Hollow logic behind the biggest threat to American liberty
February 19, 2012
Charlie Dent is a politician from Pennsylvania who has introduced the Enemy Expatriation Act (EEA), which would revoke the citizenship of American citizens suspected of links to terrorism.
The interviewer’s only decent question is whether the EEA would strip convicted terrorists of their citizenship, or just those suspected of terrorism.
Dent responds by alluding to “investigations,” conducted by the state department, not trials conducted in the public eye, in our legal system. So the answer is “suspected,” not “convicted,” because convictions only happen in court.
Dent repeatedly equates terrorists to enemy soldiers. This is dangerously incorrect.
Terrorists are criminals, and we are not at war.
Fighting crime is something dominant superpowers have a responsibility to do. I agree with pursuing fugitives, wherever they are, whether it’s America, Afghanistan, or Andromeda. But let’s make no mistake, criminals are not affiliated with any nation. They’re like pirates. It’s a lifestyle, and they dedicate all they have to crime. They exist in times of peace, and society counteracts them the way white blood cells in a body fight disease. White blood cells kill millions of bacteria in the average person’s bloodstream every day. This practice is a natural function of all life, and it’s no different for a society of people. Such action in no way constitutes war.
This is all just me attacking Dent’s reasoning. There’s just nothing there. It’s like he’s holding up an empty cup and telling us there’s wine in it.
So there’s the whole “reasoning” thing, but then there’s the whole, “what he’s actually proposing” thing. He’s proposing removing the citizenship of any American, based on a state department investigation. If this passes, we have no rights. If this becomes law, welcome to East Germany, USA. That’s not an exaggeration, because what’s being proposed here has never even close been proposed, as law, in US history.
This bill is still “in committee,” according to GovTrack, but we can’t let it become law.
I just want to focus your attention on this one quote from the video, where Dent gives a reason as to why “Mr. Alawaki’s” citizenship was (or should be) removed, clearly indicating how the law would be interpreted.
“He has made public statements that were hostile to this country…”
Shiii. ’Swhat I do all the time.
It’s in our blood to criticize our country (and then to passionately defend it when foreigners voice the same criticisms). Constant criticism makes this country great. Throwing people in prison for issuing “hostile comments” will make this country very, very weak.
Continuing to pick apart Dent’s logic
How do the logistical challenges of expatriation justify removing our citizenship? This makes no sense. There’s no connection. We need transparency – not spontaneous totalitarianism.
I love how Dent promises that we can appeal the revocation of our citizenship. ”Oh, thank God. I can appeal! I can sit in solitary confinement while a law student plans my defense.” This is atrocious.
“The state department has the burden of proof!”
Don’t worry guys! The state department has the burden of proof. Don’t worry that the state department is also the judge, prosecuting and defending attorney, the jury, and the prison guard. Everything will be fine – the state department has the burden of proof. Dent says the standard for proof is “clear and convincing,” as judged by mysterious, unelected government officials. Clear and convincing evidence that someone voiced a “hostile” opinion against the United States?
Guys, I know everyone’s tired of calling politicians. SOPA was dumb. ACTA now looms, but the EEA…
Nothing’s worse than the EEA.
And “EEA” doesn’t even show up in Google. Please retweet.