Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Why is John Lindh still in jail?

I found this article by the father of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” moving. It has never been clear to me why Lindh was sentenced to decades in jail. Here is a response from the father of Mike Spann, the CIA officer killed in the uprising of Taliban prisoners, of which Lindh was one. ...

TARIQ MAHMOOD/AFP/Getty Images
TARIQ MAHMOOD/AFP/Getty Images

I found this article by the father of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” moving. It has never been clear to me why Lindh was sentenced to decades in jail. Here is a response from the father of Mike Spann, the CIA officer killed in the uprising of Taliban prisoners, of which Lindh was one.

Maybe it is just the father in me, but Lindh strikes me as having been a poor deluded kid. Sure, sentence him to a few years — but is there any good reason for him still to be imprisoned?

I found this article by the father of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” moving. It has never been clear to me why Lindh was sentenced to decades in jail. Here is a response from the father of Mike Spann, the CIA officer killed in the uprising of Taliban prisoners, of which Lindh was one.

Maybe it is just the father in me, but Lindh strikes me as having been a poor deluded kid. Sure, sentence him to a few years — but is there any good reason for him still to be imprisoned?

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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