John Walker Lindh, the Californian who converted to Islam and became a warrior for Afghanistan's Taliban, pleaded guilty to two charges in a surprise deal that will send him to prison for 20 years, making him eligible for parole in 17 years. Under the agreement, the government dropped nine of the 10 charges against Lindh -- three of which carried life sentences, including conspiracy to murder Americans abroad and assisting terrorists -- and accepted guilty pleas for supplying services to the Taliban and carrying an explosive device while committing a felony. Each charge carries a 10-year sentence, which are to be served consecutively. White House officials said President Bush approved an outline of the plea deal, which the judge is scheduled to impose October 4.
Along with the deal came Lindh's agreement to cooperate fully with government investigators looking into Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization. In addition, Lindh dropped all claims of US military mistreatment while in detention in Afghanistan. A movie deal is rumored to be in the works; however, Lindh has agreed to yield any profits he may acquire to the government. For more information on this news story, users may access the first two links above. Viewers interested in the response from Shannon Spann, the widow of the CIA officer who was murdered moments after questioning John Walker Lindh, can click on links three and four. The last two links respectively lead to the text of the plea agreement that US prosecutors struck with Lindh, and a chronology of events leading up to Lindh's guilty plea, starting from November 25, 2001.