Make American Talibum Earn Leniency

What to do with John Walker, the Taliban’s favorite American? He turned his back on his country and culture, but that could be said for most of Marin County, CA. Anyway, he’s something of square peg in the legal morass over treason.

Already there’s a public relations’ campaign initiated by the attorney retained by Walker’s parents to sanitize his treasonous, terrorist-trafficking image. Perhaps enough baby pictures will spare him the death penalty.

But here’s a way out.

Cut him a break — but make the American Talibum earn it. Not by making up worthless intelligence, but by serving the country he had foresworn. With a clean bill of health, as well as a shave, haircut and unaccented English, send him back. This time to Tora Bora.

Gen. Tommy Franks, head of U.S. Central Command, has proposed sending U.S. Marines there to comb the wild terrain and dig their way into presumably abandoned caves. Some of these caves, of course, could still be quartering al-Qaeda snipers. Even more likely are booby-traps.

But someone has to actually go in these caves. It’s problematic if all Afghan allies can be persuaded to do this heaviest of lifting. That means some Marines could be at risk.

To paraphrase Mission Impossible, “John Walker, your assignment, should you decide to accept it as a way of undoing some of what you’ve done and as a means of saving your pencil neck, is to be the point man for a lot of Tora Bora cave searches. Your nearly worthless life is worth risking — much more than some Marine serving his country and protecting people such as you.”

Or do you want your attorney to keep those baby pictures coming?

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