SPIRITUAL, ONLY WITH GUNS: The father of the famous American Taliban recruit wants the president to pardon his son, John Walker Lindh, whose story is that of "a decent and honorable young man embarked on a spiritual quest." That's really rich. I lived in Marin County during my 20s. I was keenly interested in spirituality, especially various meditative traditions. A lot of my friends were likewise interested in the spiritual practices of the world's great contemplative paths: Buddist, Hindu, Sufi, along with Native American ceremonies of various kinds. A couple of buddies even went to south Asia to practice meditation. Nobody I knew took up weapons for or against any religious, political, or "spiritual" cause.
"I went to Afghanistan with the intention of fighting against terrorism and oppression, not to support it," Lindh told the court. Alas! His "good intentions" paved the way to... well, you know. Lindh fought terrorism by signing up with the Taliban, attending al Qaeda seminars on how to kill Americans, staying in guesthouses funded by Osama bin Laden, sharing campfire tales about suicide terrorists being dispatched against the United States (just before 9/11 and practicing his anti-terrorism skills with rocket-launchers, pistols and Molotov cocktails (a favorite tool of anti-terrorism forces everywhere). During the summer of 2001, Osama bin Laden personally thanked Lindh for everything he had done to "fight terrorism and oppression." However, when Lindh was invited to take the fight against terrorism to U.S. soil, he declined in favor of a Rambo-style battlefield experience.The parents of Mike Spann make a convincing case that Lindh is directly responsible for Mike's death. I don't know enough to offer an informed opinion. I'll just say this: If John Walker Lindh's journey is "spiritual" I'll settle for a secular life, thanks very much.