The Case for Using Predator Drone Strikes Against Wall Street Executives:
From a secret Justice Department memorandum obtained by the Rude Pundit:
Since it is now the policy of our administration to target American citizens for killing by missiles delivered by Predator drone aircraft, I am proposing an expansion of the program to include targets beyond our ongoing conflict with al-Qaeda and its affiliates. I propose that we now target executives and others in the finance industry who so far have not been prosecuted for potential crimes that forced the economy of the United States into a long-term decline.
The legal authority for these actions rests with an earlier memo dealing with the targeting of [name redacted, but presumably Anwar al-Awlaki]. To summarize, targeting of American citizens may be done: 1. on foreign soil, even if no actual battles are occurring in that nation; 2. as long as there is an ongoing war; and 3. without regard to due process, as long as the administration is confident that the target has committed crimes against the nation.
To deal with those in reverse order:
- We can say, with certainty, that particular executives in various firms were responsible either directly for or directed others to engage in the reckless investment schemes that resulted in firms going bankrupt or in need of a bailout from the federal government. Under this condition, we can target [name redacted] of [firm redacted] who concealed $50 billion in loans in order to inflate the firm's value while at the same time personally taking several hundred million dollars in compensation. We know this occurred. We have evidence that it occurred. We know that [redacted]'s actions, in part, led directly to the financial crisis of 2008-2009.
- If the targeted killing of American citizens is justified in our ongoing war with terrorists above and beyond any previous congressional authorization, and if the military has previously been involved in the ongoing war on drugs, then we can say with confidence that the proposed targeted attacks on financial executives falls under the purview of the "War on Poverty," which was declared by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and which, like the ten-year war on terrorists and the forty-year war on drugs, has not been successfully concluded. This might seem to strain legal justification, but we are talking about criminals who have done grievous harm to the nation.
- One concern must be where we could target American citizens. Surely, we do not wish to use Predator drones within the borders of the United States. So we must wait until the targeted executives are on vacation or doing business in foreign countries. Once, for instance, [name redacted] of [firm redacted] travels to his private island in the Bahamas, the collateral damage from Hellfire missiles would be minimal.
The final consideration for moving forward with these actions is whether or not the targets are an ongoing threat to American and its interests. To put this in perspective, what has caused greater damage to the United States? Attacks by al-Qaeda or the crimes of the targeted financial officers and executives? For the average American, loss of jobs, foreclosure, and loss of retirement income, all due to the massive fraud committed by the proposed targets, are far more of a threat than terrorists have ever been, yet we limit our drone program to them.
To take this further, one might be able to say, with some degree of certainty, that more Americans have died as a result of the actions of the proposed financial industry targets, through suicide and loss of income and health insurance due to a contracting economy, than have been killed as a result of actions by terrorists.
As for an ongoing and current threat, the sociopathic behavior of terrorists leads us to believe that they cannot be reformed; the same presumption can be made about the proposed targets in the financial sector. This office has no doubt that, given the chance, [name redacted], CEO of [firm redacted], would allow another convoluted series of billion-dollar transactions that might end up in another bailout, thus costing the United States more of its diminishing treasure.
The total use of Predator drones against financial industry executives would most likely be minimal. After several strikes, we anticipate that others will turn themselves in to authorities for prosecution out of fear for their lives.
To conclude, our policy of "Capture or Kill" towards American citizens who are terrorists should be expanded to include others who terrorize the nation in more subtle ways than bombs or bullets. And since the administration has shown no willingness to capture any of these proposed targets, we are only left with the latter option.