Introducing the Latest Orwellian Definition of Terrorists: “Associates of Associates”

Am I the only one that finds it strange that, eleven years after 9/11, the government continues to hype up the never-ending “war on terror” more than ever in order to justify taking away more and more of our civil liberties?  It seems that simply having to prove people are directly connected to Al Qaeda (our allies in Syria by the way), has become too much of a hassle for the hellfire missile happy Obama Administration, and they are now actively looking for easier ways to execute individuals without due process.  The latest idea centers around the frightening concept of “associates of associates.”  From the Washington Post:

A new generation of al-Qaeda offshoots is forcing the Obama administration to examine whether the legal basis for its targeted killing program can be extended to militant groups with little or no connection to the organization responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. officials said.

How convenient.  When will Ron Paul supporters, OWS activists and hackers officially be classified as enemy combatants?

The Authorization for Use of Military Force, a joint resolution passed by Congress three days after the strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has served as the legal foundation for U.S. counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda over the past decade, including ongoing drone campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen that have killed thousands of people.

But U.S. officials said administration lawyers are increasingly concerned that the law is being stretched to its legal breaking point, just as new threats are emerging in countries including Syria, Libya and Mali.

“The farther we get away from 9/11 and what this legislation was initially focused upon,” a senior Obama administration official said, “we can see from both a theoretical but also a practical standpoint that groups that have arisen or morphed become more difficult to fit in.”

The authorization law has already been expanded by federal courts beyond its original scope to apply to “associated forces” of al-Qaeda. But officials said legal advisers at the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies are now weighing whether the law can be stretched to cover what one former official called “associates of associates.”

Officials said they have not ruled out seeking an updated authorization from Congress or relying on the president’s constitutional powers to protect the country. But they said those are unappealing alternatives.

The debate comes as the administration seeks to turn counterterrorism policies adopted as emergency measures after the 2001 attacks into more permanent procedures that can sustain the campaign against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as other current and future threats.

“You can’t end the war if you keep adding people to the enemy who are not actually part of the original enemy,” said a person who participated in the administration’s deliberations on the issue.

Administration officials acknowledged that they could be forced to seek new legal cover if the president decides that strikes are necessary against nascent groups that don’t have direct al-Qaeda links. Some outside legal experts said that step is all but inevitable because the authorization has already been stretched to the limit of its intended scope.

“The AUMF is becoming increasingly obsolete because the groups that are threatening us are harder and harder to tie to the original A.Q. organization,” said Jack Goldsmith, an expert on national security law at Harvard University and a former senior Justice Department official.

He said extending the AUMF to groups more loosely tied to al-Qaeda would be “a major interpretive leap” that could eliminate the need for a link between the targeted organization and core al-Qaeda.

So eleven years after 9/11, they are finally admitting that they want to make all the “emergency” measures permanent and that we aren’t fighting “Al Qaeda” anymore but rather “associates of associates” of Al Qaeda.  You see where this is going?  I do.

Full article here.

In Liberty,

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  1. A new generation of al-Qaeda offshoots is forcing the Obama administration to examine whether the legal basis for its targeted killing program can be extended to militant groups with little or no connection to the organization responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. officials said.

    Who IS “the organisation responsible” if not the Govenment?

  2. This is that inevitable step so many warned about: The “stretching” and generalization of a vaguely defined category in initial legislation, passed in the heat of emotion following the attacks, to include persons outside it. The Infinitely Elastic, “We Say So” Kill List. . .

    … in a nation whose principles forbid kill lists.

    It’s fascinating and effective argumentation: “Skip over the existence of a kill list and direct their attention to who’s on it. Carefully control that dialogue to give the impression they, as individuals, are not on it. Then write it so they are–so everyone is. Pass it,”

    Hitler never broke a law and neither will these guys.

    “Associates of associates” in nation that laid bare the fallacy of Guilt by Association…..well, I guess it’s not guilt we’re talking about here. It’s death. Death by association.

  3. Is this like when Kaiser Soze killed not only his enemies but also their families, friends and people who did business with them?

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