U.S. v. Lindh, Round 1

The government thinks it can put the American Talib away for life. But did it deprive him of a lawyer?

John Walker Lindh appeared in court last week at a brief proceeding called an identity hearing. It was an appropriate name, since deciding who he is will determine whether he should go to prison for the rest of his life. Maybe he is Abdul Hamid, a name he used when he was a Talib, allegedly one who conspired to kill Americans. Or maybe he's John Walker, a suburban '90s kid who lit out for distant territories both geographic and religious, seeking himself (and taking his mother's maiden name) after his parents' estrangement. In his most recent incarnation, at the hearing, he...

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