Author John Mahoney writes of two different kinds of betrayal in Getting Away With Murder. Mahoney profiles John Walker Lindh, a known American member of the Taliban. Lindh was captured and imprisoned during the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. While in prison Lindh participated in a rebellion by Taliban inmates. During this riot a valued member of the CIA was killed, as were the majority of prisoners. Mahoney covers Lindh’s trial in exact detail. He also criticizes the US government for working at cross purposes when dealing with states that sponsor terrorism. He further asserts that Lindh’s trial was aborted by the Justice Department in order to hide government secrets. This ambitious and complicated work of nonfiction is narrated with precision by Adam Verner.
Americans were shocked to learn that one of our own had fought for the Taliban. Emerging froma gruesome battle at the end of the Afghan War onto the evening news, the so-called American Taliban would become linked inextricably to the CIA paramilitary who interrogated him, All-American Hero Mike Spann, who died in that battle, beaten and tortured to death. Public opinion was one of outrage. The Bush administration vowed to make an example of the traitor. Attorney General John Ashcroft promised to bring Lindh to justice for participating in the murder of Spann. Why then, after threatening treason and the death penalty, did the government suddenly abandon a trial in favor of a soft plea deal? Why did they let him get away with it? To answer the question, this book puts John Walker Lindh on trial, but it also examines the case against the U.S. government that a trial might have revealed. What double game did the government play before the Afghan War, involving oil pipelines, CIA soldiers, and Saudi payoffs? Why did they hang Mike Spann out to dry?