Lindh, Fonda – And Treason?

The demon of the day is John Walker
Lindh, the hapless American sap captured in Afghanistan
while fighting for the Taliban and who

wind up facing charges of treason in this
country. Since Mr. Lindh, or Suleyman al-Faris, or Abdul
Farid, or plain Mr. Walker, as he now calls himself, is
an American citizen, he can`t just be hauled before one
of President Bush`s

secret military tribunals

. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld assures us he
"will have all the rights he is due." It`s refreshing to
learn that high government officials still acknowledge
that American citizens have

at all.

As for the treason charges, it`s by
no means clear that what Mr. Walker has done comes
anywhere close to real treason. What he did was convert
to Islam at the age of 16, go to the Middle East and
live as a Muslim. Somewhere along this profound
spiritual odyssey, he also wound up fighting for the
Taliban in the last few weeks. But as far as can be
determined, he was fighting against the Taliban`s
enemies, the Northern Alliance—not U.S. forces.

The Constitution, in its succinct

of treason, defines it as consisting
"only in levying war against them [the United States],
or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and
comfort." Fighting for the Taliban might be construed as
"adhering" to the enemies of the United States—if Mr.
Walker had been fighting against us. But you also need
two witnesses to prove a charge of treason, and that`s
another problem in itself.

If it`s real treason you want, you
don`t have to go to Afghanistan. There`s plenty of it in
this country, dating from at least the 1960s, when such
patriots as

Jane Fonda
and her regiment of Viet Cong
sympathizers openly

for a communist victory against
American troops. There was never any question that the
U.S. government regarded North Vietnam and its
surrogates in South Vietnam as "enemies," and there`s no
question either that Miss Fonda and her pals "adhered
to" them and gave them aid and comfort.

Hanoi Jane even went to North
Vietnam and broadcast messages to American troops urging
them not to fight. After World War II,

"Tokyo Rose,"
William Joyce

("Lord Haw Haw")
and American poet

Ezra Pound
were all tried for treason for doing much
the same thing, though only Joyce was executed. But
there were hundreds or thousands of others in the
Vietnam era who, just as clearly, gave

aid and comfort
to the enemy in this country, at a
time when the enemy was actually killing American

Yet not one of the real traitors
involved in "protesting against the Vietnam war," as the
media liked to call their efforts to subvert
anti-communist forces and defeat their own country, ever
faced charges of treason. Years ago, a former Justice
Department official told me that his colleagues did
consider charging Miss Fonda with treason but didn`t do
so because they couldn`t come up with the required two
witnesses to her broadcast. Maybe not—the witnesses
against her could only have been North Vietnamese who
happened to be with her during the broadcast—but there
are plenty of others who saw and heard her comrades
beating the drums for the enemy in city streets and on
college campuses.

At least Mr. Walker, for all his
weird religious meanderings, actually took up arms and
fought for something he believed in, unlike the Viet

American fifth column
that got no closer to combat
than smashing the windows in the dean`s office and
pouring chicken blood on the ROTC building. Even
outright terrorists of the 1960s, like "Weather
Underground" leaders Bernardine Dohrn and her husband
Bill Ayers, are now lawyers and college professors.

A few months ago, the New York
carried a

about Mr. Ayers, now a "distinguished
professor of education at the University of Illinois at
Chicago," while his wife, Miss Dohrn, who once crowed in
admiration of Charles Manson and his murder of actress
Sharon Tate, is director of the Legal Clinic`s Children
and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University. "I
don`t regret setting bombs," Professor Ayers smirked. "I
feel we didn`t do enough." [VDARE.COM
note: Professor Ayers can be reached by email at, Professor Dohrn at
. Professor Dohrn`s


have surprising gaps in them, stemming from her
years as a fugitive from justice.]
The date the
story ran in the Times was

September 11th.

Mr. Walker or whatever his name is
this week may or may not have committed treason against
the United States in Afghanistan, but even if he did,
whatever treason he committed didn`t harm this country
or anyone in it.

When the same government now
"waging war against terrorism" halfway around the world
settles a few scores with the real and unrepentant
traitors who actually helped communists win wars in
Indochina and the terrorists that helped them, then we
can worry about small fry like Mr. Walker.


December 13,