Free John Walker Lindh, Scapegoat of the “War on Terror”

With the death of Osama bin Laden, there is now an opportunity for a huge peace dividend — an end to the occupation of Afghanistan, and an opportunity to close Guantánamo — which will probably not happen, even though it should, because of powerful vested interests. These include the lawmakers intent on using bin Laden’s death as an excuse to further ramp up the “War on Terror” by revising the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the founding document of the phoney war, and to claim, in spite of all the evidence, that George W. Bush’s torture program was a good idea and helped to track down bin Laden (which it didn’t), and that Guantánamo was useful for producing reliable intelligence (which it wasn’t).

I tackled all of these dangerous lies and distortions in my articles, With Osama bin Laden’s Death, the Time for US Vengeance Is Over, Osama bin Laden’s Death, and the Unjustifiable Defense of Torture and Guantánamo and No End to the “War on Terror,” No End to Guantánamo, but although I also implied that it was ridiculous to continue holding people at Guantánamo whose only crime seems to have been that they saw Osama bin Laden from afar while attending a training camp in Afghanistan, what I didn’t reflect on directly were specific victims of the hysteria of the “War on Terror.”

Clearly, this process includes dressing up soldiers at Guantánamo as terrorists to placate those who believe that being strong means being both brutal and stupid, but, as the lawyer Frank Lindh explained in an op-ed in the New York Times last week, it also includes his son, John Walker Lindh, forever tarred as “the American Taliban,” who was one of the first scapegoats of the “War on Terror.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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