By Douglas J. Hagmann
By now, most Americans have learned about the existence of a “kill or capture list,” or a list of people who presumably have sufficiently demonstrated their ill intent or deeds against the United States of America. As average Americans and civilized people of the West, it is likely that we envision those on such a list as the very faces of evil themselves and deserving of the full weight of ultimate justice that the U.S. has to offer. That justice can be delivered from afar, from a drone that the name on the list will never hear or see, or up close and personal. The method is dictated by circumstances.
According to the release of a document by our government with the self-proclaimed most transparent administration at the helm, the list is created and maintained by a secretive panel of unnamed government officials consisting of a subset of the White House National Security Council. There is no public record of the panel’s operations or decisions, nor is there any U.S. law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.
Further queries into the list-making process revealed that recommendations are made by a committee of mid-level National Security Council officials, which are then sent to an NSC “panel of principals” for final approval. The “principals” are an apparent reference to NSC unit chiefs and Cabinet secretaries; however, it is important to note that this panel “could have different memberships when considering different operational issues.” This is chilling considering the vague nature of not only who merits inclusion on this list but by the ambiguity of exactly who is making such a list and the suggestion that membership in this turbo-charged star chamber may change.
As Americans, we’ve been lulled into a process of conditioning that our government knows best. We’ve willfully abandoned the U.S. Constitution as the ultimate rule of law. With this administration in particular, that abandonment began with collusion from both sides of the political aisle relative to the lack of proper authentication of Obama’s eligibility to hold office.
The constitution continued to suffer the most egregious attacks under this administration as we willingly forfeited the rights and liberties afforded us by the constitution in exchange for the illusion of security. Although this exchange progressed methodically since the 9/11 attacks when we were told of the need for the extra-judicial Patriot Act because of the asymmetrical nature of the war which was thrust upon us, it was placed on the progressive fast track under Obama. Unlike under the Bush administration, few seemed to notice – or care. Beyond the unprecedented level of submission to governmental control by Americans, I submit that there is also something else in play here. It’s intentional conditioning.
This process of conditioning or acclimation has apparently escaped the majority of Americans who appear to be otherwise preoccupied with the next winner of Dancing with the Stars or whatever else is diverting the attention of an already attention-deficient public. Regardless of the nature of the diversion, it is evident that we have been conditioned to accept government-created “hit lists” and all of the related ambiguity to this process as the new “normal.”
To best illustrate the process of conditioning, simply look at our nation’s airports. Even before 9/11, for example, air travelers were conditioned to the sight of metal detectors for the alleged security of the flying public. After acclimation to the sight of the tools and the security process itself, security measures were increased to shoe removal of all passengers. Once conditioned to the removal of footwear, the rights of American citizens became exponentially more violated through invasive pat-downs and nuclear scans with equipment possessing a dubious safety record.
Unbelievably, few objected to this warrantless search and the voluntary surrender of their constitutional rights and even gleefully accepted being treated as “grope-a-dopes” in the name of security. Notice that the insufficient objections to these practices have permitted their expansion beyond airport property and are now being placed on our streets, in our malls, and stadiums.
Now in the name of security and at the whim of a nameless and faceless oligarchy, we are permitting a virtual “open season” on American citizens being labeled as our enemies without so much as the right to a trial inherently afforded by our constitution. The sinister system of acclimation and conditioning, as illustrated in our airports, has appeared to give license to more egregious violations of our rights and liberties to the extent that we are permitting the creation of a modern-day star chamber.
It was and is not about security but conditioning. If this shadow government is permitted to continue to operate, we will soon be unable to recognize our Constitution, our rights, or even ourselves.
True enough, our enemies today don’t wear the uniforms of a hostile nation and may well be American citizens. On the battlefield, they must be identified and terminated with prejudice. The security of our nation is paramount. We can and must protect our great country and citizens, however, without having to stray from the framework of laws known as our constitution. But first, we must be willing to openly and unapologetically identify our enemy without acquiescence to the oppressiveness of political correctness or the actions of an infrastructure infiltrated by individuals who adhere to the very ideology we are fighting.
Whether by well-intentioned albeit ignorant attempts to avoid offending an entire religion, by design, or a mixture of both, we now find ourselves in the position of watching our government act as judge, jury, and executioner not just by our real enemies, but by anyone deemed to be a threat to our national security. The problem lies in the identification of our enemies or, more accurately, our unwillingness to do so publicly and without apology. The alternative is that we might find our own names on an “enemies list” at the whim of a nameless, faceless cabal working outside of our constitution.
Perhaps the most important and telling of all is that the creation of this secretive star chamber has been brought to you compliments of the Obama administration. Just a few short years ago, countless progressives and liberals were in a frenzy over the legalities of our interrogation techniques, renditions, and incarcerations of terror suspects during the Bush administration. There was public outrage and were loud demands and media pressure for the Bush administration to release the legal memoranda behind these unconscionable acts. Obama himself made such demands.
Now that Obama is the overseer of policies that exceed Bush-era practices, there is virtual silence but plenty of complacency and complicity. With the future of our nation at stake, the former is shameful. The latter is unforgivable.