Terrorism is, at heart, an effort to destabilize a people, region or Nation via Acts of Warfare via organizations that may not declare war in the Nation State framework. Nations may aid and abet terrorist entities, but a direct use of similar methods by a Nation State is that of War itself.
So, here is the question: Why is this treated as a civil crime?
Whenever Acts of War are committed the proper jurisdiction for those that are *external* to the United States are the Armed Forces of the United States. Acts of War, no matter *who* commits them are STILL Acts of War and should be *treated* as such. Anyone taking up military means to terrorize others that is *not* in the employ of a Nation State is still committing Acts of Warfare in their efforts to terrorize and destabilize people, regions and Nations. That is illegitimate not *just* illegal. There is *no* legitimate way, within the Nation State framework of diplomacy, of doing such a thing legitimately save if one is acting to enforce a foreign policy of a Nation State. That is the conception I pushed for Darfur: you want it done so much and it is the legitimate policy of your Nation but it lacks the *means* to get it done, then you can supply the means on your lonesome. Stop your bellyaching and get organized and DO SOMETHING. The Executive wants something done, Congress wants something done, the whole world wants something done and I am sure that a committed and dedicated group of individuals can band together to step into the situation for the good of EVERYONE.
And, most likely, get slaughtered. Thems the breaks.
Back to the illegitimate War area, sorry for the digression.
So, Acts of War (Casus Belli) are well within the framework of things that Nation States address as part of Just War (Jus ad bellum) that is *also* part of diplomatic and Nation State understandings. Yes, "Just War" has its own meaning in this parlance that is well understood and should not and cannot be hijacked by those trying to make it an ideological or philosophical platform for expounding on things. Just War addresses the sovereignty of Nation States and their means to enforce such sovereignty when it is violated. The religious underpinnings of this were starting to be severed *before* Westphalia, and it took some decades to finally sort out that Just War has *nothing* to do with religion and everything to do with National Sovereignty. One of my first posts on this topic also points out that there is No Statute of Limitations on these events.
Nations can hold grudges against those that attack them and respond at a time of their choosing.
These modern day terrorists that threaten civilians with Acts of War to incite their terror are employing means that have, traditionally, fallen into the realm of the military and armed conflict. Treating it as a *police* matter is wrong-headed in conception and ill-thought out in any event: if true foreign power backing is *found* then this is, immediately, a Declaration of War on the United States. But even *without* foreign power backing, the act of terrorism that kills individuals or destroys property in an attempt to disrupt a people, region or Nation are, in and of themselves, Acts of Warfare. There may *also* be criminality involved in support of such acts, but the act itself is *not* a civil act but a military act. Warfare taken up illegitimately is *still* warfare, not a bunch of armed thugs running around.... hold that thought.
In that wonderful era before 9/11, using police and normal law enforcement methods was seen as the way to handle such Acts of Warfare. Putting these individuals behind bars felt like some justice was served, at least. But was that the Just Means to handle such acts? To me, the argument that these individuals by *not* being under the aegis of a Nation are committing *civil* acts is the ill-thought foundation of this idea of law enforcement against terrorists. The act ITSELF is not a civilian moderated act, but a military act in conception and outlook. Trying to dress it up in the clothing of mere civil offense makes a mockery of Military Justice. While the act may have taken place within the territory of the United States or involved extra-territorial enclaves or members of the Armed Forces, any such acts are Acts of War not civil criminal acts.
Warfare always has been and will continue to BE the right of sovereign Nations *only*. Taking up illegitimate war does not, in and of itself, turn the act into a mere criminal act as that act is one of warfare. There is a relatively sharp dividing line in that on the Nation State to Nation State level, and muddying or clouding that clear distinction and treating Acts of War as if they were mere civil crimes demeans National Sovereignty and erodes the integrity of the understanding of Nation State to Nation State interaction.
So, if this is correct, then what is terrorism that is internal to the United States?
Here, again, the actual act itself is the divider: any act that kills wantonly to inspire terror or destroys property in an effort to destabilize a municipality, county, State or the entire Nation is *also* an Act of War. And the Constitution is quite clear on this:
Article IIIt is not mere destruction of property or killing to inspire terror. It is not a mere civil penalty but a High Crime against the Republic of the United States. So, why, exactly, were the Oklahoma City bombers prosecuted for something *less* than treason? Is bombing a building not a military act in an attempt to destabilize the ability of the government to manage the lawful affairs of the Union? Killing wantonly is one thing and killing Federal police is one thing, but the entire act is one to destabilize the Nation and an attack upon the Union by Citizens.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
To me the Oklahoma City bombing was and remains, to this day, treason.
Because it was and *is* an Act of War.
Yes, in this conception attacking any facility in an attempt to terrorize or disrupt the United States, any of the autonomous States within the Union or any regional or local government via such acts are *not* merely criminal acts. When performed by Citizens they are Treason.
And this, finally, gets us down to those individuals who are part of gangs using weapons and means of warfare to intimidate localities, threaten and kill civilians and, generally, deny rightful law enforcement upon those regions via means of threats, intimidation, killing and destruction of property. When done to deny government its role in keeping the peace and hold influence upon such an area via such acts, those acts are *also* ones denying the legitimate right of the People to self-govern. Those are *also* Acts of Warfare.
The States have the right to autonomy and distinction within the Union, so long as they ensure regularity of due process in accordance with the Union itself. This right is enshrined in the Constitution that allows States to use any lawful means possible to survive if the Federal Forces, including the National Guard are *not* timely in response to threats. This is the relevant passage:
Article IThe States must be able to do so for the Constitution to have rational basis for being part of those Rights holders outside of the Federal Government. State survival, then, is of paramount importance to each State and is allowed to be addressed by each State if the Federal Government will *not* act or punish such acts in the proper manner. For the Constitution to have meaning and for States to have any basis as entities separate from the Federal Government this *must* be the case. That does not address *just* the National Guard as it is the 'escape hatch' for the entire paragraph that includes: duty of tonnage, keeping troops or ships of war, entering into an agreement with a Foreign State or Power or engage in War. The escape hatch NEGATES the entire paragraph when the State is invaded or in Danger and the Federal Government cannot respond. Those things which are disallowed are negated when the State is in danger of losing its right of independence and autonomy within the Union and the Federal Government does not give a timely response.
Section 10 - paragraph 3
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
This is an accountability paragraph that gives the States recourse to hold the Federal Government to its responsibilities while *also* allowing the State to respond to remain a sovereign entity within the Union. Additionally, as non-standing, non-military reaction forces are *not* covered by this, the States may actually require that Citizens use this Right to Respond to those things that are endangering the sovereignty of the State within the United States. For that is not only a specifically given right, but one that is *also* held to the States and the People via Amendments IX and X.
To properly adjudicate such crimes that are seen to be destabilizing to an individual State, in whole or in part, via Acts of Warfare in which the Federal Government does *not* respond, requires that the State, first and foremost, address it for the act that it *is*. An Act of War. When the Federal Government does *not* respond to such an act the State MUST respond to it to retain its integrity as an autonomous unit within the Union. An Act of War carried out to erode such sovereignty that the State has must be addressed on that equivalent level that it is for the Union as a whole: a military matter.
Without Federal Military recourse, for whatever reason, the State must *also* have a full suite of laws to exactly determine what is and is *not* a high-crime against the State and to establish non-military, non-standing and yet *organized* forces under such law to oversee the adjudication of such. And those with the cognizant oversight to do this are the very same individuals that the State must turn to in case of invasion or Danger: its Citizens that are duly armed under their rights in Amendment II. By taking up arms of *any* sort and knowing the lawful and legitimate use of arms, those individuals who take them up ARE the non-standing, non-military force the State would FIRST turn to if the Federal Government does not help the State out in times of invasion of Danger. By taking up arms and knowing their legitimate uses for themselves, these very same individuals are the ONLY ones competent and cognizant of what it takes for adjudicating what is and what is *not* a high crime against their State.
And that gets me right back to where I started.
Why is terrorism, an Act of War to incite terror and destabilize lawful government, treated as a civil crime?
What are you afraid of, my fellow Citizens?