Proposed law: Strip citizenship, then kill them

New citizens sworn in (AFP)

Lawmakers unveiled legislation Thursday to strip Americans thought to have joined extremist groups like Al-Qaeda of their citizenship, saying it would make it easier to try or assassinate them.

“Those who join such groups join our enemy and should no longer be entitled to the rights and privileges of American citizens. That’s the bottom line,” said Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, the measure’s lead author.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to welcome the proposal as regards to naturalized Americans, saying those who sided with terrorists were in violation of their oath of citizenship and vowing to “take a hard look” at the bill.

“Clearly United States citizenship is a privilege, it is not a right,” she said.

Taking on critics who say his proposal goes too far, Lieberman pointed to news reports that President Barack Obama signed an order enabling the US military to kill US citizens like radical US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

“If the president can authorize the killing of a United States citizen because he is fighting for a foreign terrorist organization,” he said, “we can also have a law that allows the US government to revoke Awlaki’s citizenship.”

Lieberman said his proposal would make it harder for US nationals who cast their lot with extremists, and train overseas, to return and carry out an attack. And if they do, it would make it possible to try them in military court.

“They will not enjoy the rights and privileges of American citizenship in the legal proceedings against them. That, I believe, will make America safer,” he said at a press conference with three other lawmakers.

“The US military may have more options to use necessary force to neutralize the threat, such as Anwar al-Awlaki, without the concerns associated with targeting an American citizen,” said Republican Representative Charlie Dent.

“I suspect it’d be easier to launch a Hellfire missile at a non-citizen than a citizen,” said Dent, referring to a weapon sometimes fired from US aerial drones at suspected terrorists.

Though inspired by a botched car bombing last weekend in New York’s Times Square, the new bill would not apply to the Pakistani-American arrested and blamed for the attack, Faisal Shahzad.

“The change in law we are proposing cannot be applied to him, but it certainly can be applied to future people accused of terrorist acts like him,” said Lieberman, who cited Awlaki as one example.

The legislation would amend a 70-year-old law passed at the outset of World War II that empowers the US State Department to strip Americans who fight voluntarily for the armed forces of a country at war with the United States of their citizenship.

Lieberman’s proposal covers Americans caught “providing material support or resources” to a foreign group the US State Department has labeled terrorist, or joining or aiding attacks on the United States or its allies.

Lieberman stressed that his proposal did not alter the original law’s holding that the targeted individual must be shown to have had the intent of relinquishing their US citizenship.

But Dent underlined that “if they want to pursue acts of terror, then they clearly do not want to be a citizen of our nation.”

The new proposal would not strip away safeguards in current law, including an individual’s right to challenge in federal court the US State Department’s decision to strip them of their citizenship, with the burden of proof falling on the government.

“This is about the people who are over there right now, training to come back to hurt us,” said Republican Senator Scott Brown.

“If they’ve been identified through their actions or in specific statements that they no longer want to remain United States citizens, well, by golly, let’s help them,” said Brown.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was sympathetic to the “spirit” of the bill but worried about due process rights and noted that the 1940s had also seen the mass imprisonment of Japanese-Americans.

Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner also expressed skepticism, saying: “If they are a US citizen until they’re convicted of some crime, I don’t know how you would attempt to take their citizenship away.”

Copyright © Agence France Presse

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

25 Responses to "Proposed law: Strip citizenship, then kill them"

  1. bmclellan  May 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Make it apply to the corporate / MIC political whores on the Hill who got us in this mess and I’m all for it.
    Is there any larger act of terrorism than selling out the people and the oath of office who you were elected to represent ?

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  May 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

      Bryan,

      I agree with all that you posted. However, the common every day blow’em up/deceptive wars form of radical terrorism from any source is the least of our problems.

      Just caught a headline that the Senate just voted to continue to protect Wall St. We’re beyond the point of no return as far as our political system representing this nation’s best interest and welfare.

      I don’t think people realize that there is $450 TRILLION in credit swap and other hedge derivatives created by the top five investment and banking institutions. In other words, the world is tettering on a whole new paradigm of government – Corporate relationships. This is terrorism at its best. It can’t get anymore profound.

      • bmclellan  May 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

        Yep, can’t convict the ones guilty of of the very act, if they make the law.

    • Jeffery Haas  May 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      A special law JUST for Al-Qaeda?
      I was under the impression that treason and sedition already addressed this.

  2. Jim  May 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I am for this, if as “bmclellan” as so stated, there are more than one way to bring acts of terrorism on this nation than just blowing up something. The “whores” who sit in Congress have brought more terrorism on this country than the “radicals”, Corporations do not honor or even care for the safety of the United States, all they care about is the “bottom line”.

    “if they want to pursue acts of terror, then they clearly do not want to be a citizen of our nation.”———This could be paraphrase thus, “if a corporation wants to pursue moving offshore, then they clearly do not deserve the right to do business in our nation”. If a politician “pursue” donations from a lobbyist, then that politician certainly does have the interest of this country at heart and he or she should be stripped of their citizenship.

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  May 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

      Jim,

      Sorry, looks like we are of alike minds and I posted a much related opinion to your about the same time you posted. Didn’t mean to step on your post.

  3. Ross Wolf  May 7, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Who is Behind Sen. Joe Lieberman’s Proposed Fascist Legislation?

    Sen. Joe Lieberman has already endorsed McCain’s March 4th bill S.3081 that would strip Americans of Habeas corpus: Under the McCain bill, U.S. Government would need only designate an American Citizen was an “Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent” suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or U.S. civilians to cause their indefinite detention in military custody, without right to an attorney or trial.

    Joe Lieberman’s proposed bill would make it easy to strip Americans of their Citizenship and hold them as “Unprivileged Enemy Belligerents” as U.S. Government would only have to show a U.S. Citizen or group had slight-interaction with a foreign group that touched a terrorist organization, for example Irish Americans living on the east coast of the United States contacting their alleged IRA relatives in Northern Ireland. Since many political groups intersect, even unknowingly with alleged terrorists, Lieberman’s bill would make it possible for a U.S. Government administration to do large sweeps of U.S. Citizens denying Americans Habeas corpus, to try them in military tribunals. One might want to ask who put Lieberman up to introducing this fascist bill that favors Israel. It should be noted Joe Lieberman’s June 4th endorsement of McCain’s bill S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010” strips Americans of Habeas corpus; there appears to be a pattern here between McCain and Lieberman legislation. McCain’s bill S.3081 would eliminate several Constitutional protections allowing Government to arbitrarily pick up Americans on mere suspicion—with no probable cause. Your political opinions and statements made against U.S. Government could be used by Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. S.3081 is so broadly written innocent anti-war protesters and Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations; Government could charge that attending demonstrations “materially supported hostilities.”
    McCain’s legislation S.3081 could like Lieberman’s proposed bill be used by a corrupt U.S. government administration to crush anyone that dared question government. Under McCain’s S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government would have the power to detain and interrogate any individual including Americans without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States; its coalition partners; or against U.S. civilians. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

    At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use “mere suspicion” to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney. It is problematic under McCain’s S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.

    S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.” The “supporting hostilities” provisions in S.3081 are so broad Government could use “suspicion” to detain U.S. corporate executives on the premise their corporations “supported hostilities” by providing goods or services to a nation engaged in hostilities against the United States.

    (Make Your Own Determination If The Analysis Herein Is Correct) See McCain’s 12-page Senate bill S.3081 at:
    assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf

  4. Guardhouse lawyer  May 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

    The Fourteenth amendment says in pertinent part:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    It does NOT say all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, except persons who have committed crimes of this or that sort, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

    The qualifications for citizen are set forth in the Constitution and Congress can’t change those qualifications. A person must relinquish his citizenship.

    At Title 8, United States Code, section 1481 you will find:

    “A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality. . ..”

    Notice the operative words “voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality.”

    That’s there for a reason. The citizen must do something to relinquish citizenship (nationality). Cancellation or revocation is not an option on the part of the United States in the absence of an action “with intention” on the part of the citizen.

    Why is that there? Why is the 14th Amendment there? Simple, really. It’s there to protect YOU from being arbitrarily stripped of citizenship by a bureaucrat gone amok. Or by a tyrant gone amok.

    By the way, the remainder of Section 1481 sets forth the things that will get you stripped of your citizenship. And they pretty well include the things that Lieberman et al. want to include. Perusal of 1481 and the criminal codes to which it refers are quite enlightening.

    See subsection 7, for the main example of what will get you stripped of citizenship:

    (7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

    Note particularly the provisions of Title 18, United States Code, section 2385, with respect to advocating the overthrow of the Government. You can find it here:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002385—-000-.html

    “Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State” shall be guilty of a crime. And that crime is one which can result in stripping of citizenship. BUT remember that in order for 8 USC 1481 to be invoked, you must “voluntarily perform. . . (CERTAIN) acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality.”

    There must be a finding of intention. Conviction under a law is not conclusive with regard to stripping of citizenship. There must be a finding of intention under 8 USC 1481.

    I am particularly unimpressed by SecState Clinton, who is quoted as saying that citizenship is a privilege, not a right. That is just so not correct. Citizenship is a right. A right which only the citizen, by some voluntary act, can relinquish. She’s an attorney. She should damned well know better.

    • Jim  May 7, 2010 at 10:03 am

      “A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality. . ..”

      If a person doesn’t realize that our elected officials have “relinquished” our nation, then that person surely must be living in a dream world. Our elected officials, our corporations, which were built on the backs of hard working people, have all “relinquished” our country to foreign interests and with the attitude, “to the hell with the citizens of the United States.

    • Almandine  May 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

      Yep…

      still a nation of laws, not mobs.

    • AustinRanter (AKA Gregg)  May 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

      In a nutshell from a Constitutional Framework:

      “The rights of both citizens and non-citizens are protected by the US Constitution. However, there are some rights specifically reserved for citizens, such as the right to a Federal job and to vote.

      In actuality, The Constitution doesn’t apply to “citizens,” nor does it even apply to “people.” It applies to the government. It tells the government what it can and can’t do (the body tells the government what it can do, and the Bill of Rights tells it what it can’t do).

      Immigration rules are administrative ones, and are mandated by Congress, not the courts.”

  5. Jim  May 7, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Correction————- “then that politician certainly does have the interest of this country at heart and he or she should be stripped of their citizenship.”

    Insert the word “not” —–”then that politician certainly does NOT have the interest of this country at heart………………………………”

    No problem Austin!!!!

  6. Carl Nemo  May 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    What I find fascinating is the push for the stripping of citizenship is issued from the mouths of two certified traitors in high places; ie., Mr. “dual citizenship” Lieberman and Senator Clinton, both instrumental 24/7/365 with pushing agenda’s that threaten the security, guaranteed freedoms and well-being of citizens of the United States of America. They are both globalists to the core with America’s interests being last to none …! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Guardhouse lawyer  May 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      “certified”? By whom? Last time I checked only a court of competent jurisdiction could “certify” someone as a traitor. Did I miss a trial or two? Hell, I didn’t even see the flipping indictment!

      “pushing agenda’s”? What agendas?

      • Carl Nemo  May 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm

        “Did I miss a trial or two?” …extract from post

        Yep, good buddy?, you’ve seemingly missed quite a bit when it comes to what’s happening while you’ve been in stir. You conduct yourself more like a “jailhouse lawyer”; ie., a pain in the ASS in caps.

        Evidently you haven’t kept up with the quasi-traitorous antics of the Clintons or Rabbi Lieberman over the years. Yep, these two are true friends of the Republic and the citizenry at large.

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Almandine  May 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm

          That’d be an outhouse prosecutor.

        • Guardhouse lawyer  May 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm

          There you go again. I ask a question and all you can do is belittle the questioner. Because you cannot answer the question, perhaps?

          OH! OH! He asked me for proof. I must call him a pain in the ASS. That will make people think I just choose not to answer him when I really cannot. Personal attacks make up for spouting bulls–t.

          But I can make people overlook the BS. Just scream and call names.

          Sheesh.

          • Carl Nemo  May 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm

            Oy vey…! :))

            Nemo **==

      • Almandine  May 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm

        Now here we have a prime example of the lawyer (wannabe?) on patrol, rhetorically, without regard to substance… berating a post that in complete measure reaffirms the points made by said lawyer above… i.e., politicians are maneuvering for advantage instead of following the constitution.

        Go ahead, spew some more…

        • Guardhouse lawyer  May 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

          Oh, my. Another one. without substance? spew some more3.

          When it comes to lack of substance and spewing, I cannot hold a candle to you and your ilk.

          I posted a reasoned, researched, and referenced post and what I got back was crap about certified traitors?

          It would be funny if it were not so ludicrous.

          • Carl Nemo  May 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm

            Yo G-lawyer,

            I meant to compliment on your fine “cut and paste” job concerning the 14th Amendment along with your j-lawyerly analysis…NOT! / : |

            The bruthas are waitin’ for you down in the yard. They be lookin’ for some axion.. : D

            Nemo **==

          • Almandine  May 8, 2010 at 8:07 am

            What I find ludicrous, and the basis of my comment is your internally-inconsistent, diametrically-opposed, rhetoric, i.e, the lawyering up of your positions. Or as my attorney once told the opposition… “you don’t have to explain it to me, cause we were both trained to take either side of this argument.”

            In this case I’ll harken to your posts on immigration over the last few days or so, where the rule of law was anathema to reason, insofar as your opinion was concerned, and then here we are – you throwing legalities as if they were your raison d’etre.

            That shows me mere process, not substance… mere argument for argument’s sake… which I alluded to in my first post above, which was both in agreement with your position in this thread and a continuation of my position against your statutes-be-damned mob rule attitude regarding illegal immigration in another thread.

            As for traitors, Carl’s not the only one with that opinion of Lieberman and Clinton… and, in fact, it would seem that since you take the constitutional argument you have here, in opposition to the proposal made and endorsed by those very two (sworn to uphold it) , you would have essentially the same attitude about them yourself, perhaps leaving “certified” aside.

            It’s hard to find the substance in arguments that shape shift so fast.

      • Almandine  May 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

        Agenda? Read Ross Wolf above.

  7. b mcclellan  May 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I’ve one question,
    my country tis of thee,

    Wherein lies the argument ?

    What Al said in spades..

  8. eve  May 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

    How can Joe Lieberman propose a bill that would strip American citizens of their rights when he himself holds “dual-citizenship” with a foreign country?
    How much does his American citizenship mean to him?

Comments are closed.