““It reflects the changing nature of war and recent events,” Mr. Brown said Thursday. “War has moved into a new dimension. Individuals who pick up arms — this is what I believe — have effectively denounced their citizenship, and this legislation simply memorializes that effort. So somebody who wants to burn their passport, well, let’s help them along.”
Identical legislation is also being introduced in the House by two Pennsylvania congressmen, Jason Altmire, a Democrat, and Charlie Dent, a Republican. The lawmakers said at a news conference that revoking citizenship would block terrorism suspects from using American passports to re-enter the United States and make them eligible for prosecution before a military commission instead of a civilian court.
Citing with approval news reports that President Obama has signed a secret order authorizing the targeted killing of a radical Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar Al-Awlaki, Mr. Lieberman argued that if that policy was legal — and he said he believed it was — then stripping people of citizenship for joining terrorist organizations should also be acceptable.