Over the weekend, Spencer Ackerman published a fairly incredible story
about a newly appointed West Point professor, William Bradford, who had written a paper, published in the National Security Law Journal, entitled Trahison Des Professeurs
, in which he argues (among other things) that US academics who oppose current US anti-terror policy should themselves be targets for killing as a "fifth column."
In a lengthy academic paper, the professor, William C Bradford, proposes to threaten “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage”.
Other “lawful targets” for the US military in its war on terrorism, Bradford argues, include “law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews” – all civilian areas, but places where a “causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited” exist.
“Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, [dissenting] scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are – at least in theory – targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism,” Bradford wrote.
The full text in that section is even worse than it sounds above. This is the rare case where putting things back into context makes it even crazier. It flat out argues that legal scholars who disagree with official US policy should be classified as "unlawful combatants." He first describes scholars who disagree with US policy as "CLOACA" standing for "critical law of armed conflict academy" and then this:
Treat CLOACA Scholars as Unlawful Combatants
CLOACA scholarship and advocacy that attenuates U.S.
arms and undermines American will are PSYOPs, which are
combatant acts. Consequently, if these acts are colorable as
propaganda inciting others to war crimes, such acts are
prosecutable. CLOACA members are thus combatants who, like
all other combatants, can be targeted at any time and place and
captured and detained until termination of hostilities. As unlawful
combatants for failure to wear the distinctive insignia of a party,
CLOACA propagandists are subject to coercive interrogation, trial,
and imprisonment. Further, the infrastructure used to create and
disseminate CLOACA propaganda—law school facilities, scholars’
home offices, and media outlets where they give interviews—are also
lawful targets given the causal connection between the content
disseminated and Islamist crimes incited. Shocking and extreme as
this option might seem, CLOACA scholars, and the law schools that
employ them, are—at least in theory—targetable so long as attacks
are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants,
employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of