---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 14:44:20 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Treason chic
by Don Feder
When I look at the face of John Philip Walker (Lindh), the 20-year-old
American captured in Afghanistan, I see newspaper photos of the innocents
killed by his comrades on September 11. By defending mass murderers, he
shares in their guilt, and should share in their fate.
Mr. Walker is another bored child of privilege who chose the path of
revolution. His family offers the predictable excuses. Marilyn Walker says
her darling must have been brainwashed on the theory that middle-class
kids are incapable of consciously choosing evil.
Mr. Walker's father told talk-show host Larry King he wanted to give his
son "a big hug and a kick in the butt, too." Climb up on my knee, sonny
boy. With your AK-47, sonny boy.
But what can you expect from the insanely overindulgent parents who would
allow a 16-year-old to convert to Islam and then traipse off to Yemen a
Walker (a k a, Abdul Hamid) was taken with a group of Taliban militia who'd
staged a revolt in the Mazar-e-Sharif prison, where CIA agent John Michael
Spann was killed.
Abu Gucci says that while studying in Pakistan, his "heart became attached"
to the Taliban's gentle teachings. Subsequently, the bearded Benedict
Arnold traveled to Afghanistan, trained in one of Osama bin Laden's camps
and, according to his own account, fought with the terrorists in Kunduz,
Kabul and Kandahar.
Mr. Walker is old enough to understand the nature of treason. Many of the
Marines serving in Afghanistan aren't much older.
Treason has always been counted among the most loathsome of crimes. Sir
Walter Scott said a traitor's destiny was to "go down to the vile dust,
from whence he sprung, unwept, unhonored, and unsung."
Like our families, our nation gives us an identity and nurtures us. In the
case of America, it also offers unparalleled personal freedom and
prosperity. To turn against such a nation is an act of ingratitude that
must make the angels sigh.
But since the '60s, treason has been chic, especially among the elite (who
are traitors in their hearts). At worst, turncoats are treated leniently.
At best, they become cultural icons or tenured professors.
Sara Jane Olson, the former Symbionese Liberation Army gun moll, will be
sentenced on Jan. 18. Olson pleaded guilty to plotting to place pipe bombs
under police cars in 1974. (A judge refused to let her withdraw the plea.)
Olson's lawyer admitted her client acted incautiously but noted it was a
time when many young people questioned authority as if pipe bombs were the
same as protest signs.
Lori Berenson's supporters are still trying to get her sprung from a
Peruvian pokey. The American was convicted of operating a safe house for
Tupac Amaru terrorists and sentenced to 20 years.
Berenson claims she has no idea how several truckloads of arms and
explosives ended up in her home. While avowing her innocence, she insists
the Tupac Amaru are revolutionaries, not terrorists, and refuses to
criticize the Latin equivalent of Hamas.
In 1980, Bernardine Dohrn, late of the Weather Underground, was allowed to
plead guilty to bail-jumping and aggravated assault in relation to her
youthful indiscretions, and fined $1,500. (Later, she was jailed for seven
months for refusing to testify about a bank job in which two cops were
killed.) Now, Miss Dohrn is on the faculty of Northwestern University's law
These graying guerrillas may not fit the constitutional definition of
treason, but like Jane Fonda (who made propaganda broadcasts for Hanoi
during the Vietnam War) they were part of a Fifth Column allied with our
enemies. None has expressed an ounce of remorse.
In the Vietnam era, we embraced the notion that idealism excuses
treason that commitment to a cause (especially the downtrodden) makes
conspiring to kill cops, abetting Marxist thugs or posing with an enemy
anti-aircraft battery acceptable behavior. After September 11, we are
seeing things more clearly.
In "The Man Without a Country," Edward Everett Hale told the story of a
young officer who plotted against and cursed his country. His punishment
was to spend the rest of his life aboard a naval vessel never to set foot
on American soil, hear news of his homeland or even to have its name spoken
in his presence. That's the least John Philip Walker deserves.
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