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Clinton throws her weight behind the Terrorist Expatriation Act


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No, there is a very practical set of Americans that believe that the Constitution applies to citizens, and does not apply to foreign combatants.

 

This rather logical and intelligent group of people also believe that if there are to be any limitations on citizenship it should be at the point when a foreign national on a terrorist watch list for years applies for American Citizenship. If we are stupid enough to grant him that citizenship then we have to live with the consequences.

Yeah, except what's being described in this thread applies to citizens themselves. Would you perhaps like to take another swing at this?

 

 

It makes absolutely zero sense to pass a law that gives the right to the Federal Government to withdraw citizenship rights on presumption of guilt to help in the handful of international terrorist attacks on the US by US citizens.

Agreed.

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Yeah, except what's being described in this thread applies to citizens themselves. Would you perhaps like to take another swing at this?

 

Would you perhaps like to be a little less condescending?


Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
That's pretty much what's going on. There's a bunch of people who are all "we can't trust the law to deal with terrorists!" These are the same people making a fuss that we can't try terrorists in civilian courts.

 

What are their specific arguments? I mean, what exactly is bad about trying a criminal in criminal courts? It worked for Timothy McVeigh, and he was a US citizen and a terrorist.

 

Surely the "we can't trust the courts to convict them" argument also means "we can't trust the police to find enough evidence to actually convict them."

Edited by Cap'n Refsmmat
Consecutive posts merged.
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No, there is a very practical set of Americans that believe that the Constitution applies to citizens, and does not apply to foreign combatants.

I believe the statement "We hold these rights to be self-evident and inalienable" was designed to frame how US law deals with people, not citizens of a specific country. Understandably we don't read Miranda rights on the battlefield in wars, but I would expect the exact same bar to be applied to citizens and non-citizens in the same situations if they were encountered on the battlefield.

The individuals have differences in terms of their situations (a foreign combatant that has never sworn allegiance to the states can't be charged with treason, but a US citizen could, etc) but "self-evident and inalienable" rights is a broad term describing the nature of people, not citizens. It is the very fact they are seen as acknowledged by the state and not granted by the state that our own government doesn't perceive the authority to take them away from us. I don't know how that philosophy could be maintained if we considered rights something special to us alone, granted by us for the benefit people we like here.

This rather logical and intelligent group of people also believe that if there are to be any limitations on citizenship it should be at the point when a foreign national on a terrorist watch list for years applies for American Citizenship. If we are stupid enough to grant him that citizenship then we have to live with the consequences.

I agree, but there are others who clearly disagree or this act would not be a topic.

It makes absolutely zero sense to pass a law that gives the right to the Federal Government to withdraw citizenship rights on presumption of guilt to help in the handful of international terrorist attacks on the US by US citizens.

 

What this bill is doing is in essence taking questionable wartime powers (see Lincoln suspension of habeas corpus, and FDR incarceration of Japanese-Americans) and granting them to the Government in perpetuity.

 

I wouldn't even want MY side of the aisle to be granted such powers.

 

I agree again. I think there is a rather human natural instinctive fear of having one's generosity used against us. Someone attacking us with a knife is an unpleasant thought, but it's doubly so when we think they bought it with money we gave them to help them out. When someone exploits our compassion against us to harm us it just cuts deeper.

I think that somewhat explains how we loose sight of the real implications of laws like this, but naturally doesn't excuse it.

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Yeah, except what's being described in this thread applies to citizens themselves. Would you perhaps like to take another swing at this?

 

No need to take a second swing at it since the two statements are tangentially related, but do not concern the same topics.

 

I'm simply making the observation that the group looking to strip American citizens of their citizenship on presumption of terrorist ties is also the group that wants to grant the benefit of citizenship to enemy combatants currently incarcerated in GITMO and stage trials for them in New York City courtrooms.

 

The law already makes clear delineations between the rights of citizens, the punishment for traitors, and the rights of enemy combatants. This new law simply smudges that line with no clear purpose other than some level of illogical feel-goodery.

 

If they really wanted to push some smart legislation in the wake of the Time Square bombing attempt it would be to make sure that there is a clear communication between intelligence gatherers and the various functionaries of the state department. As such, those who grant citizenship to foreign applicants should be aware that the intelligence community is watching some applicants.

 

And heck, in some cases it may be preferable to the intelligence community that citizenship be granted to avoid blowing an investigation.

 

This bill operates on the truth that citizenship is a privilege. Citizenship comes with it a set of rights that we all enjoy whether we are citizen by birth or naturalization that are written in indelible ink, however. Challenging the rights of the citizen rather than limiting the access to the privilege is utterly wrong headed. By approaching the problem backward they are simply challenging the inalienability of our rights as citizens rather then the far less perverse challenge of someones right to become a citizen in the first place.

 

As much as it would have felt good to deny citizenship to Timothy McVeigh and Bill Ayers, the potential for abuse is simply far too great, and the implications such laws would have on the permanence of rights themselves would be erase the whole notion of indelible rights.

Edited by jryan
clarification
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