CIVIL LIBERTIES ALERT….Via Atrios, the Center for Public Integrity reports on sweeping new “Patriot II” legislation that is currently being drafted by the Department of Justice. It’s just chock full of new restrictions on civil liberties, but my favorite is this:

Section 501, ?Expatriation of Terrorists?: This provision, the drafters say, would establish that an American citizen could be expatriated ?if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a ?terrorist organization?.? But whereas a citizen formerly had to state his intent to relinquish his citizenship, the new law affirms that his intent can be ?inferred from conduct.? Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group designated as a ?terrorist organization? by the Attorney General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.

So if you belong to an organization ? maybe A.N.S.W.E.R.? ? that John Ashcroft decides is a terrorist group, you can be stripped of your citizenship and (presumably) deported somewhere. Lovely.

DOJ, of course, says they’re just brainstorming things, and we shouldn’t be worried. Uh huh.

I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about this.

UPDATE: TalkLeft has more.

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