The Tyrants Charter: US Department of Defense Law of War Manual

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Courtesy: Open Source

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 27 June 2015

In yet another example of how a once liberal democracy has morphed into a fascist dictatorship, the Obama regime in the US, via its apparatchiks in the Pentagon, have issued a military joint-service publication called the Department of Defense Law of War Manual (DDLWM, aka. the Tyrants Charter). The purpose of this 1,204 page tomb is ostensibly to rationalise US laws upon which war may be waged but in reality it is part of a process that seeks to justify and then codify the regimes transition from democracy to tyranny.

As the Greek philosopher Plato describes in his book, Republic, Book VIII, there are five types of regime, namely: Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy and Tyranny. In the case of democracy, which degenerates into tyranny, a familiar pattern always emerges: a democratic government, usually fueled by the fear of a return to oligarchy, is easily exploited by a demagogue who takes power and establishes a tyranny. The tyrant goes on to use whatever tools are at their disposal to remove the best social elements in society, i.e. those who pose a threat to the new regime, and keep the worst who are easily controlled and manipulated. Thus, the people who are left become enslaved to the tyrant who goes on to provoke war to consolidate their position.

It is no coincidence that tyranny is the most unjust type of regime of all.

Returning to the newly published Tyrants Charter: the eradication of the best social elements in society, i.e. those who pose a threat to the tyranny of the US Empire begins:

Ch. IV Classes of Person
4.24 Journalists In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.

Thus, a journalist, who is neither a member of the armed forces or a person authorised to accompany the armed forces, is by default, an unprivileged belligerent. The Oxford English dictionary defines a belligerent as: a person engaged in a war or conflict.

Nonetheless, the Tyrants Charter continues:

4.1.1.2 Different terms used to Describe the Same Concept Different legal sources use different terms to refer to the same class of people under the law of war. For example, one source might use "belligerent," whereas another source might use "combatant" to refer to the same class of people under the law of war.

It goes on to confuse the issue even further:

4.1.2 Classes and Categories Are Only the Starting Point for Legal Analysis When analyzing a person’s rights, duties, and liabilities under the law of war, it is important to analyze the specific question in light of the applicable facts. Determining what class a person falls into, such as "combatant," "civilian," or "unprivileged belligerent," may be only the first step in a legal analysis. For example, whether a person may be the object of attack, may be detained, is entitled to POW status, or may be punished for their actions are all different questions. Although these questions are often related to one another and associated with the general classes of "combatant" and "civilian," each question requires its own specific analysis. This specific analysis should be done in each case, applying the legal rules to the facts, rather than deriving an answer based on a conclusory labeling of a person as, for example, an "enemy combatant." Indeed, some persons might, for some purposes, be treated like "combatants," but for other purposes be treated like "civilians."

However, a journalist, as stated in the Tyrants Charter, can only be defined as an unprivileged belligerent if they are not a member of, or authorised to accompany, the armed forces. Chapter IV of the Tyrants Charter goes on to clarify an unprivileged belligerent as:

4.2.3.3 Unprivileged Belligerents Unprivileged belligerents generally are subject to the liabilities of both combatant and civilian status, and include:
  • persons engaged in spying, sabotage, and similar acts behind enemy lines; and
  • private persons engaging in hostilities.
4.3 Lawful Combatants and Unprivileged Belligerents
In addition to distinguishing between the armed forces and the civilian population, the law of war also distinguishes between "privileged" and "unprivileged," or "lawful" and "unlawful" combatants. As the Supreme Court has explained:
Lawful combatants are subject to capture and detention as prisoners of war by opposing military forces. Unlawful combatants are likewise subject to capture and detention, but in addition they are subject to trial and punishment by military tribunals for acts which render their belligerency unlawful.
"Unlawful combatants" or "unprivileged belligerents" are persons who, by engaging in hostilities, have incurred one or more of the corresponding liabilities of combatant status (e.g., being made the object of attack and subject to detention), but who are not entitled to any of the distinct privileges of combatant status (e.g., combatant immunity and POW status).
4.3.1 "Unprivileged Belligerents" as a Category in Treaty Law States have, in a few cases, explicitly recognized in treaties certain categories of unprivileged belligerents, such as spies and saboteurs. However, States have generally refrained from explicitly recognizing unprivileged belligerents as a class in treaties in the way that classes of lawful combatants have been defined.
Law of war treaties have been understood to reflect restrictions on the conduct of hostilities by States, and States have been reluctant to conclude treaties to afford unprivileged enemy belligerents the distinct privileges of POW status or the full protections afforded civilians.
Although seldom explicitly recognized as a class in law of war treaties, the category of unprivileged belligerent may be understood as an implicit consequence of creating the classes of lawful combatants and peaceful civilians. The concept of unprivileged belligerency, i.e., the set of legal liabilities associated with unprivileged belligerents, may be understood in opposition to the rights, duties, and liabilities of lawful combatants and peaceful civilians. Unprivileged belligerents include lawful combatants who have forfeited the privileges of combatant status by engaging in spying or sabotage, and private persons who have forfeited one or more of the protections of civilian status by engaging in hostilities.
4.3.2 Combatant – Notes on Terminology.
4.3.2.1 "Combatant" and "Belligerent". "Combatant" and "belligerent" have sometimes been used interchangeably and, in this usage, they generally describe individuals who are not "civilians."
"Belligerent," however, has also sometimes used to describe States and to contrast such States with "neutral" or "non-belligerent" States. "Belligerent" has also been used to contrast armed groups that have "belligerent rights" with armed groups that lack such rights, such as "insurgents."
4.3.2.2 "Lawful," "Privileged," and "Qualified". The distinction between "lawful" and "unlawful" combatants has sometimes been called a distinction between "privileged" and "unprivileged" belligerents, i.e., distinguishing between persons who are entitled to the privileges of combatant or belligerent status, and those who are not. This distinction has also sometimes been called a distinction between "qualified" and "unqualified" belligerents, i.e., distinguishing between persons who have met the qualifications to receive the privileges of combatant status and those who have not.

Thus, the purpose of Chapter IV of the Tyrants Charter becomes perfectly clear: the fascist dictatorship of the Obama regime in the US is clearly seeking to neutralise a serious threat to its power and authority. The fact that a small but growing group of independent journalists are now challenging the status quo of the mainstream media, who are mostly subservient to the regime, is of grave concern to the flagging US Empire. However, the regime is even more worried by the fact that they have absolutely no control whatsoever over this group of independent journalists but, in classifying them as unprivileged belligerents, they believe they have now legitimised the targeting, extra-judicial killing and arbitrary application of victors justice in military kangaroo courts to solve the problem.

Of course, the notion that unprivileged belligerents only refers to those journalists who are in, or near, a theatre of war is a spurious assumption. The US Empire have long been engaged in the extra-judicial killing of so-called suspected terrorists in out-of-theatre operations for years where they routinely murder more than 20 innocent civilians for each suspected terrorist in CIA inspired drone attacks. Clearly, the classification of journalists as unprivileged belligerents, i.e. those who threaten the power and privilege of the US Empire, is merely the first step in a campaign to silence all dissent in its quest to further entrench tyrannical rule by whatever means.

At which point, it is worth noting what Plato said of tyrannical rule: when a tyrant loses power they are in grave danger of retribution for all the unjust acts they have committed upon the people. The tyrant then becomes trapped in their own home, fearing for their life, and thus they are the instrument of their own self-imprisonment.

There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.
Charles de Montesquieu