Saturday, May 08, 2010

2 + 2 = 1984

Imagine a not-too-distant future, where a businessman gets jacked on taxes or some petty regulation or another. He makes some unkind comments about the government to his brother on the phone. Nothing that doesn't get said a bajillion times a day from sea to shining sea: "They oughtta hang every one of those jerks," or "I wouldn't mind if they bombed Washington, as long as they got the IRS and Congress."

But our hypothetical businessman, while a citizen, was born overseas, and makes the remarks on the phone to his brother in Jordan.

In a post-PATRIOT world where the President makes wisecracks about unmanned "Reaper" hunter-killer drones and Congress wants to broaden the powers of the government to strip Americans of their very citizenship, might we not run the risk of even bigger law enforcement whoopsies than shooting the neighborhood Deadhead's bandanna-wearing dog?


Carteach0 said...

If that path is followed, at what point does every authority figure become the enemy? Does it reach that point at all?

If it does... are the people all sheeple, or are their still wolves around?

The future may just be interesting... for a given value of interesting.

wolfwalker said...

might we not run the risk of even bigger law enforcement whoopsies than shooting the neighborhood Deadhead's bandanna-wearing dog?

We always face that risk. The only thing between us and the Abyss is the moral fiber and intentions of those who make and enforce the law. It's always been that way.

At the moment, unfortunately, those two qualities are in very low ebb.

(My, I'm in a philosophical mood this morning...)

Incidentally, the effect of the Lieberman bill is being drastically exaggerated. It only modifies Title 8 Section 1481 of the US Code -- a section that was effectively neutered forty years ago by adding a requirement that the actions in question be taken "with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality." Intent is nearly impossible to prove. That requirement isn't changed by the Lieberman bill.

Wolfwood said...

Imagine a not-too-distant future

Next Sunday, A.D.?

Tam said...

Sometime this afternoon, whatever. ;)

Divemedic said...

Is there any doubt as to who the Act is targeting? It IS called the TEA Act, after all.

What are the reasons you can be expatriated?

These will be added by the TEA Act:

1 providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization

2 engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States

3 engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against any country or armed force that is directly engaged along with the United States in hostilities engaged in by the United States; or providing direct operational support to the United States in hostilities engaged in by the United States.

These are in the original law:

4 obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years

5 taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years

6 entering, or serving in, the Armed forces of a foreign state if such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer

7 accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required

8 making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State

9 making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense

10 committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Note that the original law requires either an overt renunciation of citizenship,. or a conviction in court. The TEA Act requires you to simply be declared by Hillary Clinton to be materially supporting hostilities against the United States or any country allied with the US (like the UN?)

Borepatch said...

Back in the Jim Crow south (and north), "smart" blacks knew their place and made sure they didn't get out of line. Within these boundaries, they were allowed to have - sometimes - some limited success, as the whites saw fit.

Which was the point of the laws. Can't have just any of 'em doing what they want, when they want.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the government would not want precisely this form of control over naturalized citizens. "Sure we want you here, but don't be too uppity."

It's not like the government doesn't have a long history of this sort of thing.

wolfwalker said...

Get a grip, Borepatch. You do your own argument a disservice when you resort to tactics like this. There's a hell of a big difference between pulling the citizenship of some Paki punk who was apparently an enemy sleeper agent, and the obscenity that was Jim Crow.

TJP said...

The big difference is what flavor of absolutism and hindsight become justification to act on events that have yet to happen--or events that are happening, and gaps left by a distinct lack of information that are an open invitation to the political classes to substitute their own hatred and fears to fill in the blanks.

If you're going to think that way, you'd better make sure that the political class you choose to lord over you also shares your subjective reality:

"If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything..."

Goddamn tea partiers trying to detonate a Weber in Times Square!

Don't kid yourself, New York already has this guy on arson, and the NYPD could've traveled to another state to make a warrantless arrest.

John A said...

`but added that information from other sources could also "lead the state department to make that conclusion."`

So Hamas, say, publishes a list of supporters claiming these Congresscritters support their organisation. Does that mean they are stripped of citizenship until a successful appeal? No court imvolved?

I recall that the Communist Party of the United States used to - may still - run cabdidates for office. When Tailgunner Joe was at his strongest. Golly.

Ken said...

@Wolfwood: "La la la" ;-)