On Monday, NBC published a Department of Justice memo that lays out the Obama administration’s framework for determining when it’s lawful for President Obama to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen.
Basically, the president can assassinate you if “an informed, high-level” administration official has determined that (1) you are a senior figure in either al-Qaida or “an associated force”; (2) you pose a threat to the United States; and (3) capturing you wouldn’t be feasible. The memo goes on to explain that the president can order your assassination without “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”
Below are some tips for how to decrease your odds of being assassinated by President Obama.
1.) Don’t be accused of terrorism
This is easier said than done. The federal government has a track record of falsely accusing people of terrorism.
Because due process isn’t necessarily extended to accused terrorists, it’s important not to be accused of terrorism in the first place. We recommend the following precautions: steer clear of mosques; make sure your fingerprints don’t match those of actual terrorists (and if they do, consider having them surgically altered); don’t annoy flight attendants; don’t operate websites that terrorists might post on; don’t wear a keffiyeh; and don’t travel to the Middle East or South Asia unless doing so is absolutely necessary.
2.) Make sure you’re always somewhere where you can easily be captured
One of the vaguest parts of the DOJ memo is the passage about when it’s feasible to capture a suspect. After discussing various relevant factors, the memo simply notes that “feasibility would be a highly fact-specific and potentially time-sensitive inquiry.”
The key here is to avoid remote areas. If you’re traveling in a foreign country, stay at brand-name hotels in major cities or near major highways. Marriott and Hyatt hotels are often surprisingly affordable, especially if you travel during off-peak seasons. Avoid countries with underdeveloped infrastructure that could make it difficult or time-consuming for authorities to reach you. Also, consider the number of flights in and out of the city or area you’re visiting. The busiest commercial airports outside of the U.S. are in Beijing, London and Tokyo.
3.) Avoid visiting Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen altogether
President Obama has already accidentally assassinated at least one U.S. citizen: Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a Denver teenager who was living in Yemen. At the time Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s then-spokesman, explained that it was al-Awlaki’s father’s fault for taking his son to a country that is a frequent target of U.S. drone strikes. Don’t make the same mistake.
4.) If you are a terrorist, don’t get promoted
It’s unclear whether President Obama can assassinate low-level or mid-level terrorists, but he can definitely assassinate senior-level ones. So if you’re a mid-level terrorist, tell your boss that you’re comfortable with your current responsibilities and aren’t interested in a promotion.
Peter Tucci is an editor at The Daily Caller.