One of the iconic images of the early days of the War in Afghanistan, back when hubris enabled some of our political class to visualize that Third World dung-heap as a lodestone of Jeffersonian democracy nestled in the nether regions of Central Asia, was a wounded John Walker Lindh on a stretcher, speaking English with a faux-Pashtun accent,
Lindh had been captured by US proxy forces and imprisoned at Qala-i-Jangi and participated the prison uprising there that resulted in the death of CIA paramilitary officer Johnny “Mike” Spann. Lindh was repatriated and in 2002 was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Now, with “good time” credit, Lindh is scheduled for release from prison tomorrow.
According to reports, Lindh is anything but contrite and reformed.
Now 36 years old, Lindh is set to be released in less than two years. And he’ll leave prison with Irish citizenship and a stubborn refusal to renounce violent ideology, according to the U.S. government. Foreign Policy obtained two government documents that express concerns about Lindh: One details the communications of Lindh and other federal prisoners convicted of terrorism-related charges, and the second, written by the National Counterterrorism Center, addresses the intelligence community’s larger concerns over these inmates, once released.
“As of May 2016, John Walker Lindh (USPER) — who is scheduled to be released in May 2019 after being convicted of supporting the Taliban — continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts,” reads the National Counterterrorism Center document prepared earlier this year.
And the daughter of Mike Spann is rightfully outraged that the man involved in the death of her father, and who got essentially a wrist slap from a system that let itself be bulldozed by weenies who thought providing Lindh for an opportunity for a life after prison more important than punishing either treason (c’mon, if fighting US forces alongside the Taliban is not “giving aid and comfort” what is) or his culpability in death of Spann–Lindh knew of the plans for the uprising.
I wrote this letter to @POTUS asking that the early release of John Walker Lindh be stopped. He’s going to be released on May 23, despite reports that he has continued to “advocate for global jihad.” This is not a reformed prisoner… pic.twitter.com/HVOryefVIE
— Alison Spann (@newsgirlalison) May 21, 2019
This whole fiasco points out the fallacy of a) creating access for terrorists captured overseas to be tried in US courts and b) viewing them as persons deserving of anything more than summary execution after a drumhead court-martial.