This debate is complicated because I can see both sides of this argument. I agree with Beck that we shouldn’t give the federal government any more power, but we do need the authority to treat a terrorist like a terrorist. Part of the reason why we aren’t getting information anymore on these attacks is because we aren’t interrogating anyone at Gitmo – instead we are blowing them up on the battlefield with drone attacks. If we can’t interrogate a terrorist to get information because he’s a citizen and he’s opted not to talk, that just makes our job a million times harder to investigate the attack and potentially stop others.
The real question for me though is how did we allow Shahzad to become a citizen, and how can we prevent it from happening again? Are there other terrorists that we’ve allowed to become citizens? If they are conspiring with the enemy, we need a to be able to revoke their citizenship before they commit a crime.
The problem with all of this is that we have gone completely soft on the enemy. We won’t even name the enemy, less kill them. We want treaties and peace agreements with people who don’t want peace. They want to kill us!
Until we get serious about our enemies and actually kill them, we are going to keep running into people who become citizens to shield themselves from having to give up information.