PolitiFact | Lieberman says president can approve killing a U.S. citizen who affiliates with terrorists
On May 6, 2010, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., joined three fellow lawmakers — two Republicans and one Democrat — to propose the Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would allow the United States to revoke the citizenship of an American citizen who affiliates with an officially designated foreign terrorist organization.
In comments at a news conference — later aired on the May 9, 2010, edition of ABC’s This Week — Lieberman cited a paradox to make the case for the bill. He cited news reports that President Barack Obama had authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born extremist Muslim cleric who is believed to be hiding in Yemen. U.S. intelligence sources have reportedly linked al-Awlaki to an al-Qaida affiliate and say he has recruited new terrorists.
The paradox, Lieberman said, is that while it is legal for the U.S. to kill al-Awlaki, it is is not legal for the U.S. to impose a more limited sanction — the removal of citizenship.