It was recently reported that the Pentagon has changed their suggested code of conduct in times of war, in a way that allows them to persecute journalists. The “law of war” is an instruction book released by the Pentagon, explaining how enemy targets should be killed and imprisoned.
The book is 1,176-pages long and is officially known as “Department of Defense Law of War Manual.” In the manual various methods of murder including shooting, bombing and stabbing are listed as acceptable ways of dealing with an enemy, although chemical and biological agents are strictly forbidden.
One of the most concerning updates to the manual, includes the grouping of journalists with terrorists, allowing the government bring actions against them that would not typically be considered normal.
“In general, journalists are civilians. However, journalists may be members of the armed forces, persons authorized to accompany the armed forces, or unprivileged belligerents,” the manual says.
While the wording is vague experts have warned that this could be potentially dangerous for journalists who speak out against the dominant government narrative.
Professor of Journalism at Georgetown Chris Chambers recently told RT that “It gives them license to attack or even murder journalists that they don’t particularly like but aren’t on the other side.”
Chambers explained that this new wording could contradict the Geneva Convention, and change journalists from civilians to possible enemy targets.
“The Geneva Convention, other tenets of international law, and even United States law – federal courts have spoken on this – doesn’t have this thing on ‘unprivileged belligerents’,” he said.
The manual also gives the military total permission to use drones as they wish, stating that there is “no prohibition in the law of war on the use of remotely piloted aircraft.”
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
This article (Pentagon Changes “Laws Of War” To Declare Journalists Enemy Targets) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.