April 5, 2007

American Taliban Wants Reduced Sentence (Updated)

Johnny Walker Lindh wants the Hicks treatment, his lawyer announced today. Lindh, whose capture in Afghanistan after 9/11 made headlines, pled guilty to lesser terrorism charges rather than face charges that could have resulted in the death penalty. Now that the Australian at Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks, got a better deal, Lindh wants a second bite at the apple:

The lawyer and parents of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh asked President Bush to commute his 20-year prison term, citing the case of an Australian man who was sentenced to less than a year for aiding terrorism.

Lindh, 26, was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 by American forces sent to topple the Taliban after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was charged with conspiring to kill Americans and support terrorists but pleaded guilty to lesser offenses, including carrying explosives for the now-defunct Taliban government.

Lindh's lawyer and father said the lighter sentence given to Australian David Hicks should be reflected in Lindh's case.

"It is a question of proportionality. It is a question of fairness, and it is a question of the religious experience John Walker Lindh had," attorney James Brosnahan said. "And it was not in any way directed at the United States."

No -- why would we assume that Lindh's assistance to a terrorist group that had already attacked American interests and killed Americans was treasonous? He just had a "religious experience", as Brosnahan states. And that religious experience only coincidentally included jihad against America and infidel Westerners.

Lindh admitted to being a part of al-Qaeda and not just the Taliban, although that would have been bad enough. Lindh also escaped during a prison break that included the murder of his interrogator, Mike Spann, and hid for seven days until the Northern Alliance found the escapees. After his family launched a public-relations crusade to make their son into a victim of American mistreatment, the Department of Justice offered him a plea bargain that traded the consecutive life sentences he would surely have received for a twenty-year stretch and his explicit dropping of any claims of abuse, now and in the future. And Lindh accepted it.

Lindh's lucky he got the 20 years he's serving. He agreed to the deal. If he has buyer's remorse because someone else got a better deal, tough.

UPDATE: Let's recall what Robert Pelton, the CNN journalist who was the only reporter to interview Lindh after his capture, has to say about this poor, mistreated, unfortunate soul:

Quite simply in my opinion, Lindh was a terrorist, a member of what we call al qaeda and a man who chose to stay with killers even though he was afforded numerous opportunities to separate himself from his murderous associates. Twenty years in jail may be a blessing compared to how many of his friends have been dealt with since.

Frank Lindh cannot be blamed for the emotions behind his need to reinvent history or doing what he can to get his son out of jail. But he is lying. His son did not “love America”, he fought for bin Laden against us, his son is not “honest”, he lied to his parents and others. His son is not a “decent” young man; he trained to be a murderer. His son went to kill strangers in a stranger land. A spiritual quest? What part of grenades and AK 47’s can be described as spiritual? What part of patriotism is eating bin Laden’s food, listening to Usama’s droning hate-filled speeches against America and sitting obediently within strangling distance of our greatest single enemy? To
think that the American public is that stupid is an insult.

John Walker Lindh was an Arab speaking member of bin Laden’s terror legions. He called it Al Ansar (the correct term) we call them al Qaeda. He was never a member of the Taliban. Why because Lindh only spoke Arabic and English he would have been useless in a combat situation among Pashto or Dari speaking troops. I have seen Taliban ID cards and spent time with bin Laden’s “055 Brigade, “al Ansar” members and al qaeda. Lindh was exactly the person we were trying to kill in Afghanistan and now around the world. An educated, idealistic young Muslim who chose murder of innocent people as his path in life. He is no different that Mohamed Atta, Zarqawi or thousands of other terrorists that come from nice middle class families.


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Comments (20)

Posted by Woody [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:09 AM

With no consequenses to his actions, what will prevent him from doing it all over a gain? This creep should have been executed. Any treasonus act that causes harm to this land or injury or death to any citizen should be an automatic death sentance. Congress can see to that, even after conviction.


Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:37 AM

Rope. Tree. Skittish horse. Lindh.

Some assembly required.

The sad thing is that he'll probably get his reduced sentence, or maybe a pardon. Sad, sad, sad.

Posted by Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:43 AM

Should have taken him out while he was still in Afghanistan. That's the problem with taking lowlifes like this prisoner.

Given the current state of affairs though, I agree with docjim505... Rope, tree, skittish horse, and Lindh.

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:45 AM

Release back to the wilds of Afghanistan. Give our snipers some target practice.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:49 AM

Oh my, Oh my! The precious little darling just had a "religious experience". Well then, that would explain it all, right there. Let's just pardon everyone in the entire penal system whose had a "religious" experience. I got yer "religious experience" right here, Sparkey!

Come to think of it, I had a "religious" experience once, in the backseat of an old Ford with a nifty little brunette in high school. Does that count too? C'mon, I almost died (well, maybe just fainted), that's gotta' count for something!

Kid comes from the Bay Area, doesn't he? That tell's it all!

Posted by Always right [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:21 AM

HA! Religious experience! Did UBL have a religious experience? Did Abu Musab al-Zaquawi have a religious experience?

We can arrange to give Mr. Lindh a REAL nice religious experience!

Posted by CJ [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 10:51 AM

He just wants a contract re-negotiation. All sorts of people in the publuc eye get a contract re-negotiation when they weren't satisfied with the initital agreement that they signed. It's the way it is here in the United States. Sign today, squabble tomorrow, and re-sign after the squabble goes your way.

Just give him a piece of chocolate and send him home with an apology for inconveniencing him. It would be the compassionate thing to do.

In fact, give him a few million dollars in compensation for his imprisonment. It must have been really tough being in prison after aiding anti-freedom fighters. tic

Posted by cirby [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 11:35 AM

You need to correct the article.

The name he currently goes by is "Hamza Walker Lindh." When he was caught, he was calling himself "Suleyman al-Faris."

If you call him "John Walker Lindh," then you should also be sure to talk about the great boxer Cassius Clay, basketball player Lew Alcindor, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Poole, or jazz musician William Emanuel Huddleston, to name a few.

Posted by nickess [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 11:46 AM

The game from The Addams Family movie comes to mind--"Is there a God?"

docjim has it right.


Posted by TonyGuitar [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:40 PM

John Lindh, or *Hamza* was more likely backed by Muqtada al Sadr who is backed by Acmahdinejad and that leads to the why of Brit mariners being released.

This is a most revealing and transparent attempt to gloss over a serious problem between Russia and Iran.


I commented earlier about a backhander delivered to Iran by Russia about *unwise* actions and outstanding, [800 Million$?] debt.

This obvious spin piece on an official Iranian EN language site reveals tons.

Embargos are working, they are squirming.

I guess the Russians don*t want Acmahdinejad to cause or attract a smackdown, because they wouldn*t stand a chance of getting paid for their subs and Nuke toys. = TG

Posted by negentropy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:47 PM

"his explicit dropping of any claims of abuse, now and in the future."

I'm curious how that works, since we all know that all he needs to do is to call an interview and claim abuse - the media will take care of getting his story to the front pages. What does the government then do? Sue him? Right after he's become the media's victim-of-the-moment? I can already see the headlines - "Bush Administration Sues Victim of Prison Abuse"

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:47 PM

I agree he should have a reduced sentence and a lengthened neck.

So let's hang him today. It's a win-win.

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 12:56 PM

I agree that the Lubyanka Prison method of reducing his sentence would work. Send his relations the bill for the bullet.

Better yet, give Lindh flying lessons over Afghanistan without a parachute. Flap your hands faster Johnny or you'll soon find your 72 virgins look like Helen Thomas.

Posted by KauaiBoy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 2:37 PM

How short does this miscreant think our memories are----can't spin this one. Enjoy the religious experience of prison Johnny----I hope the aryan brotherhood has welcomed you with open arms. When is his appearance on The View?

Posted by BD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 3:10 PM

He thinks they are very, very short - and that there are plenty among us who will actively suppress any memory of his activities.

Let's face it, folks - the dance daddy's doing is pitch-perfect for the public he's trying to persuade.

Now, I don't think it will go anywhere because, ultimately, I don't think they will be able to get enough people to care what happens to Lindh.

Problem is, I've tended to give too much credit to what the "Public" will accept.

I mean, I also didn't think the Dems would get as far as they already have with their "Let's surrender now!!!" policy.

Posted by richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 8:26 PM

Let him exchange 20 years of his sentence for 30 seconds at the end of a rope...

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:14 PM

Was this just a fire up the base story? Hang him, he's a traitor, that fine. But CE, did you intentionally want to bring the ghouls out? Justice is justice, but bloodthirsty howlings are creepy.

Posted by Bennett [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 5, 2007 9:56 PM

A pardon? From Bush? That's funny. How do you say "Dream on buddy boy" in Arabic? This President has handed out very few pardons so far, most of them to people who long ago served their sentences and have lived exemplary lives since. I doubt President Bush is going to be interested in any petition for redress from Lindh and certainly not because of any deal made with the Australians over the fate of David Hicks.

But there's always 2009 and the next President. Right after Leonard Peltier gets his.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 6, 2007 5:26 AM

Arwooooooo! (Bloodthirsty howling to annoy CD) I personally have a better idea for Lindh than dancing a jig on air. Life. On Riker's. In the general population.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 6, 2007 7:22 AM

OK, no more bloodthirsty howling! Lindh was only a member of the same organization that murdered 3000 Americans on 9-11 and continues to murder Americans in Iraq. He only betrayed his own country. So no more hoping that he jerks at the end of a rope or spends a short, violent remainder of his waste of a life in a New York prison.

Tsk, tsk.

Reserve your gleeful howling for something worthwhile, like the prospect of Chimpy McBushitler being impeached or Karl Rove being shot or Dick Cheney dying of a massive heart attack.