Lindh’s father calls for pardon

first_img As passionately as Frank Lindh is advocating for his son’s clemency, there is another father fighting just as hard to extend John Walker Lindh’s sentence by getting him convicted of a more serious crime, murder or treason. Johnny Spann is the father of CIA officer Johnny Michael “Mike” Spann who was killed in a riot at the prison in Mazar-e-Sharif after being videotaped speaking with John Walker Lindh. Johnny Spann is conducting his own investigation into the origins of the riot at the prison where suspected Taliban supporters were held. Spann contends that the uprising began with a planned grenade attack inside the prison building rather than a spontaneous scuffle outside where his son was interviewing prisoners, including Lindh. On Thursday, Frank Lindh emphasized that John Walker Lindh was involved in an Afghan war, not a fight against the U.S., having joined the once-U.S.-backed Taliban army to fight the Northern Alliance. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the U.S. targeted the Taliban for shielding Osama bin Laden. John Walker Lindh saw bin Laden speak twice while he was training in Afghanistan. His father said Thursday that his son had no idea that bin Laden was involved in terrorism against the U.S. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Last year John Walker Lindh asked Bush for a reduction in his 20-year sentence, repeating a September 2004 request the government rejected. Until now, his parents have mostly maintained a public silence about the case, hoping to avoid a media barrage that could be detrimental to their son. But on Thursday Frank Lindh shared baby pictures and other photos of his son during the presentation and said he is proud of his child. Lindh said he decided to break his silence because he hoped the story of his boy’s journey from bucolic Marin County to harsh Afghan battlefields will help gain him a reprieve. Frank Lindh said that if it weren’t for the terror attacks, his son’s activities would have been treated with curiosity, not anger. “But being viewed through the prism of those attacks has caused this young man to be vilified as a terrorist and a traitor,” he said. SAN FRANCISCO – After years of silence, the father of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh called on President George W. Bush on Thursday to grant clemency to his son, whom he says was wrongly maligned as a traitor and murderer. “In simple terms, this is the story of a decent and honorable young man embarked on a spiritual quest,” said Frank Lindh, swallowing back tears at times during a speech at the Commonwealth Club, a nonprofit organization. John Walker Lindh, who turns 25 next month, was captured by American forces on Nov. 21, 2001, alongside Taliban fighters. Frank Lindh said his son thought he had been rescued by U.S. soldiers until he was taken into custody, duct taped naked on a stretcher and held in a metal shipping container for two days. Charged with conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorists, the younger Lindh avoided a potential life sentence in 2002 by pleading guilty to lesser charges of supplying services to the Taliban in violation of U.S. economic sanctions and of carrying weapons against U.S. forces. In exchange, John Walker Lindh agreed to withdraw claims of abuse or torture. last_img

first_img As passionately as Frank Lindh is advocating for his son’s clemency, there is another father fighting just as hard to extend John Walker Lindh’s sentence by getting him convicted of a more serious crime, murder or treason. Johnny Spann is the father of CIA officer Johnny Michael “Mike” Spann who was killed in a riot at the prison in Mazar-e-Sharif after being videotaped speaking with John Walker Lindh. Johnny Spann is conducting his own investigation into the origins of the riot at the prison where suspected Taliban supporters were held. Spann contends that the uprising began with a planned grenade attack inside the prison building rather than a spontaneous scuffle outside where his son was interviewing prisoners, including Lindh. On Thursday, Frank Lindh emphasized that John Walker Lindh was involved in an Afghan war, not a fight against the U.S., having joined the once-U.S.-backed Taliban army to fight the Northern Alliance. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the U.S. targeted the Taliban for shielding Osama bin Laden. John Walker Lindh saw bin Laden speak twice while he was training in Afghanistan. His father said Thursday that his son had no idea that bin Laden was involved in terrorism against the U.S. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Last year John Walker Lindh asked Bush for a reduction in his 20-year sentence, repeating a September 2004 request the government rejected. Until now, his parents have mostly maintained a public silence about the case, hoping to avoid a media barrage that could be detrimental to their son. But on Thursday Frank Lindh shared baby pictures and other photos of his son during the presentation and said he is proud of his child. Lindh said he decided to break his silence because he hoped the story of his boy’s journey from bucolic Marin County to harsh Afghan battlefields will help gain him a reprieve. Frank Lindh said that if it weren’t for the terror attacks, his son’s activities would have been treated with curiosity, not anger. “But being viewed through the prism of those attacks has caused this young man to be vilified as a terrorist and a traitor,” he said. SAN FRANCISCO – After years of silence, the father of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh called on President George W. Bush on Thursday to grant clemency to his son, whom he says was wrongly maligned as a traitor and murderer. “In simple terms, this is the story of a decent and honorable young man embarked on a spiritual quest,” said Frank Lindh, swallowing back tears at times during a speech at the Commonwealth Club, a nonprofit organization. John Walker Lindh, who turns 25 next month, was captured by American forces on Nov. 21, 2001, alongside Taliban fighters. Frank Lindh said his son thought he had been rescued by U.S. soldiers until he was taken into custody, duct taped naked on a stretcher and held in a metal shipping container for two days. Charged with conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorists, the younger Lindh avoided a potential life sentence in 2002 by pleading guilty to lesser charges of supplying services to the Taliban in violation of U.S. economic sanctions and of carrying weapons against U.S. forces. In exchange, John Walker Lindh agreed to withdraw claims of abuse or torture. last_img

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