Rumor: Obama sending 'death squads' after gun rights advocates

The latest right-wing conspiracy involves a supposed Russian memo and teams of elite killers

UNCONFIRMED: President Obama has ordered 'death squads' to kill gun rights supporters

The deaths of two gun rights supporters have sparked a new conspiracy theory on conservative blogs like Liberty.com and Tennessee Sons of Liberty alleging that President Barack Obama is sending "death squads" to exterminate gun rights supporters as he prepares to confiscate firearms on a nationwide scale.

'Russian memo'

At the center of the grim conspiracy theory is a supposed "Russian memo" that is said to have been prepared for President Vladimir Putin a memo one blog admits it doesn't know how to read because it's written in Russian.

From Liberty.com: "A grim Federal Security Forces (FSB) 'urgent action' memorandum prepared for President Putin is warning that United States President Barack Obama has ordered at least 800 highly trained 'death squad' units to disperse throughout his country in preparation for what Russian intelligence analysts are predicting to be a series of high-profile killings of dissident Americans set to begin as soon as February 22nd."

Two deaths

Both websites mention the deaths of gun manufacturer John Noveske, who was killed in early January after Oregon State Police say his car failed to negotiate a turn, struck a boulder and ejected Noveske, who was not wearing a seatbelt; as well as Keith Ratliff, who helped to run the enormously popular gun demonstration YouTube channel FPSRussia and was found murdered with a single gunshot wound to the head. Noveske's death has been ruled an accident, while no one has been arrested yet for Ratliff's death and a flood of different conspiracy theories have formed because of it.

Drone paper plays into conspiracy

The recent leak of a memo detailing Obama's policies on drone warfare and the targeted killing of suspected terrorists has played into the latest conspiracy theories. Under the memo dubbed the "white paper" the president outlines legal justifications for killing alleged terrorists, including American citizens, overseas without having ever charged, tried or convicted them of a crime. The memos have been greeted with scorn from numerous groups and individuals who worry such unchecked power is both unconstitutional and immoral. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has argued that such policies are necessary for keeping the country safe.

Whether the president's drone policy has any connection to a "murderous plan against his own citizens" as alleged by certain right-wing websites appears to be tenuous at best, and the conspiracy theories have yet to be echoed by any mainstream outlets.

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