• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

No mercy

Would this be tempering justice with mercy, or would it be the worst use of presidential power since Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of the 16 members of the Puerto Rican FALN terrorist group?

The parents of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh on Wednesday repeated their annual request to President George W. Bush to commute their son's 20-year prison sentence.

Lindh, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to serving as a Taliban soldier, has spent nearly seven years in federal prisons. Four previous requests for commutation have been denied by US officials.

[. . .]

Our son never fought against American forces. He did not participate in terrorist activities of any kind. He condemns terrorism in every form, unequivocally," the Lindhs said in their request for commutation.

Is he a recent (jailhouse) convert to the condemnation of terrorism? Because, you know, joining the forces at war with your own country does not seem compatible with that philosophy. And people sometimes get carried away with accusing others of not being patriotic, but I think Lindh just might qualify. He crossed a line that can't be crossed -- leave him right where he is. He's in minimun security in Terre Haute -- not the worst he could have expected.

But, on second thought, I think I could accept letting him go, if Jane Fonda were put in his place for a few years.