Rick Santorum: Full-Spectrum State Terrorist

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Rick Santorum has built his presidential campaign (such as it is) around his incontinent desire for war with Iran. It’s not surprising, therefore, that he has openly endorsed a campaign of state terrorism against Iran, in the form of targeted assassinations — while condemning the Iranian government for allegedly scheming to do the same thing against the U.S.

During a recent visit to New Hampshire, Santorum cited a supposed plot by Iranian agents to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington as justification for bellicosity toward Iran. That “plot” was actually an FBI provocation op that targeted an Iranian-American of dubious background, insignificant means, and even more modest cerebral endowment.

Even more recently, however, Santorum endorsed assassination as an instrument of policy when employed by the U.S. government.

“On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead,” he explained, broadly intimating that the U.S. government was responsible. “I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly….I think we should send a very clear message that if you are scientist from Russia or North Korea or from Iran, and you are going to work on a nuclear program to develop a nuclear bomb for Iran, you are not safe.”

As Business Insider points out, Santorum’s comments could create diplomatic and strategic problems for Washington:

Santorum offers these comments while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Pyongyang conducting diplomatic talks with North Korea. Panetta is trying to bring North Korea back to its former commitment to disarmament in exchange for foreign aid and the negotiation has been difficult.

Here is hoping that Rick Santorum’s comments don’t get Leon Panetta kidnapped.

Santorum, who is regarded by some misguided conservatives as a champion of the pro-life cause, warned those who doubt that the U.S. government would assassinate civilian scientists should take heed to the way it treats American citizens designated enemies of the State:

“When people say, `You can’t go out and assassinate people’ — well, tell that to al-Awlaki….We’ve done it. We’ve done it to an American citizen.”

Actually, the Obama administration not only assassinated U.S.-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki — who was never charged with a crime of any kind, let alone convicted and sentenced by a court — but also al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Adbdulram al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen while he was having dinner with a cousin (who also perished).

The Obama administration circulated the story that the 16-year-old was actually an adult “suspected” of being a “militant,” thereby redefining the killing as a strategic success. But the family was able to document that the youngster — who had gone to Yemen in a frantic search for his father, known to be on a U.S. assassination list — was born in Colorado in 1995.

Behavior of this kind is generally associated with the likes of Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-Il. Proponents of an aggressive foreign policy often characterize the regimes ruling countries such as Iran, Syria, and North Korea as despotisms that routinely “murder their own citizens,” and thus pose a threat to the peace of the world. Yet Rick Santorum — who yields to nobody in his zeal to wage war against distant and relatively powerless regimes — openly celebrates the summary execution of U.S. citizens, and describes it as a model for similar “wet work” operations against citizens of other countries.

What Santorum is endorsing is undisguised state terrorism — and nobody would be immune.

2:30 pm on October 28, 2011
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