SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The father of "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh has blasted his son's "shameful" treatment and said he was no traitor.
"He was treated in a way that was shameful to our country," Frank Lindh told a lunchtime crowd at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Sometimes bristling with rage, other times near tears, Frank Lindh said his son had been unfairly smeared as a terrorist from the moment he was captured in November 2001 with Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan to the time he was convicted of non-terrorism charges in July 2002.
The smearing came from politicians and the media, he said, and there is still much misunderstanding about the 24-year-old federal inmate, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"He never fought against America," Lindh said. "He was simply rescued. He was absolutely not a traitor."
A federal judge in Virginia sentenced John Lindh to 20 years in prison for aiding the Taliban contrary to U.S. economic sanctions.