Are You A Belligerent Journalist of Unprivileged Persuasion?

The Pentagon has released an 1.176 page manual on what is OK to do to other people and how to rate them in “the do they deserve to live or not” game!

It turns out that as a journalist you don’t rate very high. That is if you dare to be belligerent of course. No fear if you are a good little boy/girl writing down what our dear leaders like to hear. Now you might think that means only US journalists like Glen Greenwald and his ilk are at risk but with the anti-bully law passing here in New Zealand I dare say were are in for a treat here too. And when they have dealt with the blogger journalists/educators/truth speakers and the Campbell’s and the ones who dare to speak up, the real belligerents, our dear leaders will rule supreme. Supremely belligerent, supremely arrogant, supremely cruel just like tyrants of yore who dealt with their belligerents much the same way the Pentagon is proposing to deal with unprivileged belligerent journalists!


The Pentagon has released an 1,176-page book of instructions on the “The Law Of War” detailing acceptable ways of killing the enemy. The manual also states that journalists can be labeled “unprivileged belligerents,” an obscure term that replaces the Bush era “unlawful enemy combatant.”

As The Washington Times reports, an eye-catching section deals with a definition of journalists and how they are expected to stay out of the fight –

“In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents.”


While the Pentagon did not specify the exact circumstances under which a journalist might be declared an unprivileged belligerent, lumping terrorist writers with bona fide reporters prompted a civilian lawyer who opines on war crime cases to call the wording “an odd and provocative thing for them to write.”


Michael Rubin, a Middle East expert at the American Enterprise Institute, said the manual reflects today’s muddled world of journalism.


“It’s a realization that not everyone abides by the same standards we do,” said Mr. Rubin. “Just as Hamas uses United Nations schools as weapons depots and Iran uses charity workers for surveillance, many terrorist groups use journalists as cover.”


Mr. Rubin recalled that two al Qaeda terrorists posed as journalists to assassinate anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. Chechen Islamists went on missions with camera crews.


“Journalists are the new consultant. Anyone can claim to be one,” he said. “No American serviceman should ever be killed because a politician told them they had to take a foreign journalist at his or her word.”

As RT adds,

The 1,176-page “Department of Defense Law of War Manual” explains that shooting, exploding, bombing, stabbing, or cutting the enemy are acceptable ways of getting the job done, but the use of poison or asphyxiating gases is not allowed.

Surprise attacks and killing retreating troops have also been given the green light.

But the lengthy manual doesn’t only talk about protocol for those on the frontline. It also has an extensive section on journalists – including the fact that they can be labeled terrorists.

“In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents,” the manual states.

The term “unprivileged belligerents” replaces the Bush-era term “unlawful enemy combatant.”

When asked what this means, professor of Journalism at Georgetown Chris Chambers told RT that he doesn’t know, “because the Geneva Convention, other tenets of international law, and even United States law – federal courts have spoken on this – doesn’t have this thing on ‘unprivileged belligerents’.”

This means that embedded journalists, who are officially sanctioned by the military and attached to a unit, will be favored by an even greater degree than before. “It gives them license to attack or even murder journalists that they don’t particularly like but aren’t on the other side,” Chambers said.

Even the Obama Administration’s definition of “enemy combatant” was vague enough, basically meaning any male of a military age who “happens to be there,” Chambers added.

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