LA Times: Free Taliban; Imprison Libby

In one of the most bizarre and shameless editorials I’ve ever read, the LA Times called for President Bush to grant clemency to famed Taliban fighter, John Walker Lindh, while calling the commutation of Scooter Libby, an ‘abuse’ of power. –I’m quoting quite a bit of the article and it’s somewhat long but bear with it; it’s necessary:

Los Angeles Times
The president's power to grant clemency -- in the form of either a pardon or a commutation -- is much maligned and occasionally abused, as was the case when President Bush used it to keep his colleague, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, from facing even a day in prison for lying and obstructing justice. But the power has its appropriate uses as well, and the case of John Walker Lindh calls out for it.

Known unfortunately as "the American Taliban," Lindh became a symbol for fanaticism, even treason, in the early months of the nation's response to Sept. 11. He was apprehended in late 2001 in the mountains of Afghanistan, where, at the age of 20, he was serving in the army of a nation that harbored terrorists, including Osama bin Laden…

Lindh, who converted to Islam as a teenager, joined the Taliban before Sept. 11, not after; he did so to fight the Northern Alliance, not the United States. Lindh never took up arms against this country. He never engaged in terrorism; indeed, his commitment to Islam leads him to oppose the targeting of civilians.

John Walker Lindh broke the law. He pleaded guilty to the one crime of which he was guilty -- aiding the Taliban -- and to carrying a gun and hand grenades in the service of that regime's war against the Northern Alliance… The issue, then, is not Lindh's guilt but his sentence. He was ordered to spend 20 years in prison, far longer than comparably situated defendants.

The concept of mercy spans testaments and faiths, and any system of justice requires the embrace of mercy for leavening and legitimacy. In this case, justice has been served… Now Bush is uniquely positioned to grant mercy... By giving Lindh a commutation, Bush could prove that his war is, as he often and properly asserts, not against Islam but against those who seek to harm America.


This, ladies and gentlemen, is being pushed into the public by a major American media outlet. If you didn’t know otherwise, you would think that this was a post at some far-left blog site such as the Daily Kos. –But where to start?

The op-ed admits Lindh was a Taliban fighter caught with grenades and a firearm but asserts that he isn’t really a terrorist, but more of a lost sheep fighting honorably in Afghanistan. Then, in the most infantile, leftist way, brings up Scooter Libby as if he is somehow a far worse criminal than the man known as the "American Taliban" (I guess in the mind of the LA Times, the Libby trial is more important than the war on terror. Go figure.). And with the funniest Twilight Zone whopper ever scribed in a major newspaper, the Times actually says the following: [Lindh] never engaged in terrorism; indeed, his commitment to Islam leads him to oppose the targeting of civilians.

His commitment to Islam led him to oppose targeting civilians… -- Mind-boggling