Krauthammer: If You Take Up Arms Against The United States You Have Forfeited Your Rights
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I really don't understand this sort of hysteria over the idea of killing Americans who have taken up arms against the United States. Thousands of Americans, Southerners, died in Antietam without any due process. When we stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-day, and Americans approached German bunkers, I don't think anybody asked if they were any German-Americans here, I want to read you the Miranda rights. If you take up arms against the United States you were a target because it was an act of war and you forfeited those rights.
Now, the question is, it's a different war, these people are in a guerilla war, a terrorist war, we don't have the same lines. They aren't representing a country and we need guidelines. I think the critique of this administration, is in the guidelines that you indicated, they were probably written by somebody in the lower quintile of his law school class.
They want to pretend that you can only hit an American al-Qaeda operative who is an imminent threat and then define him as a threat out of existence by saying al-Qaeda is continually hatching plots so he's always, all day and all night, an imminent threat; i.e., that criterion is meaningless. I think that we really have to have an effort in the Congress and in the executive and in the country, have an argument about what are the guidelines, who is the soldier and who loses all rights in this kind of shadow war? We've never had it before. We should have a debate and it's good that we have a president on the left and a Congress, half of which is on the right, to work out criteria because it can be done. And there has to be a national consensus on this. (Special Report, February 6, 2013)