It's about life - not "lifestyle"
January 26, 2002
Reading some feedback on my original article American Taliban has been both interesting and entertaining. I even had to go back and read it again myself.

Did I really say "It's A-Ok to have a Revolution"? I think I did not. But it is, you's just that this particular subject doesn't have anything to do with my article. For those of you who are a bit mentally impaired or who blew off school - and it is astounding how many of you there seem to be - revolution is something you have at home. Look it up.

Back in December there was very little information about the circumstances which brought John Walker Lindh to U.S. custody in Afghanistan. All we knew is what we were being told, and that was that the U.S. government was considering trying him in the U.S. for murder and various other charges. They were talking about taking a prisioner of war and removing him halfway across the world and trying him like some gang-banger who shot his neighbor's grandmother to death while she watched television in her living room.

That's BS. I called it BS, although not in so many words or letters, and expressed the hope that the U.S. government isn't being administered by redneck yahoos. I didn't say it was...I just said I hoped it wasn't.

As of this writing Lindh is back in the U.S. and preparing for trial on a variety of charges. More information is being released. Use your heads, folks. It's a natural that someone like Lindh would get to meet OBL. It is also common sense that OBL wouldn't trust an American kid at all, other than to use him as a dupe. The disturbing part is hearing that Lindh may have undergone terrorist training at Al-Queda camps. It is hearsay at this point, but that would certainly remove Lindh from combatant status and put him in the criminal terrorist camp. It remains to be proven as of this writing.

For those of you ultra-nationalists who bring up the execution of the Rosenbergs and compare it to Lindh "taking up arms against American soldiers", let me point out that Lindh took up arms against the Northern Alliance armies. The U.S. didn't seem to have any interest in them at all until after Septebmer 11, 2001. I scoff at the notion that he fought Americans - and we may never know if he would have. You can't try a person for something he might have done but didn't. On the other hand, the Rosenbergs were convicted of  turning over secrets of high national security importance...there is a difference.

Let me raise the Philip Nolan Question, since so few of the younger readers probably have any idea of who he is. A fictional character in a story called "A Man Without A County", Nolan was condemned to life on a ship after having his citizenship stripped. There may be serious issues raised by Lindh fighting in a foreign army, and I don't think they should be minimalized; nor do I think the possibility of Lindh being a serious terrorist threat if let loose to wander the U.S. or the world is insignificant.

As for OBL, put his head on a stick...

This morning CNN or MSNBC had a long report about the prision camp in Cuba where Al-Queda detainees are being held. They showed a diagram of the tiny individual cells the men are being held in, and all reports carry the faint whiff of scandal, as if the pens are inhumane. A U.S. politician who recently viewed that area kept repeating that the prisoners are probably living better than the Marines in tents.After studying the cell diagram for a few moments my wife commented that they looked bigger than the cubicle she has to sit in all week. Plus, I offered, you'd get in trouble for threatening to kill your keepers.

Sometimes it's all a matter of persepective.

View From The Beach
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