Thr Road To Treason

Bald Eagle

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THE ROAD TO TREASON

By Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe December 13, 2001

It isn't the case that the parents of John Walker -- the Marin County child of privilege turned Taliban terrorist -- never drew the line with their son. True, they didn't do so when he was 14 and his consuming passion was collecting hip-hop CDs with especially nasty lyrics. And true, they didn't put their foot down when he announced at 16 that he was going to drop out of Tamiscal High School -- the elite "alternative" school where students determined their own course of study and only saw a teacher once a week. And granted, they didn't interfere when he abruptly decided to become a Muslim after reading *The Autobiography of Malcolm X,* grew a beard, and took to wearing long white robes and an oversized skullcap.

On the contrary: His father was "proud of John for pursuing an alternative course" and his mother told friends that it was "good for a child to find a passion." Nor did they object when he began spending more and more time at a local mosque and set about trying to memorize the Koran. Nor when he asked his parents to pay his way to Yemen so he could learn to speak "pure" Arabic. Nor when they learned that his new circle of friends included gunmen who had been to Chechnya to fight the Russians. Nor when he headed to Pakistan to join a madrassah in a region known to be a stronghold of Islamist extremists. His parents also didn't balk when he went to fight in Afghanistan -- but that, at least, they didn't know about: Walker hadn't told them. Perhaps by that point he had learned to take their consent for granted.

Only once, it seems, did Frank Lindh and Marilyn Walker actually deny their son something he wanted. When he first adopted Islam and took the name Suleyman, they refused to use it and insisted on calling him John. After all, he had been named for one of the giants of our time: John Lennon. Their refusal must have amazed him. For as long as he could remember, his oh-so-progressive parents had answered "Yes" to his every whim, indulged his every fancy, permitted -- even praised -- his every passion. The only thing they insisted on was that nothing be insisted on.

Nothing in his life was important enough for them to make an issue of: not his schooling, not his religion, not his appearance, not even whether he stayed in America or moved -- while still a minor -- to a benighted Third World oligarchy halfway around the world. Nothing. Except, of course, their right to call him by the name of their favorite Beatle.

Devout practitioners of the self-obsessed nonjudgmentalism for which the Bay Area is renowned, Lindh and Walker appear never to have rebuked their son or criticized his choices. In their world, there were no absolutes, no fixed truths, no mandatory behavior, no thou-shalt-nots. If they had one conviction, it was that all convictions are worthy -- that nothing is intolerable except intolerance.

But even in Marin County, there are times when children need to hear "No" and "Don't." They need to know that there are limits they must respect and expectations they must try to live up to. If they cannot find those limits and expectations at home, they are apt to look for them elsewhere.

Newsweek calls it "truly perplexing" that Walker, who "grew up in possibly the most liberal, tolerant place in America . . was drawn to the most illiberal, intolerant sect in Islam." There is nothing perplexing about it. He craved standards and discipline. Mom and Dad didn't offer any. The Taliban did. Even when it was clear that their son was sinking into Islamist fanaticism, they wouldn't pull back on the reins. When Osama bin Laden's terrorists bombed the USS Cole and killed 17 American servicemen, Walker e-mailed his father that the attack had been justified, since by docking the ship in Yemen, the United States had committed "an act of war."

Lindh now says that the message "raised my concerns" -- but that didn't stop him from wiring Walker another $1,200. After all, says Dad, "my days of molding him were over." It isn't clear that they ever began. It undoubtedly came as a jolt to his parents when Walker turned up at the fortress near Mazar-i-Sharif, sporting an AK-47 and calling himself Abdul Hamid. But the revelation that their son had enlisted in Al Qaeda and supported the Sept. 11 attacks brought no words of reproach -- or self-reproach -- to their lips.

Walker deserved "a little kick in the butt" for keeping them in the dark about his plans, his father said, but otherwise they just wanted to "give him a big hug." His mother, meanwhile, was quite sure that "if he got involved with the Taliban he must have been brainwashed. . . When you're young and impressionable, it's easy to be led by charismatic people." Yes, it is, and it's a pity that that didn't occur to her sooner. If she and Lindh had been less concerned with flaunting their open-mindedness and more concerned with developing their son's moral judgment, he wouldn't be where he is today. Walker is responsible for his own behavior and he will pay the price the law requires. But his road to treason and jihad didn't begin in Afghanistan. It began in Marin County, with parents who never said "No."
 

spectr17

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I'm still wondering why they are not going to try him for treason. The treason laws are  very clear. If Walker so much as lit a hash pipe for any of them Talibaners he aided the enemy and is guilty of treason.

We should show no quarter to US citizens who take up arms against the US.
 

Hook

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He deserves nothing less than the death penalty.

Unfortunate that Calif. has many parents like his.

(Edited by Hook at 9:56 pm on Jan. 24, 2002)
 

EVAN III

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   I would have to wonder what would happen if they just set him free in our society. I think he might just get what he really deserves. I to think that he deserves the death penality, but it seems in todays (so called) "politically correct" society it will not happen. Even though the law clearly permits it. The idea of scum like him enjoying the same rights I have as an American make me want to scream. He is NOT an american. The aclu ( no caps for them) keeps refering to his civil rights, why should he have civil rights when he is fighting against the country that gave him civil rights. Long story, short, no matter what they do to him, it will not be enough. His parents stand up there and say " john loves his country".  Kind of makes you want to slap them!! and ask them what channel they were watching!!! It sure wasn't the same channel I was. probly cnn or some crap. Enough ranting from me.

                 Evan III
 

Don

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He is a traitor in every sense of the word.  I have been trying to teach my 8 year old about the real heroes in the world like the people that died on 9/11/01 trying to save others and like our solders who are fighting for our freedoms and then he sees this guy who fought against our country.  He asks why and the only answer I can give is that he did not love his country.

So lets get him executed and off the news.  If you do not love this country then leave it and don't come back.
 

Bill W

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Like most stories, there really are two sides to this one.  Let me first say that I agree with the analysis of his upbringing 100%.  His parents are idiots.  Period.

But treason is a tough charge to make.  It is the only charge specifically defined in the Constitution.  It requires testimony from two wittnesses to the same overt act of treason. To prove the charge would require that two people testify that they saw Walker firing on people he knew to be Americans.  We don't know that happened.  We only know that he was there.

As far as lending aid and comfort to the enemy, lets not forget that last April (reportedly the same month Walker entered Afghanistan) the U.S. gave the Taliban a fifty million dollar grant to congradulate them for their efforts against poppy cultivation.  It seems to me that a pretty strong argument can be made that if the Taliban was an enemy last April, we wouldn't have been giving them 50 mil.  After walker went in there and the Sept 11 attacks took place,   I'm not sure what Walker could have done to avoid ending up in Mazir al Sharif.  At that point he was a soldier going where he was told.  All of that stuff is arguably correct.  I like the way Bush said it:  There'll be trial where he can argue all that stuff to a jury.

But all this talk about no need for civil rights is about as un-American as that which Walker is accused of.

Bill
 
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My personal opinion...kill the guy.

But from a purely Constitutional perspective, he should be handed over to the Afghans for them to handle.  The US has no Constitutional right to process him and he certainly cannot be sentenced to death because he did not commit Treason.  Treason is basically defined as crimes against the State by a citizen in time of war.  War has not yet been declared and he is no longer a citizen.  Serving in the military of a lawfully recognized foreign government forfeits his US citizenship.  Thus, he has no civil rights accorded him by the US Constitution.  Given the Afghans record with non-native fighters, he would meet the same end that many of you wish him.    
 

Brad

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Maybe I'm missing something , But the US got him back to the states awful fast. Maybe they are hoping he has information. I would get what I could from him and send him back . Or release him publicly at ground zero in NY
 

hronk

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I don't believe that he is any more guilty of Treason than Jane Fonda was.  There is no statute of limitations on bringing people to justice for this crime..Jane was responsible for the death or torture of American military personnell, and she was from Northern Ca. as is Walker.  Yet he was not found to be responsible for American casualties....  How we seem to forget the past , it is really sad.....hronk
 

LadyHunter

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If I was his mom, I would have sent him to the nearest tree to pick a switch every time he did something he needed a wooping for. I thank my parents now for spanking me when I needed it. I got into trouble once when I was little, after my parents got through with me I never got into trouble again. Treason is treason and the laws are clear. What part of it does the goverment don't understand??
 

feelinducky

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Shall we change his name from John Walker Lindh to John Walker Lynched?
 

paulc

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lets ask michael spanns widow what she would do..

i think before this is over we will find out that he commited treason.
 

Scotty

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Her Opinion: execute him.

From MSNBC:

Spann’s widow, Shannon, told reporters outside the courthouse after the arraignment that she thought Lindh should be executed.
      “We expect Mr. Walker to be personally held responsible for all the things he’s done,” she said, referring to Lindh by one of the names he has used in the past. “John Walker was a traitor because of the way he lived.”

Scotty
 

marmot

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There are a lot of lost sheep out there looking for a shepherd. Half wits looking for the true meaning of life. He is just one in a flock of many.

Some found Jim Jones, some found the reverend Moon, some found David Koresh. Lindh just wandered far enough off the track to find Osama.

A traitor he is, no doubt but he is one because he is a mindless sheep, not because he planned to be. Straight to the point, he is a dumb ass.

What he did goes against Christian and Muslim teachings. His perverted religious beliefs are no crutch for his actions.

I hope he is punished to the full extent of the law.
 

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