License to Kill: Popular FictionNovember 1st, 2007

Ian Fleming invented the “double-0″ designation for British intelligence agents, placing James Bond in the very elite company of no more than nine people with a license to kill. Today, the license to kill is almost as commonplace as a license to drive. For members of the State Department’s private posse in Iraq, Blackwater USA, the claim is that they have blanket immunity. The lowliest security guard can plink civilians from a speeding Chevvy Suburban without the slightest concern for consequences.

Of course, a contractual grant of immunity from the State Department is not worth the paper it’s written on. You might think you’re home free with one of Condi’s passes, but the law gives her no more authority to issue grants of immunity than your neighborhood school crossing guard. In fact, the crossing guard is better situated, because Condi’s grant of immunity is in reality an egregious criminal act in itself. To encourage her guards to terrorize civilians, Condi tells them that they are above the laws prohibiting murder. In civilian life, which this is, we call that criminal solicitation, and every jurisdiction in America sends you to prison for it, and some put you to death.

The embedded mass media like to tell us that there is no law governing the mercenaries’ activities in Iraq, but this is false. Everywhere in America, it is illegal to solicit murder, even if the murder is committed in a foreign country, and the State Department’s license to kill, issued on our shores, is nothing short of a contract for murder. The president and secretary of state could readily be held liable for capital crimes just on the basis of what we know already about Blackwater’s activities. Gunmen and bureaucrats alike must be reckoned fools if they’re not worrying about the consequences of the mayhem they create.

How does the Blackwater case affect the rule of law? Even if there are laws prohibiting the mercenaries’ activities, it is clear that those laws are not being enforced. On the contrary, the executive branch, which controls law enforcement, is actively blocking all attempts to exact accountability, and the other branches are complicit in the executive’s subversion. The consequence for the rest of us is that there is now no obligatory law against murder. If Condoleeza Rice can hire killers, so can you. Soon, the people will realize that the law has been thrust into their hands, and killing will become commonplace on our streets. That may be happening already.

There is only one way to rectify the condition of lawlessness that our leaders have forced on us, and that is to purge our leaders and prosecute them. Not just Blackwater’s hapless hit-men, but the government officials who hired them. Until Rice, Bush, and the rest are put in the dock, our republic will be an empty promise, and we’ll descend ever further into anarchy and the totalitarian measures that typically accompany it.