Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Time for a "Do Not Kill" list?

In the wake of US citizen and al-Qaeda booster al-Awlaki's killing by drone, some have raised alarm about further targeted killings of US citizens (including Glenn Greenwald and my close, personal friend, Bob Murphy). And indeed, Reuters is now reporting that there are secret CIA kill lists of US citizens not subject to judicial reivew.

At this point, many people are wondering if they can have themselves removed from such a list (like al-Awlaki's father unsuccessfully tried to do). Well, a thought occurred to me: we have the Do Not Call list, right? Why not a "Do Not Kill List" so that you can let your government know you want to opt out of its targeted killing program, and would prefer, in the case of suspicion of capital crimes, you be given a public trial instead, and then only killed if found guilty or something.

Since no one else seems to have started this yet, I figured I'd give it a go. Personally, I want to opt out of being killed (I'm a big fan of trials), so I'll be first on the list. While I'm not sure about the legal niceties, I don't want my family killed either (though it depends on the day in the case of my brother ...), so I'm going to add them to the list too. Here's the Do Not Kill List as it stands now:

Do Not Kill List (opt-out for CIA targeted killing program)

1. Silas Barta
2. Silas Barta's family
3. John Salvatier (aka jsalvati), added 10/11/11
4. Robert P. Murphy (yes, this RPM), added 10/11/11 (woo-hoo! up to six people on the list!)
5. Aurini's family, added 10/12/11
6. commenter "Rob", added 10/16/11
7. Jayson Virissimo, added 10/16/11
8. Matthew Graves
9. Joseph Fetz
10. Doctor Squirrel
11. Carlos M. Rivera, added 11/8/11

Doesn't take a lot of memory to store as of this moment. I'm thinking of expanding it in the future so that it has more specific identification of persons -- say, pairing a given person with their Social Security number and/or email so that you won't have some goofy "Sarah Connor/Terminator 1" moment where you kill the wrong person because they have the same name. (Don't worry, the entries will be hashed to prevent abuse.)

Please contact me, either by email or in the comments, if you want to be on the list.

UPDATE: An FAQ on this is now up.


jsalvati said...

Sign me up. I really appreciate the government trying to save me bureaucratic hassle by making 'no trial', but I enjoy the pomp of trials.

Silas Barta said...

You got it, John! (Incidentally, I was going to PM you on LW about this, since you're one of the people I don't want killed, but I figured it would look like spamming if I went through the whole list.)

Totally agree with you about trials! They're really neat, plus, if there's no evidence, I heard they have to let you go (sometimes).

See if anyone in your family or your circle of friends wants to not be killed.

Aurini said...

Would you mind tossing "Aurini's Family" on there? Leave me off, though - I've never had the chance to scrap with a robot before.

Silas Barta said...

You got it, Aurini! Let me know about anyone else you think might not want to be killed by a drone in secret!

Rob said...

I'd also like not to be killed please.

Is there an option for that to amended to "please kill" if Paul Krugman becomes Treasury Secretary ?

Silas Barta said...

Now, now, Rob, no matter what past crimes someone may be guilty of, they deserve a trial and thus a position on the Do Not Kill list. I'll add you, but I don't think "Rob" is specific enough for anyone to actually use.

Rob said...

To clarify: I am not suggesting Krugman be targeted - I was suggesting my own name go on a "please kill" list at that point :)

zee788 said...

dude, this is the most hilarious thing ever

Tel said...

I'm not a US citizen so I won't bother putting myself or my family on the list... I know the deal.

I would like to see Paul Krugman on the "do not kill" list because it's only right that he should stand trial.

John said...

I'd rather just go straight to the chopping block than go through the whole mockery, humiliation, and impotence of a show trial. Put me on the please kill without warning list.

Doctor Squirrel said...

Please add the pseudonym 'Doctor Squirrel' to your list. Don't ask, just add it. Obama and the CIA will know who it is.

CarlosMRivera said...

Please put me on DO NOT KILL LIST Carlos M Rivera hollywood FL. I am being threatened daily at my Job with serious bodily harm by law enforcement. Somehow i became accused of crimes i did not commit, But i never have been given an opportunity to give my side only threats and harrasment.Its really bad now and co-workers are saying I am going to get hurt soon. Trial for me please!

gcallah said...


Silas Barta said...

Yes, I owe you an intellectual debt on this one, I think, Gene.

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