John Walker Lindh, the superdufus Talibastard has pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban. His sentence: 20 years in prison. Already the Justice Department is calling this a major victory in the war on terror.
Let’s face it, this is no major victory. At best it’s a very minor one. 20 years is a slap on the wrist for a man who committed treason and took arms against his country. Granted, Lindh will cooperate with authorities by giving intelligence on Taliban and al-Qaeda operations, but it’s unlikely that he has any intelligence of real value.
U.S. District Attorney Paul J. McNulty, chief prosecutor in the case, called the pleading "an important victory for the American people in the battle against terrorism. This is a tough sentence. This is an appropriate punishment and this case proves that the criminal justice system can be an effective tool in the fight against terrorism."
This is not a victory against terrorism, what terrorist is going to be dissuaded by a twenty year prison term? Death isn’t enough to dissaude these people. The fact that the 8 most serious charges against Lindh were droppd, this is hardly a victory worth celebrating.
The only positive aspect is that the justice system was able to deal with a known terrorist and get a conviction, even if it was a slap on the wrist sentence.
As for Lindh, in 20 years expect his book deal, talk show appearances, and the usual media attention. Unfortunately for the rest of us, his treason will probably never be acknowledge as such by the nation he betrayed.
UPDATE: James S. Robbins in The Corner states that the plea deal
will avoid a messy media circus over the case. That does make the decision considerably more palatable. Also, there are some good comments for and against this decision that are worth reading on the comments link below.