A Catechism of War
Are we at war?
Yes. We are at war.
Who is our enemy?
Al Qaeda is our enemy.
Is al Qaeda a nation-state?
No, they are not.
What is al Qaeda?
Experts have described it as a “way of working.”
How do we know if someone is a member?
The executive decides it.
How does the executive do so?
What happens next?
In war, the executive may kill the enemies of the United States.
Yes, including citizens.
Can anyone review that decision?
Perhaps, but only after the individual is dead.
How long will the war continue?
The war will continue until al Qaeda is defeated.
Is it possible to permanently defeat a “way of working”?
No. It can only be frustrated, but the war goes on.
Is it possible for a “way of working” to surrender?
Again I ask, long will the war continue?
The war will continue forever, if it must.
What of the liberties you say you enjoy?
There are no liberties on the battlefield.
Where is the battlefield?
The battlefield is everywhere, including the entire world, without any exceptions.
What of the liberties contained in the Constitution?
They are frequently revocable, often without notice, owing to the fact that we are on a battlefield.
What of the Treason Clause, which seems to contemplate the preservation of certain forms of liberty even during war?
The Treason Clause was not designed for the battlefield.
Could the executive legally use drone strikes against civilians within the United States?
Did they even try to answer that last question?
No, they did not.