December 22, 2007

John Walker Lindh wants out

He has called himself John Walker Lindh, John Walker, his original adopted Muslim name Sulayman al-Faris, or as he prefers today, Hamza Walker Lindh. Others have dubbed him "Taliban John" or "Jihad Johnny" or "the Marin Mujahid."

Whatever he or others prefer, the correct form of address is Inmate # 45426-083. Lindh is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at the medium-security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, having recently been moved from the "Supermax" facility in Colorado. Lindh should consider himself lucky - the Supermax is as tough as it gets.

Lindh is back in the news. His lawyer, James Brosnahan, has again requested that President Bush commute the sentence that he and Lindh agreed to in a 2002 plea bargain. I don't think there is any chance President Bush will reduce the sentence - nor should he. Part of the plea bargain was that there would be no requests for reduction of his sentence.

The current request provides another opportunity for Brosnahan and Lindh's parents to proclaim his innocence.

MARILYN WALKER: "John Lindh had no involvement whatsoever in terrorism or criminal activity. His only offense was serving in the army of Afghanistan - he's admitted this was a mistake on his part. He never fought against the United States."

Ya um hamza (hey mother of Hamza), where have you been since 2001? I know it is hard to come to grips with what your son has become and done, but to make these statements is absurd. No involvement in criminal activity or terrorism? He admitted to it as part of his plea deal. Serving in the army of Afghanistan? He was an unlawful combatant by any definition. If he was not fighting against the United States, why did he not leave Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, the day of the American invasion? He stayed and fought - he's guilty.

JAMES BROSNAHAN: "Others have received a lot less in the way of a sentence even when they were convicted of a lot more. I think the mood of the country has changed dramatically since 2001-2002. We're still feeling the effects of 9/11, but we're not as fearful as we were then. We still have enemies, but we're seeing them more clearly now. John is not one of them."

Counselor, we know you have to make these kinds of statements to earn your keep, but if John/Hamza is not one of our enemies, why did you plead him guilty? He's guilty, he admitted it, you got him a deal, end of story. While the mood of the country may have changed since 2001, there is no sympathy for Taliban John. I would have left him on a battlefield in Afghanistan.