I didn’t put it in writing, but my first reaction to the story of the American women who went and married ISIS fighters was to forgive their youthful indiscretion and let them come back.
Now, although I think Mike Pompeo’s “not a citizen” excuse is probably wrong, I don’t think they should come back, or at least not come back without facing serious consequences, probably criminal:
- It would embolden others to take a youthful fling.
- It’s not the government’s job to be magnanimous for those of us inclined to magnanimity.
- It is the government’s first job to provide for the nation’s security. That we’re already treating the military like a grand social experiment in formalistic “equality” is no good precedent for any compromise with repentant terroristas.
UPDATE: I’ve also heard now an interview on The Daily podcast where both women fudged the truth: the younger, describing bored domesticity whereas she was actually Tweeting out incitements targeting terrorism on American soil, the older describing herself as “very strict Dutch Reformed” in her upbringing and also as a Mennonite.