Why John Walker Lindh is Still in Jail

Frank R. Lindh, father of Abu Sulayman al-Irlandi (aka Sulayman al-Faris, Abdul Hamid, and John Walker Lindh) has an op-ed in the NYT asking "Bin Laden's Gone. Can My Son Come Home?" The answer is, sure: In another 8 to 11 years.

Frank R. Lindh, father of Abu Sulayman al-Irlandi (aka Sulayman al-Faris, Abdul Hamid, and John Walker Lindh) has an op-ed in the NYT asking “Bin Laden’s Gone. Can My Son Come Home?

The answer is, sure: In another 8 to 11 years.

His son pled guilty, in July 2002, to two felonies: supplying services to the Taliban and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony. In his own words at the hearing, “I provided my services as a soldier to the Taliban last year from about August to December. In the course of doing so, I carried a rifle and two grenades. I did so knowingly and willingly knowing that it was illegal.”

He also stood by, saying nothing, allowing a Taliban raid that killed CIA officer Mike Spann.  He was charged with crimes that could have led to three consecutive life sentences. That, however, would have meant allowing al-Irlandi to call fellow Taliban members held at Guantanamo as witnesses and the government pressed for a plea deal instead.

The agreement was for 20 years without chance of parole. But he could get 3 years off for good behavior.

One imagines the President Obama will be unlikely to issue a pardon to such an unsympathetic character.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Terrorism
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jay Tea says:

    More to the point: he’s still in jail because he wasn’t charged with treason and executed, as would have been entirely just.

    J.

  2. Southern Hoosier says:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    Yep, treason sounds like it would fit.