Are American Bloggers Advocating For Restoration of the Republic “Unprivileged Belligerents”

Posted: June 23, 2015 in Politics


The Pentagon’s new thick book of instructions for waging war the legal way says that terrorists also can be journalists.

The description appears in a 1,176-page, richly footnoted “Department of Defense Law of War Manual” that tells commanders the right and wrong way to kill the enemy. It says it’s OK to shoot, explode, bomb, stab or cut the enemy. Surprise attacks and killing retreating troops also are permitted. But a U.S. warrior may not use poison or asphyxiating gases.

The manual defines them this way (Section, 4.24): “In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.”

“Some people might characterize the persons who put out Inspire magazine as ‘journalists,’ but ‘propagandist’ would be more apt,” Col. Sowers said. “Members of nonstate armed groups, such as al Qaeda, who also do work that could be characterized as journalism, would continue to be unprivileged belligerents notwithstanding their work as journalists. As another example, enemy spies that used journalism as a cover would likely also be considered unprivileged belligerents if they are caught while engaged in espionage.”

As for the shift from “unlawful enemy combatant” and to an embrace of “unprivileged belligerents,” Col. Sowers said the change “is largely a stylistic one.”

“Some view the term ‘unprivileged belligerent’ as more precise from the perspective of international law than ‘unlawful combatant’ because a person can be an ‘unprivileged belligerent’ without violating the law of war,” he said. “Our sense is that ‘unprivileged belligerent’ has been the more prevalent usage among DoD practitioners recently, so we’ve sought to use that term rather than unlawful combatant.”


Source: [Washington Times]


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