Civil Liberties

U.K. Doesn't Assassinate Its Citizens — It Strips Their Passports First


Monty Python torture
Monty Python

In the United States, at least a few of us are a little curious about the Obama administration's claim of a right to assassinate people overseas — American citizens included — on its unproven claims that they're terrorists. I mean, who doesn't want an unchecked power to randomly snuff folks based on our own say-so that they're up to no good? But, as a matter of policy, there are a few downsides. Fortunately for our friends across the Atlantic, the government of the United Kingdom does not open its own citizens up to assassination based on politicians' allegations. No, as noted at Reason 24/7, the British government quietly strips accused terrorists of their citizenship first, and only then assassinates them. Or shoves red-pokers up their whatnots.

Reports The Independent:

The Government has secretly ramped up a controversial programme that strips people of their British citizenship on national security grounds – with two of the men subsequently killed by American drone attacks.

An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for The Independent has established that since 2010, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has revoked the passports of 16 individuals, many of whom are alleged to have had links to militant or terrorist groups.

Critics of the programme warn that it allows ministers to "wash their hands" of British nationals suspected of terrorism who could be subject to torture and illegal detention abroad.

They add that it also allows those stripped of their citizenship to be killed or "rendered" without any onus on the British Government to intervene.

Note that these aren't British "citizens" created by some legal loophole. "At least five of those deprived of their UK nationality by the Coalition were born in Britain, and one man had lived in the country for almost 50 years."

No violators of the rights of Englishmen, are Britain's leaders. They're careful to un-English 'em, first.