Harriett got tired of standing by passively and watching the U.S. government give away peoples’ rights in pursuit of the illusion of safety. She watched the Patriot Act become law. She watched as habeas corpus was suspended indefinitely. She watched as the NDAA was passed, allowing possible incarceration of American citizens without benefit of counsel and to be held incommunicado for as long as the government wishes.
As a result, she helped some friends break into government computer networks in an attempt to find damning evidence that could be made public.
Soon afterward a SWAT team breaks into her apartment at 0300, takes her into custody, hoodwinks her, and transports her to an undisclosed location. There she is informed that, under the provisions of the NDAA, she is being held as “an enemy combatant”, and she will not be able to call upon the rights and privileges of a U.S. citizen. That is because, by Justice Department dictate, she is no longer a U.S. citizen.
Click to enbiggen, and see Representative Charles Dent's comments below
Couldn’t happen, you say? Not possible? Harriett performed no act heinous enough to invoke USC §1481, the provision that allows the government to strip her of her citizenship. Right?
The Enemy Expatriation Act (H.R. 3166 and S. 1698) is a bill currently before Congress that makes one small change in USC §1481. 1481 defines what offenses could cause U.S. citizens to have their citizenship revoked. Those conditions include conviction for treason, joining the armed forces of a foreign country, or becoming a naturalized citizen of another country.
The change invoked by H.R. 3166 and S. 1698 involves one small addition to USC §1481 to those existing conditions. The addition, per the proposed bills, is simply:
(8) engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States
There is also an addition that defines”hostilities” as:
(c) For purposes of this section, the term ‘hostilities’ means any conflict subject to the laws of war
The “official” reason for this modification of existing U.S. legal code is cover the military’s ass in the case where an American citizen openly foments war against the United States; in such cases, U.S. citizenship can be revoked and the military can treat the subjects of that revocation as if they were enemy combatants — i.e., they can killed without the legal ramifications of ensuring the human rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Constitution.
However, there is a darker side to this. Define “engaging in, or purposely and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States”. Is it firing a Stinger missile at a Army chopper? Is it exhorting militants to engage in jihad against the U.S.? Is it shutting down the Department of Justice computers, as was (allegedly) done recently by members of Anonymous?
Might it be tearing down the NYPD barracades blocking off Zuccotti Park?
Before you exclaim that Occupy activities could never be construed as “hostilities” against the United States, take a good look at the history of the Espionage Act of 1917 and ask the ghosts of E. E. Cummings, Eugene Debs, and the other 200 detainees about it.
See what Anonymous, a probable target of the EEA, has to say.
Here are the comments of Representative Charles Dent, H.R. 3166’s sponsor: