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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means

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Warfare by Other Means Economics, demographics, cultural, technological, and other factors that have affected the course of history.

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  #16  
Old 26 Sep 17, 06:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
This all revolves around the definition of "treacherously". If employing a sniper to kill a man who is the commander-in-chief of the enemy armed forces, and therefore a military commander, is "treacherous", why should employing a sniper on the battlefield be allowed? Isn't that "treacherous" too?

Personally, I like New Zealand's definition of treacherous killing: "the killing or wounding of a selected individual behind the line of battle by enemy agents or unlawful combatants" (emphasis mine). That would mean that a sniper passing himself off as an enemy civilian in an enemy town would be committing a treacherous killing; the same sniper wearing his army's uniform, even behind enemy lines, would be carrying out a legitimate military operation (provided the target was a combatant too, such as the commander-in-chief of the enemy armed forces). Likewise, the killing of Heydrich by soldiers who (I believe) were not wearing their uniform amounted to treachery, and was a war crime (if I am correct that they were not wearing a uniform), but the killing of Yamamoto was not. The killing of Hamas military leaders by missiles launched by Israeli aircraft also isn't a crime.

Your complete misunderstanding of what amounts to a treacherous killing is excusable, of course, because there is no hard and fast legal definition of what is treachery. Military manuals try and provide examples, though, and they generally draw a line at "hiring an assassin" (i.e. a professional, civilian murderer) or "putting a price on the head" of the target or "outlawing" him (which again would amount to a free-for-all which would include civilian killers, disguises, perfidy etc.). They also strive to point out that "obviously, it does not preclude lawful attacks by lawful combatants, on individual soldiers or officers of the enemy" (emphasis mine). The quote is from a US Air Force manual, which is interesting in itself.



The Nuremberg Tribunal, i.e. the IMT, of course accepted the Hague Conventions as customary law; the point would be whether there is a ruling that says that specifically targeting one enemy officer by a lawful combatant, without the use of perfidy, means a "treacherous" killing.
I have had a look at the IMT files, and I don't find a reference to "assassination" and to that Hague IV 1907 provision in the same page. But if you have such a reference, please provide it.



You are confusing state policy and international law, and you are also mixing up the peacetime killing of civilian politicians with targeted military operations against military commanders in wartime.

As a side note, we all remember that Hitler held a military rank. He was a German officer in wartime.
I'm not confusing anything its illegal and US law reflects this and uses the word assassination. You refusal to accept anything that confounds your own interpretation is exceedingly arrogant and uncomely
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  #17  
Old 27 Sep 17, 14:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
I'm not confusing anything its illegal and US law reflects this and uses the word assassination.
Heck no. It is against an executive order by the President, meaning that it is officially not part of policy. If tomorrow the President in office issues an executive order rescinding the ban on assassinations, that's the end of the ban. It's not a law, it's policy.

Additionally, yes, sure, the word "assassination" is used. However, an official analysis of the issue prsented to the Congress in 2002 by a law expert working for the DoD mentions that as far as "assassination" goes, "in time of peace, an element of covert action
or surprise attack may be required for a killing for political purposes to be deemed an
assassination, particularly where the target is a private individual rather than a public figure
or national leader. The murder for political purposes of a national leader in time of peace may
be regarded by some as an assassination solely because of the target, while others might also
consider whether a surprise attack was involved."

However, that's for "time of peace" (emphasis mine) and for "private individuals", "political purposes" and "national leaders".

On the other hand, the same source says that
"“Treacherous” is not defined in the Hague Convention IV, but does not appear to be
interpreted to foreclose operations in time of war involving the element of surprise.11
However, putting a price on the head of an enemy appears to be regarded by some as an act
which would render a resulting killing an assassination, as distinguished from a lawful attack
on legitimate military targets, including the enemy chain of command.12"


In conclusion, you are out of your depth here.
To make a practical example:

- The USA declare war on North Korea (a state of war thus exists),
- The North Korean President also is the commande rin chief of the armed forces (therefore he's considered as military personnel and part of the enemy chain of command),
- A US aircraft clearly marked as such launches a surprise strike and a missile kills the North Korean President.

The above is a totally legitimate military operation in wartime, and good luck to you trying to prosecute the pilot or the officer ordering it on the absurd assumption that it's an "assassination".

Here's something to read for you: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rs21037.pdf

Nor can an extensive reading of Article 23(b) of Hague IV 1907 be passed as the US interpretation of that article. Take for instance the US field manual concerning military law of 1956:
"U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956), which provides (paragraph 31):
[Article 23(b), Annex to Hague Convention IV, 1907] is construed as
prohibiting assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or
putting a price upon an enemy’s head, as well as offering a reward
for an enemy “dead or alive.” "

A very restrictive definition, that makes the wartime targeting of a general, or the top general of the enemy, by an otherwise not illegally operating serviceperson, totally legitimate.

Much is made of the Executive Orders. Interestingly, when Ford talked about his own, the original one, he did mention he did not want that sort of shenanigans "in peacetime".

I have plenty of other official US sources to quote, field manuals, advisory notes by military law experts, the works. Just insist, and I'll keep providing corrections.

Quote:
You refusal to accept anything that confounds your own interpretation is exceedingly arrogant and uncomely
You, on the other hand, did not look up for a quote confirming your claim that the IMT minutes support your idea. Or you did and did not find it.
My apologies if I sounded arrogant. However, I think it's a lesser sin to be arrogant and right, than humble and wrong.
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  #18  
Old 27 Sep 17, 21:09
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  #19  
Old 28 Sep 17, 03:55
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While we're at it, those here who believe that a war operation by military personnel specifically targeting an enemy military leader is against current US laws, in violation of the Presidential EO in force, and an assassination... could you kindly provide information as to the trial for the assassination of Bin Laden? I must have missed it. Thank you.
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  #20  
Old 28 Sep 17, 05:38
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Take Kim Jong-un for example, he's got nuke missiles and has threatened to hit the US homeland with them.
The US Declaration of Independence clearly states that its citizens require "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", but how can they ever be happy with Kim around?
Heck he doesn't even need to use nuke missiles, he could simply use his subs to sneak up on the US to deposit nuke warheads on the seabed on a time fuse just offshore of any coastal city!





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