Joe Lieberman's Fascist Solution To Terrorism

Holy Joe:

Joe Lieberman has a creative solution: Take away their citizenship. "If you've joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States and trying to kill Americans, I think you should sacrifice your rights of citizenship," Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, told reporters Tuesday.

[. . .] Lieberman said that the revocation of citizenship would not be automatic and there would be a right to go to court and to appeal the decision.

What is amazing about Lieberman' fascist proposal is that it will not work even on Lieberman's terms. Presumably, to strip a "suspected terrorist" of his citizenship, you'll have to prove in a court of law that the suspected terrorist is actually a, you know, terrorist. And in proving it, you'll have to respect the Constitution, which sort of defeats the purpose of Lieberman's proposal. Not only is Lieberman a despicable human being, he is really as dumb as a rock. He and McCain are truly two of the stupidest people in Washington, which is saying a lot.

For the record, it seems that Lieberman is referring to this provision. The problem for Lieberman is this part:

Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not done voluntarily.

Speaking for me only

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    You've just insulted rocks, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Zorba on Tue May 04, 2010 at 07:26:33 PM EST
    They're much smarter than Lieberman.  ;-)

    On the other hand ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Peter G on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:26:35 PM EST
    I'll bet some federal agent is scrutinizing Faisal Shahzad's application for naturalization right now, looking for some paperwork error or false statements, so that his year-old citizenship can be taken away (a process called "denaturalization") for fraud.  A natural-born citizen is not subject to denaturalization, but it can happen to someone who applies for and is granted naturalization -- as quite a few former concentration camp guards learned many years later, who had failed to disclose their wartime activities candidly when they applied for US citizenship after WWII.  In fact there are even a few grounds on which natural born citizens can lose their US citizenship, although these have been narrowly construed by the Supreme Court.

    Ironic twist (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:29:55 PM EST
    sometimes you can not renounce your citzenship even when you want to:

    In the case of Colon v. U.S. Department of State , 2 F.Supp.2d 43 (1998), plaintiff was a United States citizen and resident of Puerto Rico, who executed an oath of renunciation before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Colon's petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Secretary of State to approve a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in the case because the plaintiff wanted to retain one of the primary benefits of U.S. citizenship while claiming he was not a U.S. citizen. The Court described the plaintiff as a person, "claiming to renounce all rights and privileges of United States citizenship, [while] Plaintiff wants to continue to exercise one of the fundamental rights of citizenship, namely to travel freely throughout the world and when he wants to, return and reside in the United States." See also Jose Fufi Santori v. United States of America , 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 16299 (1994) for a similar case.

    A person who wants to renounce U.S. citizenship cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship, as this would be logically inconsistent with the concept of renunciation. Thus, such a person can be said to lack a full understanding of renouncing citizenship and/or lack the necessary intent to renounce citizenship, and the Department of State will not approve a loss of citizenship in such instances.


    Just fine with me (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:48:55 PM EST
    Oh, I certainly agree, Andy (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Peter G on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:07:13 PM EST
    Neither renunciation of citizenship (which BTD refers to) nor punitive loss of citizenship (which I was focusing on) should be easy to achieve.  Both should (and thanks to the Supreme Court, do) require a fully-informed, specific intent to lose one's citizenship -- which for the native born in particular is (as lawyers used to say) a right, not a privilege.  If anything, the burden of proof established in Vance v. Terrazas (preponderance of evidence, rather than "clear and convincing") is too low, as Justices Marshall and Stevens wrote in dissent.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:12:15 PM EST
    I actually didn't know that the consular presumption against renunciation was merely a Clinton Administration policy. I thought it was court imposed law.

    What specific rights (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Makarov on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:06:31 PM EST
    other than voting does citizenship entail these days?

    I mean, the current administration argues that you can be detained indefinitely without trial, be put on trial with evidence acquired by torture and coercion, and be assassinated outright if the President says so.

    So, what's left?

    jury service and (none / 0) (#31)
    by Peter G on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:36:04 PM EST
    the right to run for public office are two that come to mind, and most important, the right to enter and leave the United States without government permission.

    Right to Health Care. Oh, I'm sorry. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dan the Man on Wed May 05, 2010 at 12:35:33 AM EST
    I meant citizens are MANDATED to buy health insurance.  Is the citizen the President's trying to kill required to buy health insurance also?

    A right to buy a gun (none / 0) (#38)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 05, 2010 at 07:17:56 AM EST
    The gun lobby in the U.S. is so strong that even if you are on the FBI's Terrorist Watchlist you can legally buy guns and explosives.

    Current federal law specifies only a limited number of reasons the government can cite to block the purchase of guns or explosives -- and being in the FBI's database of those "known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity" isn't one of them.

    Despite what would appear to be an easy vote, members of Congress, at least in part due to fear of the gun lobby, have consistently bucked requests from both the Bush and Obama administrations to close what Bloomberg calls the "terror gap." link

    Now, just because (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:31:00 AM EST
    someone is on the terrorist watch list doesn't mean the government should strip him of citizenship and the rights thereof.

    And yes.. snark snark.


    Protected by 2nd Amendment? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dan the Man on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:43:21 AM EST
    Since the alleged perpetrator is a US citizen, he's certainly protected by the 2nd amendment.  And since he hadn't been convicted of a crime, his 2nd amendment rights can't be restricted.  Does the FBI's "suspicion" of being a terrorist give them this power?  Since there are no "due process" constraints on the FBI's "suspicions" (ie it cannot be challenged in court), giving the FBI the power would mean the FBI could take away the 2nd amendment rights of anyone they want to without any constraints whatsoever.  This is constitutionally questionable, at best.

    All kinds of (none / 0) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:25:47 AM EST
    constitutional rights and protections have been denied citizens not convicted of a crime. Case in point, the "kill or capture" order on an American citizen without the benefit of "due process".

    The only constitutional right that is safe is the right to purchase weapons or explosives. Seems that everything else is on the table.  


    Dumber than Duncan Hunter. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 07:17:52 PM EST
    Jr.  Or Coburn?  Or are they all just actors?

    Dumb as a rock is kind. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Maryb2004 on Tue May 04, 2010 at 07:23:05 PM EST
    what. an. idiot.

    Gail Collins says that he always has been (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:09:01 PM EST
    How can you sacrifice your rights of citizenship? (none / 0) (#4)
    by mexboy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:01:11 PM EST
    So these people would have no country anymore?
    What would be the next crime that would take your citizenship away and where does it stop?
    Stupid, stupid, stooopid!

    Well, one way is to (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:25:07 AM EST
    take up arms against the US.

    Another is to join a foreign army and swear allegiance to a foreign government.

    May be others but those two should get you started.


    You may want to have a read (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2010 at 09:16:14 AM EST
    of Vietnam Vet jimstaro's diary about such things.  And you may want to also listen to retired Gen. Paul Eaton too on this, a link to his interview with Olberman is in the diary.  You respect military service and soldier opinion, and these are some soldiers opinions.

    Well, (none / 0) (#5)
    by bocajeff on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:07:07 PM EST
    If I read the article correctly, some people can be stripped of their citizenship by taking up arms against the U.S. Am I wrong in that reading? If not, how is this really all that different?

    Having to prove it (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:07:56 PM EST
    seems to be the difference Lieberman is proposing.

    "fascist" (none / 0) (#8)
    by diogenes on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:11:29 PM EST
    Amazing.  You've preempted Godwin's law, which usually applies in comments sections, by putting it in the title itself.
    What exactly is the qualitative difference between "taking up arms against the US" and "being adjudicated a terrorist"?

    I guess the part about (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:14:21 PM EST
    having the revocation occur by mere accusation of the government, without due process, seemed the fascist part to me.

    But I have come to realize that that whole due process thing is not very important to some of you.


    More than a few (none / 0) (#29)
    by Rojas on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:15:31 PM EST
    so-called centrists running around here..

    I personally don't think (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:19:10 PM EST
    such thought processes are "centrist" at all.  IMO they are extremist.

    When it comes to the BOR (none / 0) (#32)
    by Rojas on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:42:13 PM EST
    the center has been extremely indifferent the last few decades.

    That's true (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:47:27 PM EST
    I suppose it is safe to say that when one can "afford" to be centrist, it is likely we can choose to be indifferent.

    I wanna say something witty and ironic (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:13:22 PM EST
    about how Lieberman, reportedly a deeply observant Jew who (IIRC) wouldn't even campaign for VP on Sabbath, has now proposed government act in ways most similar to the folks who perpetrated a Holocaust on his co-religionists.  All he has to do is propose making Muslims wear ... hmmm ... green crescents ... on their outer clothes and'we'd be pretty close to there.

    But, I'd probably get in trouble for it, so I won't.

    As to McSame let's face it, folks: this guy is a walking advertisement for either (A) the long-term deleterious effects of torture on the mental health of its victims, (B) the early stages of Alzheimers' (or, as my dad calls it "Old-timers"), or both.  Saint John McSame is into a full-on dodder and simultaneously trying to rehabilitate his record among the uber-wingnuts of Arizona sufficient to win a primary being run from his right.  He should shut up and go home while he still has a few shreds of his former honor, such as it was, left.  But his ego won't let him.

    They should both shut up and crawl back under their rocks.  They've both done far more than enough damage.

    If a US citizen with a (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:13:53 PM EST
    A felony conviction may be deprived by state kaw of the righjt to vote, why woukd the federal government not be permitted to deprivr a citizen convictrd of terrorist charges against US have power to deprive of citizenship?  

    "Convicted of" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:16:49 PM EST
    being the point.

    You want to revoke the citizenship of someone convicted of terrorism? Seems rather pointless to me.

    But I have no problem with that.

    My point is that Lieberman;s proposal, certainly read the way you suggest, is stupid as a tool for fighting terrorism.

    But I am pretty sure Lieberman is not proposing to wait for conviction.


    so amend it, then (none / 0) (#46)
    by diogenes on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:32:45 AM EST
    Easy enough to require a conviction of terrorism to strip citizenship.  

    Um (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed May 05, 2010 at 10:39:41 AM EST
    I am pretty sure you really so not need to amend anything for THAT.

    Lieberman has a different goal. See my latest post.


    Actually, it would require an amendment (none / 0) (#48)
    by Peter G on Wed May 05, 2010 at 11:10:13 AM EST
    of 8 U.S.C. sec 1481, BTD, linked in my comment at #14.  And even then, unless the Supreme Court changes 50+ years of precedent (not impossible, for sure), again as linked at #14, a conviction could not automatically cause a loss of citizenship -- the defendant's knowing and specific intent to abandon U.S. nationality would be required to be proven.  The present statute authorizes deprivation of citizenship only on account of a conviction of treason, which does at least implicate that intent.  Given some of the malleable definitions of "terrorism" at play out there, I would not support such an amendment.

    They also have in common (none / 0) (#13)
    by ruffian on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:25:47 PM EST
    a pathological need to be in front of a camera and treated as very serious people.

    They will say anything.

    But it is so much fun (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:27:33 PM EST
    to be blindly visceral and completely lose sight of being effective and successful.  Effective and successful government is so, so, so, liberal progressive.......ewwww

    What would the point of revoking (none / 0) (#19)
    by me only on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:50:31 PM EST
    citizenship?  I might not be correct, but I thought Miranda applied to anyone arrested in the US, not just to citizens.  Do illegal aliens not have Miranda protection?

    So far as I know they do (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:58:14 PM EST
    Holy Joe might think otherwise from having watched too much Fox news.

    Yes, "Me Only," you are right (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:56:11 PM EST
    ... that is exactly the point at which SenJoe's "thought" goes off the logic rail.  He starts off saying that proof of joining a terrorist organization which is using violence against the U.S. should be treated the same, in the loss-of-citizenship law, as joining a traditional army that is at war with the U.S.  That is a legitimately debatable proposition and is neither stupid nor fascistic.  He then drifts into saying that such a person should lose "the rights of a citizen" when suspected or accused of a crime.  Problem is, as you point out and as he as a lawyer and lawmaker should know (indeed, as any high school graduate should know), the rights of a person accused of a crime in the US are exactly the same, whether s/he is a citizen or not.

    I figured that was Part B to Lieberman's plan (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:13:16 PM EST
    revoking Miranda rights from non-citizens.

    To put a fine point on it (none / 0) (#33)
    by andgarden on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:43:32 PM EST
    "persons" get due process. Only "Privileges or Immunities" are reserved for citizens. And as we know, there aren't any. . .

    apparently, terr'ist training in Pakistan (none / 0) (#35)
    by Peter G on Tue May 04, 2010 at 10:59:55 PM EST
    does not include training in exercising one's rights under the U.S. Constitution after arrest.  

    According to the NY Times: "Mr. Holder said Mr. Shahzad had been providing "useful information" to federal investigators since he was pulled off the plane. Besides saying that he had received training in Pakistan, Mr. Shahzad said he had acted alone, a claim that was still being investigated."  (The Attorney General's statement appears to be in violation of a lawyer's professional conduct rules 3.6 and 3.8.)

    The criminal complaint filed in federal court is here.


    Non-citizens can be tried by military commissions (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dan the Man on Wed May 05, 2010 at 12:40:35 AM EST
    There's some question whether or not citizens can be tried by the military commissions if they are arrested on American soil.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama Administration says they could.  Or if the Administration asked for the law to be changed to permit it.

    maybe they should wear brown stars ... ? (none / 0) (#23)
    by seabos84 on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:14:04 PM EST
    wife & I bought the "World At War" series on DVD - I remember watching it as a teenager during the 70's.

    The world didn't wake up to concentration camps in 1945 - it took a bunch of years for it to happen.

    In my NOT humble opinion, raygun & fallwell were just the latest version of American fascism, wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible.

    Thank You for calling a spade a spade and using the correct term - "Fascism".  People who think it couldn't happen here really really need to turn off NASCAR, the NFL, American Survivor, Judge Oprah Springer ... a few times a week.


    Dumb? (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Tue May 04, 2010 at 09:32:21 PM EST
    Who is dumber, Lieberman or the voters he is pandering to, you know the ones who keep pulling the lever for him?

    I think he must be smarter than them.

    exactly what first came (none / 0) (#39)
    by cpinva on Wed May 05, 2010 at 07:27:01 AM EST
    to my mind:

    Who is dumber, Lieberman or the voters he is pandering to, you know the ones who keep pulling the lever for him?

    he isn't dumb, he's pandering to his base, as they all do.

    remember BTD, "pols are pols"

    Renouncing citizenship (none / 0) (#43)
    by Butch In Waukegan on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:58:54 AM EST
    Lee Harvey Oswald renounced his citizenship when he "defected" to USSR.  The US government did not accept it.

    You mean... (none / 0) (#49)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:45:34 PM EST
    ...Another is to join a foreign army and swear allegiance to a foreign government.

    Like Rahm Emanuel? Well, he didn't swear allegiance to a foreign government but he did join a foreign army.