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Ireland a Trojan horse for the USA within the EU?

by Frank Schnittger Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 11:48:42 AM EST

Dana Rosemary Scallan is one of 7 candidates for the Presidency of Ireland in an election to be held on the 27th. October. It has now been revealed that she became a citizen of the USA prior to her previous run for President in in 1997 and she has the chutzpah to claim that her US citizenship will help her to better perform her duties as Irish President.

Dana says US citizenship an 'advantage' in ┴ras race

Ms Scallon became a US citizen prior to putting her name forward for the 1997 presidential election but a decision was taken not to inform the electorate, her sister told a court in Iowa in 2008 during a legal case involving ownership of some of  the singer's recordings.

She disputes the above account and claims not to have become a US citizen until 1999 although she has also claimed that no one asked her about her citizenship during the 1997 campaign and thus it was never an issue. To become a US citizen she was required to swear the following oath of allegiance:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

As a devout and militant Catholic, she can hardly claim that an Oath before God is a mere technicality - as she now appears to be trying to argue. She cannot even claim, as some Irish Bishops did when they withheld evidence of child abuse from the civil authorities, to have exercised a "mental reservation" in swearing her Oath of Allegiance to the USA, as this is specifically ruled out in the wording of the oath.


If Dana is elected President of Ireland, She will be required by the Irish Constitution (Article 12.8) to swear the following Oath:

"In the presence of Almighty God I ,do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me."

How can she both "entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity" to Ireland and defend the Constitution of the USA, and at the same time maintain "the Constitution of Ireland " and fully dedicate herself "to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland?"

Article 12.6.3 of the Irish Constitution also provides that: "The President shall not hold any other office or position of emolument." What happens if she is drafted into into the US Army during her term of office?

Dana claims to be totally open and honest and has engaged in a lot of waffle about resisting EU colonialism and furthering our close ties to the USA. However at least we have all signed up to the Treaties which are the foundation law of the EU in a number of referenda. I was not aware that we had become the 51st. State of the USA.

The Irish Constitution makes no provision for impeaching a President. Therefore there is nothing anyone will be able to do if Dana decides to honour her oath of allegiance to the USA and is instructed by the USA to bear arms on their behalf  or otherwise work in the interests of the USA.

And will our partners in the EU not be entitled to regard Ireland as something of a US trojan horse within the EU if she is elected? Fortunately this is unlikely to happen as she is currently running last in the opinion polls on c. 5% of the vote. I suspect the revelation that she is now also a US citizen could spell the end of her campaign.

Display:
Is it legally allowed to have both Irish and US citizenships? In both Ireland and the US?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 06:45:22 PM EST
Apparently dual citizenship is allowed.  The question is whether you want your President to have dual loyalties.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 01:52:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, dual citizenship is allowed. I know several people who have dual US-Irish citizenship. But none of them is running for high public office.
by Mnemosyne on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 09:10:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If both citizenship's are birthrights, then competing oaths of allegiance may not even arise.

If one citizenship is by birthright, and the second is after taking an oath, then the issue is whether forswearing allegiance to the state or sovereign where the birthright resides implies losing the birthright. Given that Ireland is a Republic with a strong "right of return" tradition, whether due to emigration or partition, that seems unlikely for someone born in Ireland becoming a naturalized US citizen.

Becoming a US citizen while holding an office in the Republic requiring an oath to defend and uphold the Irish Constitution would seem to clearly violate that oath.

But the rest of the US oath is a series of forward looking promises. The Irish oath of office would seem to not be intrinsically violated by the promises to meet those obligations under the US oath of naturalized citizenship, but only potentially. If an occasion arises in which they are in conflict, the office holder would at that point have to decide whether to renounce the US citizenship, to resign the Irish office, or to try to get away with being a scumsucking oathbreaker.

So long as you have abided by the demands of the two oaths, the fact that it might not have been possible to abide by the demands of both oaths at the same time is a hypothetical conflict.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 02:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
how many Trojan horses do they need?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:29:04 AM EST
There's already a fair-sized cavalry.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 08:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting letters on:

Impeachment

and

Dual citizenship (Ireland)

by det on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 07:50:09 AM EST
Ireland certainly has literate commenters.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 08:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I'm afraid they may not know what they are talking about. They seem to regard the oath of allegiance for U.S. citizenship to mean what it seems to mean. But the situation is more complicated from the U.S. side, and as far as the foreign country is concerned, an oath of allegiance to the U.S. may or may not count as renouncing citizenship of the foreign country. This depends entirely on the laws of that country, and I've no idea what the rule is in Ireland.

I did think that taking a policy-making position in a foreign country should result in loss of U.S. citizenship, but I seem to be wrong there (pity: it would have been fun to see U.S. courts debate whether the Irish President makes policy or not....).  found this

In some cases, it would appear that holding a foreign office may be incompatible with maintaining U.S. citizenship (e.g. if the position necessarily entails absolute immunity from U.S. law and the powers of the office are exercised in a manner contrary to United States law), although even this situation would be examined on a case by case basis. The Department does not normally consider foreign government service alone as sufficient to sustain the burden of showing loss of U.S. citizenship by a preponderance of the evidence when the individual has explicitly expressed a contrary intent. This is particularly true when the individual continues to file U.S. tax returns, enters and leaves the U.S. on a U.S. passport (as required by law), maintains close ties in the U.S. (such as maintaining a residence in the U.S.), and takes other actions consistent with an intent to retain U.S. citizenship. Conversely, a person who publicly denied an intent to retain citizenship, and/or who exercised the authorities of a very high-level foreign office in a manner flagrantly violative of United States law or otherwise inconsistent with allegiance to the United States, stopped paying his/her taxes, traveled to the United States on a foreign passport, and abandoned any residence in the United States might be found to have intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship notwithstanding certain statements to the contrary. Therefore, the Department will consider statements, as well as inferences drawn from the person's conduct, in determining one's intent to remain a U.S. citizen. Intent is determined on a case-by-case basis in light of the facts and circumstances of each individual's case. If expressed intent and conduct are consistent with a lack of intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship, the Department would generally conclude that no loss has occurred.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 10:21:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone is too exercised about whether or not she can retain US citizenship.  The issue is whether someone who thinks nothing of swearing an oath of allegiance to another country which requires them to abjure all allegiance to Ireland can then be trusted to carry out her oath of Office as Irish president which requires them precisely to act in the best interests of the Irish people.

I would have a further political problem. Dana is so Anti-EU and pro-US that she has a problem with the EU having power here and no problem with her swearing to act on behalf of the US whilst being President here. I don't want a President who feels a greater emotional allegiance to the US than the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 10:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Ireland can beat Puerto Rico, Israel, Canada and Iceland in the race to become states of the U.S. of A. Although I must say that the field is getting a bit crowded...
by asdf on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 04:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about Puerto Rico, but i don't think an of the others wish to become states of the USA - in an formal sense at least. Further than that, I see the solidarity of "the West" reducing as alignment with the US reduces.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 06:35:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From firsthand experience, I can tell you that you can retain your citizenship in your original country.

However, there is one common question asked of males: do you swear that you would fight in a war against your [former country] if called upon to do so?

That to me implies a sort of renunciation.

by Upstate NY on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 07:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This appears to imply that the process can be somewhat discretionary and informal. I had understood that swearing the oath of allegiance was a formal requirement in all instances. Normally the fine print of what this requires may not be of great concern - people don't expect to be called up to fight against their country of origin. However one would hope that an aspirant president would take such matters - and the oath of office of the Presidency - somewhat more seriously.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 08:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently not too hot on Latin either:

4th letter down

Sir, - A correspondent (October 10th), when referring to Dana's right to Irish citizenship, translated ius solis as "law of the sun".

That doesn't make sense. The true translation is "right of the soil", ie, right by virtue of being born in Ireland.

No, I've nothing better to do than correct people's Latin. - Yours, etc,


by det on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 03:14:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that is a special pride point for the irish people, boasting a disproportionate amount to literary luminaries.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 06:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Irish letter writers -  I would be a prime offender - are thinking particularly of our literary heritage. Although I have frequently been frustrated by what the letters page editors do and don't publish   the letters pages of the Irish dailys do still constitute one of the prime locations for public debate. We don't have indigenous daily redtops although the Irish editions of UK tabloids are gaining significant market share.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 02:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the links.  I had not realised Phil Hogan was wrong when he claimed there was no provision for impeachment in the Constitution. As the cabinet minister with responsibility for calling the election, I had expected better - although I shouldn't, of course, be surprised.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 08:53:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that fidelity to the US Constitution seems to have been silently rewritten to mean fidelity to US financial institutions, the primary test of conflict of loyalties would not be a military draft but whether she has is forced to sacrifice European financial institutions to save US financial institutions.

But on the other hand, most German officials seem gleefully eager to sacrifice European financial institutions despite the threat of ruin to Germany, so if called to task, it seems she could just claim to be a Very Important Person, in which case it would be presumed that she is destroying her nation's economy just because that is what Very Important People Do, and not because of any divided loyalties.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:16:22 PM EST
It seems to me that the allegiances of the financial elites in all "Western" countries is increasingly to the interests of global capital as represents by powerful global corporations and "the markets".  These people laugh at stuff like oaths of allegiance and actually doing any real fighting for their countries or indeed acting in the financial interests of their countries. Their allegiance is to their own financial interests and these are increasingly tied in with globalisation.

Dana, as President, would have no policy making role whatsoever, so the above discussion is somewhat moot. What her election would represent, however, is a turning away from the EU and an uncritical embrace of an "Americanism" that even many "Americans" do not embrace any more. Dana is a Catholic activist who has made quite a lot of money from religious music recordings in the USA and thus embraces the business model and world view for whom God, Country, and the American way of money making is the way to go.

She plays the innocent abroad card quite well, and some older people identify with her as a moral conservative with an atavistic rejection of EU secularism and cultural complexity - helped of course by the arrogant attitudes which EU leaders and the IMF/ECB have been taking towards Ireland recently.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 08:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dana [...] has engaged in a lot of waffle about resisting EU colonialism and furthering our close ties to the USA.

That's always the way with Eurosceptics, isn't it? They won't stand for Brussels telling them what to do but don't seem to have any problems with Washington doing the same.
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 06:06:28 AM EST
Up here the eurosceptic left is stronger then the eurosceptic right, and the eurosceptic left sees Brussels as an arm of the capitalistc empire centered on Washington.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 03:44:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dana 'disgusted' by row coverage - The Irish Times - Mon, Oct 10, 2011
"When she ran for the presidential election in Ireland, John and Damien and I had a meeting," Ms Stein told the US court. "She had just acquired her American citizenship, at the same time she was running for president of a foreign country, and the decision was made that it wouldn't look very good if the people of Ireland knew she was an American citizen."

Ms Scallon said last week her husband and her brother could not remember the conversation.

"It was a turbulent court case. We worked our way through it and I'm trying to patch up my family. I don't want any more questions about it," she said today.

Ms Scallon showed presenter Pat Kenny a document showing that she did not become an American citizen until October 1999 She said she would be prepared to give up her US citizenship if she became president but added that she "didn't see it as a disadvantage".

She added: "It was the proper thing for us to do while we were living there."

Asked about her views on same sex marriage and what she would do if a Bill came before her as as President extending civil partnership to marriage, Ms Scallon said she was "sick and tired" of being discriminated against because of her Catholicism and denied it would cause her difficulty if Bills on abortion or same sex marriage came before her.

"Would it be pretty difficult for someone is pro-abortion rights like the Labour candidate or for someone who is pro-gay marriage like the Fine Gael candidate and all the Independents? Why are they not asked how they would uphold our Consitution as it stands? Our Constitution clearly states that marriage is based on a man and a woman and the life of the unborn child being equal to the mother, " she said.

"Do not discriminate against me because I am Catholic. I am sick and tired of being grilled. I will always respect the will of the people."



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 08:48:47 AM EST
Isn't the Irish President a figurehead?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 08:53:45 AM EST
Largely - he/she can refer Bills to the Supreme Court to test their constitutionality before signing them. They also have a key ambassadorial role for Ireland abroad in promoting investment, positive PR and good international relations.

So the debate is over what kind of person we want to represent us at home and abroad - rather than over any specific policy position. Thus McGuinness' IRA past is controversial, as is Norris' actions in using his position as a Senator and aspirant president to support a former partner convicted of statutory rape whilst expressing no sympathy for the minor involved.

Dana's action in seeing no problem with swearing an Oath of Allegiance to the USA may seem a minor issue to some, but to me it is also symptomatic of her political orientation toward the US religious Right and against the EU political project.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 09:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dana is reported as being disgusted at media intrusion into her family affairs as if any of us had any interest in her private family affairs. The issue is that she is now a naturalised US citizen and as such had to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the USA and to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen".

She has tried to dismiss this oath as a mere technicality but that does not create confidence that she would take her Oath of Office as Irish President any more seriously. She states that her US citizenship could be an advantage in furthering relationships with the USA but seems quite unaware that it could also damage our relationships with our EU partners.

Her attitude seems to confirm an impression that she is more in tune with the US religious Right than with an essentially secular European project.

The EU may not be exactly flavour of the month in Ireland right now, but that is where our future is bound, for better or worse, in line with our Treaty obligations. With the Irish Government set for some difficult negotiations with our EU partners in the coming years, do we really want a President Dana to join President Vaclav Klaus in the Eurosceptic camp within the EU?


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 01:37:51 PM EST
The EU may not be exactly flavour of the month in Ireland right now, but that is where our future is bound, for better or worse, in line with our Treaty obligations.

Is that the best endorsement of the EU one can muster these days?

Don't bind yourself to the lesser evil, join Cthulhu's empire!

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 04:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Independent has published in full as their featured Letter of the day the original letter I drafted when I wrote this blog.  As it was submitted almost a week ago, I had assumed it wouldn't be published and had since sent in a much shorter letter. They seem to have decided that it is time to call a halt to Dana's campaign.

Dana and the issue of swearing - Letters, Opinion - Independent.ie

When Dana Rosemary Scallon became a citizen of the USA in 1999 she swore the following oath:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

She cannot even claim to have exercised a "mental reservation" in swearing her oath of allegiance to the US, as this is specifically ruled out in the wording of the oath.

If Dana is elected president of Ireland, she will be required by the Irish Constitution (Article 12.8) to swear the following oath:

"In the presence of Almighty God, I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me."

How can she both "entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity" to Ireland and defend the constitution of the US, and at the same time maintain "the Constitution of Ireland" and fully dedicate herself "to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland"?

Article 12.6.3 of the Irish Constitution also provides that: "The president shall not hold any other office or position of emolument." What happens if she is drafted into the US Army during her term of office?

Dana claims to be totally open and honest and has engaged in a lot of waffle about EU colonialism and our close ties to the USA. At least we have all signed up to the treaties which are the foundation law of the EU in a number of referenda.

I was not aware that we had become the 51st state of the US.

The Irish Constitution makes no provision for impeaching a president. Therefore there is nothing anyone will be able to do if Dana decides to honour her oath to the US and bear arms on its behalf or otherwise work in the interests of the US.

And will our partners in the EU not be entitled to regard Ireland as something of a US trojan horse within the EU if she is elected?

Frank Schnittger



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 08:12:22 AM EST
Unfortunately the Indo didn't even bother to correct an error in my original letter about there being no provision for impeachment in the Irish constitution.  I was basing that assumption on remarks to that effect made by Phil Hogan, Minister for the Environment, and the Minister with governmental responsibility for calling the Presidential election.  That will teach me for assuming that the responsible cabinet minister knows what he is talking about.

For reference, Hogan's remarks were made in an attack on the candidacy of Martin McGuinness:
Phil Hogan warns: No terrorist in the Aras - National News - Independent.ie

Mr Hogan has told the Sunday Independent: "Putting Mr McGuinness in charge of this State would leave us looking like a Banana Republic... (which) could denude Ireland of serious levels of corporate investment within 24 months."

In a trenchant attack, the Fine Gael minister has also expressed concern that a "constitutional crisis" could arise, should further infor-mation in relation to the "murky" past of Mr McGuinness emerge while the former Provisional IRA leader was President.

He said: "The absence of an impeachment process within the Irish Constitution means that we could be heading for an unprecedented stand-off -- where both Houses of the Oireachtas would vote 'no confidence' in Mr McGuinness but he would refuse to resign."

It should be noted, that as a former IRA member, McGuinness would also have made a pledge of allegiance to the IRA.  As this group killed a number of Irish Army and police personnel, it would be ironic if he ended up as titular head of the Irish Army as President. Although he claims to have left the IRA in 1974, this is widely disbelieved, and I'm not aware that it is possible to leave the IRA by renouncing that pledge. At one point, attempting to do so could have resulted in a death sentence.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 10:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dana returns to campaign trail - The Irish Times - Tue, Oct 11, 2011
After threatening to drop out of the presidential race yesterday, Dana Rosemary Scallon returned to campaigning today, saying the country needs the self determination to rebuild a future where people are not forced into emigration/

Ms Scallon did not answer whether she would follow through on her threat to drop out of the race if the issue of her US citizenship were raised again. She did say she would have to talk to all her family members before making any decisions.

Dana has claimed that raising the US citizenship issue is an intrusion  into her private family affairs because her change of citizenship first came to light in the context of a US civil court case where she and her sister were in dispute over the rights to her religious recordings. The Judge in that case ruled that none of the witnesses including Dana had been entirely truthful.

I suspect the Indo belatedly published my letter to challenge her contention that it was an intrusion into her private affairs and that she would withdraw from the election if it was raised again. My letter makes no reference to the circumstances under which her change of citizenship was revealed and I couldn't give a damn about her row with her sister.

What I find extraordinary is that she seems to think that her change of citizenship should be regarded as a private matter.  She has since offered to renounce her US citizenship if that is a problem for people in an attempt to diffuse the situation and so I find it strange that the Indo now publishes a letter which was written prior to that offer.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 10:58:06 AM EST
The Irish Times - Readers Letters and Feedback

Sir, - Dana is reported as being disgusted at media intrusion into her family affairs - as if any of us had any interest in her private family affairs. The issue is that she is now a naturalised US citizen and as such had to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the USA and to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen".

She has tried to dismiss this oath as a mere technicality but that does not create confidence that she would take her oath of office as Irish president any more seriously. She states that her US citizenship could be an advantage in furthering relationships with the US, but seems quite unaware that it could also damage our relationships with our EU partners.

Her attitude seems to confirm an impression that she is more in tune with the US religious right than with an essentially secular European project. The EU may not be exactly flavour of the month in Ireland right now, but that is where our future is bound, for better or worse, in line with our Treaty obligations. With the Irish Government set for some difficult negotiations with our EU partners in the coming years, do we really want a President Dana to join President Václav Klaus in the eurosceptic camp within the EU? - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER,



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 11th, 2011 at 09:03:58 PM EST
Shouldn't dual citizenship be a good thing for a head of state to have in a globalized world?  I just don't see the problem here.  Citizenship in modern democratic society is not some kind of religious oath to a king or Pope or something.  It is merely a commitment of an intention, at the time of making the oath, to not subvert the foundational institutions of the polity in which you want to be a more participatory member.  

To conjure up all kinds of feudal ideas of fealty and sovereignty that are inherent in the criticisms I see against her, in a modern democratic setting, seems to be kind of nonsensical. There have been numerous heads of state who have also been US citizens as well as citizens of other countries, and no, nothing in taking an oath of citizenship compels anyone to obedience regarding things like a military draft (and she's too old and female to have ever registered anyway).  To argue that a head of state would somehow face some kind of loyalty crisis between the country she leads and a citizenship somewhere else is pretty absurd. And becoming a head of state of a foreign country (or other high office) legally terminates anyone's claims to any responsibilities and benefits of US citizenship in any case, so it is really a moot issue on technical grounds as well.

by santiago on Sun Oct 16th, 2011 at 11:15:26 PM EST
Regarding your last sentence, I posted some information on a previous discussion of this topic. It seems that (much to my surprise) this is not necessarily the case, but seems to depend on whether you intended to renounce your U.S. citizenship (And losing citizenship terminates your claims to benefits of US citizenship, but not of the responsibility to pay taxes, if they can find a way of enforcing it).

What about Queen Elizabeth. How does this work? Is she a citizen of Canada, Australia etc. as well as the U.K.? Does this bother anyone?

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 01:29:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She's not a citizen, she's the sovereign...

And, is it not the case that technically Britons are not citizens but subjects?

Oh, the joys of monarchic constitutionlessness...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 17th, 2011 at 02:11:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If she'd been a dual Irish-Burundi citizen, it would not have been an issue.

But in a geopolitical landscape where European and American interests are increasingly divergent, and the US remains determined to play a major political role on the subcontinent, I think it is a perfectly valid question to ask just how revolving a door we like to have across the Atlantic.

Comparing to the reaction a Czech-Russian dual citizen would have provoked if he had run for a Czech office around 1991, Frank's skepticism does not seem extravagant.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Oct 18th, 2011 at 06:23:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even still, that might be an issue if US citizenship conferred some kind of loyalty contraints, but it doesn't. Citizenship is a modern concept, unrelated to the old European idea of being a subject.  Citizenship puts constraints on the state toward individuals regarding individuals' participation in governance.  It puts no effective constraints on individuals.  Citizens are not required to be loyal to anyone or any state.  Subjects are.
by santiago on Tue Oct 18th, 2011 at 10:47:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is indeed the case, then the US Oath of Allegiance needs some serious updating - something that would seriously anger the US religious Right.

As a naturalised Irish Citizen, I actually swore an oath of allegiance to the Irish state.  I did so because I saw my personal and working future in Ireland, and because I wanted to make a contribution to the success of the Irish polity and economy. I also support the European project which is based on European Nation states working together in an increasingly integrated way.

Dana, on the other hand, swore her oath of allegiance to the US and made some of her career and a lot of her money working as part of the US religious Right music and broadcast industry. She has also been extremely negatively disposed towards the EU even before its current difficulties. She obviously has the right to make these personal, economic and political choices, but they are leading Ireland in a direction I don't want to see it go.

I am not denying her right to stand for the Irish Presidency, merely opposing her candidacy and political orientation. Her oath, in my view is symbolic of that differing orientation.

PS the revelations that Dana's Niece has accused Dana's brother and campaign manager of sexually abusing her many years ago in a recent US court action is adding to her current difficulties and she currently stands last, at 2%, in the polls. Her claim that she is being discriminated against because she is a Catholic really takes the biscuit given that the Irish State has for so long been almost a fiefdom of the Catholic Church.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 10:06:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The US oath is a declaration of allegiance to the constitution, not to any state or political figure or organization. That it, it is an oath to uphold and abide by a given set of rules on how to make rules within the United States, not an oath to any political organization or person, such as a state or prince.  This really means it is an oath that one's intention to become a US citizen is an honest one and not a subversive one. US law has never interpreted this any other way, although foreign laws and powers often have read more into it and often require government appointees or officeholders to renounce US citizenship to avoid any ambiguity, for obvious reasons.

It doesn't seem like I'd support Dana either, but the dual citizenship criticism is an old, pre-modern rightist one, and shouldn't be in the rhetorical arsenal of today's progressives.

by santiago on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 12:37:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are we talking about the same oath?  I am less concerned about how the Oath is interpreted within the US than what it says about a person's attitude towards their country of origin...

European Tribune - Ireland a Trojan horse for the USA within the EU?

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 06:46:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, this is the same oath.  And what I said is exactly what it means, legally, morally, or otherwise.  It's an oath to uphold the US constitution, a mere document that explains how we all agree to go about making rules or changing them, not the state or government or any political authority. It actually has no standing in law of any kind other than that you can be accused of lying under oath if you turn out to be a foreign spy or terrorist instead of an earnest immigrant.
by santiago on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 07:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even still, that might be an issue if US citizenship conferred some kind of loyalty contraints

It's an issue because a chap with a US passport has an easier passage through the revolving door to the other side of the Atlantic than a chap who doesn't have a US passport.

And that revolving door is detrimental to European interests.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 01:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, whether it's detrimental or not is pretty debatable and certainly should be part of debating who should hold high office in Europe.  If you want an anti-American for a President then I suppose it makes perverse sense to join arms with the paleo-right and start confusing citizenship with terms like duty or sovereignty.  
by santiago on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 07:52:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't want an anti-American. I just don't want an Atlanticist. There is some space of possible attitudes between the two where reasonable people can congregate.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 21st, 2011 at 07:35:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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