By Craig Considine
Following the Times Square bomb scare, Joe Lieberman is introducing legislation that strips Americans of their citizenship if they ‘affiliate’ with groups or organizations on Washington’s ‘terrorist list’.
‘Affiliate’ is certainly an ambiguous term. What does Lieberman mean by it?
Does he intend to strip citizenship from Americans who give ’material support’ or ‘aid and comfort’ to the groups on Washington’s ‘terrorist list?
And how, moreover, does Lieberman define ‘material support’ and ’aid and comfort’?
The proposed legislation has all the markings of the Holy Land Foundation fiasco that erupted after 9-11.
The Holy Land Foundation was one of many Islamic charity organizations the Bush administration accused of providing ‘material support’ to ‘terrorist organizations’.
The Holy Land Foundation, for the record, was an Islamic charity organization whose mission statement was ‘to find and implement practical solutions for human suffering through humanitarian programs that impact the lives of the disadvantaged, disinherited, and displaced peoples suffering from man-made and natural disasters’. Their work was primarily focused in the Occupied Territories in Israel.
In Washington, any group or organization that opposes Israeli aggression is deemed unfairly a ‘terrorist group’. Israel’s wars are justified by Washington as ‘self-defense’ when, in essence, they are nothing more than barbaric attempts to spread Zionism and fulfill a Biblical prophecy.
The Holy Land Foundation, for the record, was trying to ease the suffering of the Palestinians. Yet Washington froze their assets and jailed their leaders. And for what? Because Washington said they were providing ‘material support’ to a ‘terrorist organization’.
Here lies the problem with Lieberman’s proposed legislation. It is prone to bias and ideological subjectivity when conceptualizing ‘terrorism’.
Another important point to raise is whether an Americans’ citizenship can be stripped without the due process of law. Will a citizen have to be convicted of any wrongdoing in a court or will Washington simply avoid this process altogether, as it clearly has with the cases at Guantanamo Bay?
Lieberman has suggested his bill entails a clause emphasizing only a ‘preponderance of evidence’ can lead to the stripping of citizenship.
The issue here is that evidence is meaningless because some groups on the United States’ terrorist organization list are arguably even terrorist organizations to begin with. I say this, of course, if only we juxtapose these groups’ activities with Washington’s own standards and definitions on what encompasses a terrorist act and what defines a terrorist organization.
If we look at Washington’s own behavior in comparison to the groups it accuses of being terrorist organizations, we will find little difference. The problem, as always, is when other groups, organizations or countries partake in violent acts, Washington deems it terrorism. When the American military partakes in violent crimes which mirror those acts, Washington deems them ‘counter-terrorism’, ‘self-defense’ and ‘justified’.
The whole smokescreen is that Washington continues to fight terrorism with terrorism. We just never hear or think of Washington’s behavior in this type of discourse.
So how about those who sympathize in spirit and show their affection in political protest for Hamas and Hizbullah’s resistance efforts against Israeli aggression? Will they be deemed ‘terrorists’ under Lieberman’s legislation? Will they be liable to having their citizenship revoked?
If I send money over to a family affiliated with Hizbullah to help them protect their home from Israeli aggression, can I have my citizenship revoked under Lieberman’s proposed legislation?
Here is an interesting twist. The premise of Lieberman’s plan is to strip Americans of their citizenship rights if they affiliate with Washington’s designated ‘terrorist organizations’.
But what about those terrorist groups that are not on the United States’ ‘terror list’? Will those who affiliate with them be subjected to Lieberman’s proposed legislation? What about members of the KKK and the Hutaree group? Should members of these groups not also be liable to having their citizenship stripped?
If we take Lieberman’s proposed legislation for what it is, Lieberman himself should have his American citizenship revoked. He is a steadfast supporter of Israeli terrorism against the Palestinians and was a major proponent of the United States’ terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and now with the drone campaign in Pakistan.
Leaders in the CIA, too, should have their citizenship revoked for working with Abdolamalek Righi.
Lieberman’s problem is he cannot even comprehend or fathom the idea that Israel and the United States are no less ‘terrorist organizations’ than those groups on the United States’ ‘terror list’. Sadly, his own ideologies are preventing him from objectivity.
Ironically, under Lieberman’s proposed legislation, Bush II, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Reagan, Obama, and many other former Presidents and high-level officials should have their American citizenship revoked for their terrorism, crimes against humanity and their undisputed imperial aggression which, (un)arguably, fall under the ‘terrorism’ banner according to domestic and international law.