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What should be done with John Walker?

 
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What do you think should be done with John Walker, the American who took up arms with the Taliban, who was wounded in the Mazar-e Sharif uprising and is now in the custody of US forces?
The way I see it some possible choices are:
1. Let him go back home and pretend it never happened
2. Put him back with the foreign Taliban prisoners and let him face Afghan justice
3. Revoke his citizenship and ban him from ever entering the United States again
4. Try him for treason in front of a military commission (the so-called "tribunals"), where maximum penalty is death
5. Try him in a federal civilian court room
There may be more "John Walker's" out there, but who knows. There were at least two British citizens who had also taken up arms with the Taliban, but they were killed in a US bombing attack.

[This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited December 06, 2001).]
 
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Maybe you should stop policing other countries and start minding your own business?
 
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He betrayed his nation, (In an Islamic country if you betray Islam you get the death penalty) so it is only so he should be tried for treason in the US and then get the death penalty!
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by USAir Farce:
Maybe you should stop policing other countries and start minding your own business?


You must have me confused with someone else. I'm not policing countries. I don't even own a badge. Unless you are talking about that time I pulled over Canada for going 45mph in a 25mph residential area. They were crying about kilometers and the metric system but I wasn't having any of it.
 
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Did anyone else notice that he looks a lot like Charles Manson??
 
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Who or what is Charles Manson ?
 
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A religious fanatic / mass murderer in the US. Convicted in the 80's(?) Of inciting several of his followers to murder a bunch of folks including a woman who was 8 months pregnant.
He is still serving time. God help us if he ever gets out.
 
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Originally posted by USAir Farce:
Maybe you should stop policing other countries and start minding your own business?


Did you even read Jason's post or do you just have a random post generator that you use?
 
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I think charging him with treason would be an overreaction, not to mention possibly inappropriate.
He cast his lot with another government. It seems fair to accord him the same consequences as any of his comrades.
 
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I think charging him with treason would be an overreaction, not to mention possibly inappropriate.
He cast his lot with another government. It seems fair to accord him the same consequences as any of his comrades.


This was not an act of simply choosing another government over ours. This is not the civil war. He is an American Citizen who chose to fight with the Taliban for whatever reason. In doing so, he betrayed his country which is an act of treason. Even in America, the punishment for treason is death.
I don't nessarily agree or disagree with the death penalty at this stage in my life, but I think if the government chose to do something about it, revoking his citizenship is a good idea, don't allow him back in the U.S EVER, and charge him appropraitly and accordingly with the Laws of War when the war comes to an end and all the Taliban face judgement. Whether he lives or dies is irrelevent and God will serve the ultimate judgement on him.
Gregg Bolinger
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
I think charging him with treason would be an overreaction, not to mention possibly inappropriate.
He cast his lot with another government. It seems fair to accord him the same consequences as any of his comrades.


I can't speak legally of course, but the definition of treason as applicable here is (according to Dictionary.com):
  • Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
    If the legal definition is anywhere close to the common usage, I would say that treason applies. Article III of the US Constitution seems to clearly indicate that he may be tried for treason.
    Article III Section 2 establishes the authority of our courts to try him, despite the fact that he was outside the United States when his crime of treason occured.


    The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made,
    or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty
    and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between
    a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of
    different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.


    Article III Section 3 gives a constitutional definition of treason.


    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No
    Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture
    except during the Life of the Person attainted.


    Again, IANAL, but it seems like he could be up the creek without a paddle if the government feels like it.
    An interesting note is that it seems that somebody convicted of treason also receives attainder, meaning he forfeits all civil rights. The attainted person, during his lifespan only, is also subject to Forfeiture and Corruption of Blood. Forfeiture involves the loss of all real and personal property, which since it is only during his lifespan, I assume is transferable to his heirs upon death. Corruption of Blood means that the person can neither transmit or receive inheritance (although since he is only bound during life we can assume he can transfer inheritance), nor can he sue or testify in court, nor may he claim any legal protection or rights.

    [This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited December 06, 2001).]
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    Michael Ernest
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    It's not quite that simple. To prove treason, you have to show Walker knowingly aided an enemy of the U.S. only after the fact of being a known enemy. Up until we attacked Afghanistan, the Taliban was not, so far as I know, a declared enemy of the U.S. I think that would mitigate a treason case quite a bit. If Walker flew over there after 9/11, well then I'm sure he's hosed.
    Barring that, it doesn't seem appropriate to charge treason on a lone foot soldier with no resources beyond his own body and will to fight, and no U.S. military or state secrets to give away. Also, treason is proved in part by evidence of conspiracy. Who's going to turn him in?
    I'm not saying charging treason is not lawful or unenforceable -- just potentially misapplied here. Being one who prefers the spirit of law over its letter, I don't consider my position to be ambiguous.
    John Walker I am sure disgusts any flag-waving American right now, and [cynicism]probably more those who've been waving that flag visibly for 3 months or less[/cynicism]. We don't want to feel associated with what he represents. George Dubya's rhetoric on "those who support terrorism" aside, I don't see painting Walker as a traitor doing anyone any good.
    [This message has been edited by Michael Ernest (edited December 06, 2001).]
     
    Jason Menard
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    Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
    It's not quite that simple. To prove treason, you have to show Walker knowingly aided an enemy of the U.S. only after the fact of being a known enemy. Up until we attacked Afghanistan, the Taliban was not, so far as I know, a declared enemy of the U.S. I think that would mitigate a treason case quite a bit. If Walker flew over there after 9/11, well then I'm sure he's hosed.


    Actually he would have probably been good up to 9/11, or maybe even up until we declared hostilities against the Taliban. As soon as the Taliban became our "enemy", he would be required to leave their service in order to avoid such a charge.


    Barring that, it doesn't seem appropriate to charge treason on a lone foot soldier with no resources beyond his own body and will to fight, and no U.S. military or state secrets to give away. Also, treason is proved in part by evidence of conspiracy. Who's going to turn him in?


    If conspiracy needed to be proven, and I'm not sure it would be since the act of treason should be enough, I'm sure the lawyers could come up with something. Possibly starting with when he told his parents he was studying in Pakistan but then went and trained in one of Bin Laden's camps? I don't know, but they could probably dig up somebody somewhere to give evidence. The fact that he was found in posession of an AK-47 fighting with the Taliban (and caught on camera at that) in a place under opposition control should probably provide enough witnesses, probably even US Special Forces. Treason also isn't about giving away secrets, it is simply levying war aginst the US (which he did), adhering to our enemies (which he did), or providing aid and comfort to our enemies (which he did).


    I'm not saying charging treason is not lawful or unenforceable -- just potentially misapplied here. Being one who prefers the spirit of law over its letter, I don't consider my position to be ambiguous.


    I personally think he is young and pitiful and would most likely choose to show him mercy. I believe the spirit of the law is to indicate that taking actions against your country (as already defined) is as much a capital offense as murder is.


    John Walker I am sure disgusts any flag-waving American right now, and [cynicism]probably more those who've been waving that flag visibly for 3 months or less[/cynicism]. We don't want to feel associated with what he represents. George Dubya's rhetoric on "those who support terrorism" aside, I don't see painting Walker as a traitor doing anyone any good.


    While I do think he should be tried for treason, I also believe he should get off relatively lightly. I do not think he has done this country enough harm to warrant the death sentence. Of course I also think that he should be made an example of as a warning to others who might have similar notions.
     
    Michael Ernest
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    There is no other penalty but death for treason, is there? Which is partly why I don't think the charge is appropriate.
     
    erich brant
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    The liberal court system in Europe and EU should not even try anyone of the terrorists because in the lefty court system in Europe is anti American (Anti-jewish) .

    The best thing is for the Northern Alliance to try the American and the other Talibans. Because its there country any the Northern Alliance would not make it a show trial either.
    The UN would be even worse!

    If this happens:
    5. Try him in a federal civilian court room
    The liberal media and the liberal US court system will be very soft on him.
    If Bin Laden or Walker were tried in the US court system it would be OJ simpson all over again!
     
    Jason Menard
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    I don't see why there isn't some sentencing flexability. Treason is a capital offense, as is murder and I believe espionage as examples. Federal convictions for the latter two offenses don't automatically carry the death penalty, so I wouldn't think treason would either.
     
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    i cannot find it now, but i did read yesterday that the penalty for treason is ...
    "death or life imprisonment, whichever the court choses..."
    not an exact quote, but you get the point.
     
    Greg Harris
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    of course, i do not think this guy is going to get the death penalty simply because we didn't fry that FBI agent.
    i said it then, and now i am saying "i told you so..." by giving that S.O.B life in prison, instead of a public hanging at noon in the town square, we set a precident. if anyone should get the death penalty for treason, that was the guy. period. but, because he has a wife and 7 kids, we had to feel "compassion and symapthy" for his family. so what?! his actions led to the death of several Americans and therefore he should have been killed for Treason.
     
    Greg Harris
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    what should happen to Walker?

    • i think he should (already has) lose his citizenship.
    • he should be left over there in the country he chose to live in.
    • we should freeze his assets by cutting off the money that his dad has been sending to him.

    • but, if he does come back to the States, he should be treated as a traitor, not the "confused, misunderstood youth..." i am afraid that he is going to be made into some sort of talkshow icon when he does get back over here... complete with a million dollar book deal. pathetic.
     
    Anonymous
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    Originally posted by Jason Menard:
    What do you think should be done with John Walker, the American who took up arms with the Taliban, who was wounded in the Mazar-e Sharif uprising and is now in the custody of US forces?
    The way I see it some possible choices are:
    1. Let him go back home and pretend it never happened
    2. Put him back with the foreign Taliban prisoners and let him face Afghan justice
    3. Revoke his citizenship and ban him from ever entering the United States again
    4. Try him for treason in front of a military commission (the so-called "tribunals"), where maximum penalty is death
    5. Try him in a federal civilian court room
    There may be more "John Walker's" out there, but who knows. There were at least two British citizens who had also taken up arms with the Taliban, but they were killed in a US bombing attack.

    [This message has been edited by Jason Menard (edited December 06, 2001).]


    Soldier, you are not supposed to think. You are supposed to take the orders. Clear?
     
    Michael Ernest
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    If memory serves, Jason was an Airman, not a Soldier. Don't quit your day job, General.
     
    Jason Menard
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    Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
    If memory serves, Jason was an Airman, not a Soldier. Don't quit your day job, General.


    I was indeed.
     
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