It’s really just common sense: “Americans” who leave this country to fight for ISIS, or any other country or entity or group who is our enemy, should no longer be referred to as “Americans” by the press.
I know; fat chance.
Also, the laws governing the involuntary revocation of citizenship should be scrutinized to see whether they apply. If not, they could be expanded by the legislature to explicitly include fighting for designated foreign terrorist entities such as ISIS.
And this isn’t just true of Somali-Americans or whatever hyphenated-Americans might be guilty of this behavior. It’s true of people like John Walker Lindh, one of the first “American” jihadis. Remember him?
Four years ago, Joe Lieberman proposed an expansion of the current law in order to make sure it included those who fight as jihadis abroad. Back then Lieberman said, “I’m now putting together legislation [so that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights.” The case has only grown stronger in the intervening years.
Lieberman didn’t succeed back then, but the relevant statute is here. These portions seem especially apropos:
(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—
(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if
(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or…
(7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The statute also says that the presumption that such actions were entered into voluntarily can be rebutted. The law appears to have originated in the 1950s.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]DONATE
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