “has never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil” – which, obviously, doesn’t remotely answer the question of whether he believes he has the legal power to do so. He added that “the rules outside of the United States are going to be different than the rules inside the United States”, but these “rules” are simply political choices the administration has made which can be changed at any time, not legal constraints. The question – do you as president believe you have the legal authority to execute US citizens on US soil on the grounds of suspicions of Terrorism if you choose to do so? – was one that Obama, like Brennan, simply did not answer.

As always, it’s really worth pausing to remind ourselves of how truly radical and just plainly unbelievable this all is. What’s more extraordinary: that the US Senate is repeatedly asking the Obama White House whether the president has the power to secretly order US citizens on US soil executed without charges or due process, or whether the president and his administration refuse to answer? That this is the “controversy” surrounding the confirmation of the CIA director – and it’s a very muted controversy at that – shows just how extreme the degradation of US political culture is.

As a result of all of this, GOP Senator Rand Paul on Thursday sent a letter to Brennan vowing to filibuster his confirmation unless and until the White House answers this question. Noting the numerous times this question was previously posed to Brennan and Obama without getting an answer, Paul again wrote:

Do you believe that the President has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a US citizen on US soil, and without trial?”

After adding that “I believe the only acceptable answer to this is no”, Paul wrote: “Until you directly and clearly answer, I plan to use every procedural option at my disposal to delay your confirmation and bring added scrutiny to this issue.”

Yesterday, in response to my asking specifically about Paul’s letter, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado said that while he is not yet ready to threaten a filibuster, he “shares those concerns”. He added: “Congress needs a better understanding of how the Executive Branch interprets the limits of its authorities.”

Indeed it does. In fact, it is repellent to think that any member of the Senate Intelligence Committee – which claims to conduct oversight over the intelligence community – would vote to confirm Obama’s CIA director while both the president and the nominee simply ignore their most basic question about what the president believes his own powers to be when it comes to targeting US citizens for assassination on US soil.

Udall also pointed to this New York Times article from yesterday detailing the growing anger on the part of several Democratic senators, including him, over the lack of transparency regarding the multiple legal opinions that purport to authorize the president’s assassination power. Not only does the Obama administration refuse to make these legal memoranda public – senators have been repeatedly demanding for more than full year to see them – but they only two weeks ago permitted members to look at two of those memos, but “were available to be viewed only for a limited time and only by senators themselves, not their lawyers and experts.” Said Udall in response to my questions yesterday: “Congress needs to fulfill its oversight function. This can’t happen when members only have a short time to review complicated legal documents – as I did two weeks ago – and without any expert staff assistance or access to delve more deeply into the details.”

Critically, the documents that are being concealed by the Obama administration are not operational plans or sensitive secrets. They are legal documents that, like the leaked white paper, simply purport to set forth the president’s legal powers of execution and assassination. As Democratic lawyers relentlessly pointed out when the Bush administration also concealed legal memos authorizing presidential powers, keeping such documents secret is literally tantamount to maintaining “secret law”. These are legal principles governing what the president can and cannot do – purported law – and US citizens are being barred from knowing what those legal claims are.

There is zero excuse for concealing these documents from the public (if there is any specific operational information, it can simply be redacted), and enormous harm that comes from doing so. As Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s first choice to lead the OLC, put it during the Bush years: use of “‘secret law’ threatens the effective functioning of American democracy” and “the withholding from Congress and the public of legal interpretations by the [OLC] upsets the system of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of government.” No matter your views on drones and War on Terror assassinations, what possible justification is there for concealing the legal rationale that authorizes these policies and defines the limits on the president’s powers, if any?

You know who once claimed to understand the grave dangers from maintaining secret law? Barack Obama. On 16 April 2009, it was reported that Obama would announce whether he would declassify and release the Bush-era OLC memos that authorized torture. On that date, I wrote: “today is the most significant test yet determining the sincerity of Barack Obama’s commitment to restore the Constitution, transparency and the rule of law.” When it was announced that Obama would release those memos over the vehement objections of the CIA, I lavished him with praise for that, writing that “the significance of Obama’s decision to release those memos – and the political courage it took – shouldn’t be minimized”. The same lofty reasoning Obama invoked to release those Bush torture memos clearly applies to his own assassination memos, yet his vaunted belief in transparency when it comes to “secret law” obviously applies only to George Bush and not himself.

The reason this matters so much has nothing to do with whether you think Obama is preparing to start assassinating US citizens on US soil. That’s completely irrelevant to the question here. The reason this matters so much is because whatever presidential powers Obama establishes for himself become a permanent part of how the US government functions, and endures not only for the rest of his presidency but for subsequent ones as well.

What is vital to realize is that the DOJ “white paper” absolutely does not answer the question of whether the assassination power it justified extends to US soil. That memo addressed the question of whether the president has the legal authority to target US citizens for assassination where “capture is infeasible” and concluded that he does, but that does not mean that it would be illegal to do so where capture is feasible. Contrary to the claims of some commentators, such as Steve Vladeck, it is impossible to argue reasonably that the memo imposed a requirement of “infeasibility of capture” on Obama’s assassination power.

This could not be clearer: the DOJ memo expressly said that it was only addressing the issue of whether assassinations would be legal under the circumstances it was asked about, but that it was not opining on whether it would be legal in the absence of those circumstances. Just read its clear language in this regard: “This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful.” Again: the memo is not imposing “minimum requirements” on the president’s assassination powers, such as the requirement that capture be infeasible. For those who did not process the first time, the memo – in its very last paragraph – emphasizes this again:

That’s as conclusive as it gets: the DOJ white paper does not – does not – answer the question of whether the president’s assassination power extends to US soil. It does not impose the requirement that capture first be infeasible before the president can target someone for execution. It expressly says it is imposing no such requirements. To the contrary, it leaves open the question of whether the president has this power where capture is feasible – including on US soil. That’s precisely why these senators are demanding an answer to this question: because it’s not answered in this memo. And that’s precisely why the White House refuses to answer: because it does not want to foreclose powers that it believes it possesses, even if it has no current “intent” to exercise those powers.

The crux of this issue goes to the heart of almost every civil liberties assault under the War on Terror since it began. Once you accept that the US is fighting a “war” against The Terrorists, and that the “battlefield” in this “war” has no geographical limitations, then you are necessarily vesting the president with unlimited powers. You’re making him the functional equivalent of a monarch. That’s because it is almost impossible to impose meaningful limitations on a president’s war powers on a “battlefield”.

If you posit that the entire world is a “battlefield”, then you’re authorizing him to do anywhere in the world what he can do on a battlefield: kill, imprison, eavesdrop, detain – all without limits or oversight or accountability. That’s why “the-world-is-a-battlefield” theory was so radical and alarming (not to mention controversial) when David Addington, John Yoo and friends propagated it, and it’s no less menacing now that it’s become Democratic Party dogma as well.

Once you accept the premises of that DOJ white paper, there is no cogent limiting legal principle that would confine Obama’s assassination powers to foreign soil. If “the whole world is a battlefield”, then that necessarily includes US soil. The idea that assassinations will be used only where capture is “infeasible” is a political choice, not a legal principle. If the president has the power to kill anyone he claims is an “enemy combatant” in this “war”, including a US citizen, then there is no way to limit this power to situations where capture is infeasible.

This was always the question I repeatedly asked of Bush supporters who embraced this same War on Terror theory to justify all of his claimed powers: how can any cognizable limits be placed on that power, including as applied to US citizens on US soil (and indeed, the Bush administration did apply that theory to those circumstances, as when it arrested US citizen Jose Padilla in Chicago and then imprisoned him for several years in a military brig in South Carolina: all without charges). They did so on the same ground used by Obama now: the whole world is a battlefield, so the president’s power to detain people as “enemy combatants” is not geographically confined nor limited to foreign nationals.

Out of the good grace of his heart, or due to political expedience, Obama may decide to exercise this power only where he claims capture is infeasible, but there is no coherent legal reason that this power would be confined that way. The “global war” paradigm that has been normalized under two successive administrations all but compels that, as a legal matter, this power extend everywhere and to everyone. The only possible limitations are international law and the “due process” clause of the Constitution – and, in my view, that clearly bars presidential executions of US citizens no matter where they are as well as foreign nationals on US soil. But otherwise, once you accept the “global-battlefield” framework, then the scope of this presidential assassination power is limitless (this is to say nothing of how vague the standards in the DOJ “white paper” are when it comes to things like “imminence” and “feasibility of capture”, as the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson pointed out this week when suggesting that the DOJ white paper may authorize a president to kill US journalists who are preparing to write about leaks of national security secrets).

That this is even an issue – that this question even has to be asked and the president can so easily get away with refusing to answer – is a potent indicator of how quickly and easily even the most tyrannical powers become normalized. About all of this, Esquire’s Charles Pierce yesterday put it perfectly:

“This is why the argument many liberals are making – that the drone program is acceptable both morally and as a matter of practical politics because of the faith you have in the guy who happens to be presiding over it at the moment — is criminally naive, intellectually empty, and as false as blue money to the future. The powers we have allowed to leach away from their constitutional points of origin into that office have created in the presidency a foul strain of outlawry that (worse) is now seen as the proper order of things.

“If that is the case, and I believe it is, then the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior. Every four years, we elect a new criminal because that’s become the precise job description.”

That language may sound extreme. But it’s actually mild when set next to the powers that the current president not only claims but has used. The fact that he does it all in secret – insists that even the “law” that authorizes him to do it cannot be seen by the public – is precisely why Pierce is so right when he says that “the very nature of the presidency of the United States at its core has become the vehicle for permanently unlawful behavior”. To allow a political leader to claim those kinds of of powers, and to exercise them in secret, guarantee chronic criminality.

Targeting US citizens v. foreign nationals

Whenever this issue is raised, people quite reasonably ask why there should be any difference in the reaction to targeting US citizens as opposed to foreign nationals. As a moral and ethical matter, and as a matter of international law, there is no difference whatsoever. I am every bit as opposed to targeting foreign nationals for due-process-free assassinations as I am US citizens, which is why I have devoted so much time and energy to opposing that policy. I also agree entirely with what Desmond Tutu recently said in response to calls for a special secret “court” to be created to review the targeting of US citizens for assassinations:

“Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.

“I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.”

But the explanation for why the targeting of US citizens receives distinct attention is two-fold: both political and legal. Politically, it is simply easier to induce one’s fellow citizens to care about an abusive power if you can persuade them that it will affect them and not merely those Foreign Others. It shouldn’t be that way, but the reality of human nature is that it is (recall how civil liberties and privacy concerns catapulted to the top of the news when US citizens generally – not just Muslims – were subjected to new invasive airport searches). So emphasizing that the assassination power extends to US citizens as well as foreign nationals can be an important instrument in battling indifference.

But there’s also a legal difference. As the Supreme Court has interpreted it, the US Constitution applies, roughly speaking, to two groups: (1) US citizens no matter where they are in the world, and (2) foreign nationals on US soil or US-controlled land (that’s why foreign Guantanamo detainees had to argue that the US had sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay in order to invoke the US Constitution’s habeas corpus guarantee against the US government). While international law certainly constraints what the US government may do to foreign nationals outside of land over which the US exercises sovereignty, the US Constitution, at least as the Supreme Court has interpreted it, does not. Moreover – not just for the US but for every nation – there is a unique danger that comes from a government acting repressively against its own citizens: that’s what shields those in power from challenge and renders the citizenry pacified and afraid.

The US policy of killing or imprisoning anyone it wants, anywhere in the world, is immoral and wrong in equal measure when applied to US citizens and foreign nationals, on US soil or in Yemen and Pakistan. But application of the power to US citizens on US soil does raise distinct constitutional problems, creates the opportunity to mobilize the citizenry against it, and poses specific political dangers. That’s why it is sometimes discussed separately.

Source: Guardian