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Lefty Rag Publishes Self-Serving Op-Ed by American Taliban on 9/11 Anniversary

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My latest in PJ Media:

Imagine if a major American newspaper had marked the twentieth anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack by publishing an op-ed by an American who had betrayed his country and gone to fight for the Japanese Empire during World War II. And imagine if this op-ed harshly criticized American practices in a notorious prison camp as an “obscene mockery of justice.” In December 1961, such an op-ed would have gotten the newspaper that printed it universally condemned. The newspaper would have lost readers by the thousands. But for the Left today, to publish such an op-ed is just another day at work.

On the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 jihad attacks that murdered 2,977 people, The Intercept published an op-ed entitled “The Guantánamo Bay Internment Camp Is an Unresolved Vestige of the American Occupation of Afghanistan,” which takes a great many words to say that Guantánamo is a place where jihadis have been and continue to be unjustly treated, and should be shut down. The author is identified as a certain “Yahya Lindh,” whose author bio identifies him as “a writer, translator, and former prisoner of war. He is originally from Washington, D.C., and is currently based elsewhere in the Americas.” Lindh further identifies himself early on in his piece with this slyly understated sentence: “During the summer and fall of 2001, I served as a Taliban infantryman in northern Afghanistan.”

Well, yes, he did, but he doesn’t mention that he was an American convert to Islam who has never expressed any remorse for joining military forces fighting against the troops of his own country. Yahya Lindh is none other than John Walker Lindh, who was dubbed the “American Taliban” and “Marin County Mujahid” when he was discovered in November 2001 fighting alongside the Taliban against American troops in Afghanistan.

The absurdity of it all overwhelmed the seriousness of the whole affair from the beginning. The 43rd president, George H.W. Bush, the father of the occupant of the White House at that time, sneered that Lindh was just “some misguided Marin county hot-tubber,” which so enraged Marin County residents that Bush wrote a full tongue-in-cheek mea culpa to the Marin paper: “Call off the dogs, please. I surrender. I apologize. I am chastened and will never use ‘hot tub’ and ‘Marin county’ in the same sentence again.”

Bush’s quip and the resulting furor summed up how seriously John Walker Lindh was generally regarded. That a comfortable middle-class American would wind up his spiritual searching by joining the Taliban was dismissed as the act of a freak, not an indication of a deep malady in the American soul. And charging Lindh with treason, despite the fact that he quite clearly was caught in the act of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, doesn’t appear to have been even seriously contemplated. Instead, Lindh plea-bargained down to a couple of charges to which he pleaded guilty, explaining: “I plead guilty. I provided my services as a soldier to the Taliban last year from about August to December. In the course of doing so, I carried a rifle and two grenades. I did so knowingly and willingly — knowing that it was illegal.”

There is more. Read the rest here.

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