Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | July 15, 2002

Something fishy about Lindh plea

John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, has pleaded guilty to two of the government's ten counts as part of a plea agreement (link is PDF). The two counts are "Supplying Services to the Taliban" and "Carrying an Explosive During the Commission of a Felony".

lindh1.jpgThe charges carry a sentence of 20 years (of which he'll serve 17 assuming good behavious), and, among other things, requires Lindh to put "to rest his claims of mistreatment by the United States Military." Lindh further acknowledges that "he was not intentionally mistreated by the U.S. military." Interesting how the government insisted this be part of the plea agreement. See picture on right, keeping in mind that the worst pictures have not been released to the public or were ordered destroyed by the US military.

There are several fishy aspects about this plea. First of all, why would the defense plead out before the judge ruled on the admissibility of Lindh's "confession"? Second, why would Lindh cop to a criminal act of supporting the Taliban, when the US government was, at the same time, sending tens of millions of dollars to that very same Taliban regime? If Lindh is guilty of supporting the Taliban, so is Bush, Powell, and the entire state department.

The defense doesn't seem to be able to speak openly about the plea. It's almost as if Lindh was threatened with the same treatment Jose Padilla is getting -- the "enemy combatant" label. Could the US, seeing its case against Lindh fall apart, have threatened to strip Lindh of his attorney and incarcerate him indefinitely as an "enemy combatant"? There is definitely more to this case than currently meets the eye.

Posted July 15, 2002 11:33 AM | Comments (4)


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