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Monday, January 9, 2012

Proposal to strip U.S. citizens of their... Citizenship...

Yeah, the ball that the Bush Administration started rolling hasn't stopped...

  "New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction" First, Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which gave the President the authority to use the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans without trial or charge. The language was revised because of strong condemnation from the American people. But now a new bill has emerged that poses yet another threat to the American citizenry.

 Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being “hostile” against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for “engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.” Legally, the term “hostilities” means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism. Since the Occupy movement began, conservatives have been trying to paint the protesters as terrorists.

 The new law would change a part of US Code 1481 which can be read in full here. Compare 3166 to 1481 and the change is small. The new section makes no reference to being convicted as it does in section (7). So even though the language of the NDAA has been revised to exclude American citizens, the US government merely has to strip Americans of their citizenship and the NDAA will apply. And they will be able to do so without convicting the accused in a court of law.

 I hope I’m wrong, but it sounds to me like this is a loophole for indefinitely detaining Americans. Once again, you just have to be accused of supporting hostilities which could be defined any way the government sees fit. Then the government can strip your citizenship and apply the indefinite detention section of the NDAA without the benefit of a trial. This certainly must be questioned by American citizens. The way these defense obsessed Republicans think, our rights are always in danger of being taken away.

 To read the full text of the bill, go here.

But wait you say!  That couldn't happen to me!  I'm not even associated with OWS or Al Qaeda!  :::Vomit:::

Well there's this:

Are Animal Rights Activists Terrorists?

In 2006, Congress quietly passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law that classified many forms of animal rights campaigning as terrorism. Now the law's critics have taken to the courts to try to kill it. In a case filed last week, five activists argue that AETA violates their rights by criminalizing constitutionally protected actions.
AETA, which replaced an earlier, weaker law called the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA), prohibits anything done "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise" or that "causes the loss of any real or personal property." (The earlier version of the law only covered "physical disruption" to operations.) The law also prohibits "economic damage" to an enterprise, which includes loss of profits and pressure put on any investors or other companies that do business with the animal enterprise. Even the definition of "animal enterprise" is so broad that it could be construed as covering any institution that has a cafeteria selling meat or cheese products, argues Rachel Meeropol, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is backing the plaintiffs in the case filed against Attorney General Eric Holder.

And then there's this:

“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same,” Says Homeland Security Official

Last week a Philadelphia appellate court announced (after months of silence) that it would not revisit the conviction of animal rights activists on terrorism charges. The SHAC 7were convicted of conspiring to commit animal enterprise terrorism by running a controversial website that posted news of both legal and illegal actions, along with personal information of people connected to the notorious animal testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences. Their campaign had brought the multinational corporation near bankruptcy.
A three-judge panel of the court had previously upheld the conviction, and the defendants had asked that the full court review it. Now, the only option is to request that the Supreme Court of the United States review the case. There has been no official word about this yet, but multiple defendants have expressed their interest and having this landmark First Amendment case heard by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the lead prosecutor who helped secure this “victory in the War on Terrorism” has– surprise, surprise– been promoted. Charles McKenna is now the head of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
He was quoted a few days ago about his hopes for using new “anti-terrorism technology” in his new job.
“We are particularly interested in computer profiling, which is much more sophisticated, and quicker, than traditional racial profiling,” he said.
The targets of this new profiling technology?
“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same: people trying damage the system,” added McKenna.“We need every trick in the book to avert disaster.”
As you can see in this photo, the SHAC 7 are quite gangsta. But no reasonable person could argue that they are the “same” as violent street gangs and Islamic terrorists.
Such absurd scare-mongering rhetoric has become normal for corporations, industry groups, and the politicians who represent them. When it is adopted by government officials who are in charge of keeping us safe, though, it has frightening implications.
There are limited anti-terrorism and law enforcement resources. When people like McKenna let shameless political opportunism shape security priorities (and make no mistake, this is nothing but political opportunism–he has already been rewarded for defending the “system” from activists), it puts everyone at risk.


Follow this monstrosity of legislation here (House version) and here (Senate version).

1 comment:

  1. I strongly recommend Green is the New Red by Will Potter for anyone interested in this topic. Potter's a great writer who makes reading about a very depressing topic, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, actually entertaining. If only it were fiction... :-/