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Joe Lieberman introducing bill to strip suspected terrorists' citizenship

A day after suggesting that U.S. citizenship laws should be changed to strip American terrorists of their nationality, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has introduced legislation to do just that. His bill amends existing law that revokes the citizenship of any American who joins a foreign military.

"I'm now putting together legislation [so 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 told reporters Tuesday. "If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States to try to kill Americans I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship."

Lieberman plans to move the legislation as a standalone measure, according to aides.

The proposal already has some support. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed with Lieberman: "Americans should lose their citizenship rights "if they're designated an enemy combatant, yes." Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tentatively offered his backing, telling AFP: "That sounds like something I'd support, but I'd have to look at the legislation."

It's not clear from the proposal when a person would be designated a terrorist for purposes of revoking their citizenship, but Lieberman also sided with Republicans who said that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad should not have been read his Miranda rights after his arrest. "If [authorities] make a judgment that this was a terrorist act, the person should be turned over to the military," he said.

By Rachel Weiner  |  May 5, 2010; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Do not strip this man of his citizenship, he will then have unlimited access to foreign Embassy aid. Charge and convict his with TREASON and throw away the key.

Posted by: mogran | May 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Am I reading this correctly? "any American who joins a foreign military." Lieberman is Jewish. Does he realize there are former members of the Israeli Army in various political offices and U.S. company management. The wording of the law, "foreign", groups all members of other countries' armed forces in with terrorists. Is everyone trying to one up Arizona's immigrant law?

Posted by: a_weishar | May 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Is there no limit to the damage these fools are willing to do to the Constitution just so they can play out their perverse little torture fantasies? The proposed legislation is an obvious violation of the 5th Amendment, the 14th Amendment and the bill of attainder prohibitions of Article I of the Constitution. It’s ironic that Lieberman, who had some roots at least in the civil rights struggle, would end up emulating the red-baiting tactics of McCarthy and the John Birchers. Citizenship is a birthright or an earned right of all true Americans – it is not to be stripped away in secret by some State Department Star Chamber.

Posted by: codexjust1 | May 6, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This proposal is from the Senator from Israel Knesset, Leiberscum. He needs to go back there and run for office and leave us alone here. He would not last three days in Israel as they would eat him for lunch for trying to do there what he is doing here.

You can thank Rahm and Pelosi for him. They funded and supported him in the general against their own candidate and this is the result, but then after watching them, it makes sense. Those two are so owned they make Leiberscum look like an indepedant.

Posted by: ppfg11 | May 6, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

This idea from Joe Lieberman is in the same class as his statement that opposing the 'public option' was a matter of conscience. The American people are not going to let this narrow minded man from one of the smallest states in the Union destroy our Constitution. Here is another reason that he should not be in the United States Senate. What if someone propose stripping American citizenship of those suspected of spying for Israel against the United States? Would that the be acceptable?

Posted by: richardwhetstone | May 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This idea from Joe Lieberman is in the same class as his statement that opposing the 'public option' was a matter of conscience. The American people are not going to let this narrow minded man from one of the smallest states in the Union destroy our Constitution. Here is another reason that he should not be in the United States Senate. What if someone propose stripping American citizenship of those suspected of spying for Israel against the United States? Would that the acceptable?

Posted by: richardwhetstone | May 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this a little bit like having them wear a yellow star?

Posted by: dirvine | May 6, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I was just listening to a Senate hearing today (May 6, 2010) on c-span radio. The Senators were discussing the continuing problem of innocent people being trapped on the no-fly list. These innocent people cannot get off the list even though they are being helped by their Senators. This has been a problem for years. Also, today there is a news item about Senator Lieberman introducing a bill so that the citizenship of terror SUSPECTS could be removed.

What is happening here? Are there dark forces at work that want to convert the United States from a functioning democracy to an authoritarian state? I would like to see Senate and House public hearings on the future of American democracy to deal with these issues and trends.

Posted by: nleggett | May 6, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against... http://www.legitgov.org/essay_southwell_arming_the_left_is_the_time_now_102203.html

Posted by: lorifromclg | May 6, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

That's not a problem for him. He could just blend in with all the illegal aliens and get free medical care, free education for his kids, and all tax free on American citizen's dime. Essentially he'd be rewarded!

Posted by: rocco411 | May 6, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, the lessons learned from Germany holocaust are lost to Looserman!

This is beyond a slippery slope!

This is a page out of Third Reich play book!


Posted by: JJames081 | May 5, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

So the government can decide someone is an "enemy combatant" and strip them of their citizenship with no due process or chance to defend themselves? And if the Lieb is going to go this route, why limit it to "foreign terrorist organizations". Why not "domestic terrorist organizations" such as the KKK and those who terrorize medical clinics?

Posted by: boaster | May 5, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

The difference between joining a foreign military that is fighting the US and joining a foreign military that is aiding the US or, at least, not in opposition to our own country is important. Under a law that would cause anyone who joined a foreign military to lose his citizenship all those Americans who fought for England in WWII before the US joined the war would be declared non-Americans. Same with the Fliers in the AEF in WWI and the Flying Tigers in 1941.

If the legislation was changed to simply remove the citizenship of anyone who takes up arms against the US, then it would work easier. However, how does Timothy McVeigh's actions fare in this legal realm? How about other violent criminals? Especially those born here.

Posted by: ianmac37 | May 5, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

If I was recruited by the Mossad, would I lose my citizenship under this proposed bill?

Posted by: shadowmagician | May 5, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

If I was recruited by the Mossad, would I lose my citizenship under this proposed bill?

Posted by: shadowmagician | May 5, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Traitor Joe. Another good deed in service of the racist and bigoted state of Israel. Don't spend it all in one place.

Posted by: vztownes | May 5, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse


So how about a bill to strip the citizenship of those dual loyalists, who think America is run for the benefit of Israel,

the AIPACers. those who scream constantly, still, for bombing Iran, who gouge and cheat and finagle money from the American taxpayer for the settlements in the West Bank, etc...and wars in Iraq.

Then let's look at the Wall Stree crooks who've funneled some 41% of American wealth into their gready hands in the last decade. Things like that.

And who've made America unsafe, as in 9/11, and detested by the world.

And then there's Jane Harmon, the poster girl for dual loyalty, who used her House of Representatives seat to get two Jewish Lobby types off their spy charges against Ameria?

Let Lieberman decide who's properly American. Not even close.

Posted by: whistling | May 5, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

OR, prosecute for treason, then execute. That has a kind of poetic justice.

Posted by: BerkeleyBW | May 5, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

GiveUsLiberty said "According to his transcript from Occidental College, Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship." Wow Liberty you really need to expand your horizons and read something other that right wing propaganda. Check out Snopes.com and you will find a clearer set of facts.

Posted by: leefounds | May 5, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

So what then would be their status? If they are no longer U.S. Citizens would they be illegal aliens? No, because unless they had been citizens of somewhere else first, there'd be no country to revert to. Were we to then deport them, assuming there was a country that would take them, they could just return to their previous intent; killing Americans and wrecking property. This is knee-jerk silly tail wagging the dog talk. If they commit a crime, are charged, tried, and sentenced, put them away in a nice federal prison for the rest of their days. Hold them in isolation so they can't incite more acts of terrorism, with no possibility of parole.

Posted by: sober1 | May 5, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I do not agree with Sen. Lieberman, but if we were to start stripping US citizens of their citizenship for being involved with a foreign terrorist organization, then I guess we'll have to put Obama at the top of the list! In my opinion, allowing and facilitating the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate our government is an act of terror. But wait, is Obama a US citizen or not? According to his transcript from Occidental College, Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship.


Posted by: GiveUsLiberty | May 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Lilycat1, who determines, and how do they determine, which citizens are "conspiring with foreign entities to inflict harm on the U.S and its citizens"? You think that the accused should be stripped of their rights before they receive a trial? Are they not even entitled to a trial and an opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations?

I support the death penalty for murderers and rapists, but I I also support the right to a fair trail for accused murderers and rapists. Would you support having the state execute citizens that prosecutors felt were guilty of such crimes without a trial?

Have you ever read the US Constitution?

Posted by: wireknob | May 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I think we should have an amendment to this bill that says that anyone that commits murder in America - and thereby murder an American - should lose their citizenship. Why limit it to terrorists, per se? Anyone that commits murder can be held up to the terrorist label as well.

Posted by: ATLGuy | May 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

While we are at it, we might as well include anyone engage in drug trafficing that is a citizen as well since we continue to fight " war on drugs". The violence and civil disruption from major drug trafficing is as much a threat other terrorist organizations.

Posted by: mgreene1 | May 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Friedtoad, I think it's your brain that's fried. Let the Arabs help their pawns the Palestinians instead of blaming Israel for trying to protect itself. The Arabs are far from blameless in this and they do more to "rile up" their apologists (like you) than anyone else. As for stripping citizenship from those conspiring with foreign entities to inflict harm on the U.S and its citizens, I say do it. They forfeit their right to citizenship when they try to destroy their country.

Posted by: Lilycat1 | May 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope this applies to the SOLDIERS of ISAREL, citizens of America! These are so full of it! Yeah they will find a way to exlcude Israel, just as they do with everything else.

We as Americans must be carefull that we do not become what we abhor, and with congressmen like Liberman, it is not going to be hard! The more we give up our principles, our values, what makes America America the more we become just like and even worse than the people we hate.

Posted by: shirleyallan | May 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope this applies to the SOLDIERS of ISAREL, citizens of America! These are so full of it! Yeah they will find a way to exlcude Israel, just as they do with everything else.

We as Americans must be carefull that we do not become what we abhor, and with congressmen like Liberman, it is not going to be hard! The more we give up our principles, our values, what makes America America the more we become just like and even worse than the people we hate.

Posted by: shirleyallan | May 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The Jews will do anything they can to rile up Americans and ensure we continue to support the Jews in their rape of Palestine.

Most of our foreign policy problems would be solved if only we let the Arabs drive the Jews into the sea.

Posted by: friedtoad | May 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Now we can finally go after all those so-called "citizens" who donate to the IRA ..

Posted by: National23 | May 5, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

wow... talk about re-writing the constitution.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | May 5, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well put, Wireknob. And why are we drawing the line at foreign terrorists? The KKK, Michigan Militia and the Young Republicans gets a free pass here?

Posted by: ian5 | May 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Suspected" terrorists? "Designated an enemy combatant"? What happened to the notion of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law? Whose suspicions of terrorist ties would lead to a citizen being summarily stripped of their Constitutional rights, and who would be given the power to designate someone an enemy combatant? The suspected or designated terrorist cannot challenge the accusation? What country do these Senators think they're in?

Lieberman and McCain must be channeling the spirit of Joe McCarthy. I'm designating all three to be terrorists on the basis that they undermine the US Constitution, seek to turn the USA into a fascist state, and subvert the ideals upon which this country was founded.

Posted by: wireknob | May 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

This is one slippery slope Lieberman, McCain & Schumer would push us down. Stripping US citizenship of those "involved" in terrorism, voiding Miranda rights for those "designated" to be enemy combatants. Apparently they think these actions should all be implemented by unaccountable bureaucrats no less, before trials or even arrests.

If we respond to terrorist pressure by abandoning our values and our strengths as a free society, they've won. Voiding your principles in the face of terrorism, is cowardice. And Lieberman, McCain and Schumer have proven themselves cowards.

Posted by: SageThrasher | May 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Joe, is this to try and backup McCains assertion that the Times Square guy should not have been read his rights? Because, unless you are in favor of denying all those charged with terrorism the right to a fair trial, your law would allow the government to charge ANYONE with being a foreign sponsored terrorist and revoke their citizenship. Whatsa matter Joe not getting enough face time on Fox?
AND, how come JUST foreign sponsored terrorists Joe? Were the dead and maimed in the Oklahoma City blast somehow acceptable to you because it was homegrown terrorism? Or were just afraid of upsetting the Tea Party?

Posted by: rkerg | May 5, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I am a conservative who believes that the stripping of U.S. Citizenship should not happen until sentencing after a trial and conviction, not before. I also believe that those born in the United States should not be subject to having their citizenship taken away, just the right to vote and their freedoms.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"Lieberman also sided with Republicans who said that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad should not have been read his Miranda rights after his arrest. "If [authorities] make a judgment that this was a terrorist act, the person should be turned over to the military," he said.
"

so far , we're lucky enough to still live in the USA, regardless of what these anti-american congresscum believe.

Posted by: newagent99 | May 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"I'm now putting together legislation [so 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 told reporters Tuesday. "If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States to try to kill Americans I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship."
"

why just foreign terrorist organizations?
let's do American terrorist organization and we can finally treat the Abortion Doctor Killers like the trash they are.

Posted by: newagent99 | May 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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