View Full Version : American Taliban Spared Death Penalty
01-15-2002, 10:29 PM
American Taliban Spared Death Penalty
Melanie Hunter, CNSNews.com
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2002
The American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh will be spared the death penalty but could get life in prison if convicted of aiding and abetting terrorists, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The charges against him include conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals overseas, providing material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda, and engaging in prohibited transactions with the Taliban.
"We have not overlooked attacks on Americans when they were made by foreign nationals. We cannot overlook attacks on America when they come from the United States citizens," U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft said Tuesday at a press conference.
"As set forth in the complaint, the charges filed against Walker are based on voluntary statements made by Walker himself," Ashcroft said.
He added that Walker "knowingly and purposely allied himself with certain terrorists organizations," and that he did so with the knowledge that "they had murdered thousands of his countrymen."
Walker, Ashcroft said, did not falter in allegiance to the terrorists even "with the knowledge that they were engaged in a war with the United States and not finally in the prison uprising that took the life of CIA agent Johnny Spann."
The 20-year-old was captured while fighting alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan in November. He was taken into custody by U.S. forces after a prison uprising in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif and has been held on the attack ship USS Bataan in the Arabian Sea.
The Justice Department had said possible charges against Walker could include treason, which carries the death penalty. That charge was considered difficult to because of the technical requirements of proving the charges.
Prosecutors would need two witnesses to each act of treason, which may be impossible to find in Afghanistan.
Government sources speaking on the situation on condition of anonymity said the charges would be brought in U.S. District Court in suburban Alexandria, Va., where terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui is being tried to conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks.
01-15-2002, 10:44 PM
well...........he should die. I am sorry if you don't like this, but I heard on the radio today for people feeling sorry, saying he musta been abused. so if someone murders, it's ok because they were abused????? :WTF: sorry but I really don't care what he did in the past and how bad he now feels, to late. you made your bed traitor now lie in it, or should I say your coffin.
01-15-2002, 10:49 PM
I'll go back to a post i made a long time ago...
find them,fu#k them,then kill them!
he'll escape the last but life in prison,works for me:lol: :lol: :lol:
yes i'm laughing,because the trial,will most likely make me scream!
01-16-2002, 07:04 AM
I say that 'life' is worse than death, because the other inmates aren't likely to be kind to him. ;) Whatever happened to 'Hard Labor'? I'm sure there are 'legal' reasons for this prosecution, and the legal system has stood us well for the last 225 years.
I firmly believe a man is responsible for his own actions. No matter how ignorant he is.
01-16-2002, 08:11 AM
the reason I wrote that is because I feel this society is so lax. someone can do a horrible act, and they get off scot-free. "oh he is alittle slow, he don't understand: or my fav is the insanity plea. if you are insane, do a labodamy (SP) :D I just feel that in this day and age you can get away with just about anything unless you normal human (which seems to be in short supply nowadays)
01-16-2002, 06:50 PM
i have a friend , he is around 35, he grew up as a christian in labanon, whenever i hear people bad mouthing the usa i just wish that they could meet this man, he loves this country, he is happy that his son is growing up watching pokemon instead of sotries about people being blown up in car bombings, he lived in france for a while too in a socialized government. But from a first person view has never had opurtunities and things like he has hear, when he lived in lebanon for 3 years when the power went out they had to take 12v car batteries to the other side of the country to be charged up to go home and watch i little bit of television or listen to the radio, well also we know that you don't hear in the news what happens in everywhere around the world unless it exlodes on the us embessy's doorstep, so unless you keep up with more local news you wont here about things. well there were people in lebanon who went over and fought with the taliban, and when they got their asses kicked they all went running home, well this walker got a nice comfy cell, a big controversy as to what would happen, a trial has not even happened yet, well this is not exactly how it went down in lebanon, when they got back, they dug one long ditch, they lined everyone one up, put a bullet in each of their heads , covered the hole , and called it a day, no talk , no trial, case closed, no tombstone, he then explained to me that osoma bin laden would get more rights here, by the people he attacked then anywhere else, even in a military trial, their he would get a mock trial if that, well i've said my peace, or is it piece? :P
01-17-2002, 02:01 AM
Looks like it's still on the table.......
01-19-2002, 05:51 AM
Seems like one rule for US citizens and another for the rest of the world. Seems like the US is quite happy to put all other nationalites on the prison camp on Cuba but not their own citiezens - if this is not correct, then they ought to explain to the rest of the world why he isn't on the camp in Cuba.
01-19-2002, 12:01 PM
One of the reasons that they are being held at Guantanamo Bay Cuba is that it is not US soil so that the US can suspend the rights and freedoms that are accorded the accused in the United States.
I am very firmly against and deplore what they did however, if we are to remain a great nation than we MUST give them the rights and privileges that we give any other accused person in this country. I would be the first to admit our justice system is flawed but, we must still abide by that same system or we become the same as the animals who did this, and that is lawless and weak. I know the errors in the system but we must put aside our feelings and let the system no matter how crappy we might think it is do its job. It does work for the most part. Look at Timothy McVeigh. I think in this country there are enough competent lawyers working for the government to get a ironclad case against these guys.
I will not support our government if they do indeed try these guys in a military court with no rights. Nor if they close the doors to any "supervision" in a "civil" court. If the US wants to try them according to international law than so be it. EVEN IF, this means no death penalty as most of the European nations seem to have objections to this. If they want them to be tried under the US law than they should be accorded the same rights and priviliges that I would if I were to be charged and tried for any offense.
As for the American Taliban not being held in Cuba, I disagree as well. Put him with the rest of his cohorts and accused. I did notice that the govenrment has fomally charged him but none of the others. I ask that the government at least do that. We are not a dictarian government. We have principles and ethics to uphold.
If we dont uphold the principles and ethics that is the US legal system than we may as well be slapping every US service Member past and present in the face. We than become liars, and I for one dont trust nor will I deal with liars if I can avoid it.
just my 2c
01-19-2002, 01:10 PM
They are not US citizens ,they are P risonners O f W ar.
they are in Cuba because it is secure and isolated.
thier only rights are thoes set by the Geneve convention.
when charges are made,the legal venue will be made clear,untill then they remain POW's
01-19-2002, 01:55 PM
Is he a POW? He started out as an American citizen, it seems he's still being treated by the authorities as one, otherwise the charge of treason would not have been considered.
Seems a bit of a tricky one, legal-wise, to me.
01-19-2002, 02:18 PM
IMO he was a POW when captured,now he's a traitor,being held as an american citizen.
they don't know how thier going to deal with this since it has not happened in a very long time.
so they have seperated him from the others and have been holding him on US soil (war ships)
belive me he is NOT getting any special treatment,except the protection afforded by the military police.
not one man or woman in the service,wouldnt give an eye to beat this piece of SHIT to death,with a cat o ninetails.
it appears the treason charge will be hard to prove so they will go another way.
if all else fails they will get him with "tax evasion":D
01-19-2002, 07:12 PM
Prisoners of War can only be taken in a declared war. Vietnam notwithstanding. Under the law they cannot be considered POW's even under the Geneva convention unless it is a declared war. The US has not declared war. Only Congress can declare war. I know of no such resolution. To declare war would validate the claims that the Taliban and Al Queda are legitimate governments. WE, the US can only declare war on countries or governments. There were only three nations that recognized Taliban as the gov of Afghanistan prior to Sept 11. There are and were none in the following days.
It sounds unusual but it is the sticky points of law that is where all this is heading.
James: if Walker (American Taliban) is a traitor to the country than charge him with treason. if not than afford him the same rights that any accused has in the United States.
We gave the AuPare (babysitter) the same rights as a US citizen when we charged her under the United States law. Do we not do that now? I think not. NO matter the citizenship status we MUST afford them the same rights as anybody else if we are to charge them with our laws.
Gotta run. I like the way this thread is going. Nice to challenge ourselves now and than.
Might need to move thread into the Peoples court though.
01-19-2002, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by TheHeretic
Gotta run. I like the way this thread is going. Nice to challenge ourselves now and than.
01-19-2002, 07:29 PM
01-19-2002, 07:35 PM
I'm going to have a read of some US news sites coz they are reporting it differently than the European ones.
James - But in the European newspapers and news sites, they are saying that one of the reason they are being held in Cuba is so that they don't have to abide by US laws, and they are being treated as terrorists so they don't get the Geneva conventions afforded POW's, because the Geneva conventions don't allow them to be held in the conditions they are being held in.
Either way the US government is not giving them rights assigned by Geneva conventions or the US government gives to people being tried in the US.
I still believe Walker should be in Cuba - why isn't he? If all the US people want him to get what he deserves, why risk going thru US courts, just put him on Cuba right now, where the military decide.
01-19-2002, 10:05 PM
Good point brought about by Heretic about a declaration of war, however, Afghanistan is a battlefield, and IMO captured al-qaeda should be tried by military tribunals if they are ultimately deemed unlawful combatants, as they are being referred to as right now, and if they are deemed as such, they are entitled only to a conviction given by an impartial and regularly constituted court respecting the generally accepted pricipals of judicial procedure, and a tribunal certainly would meet those standards.
The Geneva Convention defines unlawful combatants as those who abuse their civilian status to gain military advantage, and who do not carry weapons openly and who do not carry a fixed or open sign like a uniform or insignia that would identify them as a soldier, and even that's circumstantial, as the laws of war do not recognize a uniform alone as absolute proof that a person is a member of the military. I would venture to say this is the definition of al-qaeda.
The legal and political headaches that are forthcoming will be interesting I think, as well as who determines the status of those being held at x-ray. My own personal opinion is that they would make good shark bait, but since of course that is impossible, the next best thing is to be tried before a tribunal, and that, is certainly better than a summary execution, which would most likely had been most of their fates had they been turned over to the Northern Alliance.
One other note, we were technically never at war with Afghanistan as a sovereign state, we went after a regime that, which we now know had actually been roosted over by bin hidin', with Omar as his puppet, had never been globally recognized as the legitimate ruliing authority, so some would say the Geneva Conventions wouldn't even apply to those held at x-ray, because no war, as defined by international law, was ever fought, which of course also brings us back to Heretics point about a declaration of war............
My feeling is that whatever it is that happens to those held at x-ray, its too good for them.
01-21-2002, 01:30 AM
There are some 'due process' problems that they don't have to face with the accused on Cuban soil. 'Due Process' applies to almost everything (except of course, siezing one's property under the drug laws and that needs to be addressed), and everyone. Otherwise anyone who is not 'born or naturalized' would not have the extensive legal rights we enjoy. Some laws don't extend to 'leased land' in a foreign country. It's a legal manouver to keep from having to 'test' the executive ordered military tribunals in the courts. I notice that they haven't conviened any 'tribunals' for non-military personel on US soil. Probably very shaky legal ground, but something that cannot be challenged from Cuba.
Sorry about the spelling, I think it's my keyboard or power surges.
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