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Joe Lieberman One-Ups John McCain: Let’s Strip Them Of Their Citizenship

Joe Lieberman got on the air yesterday and basically took John McCain’s ignore the Fifth Amendment idea one step further:

In fact, he’s even got a bill ready:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks he’s found a work-around on the whole Miranda rights debate for U.S. citizens accused of terrorism: Strip their citizenship and ship them to Guantanamo.

Lieberman plans to introduce a bill that would amend a decades-old law aimed at yanking citizenship from U.S. citizens who fight for a foreign military.

“I’m now putting together legislation to amend that to [specify that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights,” Lieberman said Tuesday.

Such a law would potentially cover terror suspect Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born American citizen charged in connection with the attempted car bombing in New York City’s Times Square. He was apprehended Monday night at the city’s John F. Kennedy airport after he boarded a flight to Dubai.

“If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States and trying to kill Americans, I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship,” Lieberman said.

Think about the implications of what Lieberman is proposing. If you’re merely accused of being part of a “terrorist group,” however that might be defined, you’ll be subject to losing your citizenship rights.

Radley Balko explains clearly just what that means:

[I]f we had been governed by the wisdom of one Joe Lieberman over the last 15 years, Richard Jewell and Steven Hatfill—both innocent and both U.S. citizens accused of terrorism-related crimes—may well have been stripped of their citizenship, treated as enemy combatants, and left to rot on some Navy ship off the coast of South Carolina.

And let’s not forget all of those other stories we’ve read in the last few years about pranksters getting cited for “terroristic” crimes. Just dispense with their trials, already. Lock ‘em up. Hey, while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and add drug crimes to the list of accusations that will strip you of your citizenship. After all, Ronald Regan’s 1984 declaration that illicit drugs are a “threat to national security” has never really been revoked, and the ONDCP regularly informs us that pot smokers are supporting terrorism.

A flubbed attack that didn’t hurt anyone and two United States Senators are ready to send the Constitution down the memory hole.

God help us if there’s ever another successful attack in this country.

8 Responses to “Joe Lieberman One-Ups John McCain: Let’s Strip Them Of Their Citizenship”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Haven’t the Tea Party protesters been called terrorists as well?

  2. chris says:

    How about similar legislation for Israeli “first-ers”? Especially those who fight for a foreign military.

  3. Robert in SF says:

    Jonathan: could you source that claim please? I can’t recall any serious, legitimate claims that the Tea Partiers are terrorists. If you don’t have any sources for that, then please stop trolling.

    As for the “citizen’s rights”, I am confused. I am not a lawyer, but I thought criminal prosecution of *persons* charged in the US for breaking US laws were given rights under the Constitution, not just US citizens…maybe I am wrong, as all I can source, for instance, is the literal wording in the Constitution, the 5th amendment:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    It uses the term person, not citizen. Citizen, as a term, is used several times earlier in the body of the Constitution, so they had that term to use, if they wanted.

    Maybe I am wrong, so someone please let me know what I missed in court decisions interpreting the Constitution on this matter. It all blends together for me sometime and I forget previous topics.

  4. tfr says:

    It’s simple Robert. Our masters find the constitution inconvenient, so they’re looking for any way around it that won’t cause a fuss. Don’t want to get people excited, they might think they have rights or something.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Robert: James Clyburn, Representative in South Carolina. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQIXlDMdstk Paraphrased: Any congressman who opposes health care is aiding and abetting terrorism (protests).

  6. DaveFP says:

    God help us all. My body literally goes cold when I listen to them.

  7. [...] to abiding by the Fifth Amendment. Then, Joe Lieberman decided it was a good idea to threaten to strip U.S. Citizenship from people merely accused of a crime. Now, Lindsay Graham has joined the crowd: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wants to allow the [...]

  8. Ross Wolf says:

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

    Sen. Joe Lieberman has already endorsed McCain’s June 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

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