John Walker--Traitor or brainwashed cultist? : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

What do you think should be done with this young white-bread from Marin County who was captured as a warrior for the Taliban? I do not know the legal definition of "traitor"; I do not know if he renounced hisw US citizenship; I do not know if he fired bullets at Americans.

My gut reaction is to treat him as a POW. Keep him in a military prison with the other POWs. Release him when the others are released but do not ever let him return to the US.

A modern day Man Without a Country.

-- (, December 09, 2001


Hang him at noon in the town square of Mill Valley.

-- (buffed@Pendleton.CA), December 09, 2001.

My opinion hasn't changed from the one expressed in this thread.

I DO believe that the article I posted there included the definition of TREASON.

-- Anita (, December 09, 2001.


Traitor or brainwashed cultist

Does it really matter? By definition it is not treason [sorry Anita; but only Congress can declare war] but his actions are covered by at least 6 sections of the law [there may be more]. Conviction requires the death penalty under most of those sections. So it really doesn't make any difference.

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, December 09, 2001.

Z: I thought that the law regarding "actively fighting against one's own country or aiding and abetting an ememy" was in force even if war hadn't been declared. I could be wrong.

-- Anita (, December 09, 2001.


We really need Porter here. The original definition dealt with an enemy in time of war. Now there may have been changes that I am not aware of. I posted the statutes a long time ago; back when Clinton was President [you remember those times; no war, no deficit, low unemployment ;o)]. At the time, Porter agreed. Of course, I could be as wrong as you since neither of us are constitutional authorities.

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, December 09, 2001.

Z: I don't think Porter is a constitutional lawyer. Of course that could be the SECOND thing I'm wrong about [just in THIS thread.] Heh.

-- Anita (, December 09, 2001.

Just an observation about this: I heard an interview wherein an American said the Taliban prisoners were being bound for security purposes in order to begin transporting them somewhere else. Then, this American said, the Taliban inexplicably became convinced that they were being bound for execution, and they revolted.

Later I saw the tape of the CIA guy who was later killed interviewing the young American Taliban. He and the other guy were playing good cop/bad cop. The other guy told the American Taliban that he would either talk or die there. "HERE" was the word he used as place of death. When the American Taliban refused to talk, they put him back with the other Taliban prisoners.

I think I heard a time frame of about an hour later when the revolt started.

Do you suppose...?

-- helen (wonder@at.this), December 09, 2001.

Let's leave John Walker to the justice he chose

By Mark Steyn

A FORTNIGHT ago two Americans met in the northern Afghan desert, at the Qala-i- Jhangi prison. One was a CIA special-ops man, Mike Spann. The other was a prisoner he was interrogating, a Taliban soldier called "Abdul Hamid", the nom de guerre of John Walker, formerly of northern California.

Mr Spann will be buried tomorrow by his wife and three young children in Arlington National Cemetery. He was kicked, beaten and apparently bitten to death in an uprising of captured Taliban, who then booby-trapped his body with grenades.

Mr Walker, by contrast, is one of 86 people to survive the four-day prison battle, and the question now is what to do with him.

If nothing else, he's usefully nailed one of the self-serving myths peddled after the awesome intelligence failure of September 11: awfully sorry we failed to see it coming, said the high-ranking suits, but it's impossible to do any covert deep-cover stuff out in Afghanistan; these fellows are all cousins and brothers-in-law - a guy from Jersey would stick out like a lap-dancer in a burqa.

As we now know, instead of being full of fearsome Pashtun warriors renowned down the centuries, the Omar/ Osama ranks were like a novelty Gap ad, "Losers of Many Nations" - misfit Saudis, Pakistanis, Brits and Californians.

Anyone can walk in off the street and be assistant supervisor of the third-floor latrine in Tora Bora by nightfall. The only distinguishing feature about John Walker is that he's such an obvious compendium of clapped-out cliches from America's Left Coast the wonder is the mullahs didn't automatically take him for a CIA plant.

Mr Walker was born John Lindh in 1981, and comes from a bastion of well-heeled dopehead progressivism, California's Marin County. Just north of San Francisco, it is a place where your average hippy-turned-lawyer stays true to his Sixties values on property that stays true to its late Nineties values (average house price: just shy of a million bucks).

Following the traditional Marin pattern, his parents divorced, his mother converted to Buddhism, and the children were taught Native American spirituality. John went to an "alternative" high school. (In the Bay Area, they are all "alternative". The problem for parents is trying to find any alternative to the alternative.)

The set texts included The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and John liked it so much that, like the late Mr X, he decided to embrace Islam and change his name, to Sulayman. His parents, putting their foot down for what seems to be the first and last time, demanded the right to continue calling him John.

They had, after all, named him after one of the colossi of the age, John Lennon. To this, he consented. In return, they let him study at the Mill Valley Islamic Centre.

In 1998, after an awkward trip to their ancestral Ireland in which John trudged dutifully round the auld sod wearing his turban and white robes, Frank Lindh agreed to let the 17-year-old spend a year in Yemen, on the next stage of his "spiritual odyssey".

Last year, John e-mailed home to say al-Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole was justified - oh, and by the way he was off to enrol in a Pakistani madrassa. So Dad wired him a couple thousand bucks, which goes a long way in Bannu.

Aside from a glowing school report from his Imam, that was the last Mr Lindh heard from Junior until he turned up brandishing an AK47 and declaring his approval of the events of September 11.

John Walker's CV bears eloquent testament to his parents' scrupulous observance of the Bay Area's First Commandment: Thou shalt be non-judgemental. Yeah, man, Yemen. Cool. As one headline put it: "A Product Of Bay Area Culture".

Exactly, I thought. But, this being The San Francisco Chronicle, they were applying the label with pride. Rhapsodising about the region's "religious tolerance" and the way children are taught to value "critical thinking about the US role in the world", Louis Freedberg concluded that Walker's only misfortune was that "his search for identity intersected precisely with the World Trade Centre attacks".

If not for this unfortunate "intersection", he might have become an "idealistic doctor". The President, he said, should allow the boy home "and let him get his life back on track. We'd want nothing less for our own children, who could easily have found themselves in a similar mess."

In fairness to the youth of northern California, that last part is an unjust slur. The marvel is that, after labouring under the twin burdens of the education system's multicultural orthodoxies and the preening moral superiority of their boomer parents, no more Bay Area teens have signed on with Mullah Omar.

None the less, there is a difference between "tolerance" of other cultures and the moral inertia displayed by the Lindhs. We can, in any case, guess the limits of Marin County's much-vaunted "tolerance".

Imagine that the Marinated Muslim had instead announced that he was going to do what the late Mike Spann did at his age: enlist in the Marines. Would Marilyn Walker have seen that as a valid part of his "self-discovery"? Or would she have got out her joss sticks and wailed, "Oh, my God, where did we go wrong?"

Mom says she's "proud" of John, but says he must have been "brainwashed". From the look of him, his brain's the only thing that's been washed: John Walker resembles one of those cadaverous, deranged guys who stumble up to you late at night at Greyhound bus stations and demand money for medication.

But right now that's shrewd image-positioning. President Bush seems to have bought the "misguided" line, describing Walker as a "poor fellow" who thought he was fighting for a "great cause". "I can't see him as being unpatriotic," says a neighbour. "This is where his journey led him."

For four decades, "non-judgemental" flower-children like Marilyn Walker have reflexively characterised men like Mike Spann as the dark agents of Right-wing militarism. We are entitled to judge Marilyn's son, the comrade of Spann's killers, as the dark agent of Left-wing Marinism.

Raised by peaceniks and Marinated in "tolerance", he took up an AK47 in defence of misogynists and gay-bashers: not a paradox, but the logical reductio of the Left's moral nullity. Cocooned in one of the most prosperous enclaves on the planet, he was taught everything - from Buddhism to Malcolm X - except what it means to be an American citizen.

When a 13-year-old girl wants an abortion, the Marin County crowd insists that "a woman's right to choose" is sacred. Twenty-year-old men make choices, too. John Walker chose to go to war against his own country. Americans should respect his "right to choose" and let him live with the consequences.

I'm not in favour of trying him for treason: Alan Dershowitz and the other high-rent lawyers are already salivating over the possibility of a two-year circus with attendant book deals and TV movies. But there is another way: on page four of John Walker's US passport, it states that any American who enlists in a foreign army automatically loses his citizenship.

Mr Walker wants to be Abdul Hamid: Mr Bush should honour his wishes. Let us leave him to the Northern Alliance and let his San Francisco fancypants lawyers petition to appear before the Kabul bar, if there is one. It would, surely, be grossly discriminatory to subject Mr Hamid to non-Islamic justice.

-- (, December 10, 2001.

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