You Have Been Accused. Thus We Render Punishment.

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May 7, 2010 by D Stack

Senators Scott Brown and Joe Lieberman have introduced a bill to allow the state department to revoke the citizenship of Americans accused of supporting foreign terrorism.

The end of this post will provide documentation from the relevant documents. However, in summary this bill allows for the state department to revoke the citizenship of any citizen who supports in any material way any organization the Secretary of State designates as foreign terrorist organization. This revocation is not done via trial but via an administrative process.

Evidence of the need of this is given in the form of the Fort Dix and Fort Hood attacks and attempted Times Square bombing. The problem every American should have with this is it presupposes guilt by decree and renders a punishment accordingly. You do not need to be a terrorist sympathizer to insist on due process. The argument I’ve heard on Twitter and Facebook is that such people are forfeiting their citizenship by attacks against the United States. That may indeed be the case, but if so they are entitled to defend themselves against the accusation that they are terrorists. In other words, the crime is terrorism and the punishment includes revocation of citizenship. However this bill effect says the punishment for the accusation of terrorism is the loss of one’s citizenship. An accusation is never something for which there should be a punishment.

I’m honestly shocked that anyone supports this bill. It should give everyone a chill that a punishment can be imposed due to an accusation of guilt. The challenge of following our Constitution is not when times are easy. It is is easy to preserve the rights of the accused when dealing with a traffic violation. The challenge is when faced with a horrific crime which rightly fills us with revulsion.

[Supporting documentation follows.]

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Supporting Documentation

The bill defines supporting terrorism as:

(8)(A) providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization;

(B) engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States; or

(C) engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against any country or armed force that is—

(i) directly engaged along with the United States in hostilities engaged in by the United States; or

(ii) providing direct operational support to the United States in hostilities engaged in by the United States.

(c) For purposes of this section—

(1) the term ‘foreign terrorist organization’ means an organization so designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 219(a);

(2) the term ‘hostilities’ means any conflict subject to the laws of war; and

‘(3) the term ‘material support or resources’ has the meaning given the term in section 2339A of title 18, United States Code.

– Terrorist Expatriation Act

(1) In general – The Secretary is authorized to designate an organization as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with this subsection if the Secretary finds that –

(A) the organization is a foreign organization;

(B) the organization engages in terrorist activity (as defined in section 1182(a)(3)(B) [§212 INA] of this title or terrorism (as defined in section 2656f(d)(2) of title 22), or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism); and

(C) the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

– Section 219(a) Immigration and Nationality Act

(1) the term “material support or resources” means any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who may be or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials
– From Title 18 Section 2339A United States Code

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