U.S. Navy Veteran Donald Vance and fellow FBI informant Nathan Ertel are not entitled to sue their U.S. government torturers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh District ruled November 9. Both Vance and Ertel are native-born U.S. citizens.
As private contractors in Iraq in 2006, Vance and Ertel witnessed U.S. soldiers trading bullets for alcohol, and volunteered to become FBI undercover informants to stop the leak of weapons to the Taliban. But while in Iraq, the two men found that their cover had been blown, and were “rescued” by the U.S. military. But the U.S. military then arrested them, and threw them in Camp Cropper in Iraq, where they were tortured.
The Terrorist Expatriation Act, which was proposed in 2010 by Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), would have stripped of his citizenship any American accused of terrorism. This would have placed the suspect outside the jurisdiction of Article III courts and assigned the trial on his alleged crimes to a military tribunal.
Remarkably, given the penchant of lawmakers for violating constitutional protections on civil liberties, Lieberman’s bill died in committee.
Undaunted, in October 2011, Lieberman introduced an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act giving the federal government the same citizenship stripping power as was included in the Terrorist Expatriation Act. The latest iteration of the bill is known as the Enemy Expatriation Act.
Take the coverage of the 2012 elections carried on the three biggest 24-hour news channels (Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN) and you get a very conservative calculation of 72 hours in one day spent talking about the races in the 50 states.
Of those 72 hours of election coverage not one minute was devoted to reporting the results of several ballot initiatives nullifying unconstitutional acts of Congress. None of the highly paid, pancake-powdered pundits spoke a single syllable about the noteworthy and now codified efforts of citizens across the country to stop the encroachment of federal tyranny at the state borders.
Colorado and Washington became the first two states to nullify unconstitutional federal drug statutes by legalizing marijuana for recreational use, with voters backing Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 — but rejecting a similar proposal in Oregon. The two victories for legalization advocates, however, have set the stage for a potential showdown with the Obama administration of historic importance.