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20 years

January 12, 2002

By Jon Christian Ryter
Copyright 2002 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

     Picture, if you will, the opening phase of the civilian trial of John Lindh (known to the world as John Walker, the American Taliban). This scene will likely take place in a crowded courtroom a year or so from now somewhere far removed from New York (or any major metropolitan city whose citizens may also have wondered if they were targeted on 9.11and saved only because the Bush Administration grounded all commercial flights nationwide preventing, terrorists like Mohammad Atta and Zacharias Mouusaouri (who had no interest in learning how to take off and land a 757 or 767, but only how to take them over in mid-flight) from crashing a gasoline-filled airliner into their busiest office buildings as a day of terror progressed across the United States. Clearly, that was the intent of Osama bin Laden who had 100 flight-trained terrorists trained and ready to take over an additional 20 airliners across the United States on September 11. By 8:30 a.m., the Islamic terrorists from Egypt and Saudi Arabia had managed to hijack four. Eighty additional terrorists were already checking in at other airports around the nation.
     A Texas-based airline mechanic for American Airlines told this reporter on September 20 that box cutters were found on several grounded American Airlines jet airliners suggesting that had all flights nationwide not been grounded by the Bush Administration that Los Angeles, San Diego and quite possibly Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth would have served as additional terrorist targets, and thousand more Americans would have died as the Islamic extremists of the world declared war on America.

     Meanwhile, picture the courtroom. In the Midwest somewhere. A medium-sized city with no tall buildings. It will be a culturally-diverse city with a small Asian, Mideastern, Hispanic mix (but likely an even smaller African America population). If this city has a Muslim community within it, it will be a much-respected presence (Sunni instead of Shi’ite) with no strains of extremism apparent to the observer. (More time will be spent by the defense team searching for the ideal trial site than will actually be consumed by the trial since it will be the pre-trial mindset of the jurors rather than the evidence presented that will determine whether John Walker Lindh is found guilty, and of what charges he will be adjudged guilty or found innocent.) The community they select and seek venue in will likely be a city never visited by Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or any other inflammatory “racial equality” bigot. It will be a typical American community which has not felt the strife of civil unrest. While the jury pool will be tainted in the sense that it, like the rest of America, was devastatingly affected by the events of September 11 that changed the mindset of this nation for all time, it will be less biased due to the lack of racial strife within that community, and the defense team that will fight to get their client, John WalkerLindh, acquitted of charges of treason, conspiracy to commit murder, and accessory to the murder of CIA officer Johnny “Mike” Spann at the Qala-i-Jangi prison fortress a few miles west of Mazar Sharif. Spann was killed within minutes of the questioning of Walker when the al Qaeda prisoners, who had never been searched by the Northern Alliance captors, launched a counter attack from within the prison.
     During the melee, Walker disappeared.
     A week later, when American special ops forces flooded the basement of the prison with freezing cold water Walker and 85 other starving, cold and wet al Qaeda prisoners came up the stairs and surrendered. Once again the American Taliban was in the hands of the U.S. military. This time, they would not lose him.
     Initially it was believed that Walker was merely an American dissident. It would be several days before the media uncovered the fact that while young Johnny Walker Lindh was raised in a very traditional Catholic home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was, for all practical purposes, a very normal American boy raised in a very normal American home. Walker was remembered by his Silver Spring neighbors as “...a very sweet, quiet boy.” John was the middle child, with an older and younger sibling (who have both managed to avoid media attention).
Unlike most American families in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Marilyn Walker (she never took her husband’s name after their marriage) could afford to be a “stay-at-home” mom since her husband, Frank Lindh was an attorney in the Department of Justice. While part of the rapidly growing middle class during the Reagan years, the Lindhs—who were staunch liberals— were very frugal. Rather than drive to the Department of Justice Building each day, Lindh rode to work on the MARC or Metro rail system, taking a Metro bus from Union Station to the Justice Department. In 1991, disgruntled over George H.W. Bush’s handling of the Gulf War, Lindh—a Muslim with both extremist and abhorrent tendencies of his own—left his posh DC Justice Department job and moved to San Anselmo, California where he took a job with Pacific Gas & Electric. (Lindh, who was a closet homosexual, should have waited around Washington for the much more “morally diverse” Clinton Administration that rewarded homosexuals who practiced their deviant behavior within the offices of the Executive Branch with career promotions and raises and politically-correct respectability.)
     John Walker Lindh was eleven when the family moved. It was at that point that his life turned topsy-turvey...and it will be the events that transpired in Walker’s life from that point that will be used by Walker’s defense attorneys to seek an acquittal for their client. Not in the least surprising, America will learn that Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh are responsible for the fact that John Walker Lindh became a Taliban terrorist.
     While it is true that two very important things—one instigated by his mother and one instigated by his father—happened during that period that changed John Walker Lindh’s life, Walker and Walker alone is responsible for the decisions he made that led him first to Osama bin Laden and through bin Laden, to Mullah Mohammad Omar and into the Taliban.
     First, and foremost, his mother—Marilyn Walker—became disillusioned with Catholicism and converted to Buddhism. From that point, she encouraged all of her children to examine and explore other religions—including Islam. John Walker Lindh became intrigued with the Muslim faith, but not so much that at that point that he was willing to leave America and become a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. Islam seemed to answer a lot of questions Walker had, but like his mother, Walker became a Buddhist. Had the second event that altered his life not happened, Walker would likely still be a practicing Buddhist, or perhaps he may have ended up in one of the hundreds of California-based pseudo-Christian or New Age religious cults.
     In his “examination” of other religions, John Walker Lindh read The Autobiography of Malcom X. Time Magazine, in its December 17, 2001 edition claimed it was the reading of that book that convinced John Walker Lindh to become a Muslim. Not true. It may be that’s the story either Frank Lindh or Marilyn Walker told Josh Tyrangiel, the Time reporter, but the truth is Time—which is the most “politically-correct” “news” magazines in America—was wrong. During that period the marriage between Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh got in trouble. Walker learned that Lindh had taken a lover in California. Lindh’s lover was purported to be the owner of a San Francisco area gay bathhouse where homosexuals congregate to enjoy deviant sex with members of the same sex—usually men they don’t know and have never met previously. His name was William Jones, a family friend. The relationship between Jones and Lindh was uncovered by P.J. Corkery of the San Francisco Examiner on December 18. While Jones denied the relationship with Lindh, claiming that he merely rented an apartment to Lindh after the marriage between Frank and Marilyn went on the rocks, Allen White (a member of a gay church in San Francisco told the National Enquirer that “...Bill Jones is going to deny he’s Frank’s lover. He doesn’t want to be known as the gay stepdad to the infamous Taliban terrorist.”
     While Bill Jones might deny it...even in light of the statements made by Allen White to the National Enquirer (which we all know is one of America’s most credible and lucid newspapers) it is very likely this is going to be the “straw” John Walker Lindh’s lawyers will grab in an attempt to convince a jury that it was the deviant lifestyle choices of Walker’s father that drove Walker into the hands of Osama bin Laden.
     After learning that his father was a homosexual, John Walker Lindh dropped his father’s surname and took his mother’s maiden name as his last name. Walker was thunderstruck—and sickened by his father’s lifestyle choice. One of the things Walker found in his brief sojourn with Islam was a condemnation of homosexuality. It was this link—and this link only—that pulled Walker into the Muslim faith. It had nothing to do with the Malcom X. If it had, logic suggests that Walker would have joined Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam instead of going to Yemen where he was recruited for the Taliban.
     Walker turned to extremism to “get back at his father.” However, once he created a personal website, around age 16, and he began to wage his own personal war against homosexuality, the extremism initially leveled against his father was now being redirected against a nation that provided him safe haven during his growing years. In one Internet tirade, the 16-year old Walker attempted to link J. Edgar Hoover, a known homosexual, with Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse because Disneyland sponsored “gay day” around the time that Walker posted the defamatory article.
     Had Marilyn Walker not been theologically-challenged herself, she would have realized that the Catholic faith she left abhorred homosexuality, as does every Bible-based Christian faith. (Note: “Christian” faiths that accept homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle choice have left God’s estate in favor of a mythical New Age Utopia that does not, and will not, ever exist. Christian pastors have no eschatological authority to accept a lifestyle choice which God abhors and expect to escape His wrath.) Had Walker examined any of the Bible-based Christian faiths, he would have discovered that all of them abhor and condemn homosexuality. But, due largely to his mother, he found solace in Islam.
     During that period Walker began attending indoctrination at the Islamic Center of Mill Valley. The Mill Valley mosque was comprised primarily of Muslims of India extraction. In 1998 Walker, who had formed a close friendship with a 20-year old Indian Islamic named Abdullah Nana, took the name Sulayman al-Lindh—a surprising decision since he held his father in such disdain. (It is likely that Walker used his father’s name only to get money from him, because when he arrived in Yemen, he signed into the Arabic language school as Sulayman al-Faris.) Graduating from an Islamic high school in 1998, Walker found an Arabic language school in San’a, Yemen on the Internet and convinced his parents—Marilyn and Frank Lindh—to pay the freight to send him to Yemen. The on again, off again relationship between Lindh and Marilyn Walker ended permanently a year later, when Marilyn Walker filed for divorce. On November 30, 2000 Walker arrived in Yemen. In May, 2001 Walker was "taken under the wing" of the al Qaeda. On Dec. 1, 2001 Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh discovered that their son was not only in Afghanistan, he was a member of the Taliban.
     Those who have spoken with Walker say that Walker insists that while he was studying in Yemen he met several al Qaeda officials including Osama bin Laden and that bin Laden personally took him under his wing. While it does not seem likely, on one hand, that bin Laden would be impressed with a wet-behind-the-ears, snotty-nosed liberal from the United States, it is likely that the world’s most wanted terrorist saw in Walker the same type of “weapon” that the al Qaeda saw in Richard Colvin Reid—the shoe bomber—someone dumb enough to fall on the sword of martyrdom, taking hundreds of Americans with them when they died.
     Walker, when he finally started spilling his guts to the CIA, the NSA and the DoD admitted that bin Laden tried to recruit him as a martyr prior to the World Trade Center-Pentagon tragedies on September 11. Clearly Walker, like Richard Reid (who apparently believed dirty, smelly bodies are more welcome in Heaven than clean ones) would have attracted less attention after September 11 than the 19 ethnic Arabs that boarded the four United Airlines and American Airlines flights that crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the 767 that crashed east of Pittsburgh, aborting the plans of the terrorists to hit another target in the Washington, D.C. area.
     Walker apparently felt he had more life to live and declined the offer to become a martyr. The alternative was the Taliban. It is unclear if Walker was assigned to the Taliban before September 11 or if he arrived after the attack on America. What is clear is that Walker knew about the attack before it happened since he was offered a chance to become a martyr with Mohammad Atta. Walker talked openly to his Taliban comrades about his “relationship” with Osama in order, one imagines, to enhance his own position among the Taliban.
     How much of what Walker said is true, how much is exaggeration and how much is pure fiction is anyone’s guess. But what did interest the DoD was a statement Walker made that bin Laden bragged of having at least one suitcase nuclear devise that he bought prior to 1998 (about the time the Soviet government admitted that they may have lost several portable nuclear devises).
     It is for that reason that John Walker Lindh was removed from the general prisoner population and transported to a U.S. destroyer for interrogation. Clearly, if bin Laden did take Walker “under his wing” and provide him with confidential information that could throw a monkey wrench in his future terrorist plans for America, and if Walker is now providing the military with crucial information in exchange for leniency, Walker’s life would not be worth a wooden nickel in a general prison population. Due to the fact that Walker is still under military protection, and is still being questioned by the CIA, NSA and DoD, it is obvious that the American government believes Walker had a close relationship with the al Qaeda leadership—and has information that is needed by the American government to catch not only Osama bin Laden (if he is still alive) and the al Qaeda leadership around the world...and the heads of the al Qaeda terrorist training schools which are now training over 1,000,000 future terrorists per year.
     Walker could very well escape prosecution if he did have a genuine personal relationship with bin Laden in which the terrorist leaders shared too much confidential information with him—particularly since, whether bin Laden is living or dead, there are over one million new al Qaeda terrorist fanatics graduating from terrorist schools all over the world every year. To end the War on Terrorism, these schools must be located and destroyed—along with the ad Qaeda instructors...and, unfortunately, the pupils who were groomed only to hate Americans and were convinced that their sole role in life is to become a martyr to the Jihad against America.
     But, just in case John Walker Lindh does end up before a judge and jury (rather than a military tribunal where he should be tried on civilian rather than military charges of treason and as an accessory in the murder of Johnny Mike Spann if not as an accessory before and after the fact of the September 11 tragedy) it is clear that Walker’s attorneys will argue that Walker’s parents are responsible for the fact that their son became a Taliban terrorist.
     Marilyn Walker—the attorneys will argue—took a young, innocent, stable Catholic boy who was raised with solid traditional American values and allowed him to “experiment” with religious philosophies which he was not mature enough to understand. Marilyn Walker will willingly become the villainess who caused a son in her charge to become confused about religion and as a result, allowed him to “misunderstand” the benevolent nature of Islam. Marilyn Walker, the politically-correct liberal, will allow herself to be used in order to try to save her son from prison.
     Walker’s politically-correct liberal attorneys will be even harder on Frank Lindh because he is a homosexual. It’s always okay for liberals to attack homosexuals for being homosexual if a bigger agenda is at stake. And the bigger agenda, of course, is to minimize the fact that their client, John Walker Lindh is a terrorist who engaged in treason against the United States of America. Using the moral frailties of Walker’s parents to obtrucate the reality of who John Walker Lindh—or Sulayman al-Faris—really is and why he became a terrorist, the legal team will try to elicit sympathy from a jury arguing that because his parents were liberal fruitcakes John Walker Lindh is entitled to a free pass in life.
     Although the human bean counters, in their efforts to minimize the loss of life on September 11 have eliminated all duplicate names (as though there was only one John Smith or one Mary Smith or one guy named John Brown working at the World Trade Center) have reduced the death count to less than 3,000 human lives lost, the simple reality is that the death toll in the undeclared war on America is greater than the death toll at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
     There is no way anyone can mitigate the role any of the terrorists—American, Egyptian, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, Sudanese or Somolian—played in the planning or execution of the War on America. Those guilty of participating in that war as an enemy of the United States of America need to be tried by a military tribunal somewhere other than on the soil of the United States. Those tribunals need to be private in order to prevent terrorist repercussions against those who participated in the trial. If those tried are found by that tribunal to be complicity guilty of performing terrorist acts against the United States or any of its citizens, those found guilty need to be summarily executed by firing squad.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved