Guantanamo's Star Witness?

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As one American-born Taliban, Yaser Esam Hamdi, was set to be released last week after more than two years in a U.S. naval brig, another one, John Walker Lindh, above, remains in a California prison. But he may soon be on the witness stand, testifying for the prosecution in the Guantanamo Bay military trials. Lindh, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to aiding the Taliban, is cooperating in the Gitmo trials in an effort to reduce his 20-year sentence, according to a government official familiar with the case. Considering his original indictment, Lindh may have some significant information to share about high-ranking al-Qaeda members. The 2002 indictment claimed that Lindh had met Osama bin Laden as well as another senior al-Qaeda leader, who encouraged him to participate in attacks against the U.S. and Israel — an offer Lindh says he refused.

Since his capture in Afghanistan, Lindh — who has grown a beard down to his chest and covers his shaved head with a khaki skullcap to match his prison jumpsuit — appears to have had a change of heart about the Taliban and claims he was misled about jihad, according to sources close to his case. But although he remains a student of Islam — his daily routine includes reading the Koran and improving his Arabic via a correspondence course — he has little to do with other Muslim inmates. "He thinks that most Muslims are not good Muslims," says an official. "I can see him looking down his nose at them." Lindh also spends his days poring over his fan mail, which so far has included at least one marriage proposal. "When people talk to him about his CNN interview, he gets a glint in his eye and a little smile," says the official. "He's definitely into the fact that he's famous."