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IPFS News Link • Military

Pentagon Quietly Explores De-Citizenship of US Citizen Terrorists

• BlackListedNews & TPM Muckraker - Steve Clemons
At the highest levels of the US military, a quiet discussion is going on about putting in place a legal framework that would permit the US government to strip American citizenship from terrorists. The case of Las Cruces, New Mexico born al Qaeda commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, who has been a key organizer and recruiter for the terrorist organization in Yemen is the primary driver of this exploration of possibly modifying US law to allow "de-citizening." As the Washington Post's Dana Priest recently revealed, al-Alaqi was added recently to a short list of other Americans for whom there are kill orders in place. A senior Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has told me that to his knowledge, there has been no serious discussion in the Committee of stripping US citizenship from terrorists, but a senior Pentagon official has confirmed that some in the military are exploring the upsides and downsides of such a more routenized mechanism for stripping citizenship. A national security attorney who serves in an advisory capacity to President Obama has reported to me that there is no legal way for the US military or the government to strip citizenship from Americans. But Eugene Volokh, exploring in a Salon article the case of American gone al Qaeda adventurer John Walker, writes in 2001 that "8 U.S.C. § 1481 : US Code - Section 1481" may provide such a mechanism. As Volokh then wrote pondering whether a terrorist could be stripped of his US citizenship: Maybe. A federal statute says that a citizen loses his citizenship by "serving in the armed forces of a foreign state if such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States" but only if he does so "with the intention of relinquishing United States [citizenship]." This topic can be more ably discussed by sharp legal minds like Jeffrey Toobin, Jeffrey Rosen and Glenn Greenwald -- but it seems to me that establishing a regularized legal framework specifying that alleged terrorists be stripped of US citizenship so that the military can deal with those de-nationed individuals differently reminds me of the kind of legal gray area that Cheney national security adviser David Addington loved to create.

9 Comments in Response to

Comment by Lola Flores (20562)
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 So, if the Pentagon is exploring de-citizenshipizing of US citizen "terrorists" that means that they'll strip away citizenship status from Bush, Cheney, et al.  How cool is that?

Comment by Patriot 2012 (20351)
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Today, most of the good people are afraid to be good. They strive to be broadminded and tolerant ! It is fashionable to be tolerant -- but mostly tolerant of evil -- and this new code has reached the proportions of demanding intolerance of good.

Treason used to be dealt with in a swift and calamitous way. According to Blackstone: The offender shall be drawn to the gallows, and not be carried or walk, though usually (by connivance at length ripened by humanity into law), a sledge or hurdle is allowed to preserve the offender from the extreme torment of being dragged on the ground or pavement. He shall be hanged by the neck, and then cut down alive; his entrails shall be taken out and burned while he is yet alive; his head shall be cut off and his body divided into four parts. His head and quarters shall be at the disposal of the king.”

Comment by Patriot 2012 (20351)
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Those in this government do not belong making policy. It cannot be business as usual. This is not our government by those in power. We all must make a decision to draw the line against all those working against the American People. Collateral damage means even if those who work for the government get killed or are in the line of fire. It is time America for you to rise, march towards DC and destroy all Departments working against us. Meaning, take away the money we give them first, then physically remove them from all buildings. We need those millions of unemployed and others to march for one thing: Freedom! Control of OUR money that doesnt belong to them in DC. Those in the DC mindframe have only one Ideology. Its against the Constitution. We know the difference between right and wrong. They don't! For too long, Americans have permitted wrongdoing to go on forever and not be policed. DC cannot police itself. So how shall we? Do have the passion for what our Patriot Founding Fathers had? We must overcome those in DC. It must be destroyed. There is no other way for change except through physical removal. We must be Brave. We must work together as a People. Remember, how do you deal with a bank robber, a rapist, a murderer? On the local scene we do go after the little people breaking the laws. With the DC government telling us its a one way street, that is where we must stand and take justice to them! Only when we Hang those that have sowed destruction on our Great Nation for over a hundred years will there be change for the better. Are all of you going to let a murderer kill you or are you going to kill him first. Same with the DC Criminals. No more tax money for them. Taxation without representation has been around too long. Time to act people!

Comment by Alan Gaudette (27694)
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I must have been asleep when article 3 of the Constitution was removed,

"Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted."

In Ex Parte Bollman (1807), the Supreme Court ruled that "there must be an actual assembling of men, for the treasonable purpose, to constitute a levying of war".

Comment by TL Winslow (21344)
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Terrorism is an activity sponsored by an organization, hence to decitizenize "terrorists" is nonsense, but yes, decitizenizing ISLAMIC TERRORISTS makes good sense, since Islam and the U.S. Constitution are forever at war, and like two scorpions in a bottle there's only room for one - US. Want chapter and verse? Check Quran 8:60 out, where Allah commands all true believers to muster all the equipment and force they can to TERRORIZE unbelievers, which means NUKES, if they can get their hands on them. So, since the U.S. Constitution isn't a suicide pact, and the govt. can regulate the actions of a religion a la the 1862 ruling on Mormon polygamy, let's do something now before there's a nuke attack on U.S. soil.

Want to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole of Islam goes? Study online free with the Historyscoper at

Comment by Marcine Bice (21341)
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 If you have a legitimate birth certificate, if you love freedom, if you are willing to defend America and the Constitution and Bill of Rights, if you'd like to live a secluded life on a mountain, if you'd like to grow garden's from little keeper-seeds, if you relish clear, clean, pure water and blue skies, if you want to keep and spend-spend-spend your money you worked hard for, etc., etc., etc., then you are a (potential) Terrorist! And it seems somebody in this country is working overtime to build up a monstrous USA Chain Gang...Leftover's who survive mark-seek-destroy. Please, just give me the Good Old Days.

Comment by Chip Saunders (1007)
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 To the military mind, the answer is simple: You don't have to worry about such things if the individual is dead.

I predict that because it makes things simple, rather than wrestle with what due process needs to be established to achieve the revocation of citizenship, revocation of the birth certificate will be the prefered method of resolution. As John Wayne said in THE GREEN BERETS;..."Out here, due process is a bullet."

Comment by Dracula Tepish (19316)
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these megla maniacs are really sick who is the biggest terrorist in the this country why its the us govt commits more treason than a dog has ticks real sick you people need to be hung for one thing that is treason against the constitution of the united states of america you play your stupid head games on the couch potato who is so dumb he dont know where is head is at major sheeple

Comment by Anonymous ()
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Back in the early years of the 20th Century anglo women lost their American citizenship if they married foreign Orientals - but - they could have their day in court.  I don't believe anyone will be given their day in court in this case.   If that proves the case we'll have another fine example of American hypocrisy.