William C Bradford is an assistant professor of law at West Point. His opinion of fellow legal scholars, however, is quite low. In fact, he feels that many of them are “treasonous” and should be targeted in the War on Terror.
Bradford has published an “academic paper” in the National Security Law Journal, a publication at the George Mason School of Law. In the article, he outlines some radical ideas to fight Islamic terrorism. Part of his battle plan involves designating dissenting legal scholars — and their schools, offices and places they give interviews — as “lawful targets.”
The war on a noun seems to be an obsession for Bradford. He writes that it should be vigorously pursued no matter the cost. We should target all Islamic holy sites, he says. We should do this “even if it means great destruction.” And civilian collateral damage is cool by him, too.
“Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, [dissenting] scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are – at least in theory – targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism.”
In a nice piece of irony, Bradford has been shown to have exaggerated his military service, causing him to resign from a previous post. His contention that he was an “associate professor of law, national security and strategy, National Defense University” before he started at West Point, appears to be an exaggeration, as well. NDU says he never worked for them, he was just a contractor. One of the things he accuses his targets of is “intellectual dishonesty.” Oh, hypocrisy, is there anywhere you don’t turn up?
The offending legal scholars — a “clique” of 40 or so — are accused of supporting Islamist military operations. Not just them, either; they have “compliant journalists” helping them. Sounds to me like someone wasn’t allowed to play with the popular kids. Sour grapes, much?
In the latest issue of the National Security Law Journal, editor-in-chief Rick Myers shared a message about Bradford’s article with readers. It reads, in part:
“… we want to address concerns regarding Mr. Bradford’s contention that some scholars in legal academia could be considered as constituting a fifth column in the war against terror; his interpretation is that those scholars could be targeted as unlawful combatants. The substance of Mr. Bradford’s article cannot fairly be considered apart from the egregious breach of professional decorum that it exhibits. We cannot ‘unpublish’ it, of course, but we can and do acknowledge that the article was not presentable for publication when we published it, and that we therefore repudiate it with sincere apologies to our readers.”
The article — with the pretentious title: Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column — while listed in the contents of the online magazine, cannot be accessed. Probably the closest thing they can come to “unpublishing” it. Good for them!
William Bradford has no place teaching at any university, let alone the one that grooms future army officers. His sort of thinking is as frightening as the terrorism he wants to fight. Islamic extremists are a threat, there is no disputing this. But advocating destruction and the targeting of those who disagree about how to deal with them is, frankly, un-American. We should welcome all views on how to handle the threat of terrorism. Armageddon should not be our go-to plan.
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