Graham: Americans fighting with ISIS are enemy combatants | TheHill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday all U.S. citizens who join Islamist militant organizations in the Middle East should be defined as enemy combatants and subject to capture or death.

Graham said he is preparing a letter asking President Obama if he agrees with that categorization of U.S. citizens who join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“All of these American citizens who are going to jihad for ISIS or any other organization should be considered as enemy combatants under the American law of war, subject to being killed or captured,” he said on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

At least 140 U.S. fighters have traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight, according to intelligence officials cited in an NPR report Wednesday. One U.S. fighter linked with ISIS was confirmed dead over the weekend, with reports of a second.

“I don’t know if it’s 140. One is too many,” Graham said. “But if this war continues and ISIS continues to win and is seen as a conquering jihadist hero in the eyes of these disturbed people throughout the world, there’s going to be 1,400.”

via Graham: Americans fighting with ISIS are enemy combatants | TheHill.

URR and I tend to disagree on the approach to be taken when a US citizen fights for ISIS or other extremist organizations.

He posits that targeting them is an extrajudicial killing by the state.

I argue that they are legitimate military targets not protected by the need for due process.

One way or another, in this age of non-state actors gaining greater and greater influence, we as a nation will have to address this issue.

What are your thoughts?

13 thoughts on “Graham: Americans fighting with ISIS are enemy combatants | TheHill”

  1. In this case, legitimate targets. The danger in doing this is determine where the designation can be used. Do they remain legitimate targets if they leave the current conflict zone? If they remain affiliated but are not taking an active role in combat? Are they legitimate targets if they are recruiting in mosques in the US?

    1. If they are providing support they are legitimate targets, no matter where in the world they may be. That being said, the tools we have available to eliminate these targets varies considerably based on where they are. A recruiter in the US can be eliminated by being arrested by the FBI. Someone in Baghdad old be captured or killed by a special forces unit. If the target is deep in ISIS territory, or in the ass-crack of Yemen, an air strike is pretty much our only option.

    2. RE: “If they are providing support they are legitimate targets, no matter where in the world they may be.”

      You’ve got to realize how stupid that statement is, right? Support? So you would have been fine with the British military whacking US citizens in Boston and along the Eastern seaboard for financing the IRA? “Support” in undeclared wars is not a death sentence anywhere in the civilized world. That kind of broad policy can quickly morph into the federal government killing donors of the opposing party. That argument is exactly the one used by a former CU professor to justify his statement that all the 9/11 victims were guilty little Eichmanns. That’s the kind of intellectual crowd you want to run with?

      Killing in the heat of battle is one thing. Targeted assassination, of US citizens, is a whole different ball game.

    3. “Providing support” is the rationale for our bombing Dresden, Hiroshima, Hanoi and Baghdad Tell me again how stupid that statement is, or is the entire Army Air Corps guilty of war crimes?

    4. I hadn’t recalled that Hamburg and Dresden were US cities with US citizens that were entitled to Constitutional protections under the law. Baghdad either.

  2. Er, no. If they take up arms and fight for ISIS, and they get killed on the battlefield, so be it.

    NOT what Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan were ever accused of.

    Apples and oranges.

    1. Please, tell me all about battlefields. What’s quaint, perhaps, is how I hang onto things like Constitutional liberties.

    2. They pretty much stood being the sole locus of combat 30 years ago. Didn’t you get the memo? And the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, there are plenty of situations where slavishly following the letter of the law allows evil to prosper.

    3. I daresay the battlefields I traipsed were a hell of a lot more recent than thirty years ago. Yours?

      As for “suicide pact”, put into the hands of this government, codified, the legal authority to kill US citizens they consider “threats”, without due process or any trappings of legality, and in violation of Article III Section 3, and a suicide pact you have.

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