When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980, didn't the United States help the Taliban by giving it arms to fight the Soviet Union? When the Taliban took power and there was a split among the ranks, the Taliban was our "friend" and the Northern Alliance was our "enemy." The Taliban was on our payroll until 1999.

Craig Ziemba ("How to treat a traitor," Sunday, Jan. 29) went too far in calling John Walker Lindh a traitor. When Mr. Lindh entered a plea bargain with the U.S. government for about 20 years, one must wonder and ask himself what Lindh did so bad to get 20 years and Jane Fonda was never arrested for what she did during the Vietnam War.

The press never called her a traitor or asked her why she did it. What Jane Fonda did, Mr. Lindh never did.

Jane Fonda was always pro-North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. She was aiding an enemy that killed about 58,000 and wounded another quarter of a million. She went to Hanoi and posed for propaganda pictures on an anti-aircraft gun. She made broadcasts to American soldiers urging them to desert and urging pilots to refuse to fly.

Prisoners of war who refused to meet with her were beaten, and some of those who did meet her tried to slip notes to her so she could tell their families they were still alive. She turned the notes over to the Vietnamese, and the prisoners were beaten. When the POWs got the word out that they were being tortured, she publicly branded them liars.

To all of you super-patriots who are so eager to lynch a young man whose religious beliefs put him in the wrong place at an unlucky time should be reminded that when it comes to prosecuting treason, there is no greater hypocrite than the U.S. government.

Mr. Lindh joined the Taliban before it was our enemy. There is no evidence that, during the two months he was in the Taliban after the U.S. decided to shift sides and join the Northern Alliance, he ever harmed a single American.

By the way, Mr. Ziemba: Allah means God.

Edward J. Giovanetti


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