Dec 19 2008

Shelby to President: No Pardon for Lindh

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) asked President Bush not to pardon John Walker Lindh, an admitted Taliban supporter involved in the death of CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann.    

“I am outraged that some individuals are pushing for a pardon of John Walker Lindh,” said Shelby.  “Lindh, an admitted member of the Taliban army, was involved in the death of CIA officer and brave Alabamian, Johnny Micheal Spann.  Lindh allowed the Taliban to take the life of an American citizen who fought to defend our nation in the War on Terror.  It is my sincere hope that the President will deny any effort pushed by Lindh or his family to shorten his 20-year sentence.”

Lindh admitted to supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and in February 2002, Lindh was indicted by a federal grand jury on ten changes:

• Conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals;
• Two counts of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations;
• Two counts of providing material support and resources to terrorist organizations;
• Supplying services to the Taliban;
• Conspiracy to contribute services to al Qaeda;
• Contributing services to al Qaeda;
• Conspiracy to supply services to the Taliban;
• Using and carrying firearms and destructive devices during crimes of violence.

Lindh pled guilty to charges of providing services to the Taliban and carrying illegal explosives in July, 2002.  Lindh was sentenced to 20 years without parole. 

On November 24, 2008, Senator Shelby wrote a letter to the President outlining his position against a pardon for John Walker Lindh.  The full text of the letter is below:

November 24, 2008


The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President,

I write to express my deep concern regarding recent reports that a Presidential pardon may be considered for John Walker Lindh.  I believe this request should be denied, and that Mr. Lindh should serve his entire 20 year sentence.

CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann was killed in the Mazar-e Sharif uprising in Afghanistan in November 2001.  It is believed that Mr. Lindh may have had direct involvement in Spann’s death and Mr. Johnny Spann, a resident of Winfield, Alabama, and the father of Johnny Michael Spann, has contacted me expressing his concern about a potential pardon. 

Mr. Lindh has admitted to supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and pled guilty to those accusations in July 2002.  I am extremely concerned that Mr. Lindh’s sentence may be considered for a pardon and I believe that a 20-year sentence is a small price to pay for his participation in terrorist activities.  

Mr. Lindh committed a heinous crime against our country.  He admitted to supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and pled guilty to those accusations in July 2002.  His activities are deserving of the strongest and strictest punishment, and I am confident that the request to pardon his sentence will be denied.

I appreciate your immediate attention to this important matter.



Richard Shelby