Another "real story of John Walker Lindh"
Frank Lindh recently addressed the California Commonwealth Club, telling the story of his son, John Walker Lindh. Lindh's remarks focused on the miscarriage of justice in John Lindh's legal case. The elder Lindh maintains his son's innocence.
One of the characters in the account of John Lindh's story is CNN cameraman and writer Robert Young Pelton. Frank Lindh characterized Pelton's filming of Lindh as "unethical" after he allegedly refused shut off his camera at the request of John Lindh. Pelton, having read Frank Lindh's account of his son published here on AlterNet, tells another, distinctly different, version of the story. Pelton writes,
My decades of travels with jihadis and terrorists, my time with both the Taliban leadership, the Northern Alliance aka the United Front, Dostum's forces and and based on my time spent during and after talking to the players involved with Qali Jangi leads me to believe that I am uniquely qualified to pass judgment on Lindh and to accurately describe who he was and what he was doing there. Now that Lindh's father has decided to wrongly blame me for his son's misery and seek clemency under false pretences, I feel its time to reveal the truth.
Quite simply in my opinion, Lindh was a terrorist, a member of what we call al qaeda and a man who chose to stay with killers even though he was afforded numerous opportunities to separate himself from his murderous associates. Twenty years in jail may be a blessing compared to how many of his friends have been dealt with since.
Frank Lindh cannot be blamed for the emotions behind his need to reinvent history or doing what he can to get his son out of jail. But he is lying.Pelton goes on to explain his interactions with the young Lindh (who he says repeatedly refused his help) after his capture. Read the rest of his story here.