Little Green Footballs

Thursday, August 17, 2006

When is an American not an American?

When Senior Legal Affairs Analyst Charles Johnson says so.

8 USC 1401 states:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof

However, according to Charles Johnson, the American lady who was caught with water bottles bearing traces of explosives at a West Virginia airport, and who was born in Jackson, Michigan, in 1978, is in fact Pakistani. Even though -- let us repeat -- she was born in the United States.

U.S. law is quite clear: anyone born in the United States is a U.S. citizen. Period. Even if her parents were from Pakistan.

So this is yet another example of Charles Johnson rewriting the facts -- or, in this case, the United States Code -- to suit his hate-mongering agenda.

In other woman- and aviation-related news, the lady who caused a disturbance on a United Airlines flight yesterday turns out -- despite Charles' hysterical initial reaction -- not to have had a tub of Vaseline in her carry-on bag, nor anything resembling a note from al-Qaeda.

She is, instead, a crazy woman from Vermont, whose name is Catherine Mayo. Ms. Mayo's background is unknown, but it's safe to assume that she -- like the woman who was arrested in West Virginia today -- is American. At least according to the United States Code; presumably Charles Johnson would have us refer to her as "Irish."

(Note to self: buy shares in Kimberly-Clark. Sales of Depend® brand undergarments are set to soar over the next few days, especially in places like Long Island, N.Y., and El Segundo, California.)


Ricardus said...

Whoa, friend, you are way overreacting. (Not unlike the LGF'ers on many a point.) The article CJ linked to said only that the woman was "of Pakistani origin." The typical reader will take that to mean she emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan. If she's an American citizen, she's a naturalized one, not one by birth.

The article you link to does not specifically say she was born in the U.S. It says only that her travel documents state she is "from" Dearborn and was born in 1978. That does not automatically mean she was born in Dearborn. People commonly say they're "from" whatever area they happen to be living in, even if it's not where they were born; when I lived in CA, I typically told people I was from the Bay Area, although my birthplace is in Washington.

Both you and CJ have made assumptions. You have assumed she was born in the U.S., he has assumed she has not yet acquired U.S. citizenship. At best CJ is guilty of jumping to the conclusion that, being of Pakistani origin, she is still a Pakistani citizen. Big deal. That's a rather modest assumption to make, however. For you to tear into him as some sort of Constitution-shredding hatemonger is rather like taking dynamite to blow up a gnat.

(For the record, I expect this "liquid bomb" scare will prove to be a false alarm, regardless of the woman's citizenship.)

Ricardus said...

(ack, replace Dearborn with Jackson above!)

Interesting. I just read the four most current reports I could find on the Huntington evacuation.

One says the woman is "originally from Pakistan" and moved to the Huntington area from Jackson.

One says that she is of "Pakistani descent," and made the move from Jackson to Huntington.

Still another says merely that she is a "local woman" of "Pakistani descent."

And the last mentioned nothing about her being Pakistani, but just said she was "originally from Jackson" and had moved to Huntington.

And then of course there was the article CJ cited, which described her as being "of Pakistani origin" and having "lived" in Jackson.

Thus I repeat my assertion that both you and CJ are making assumptions, both arguably plausible assumptions based on the article each of you read. He's not "denying" her American birth or "rewriting" the Code; the article he cited (along with some others) support the idea that she is not American born.

And thus your accusations are sustainable only if you can show he should have had reason to believe she was American-born, and chose to suppress it.

Can you?