Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) warned of other convicted Islamic terrorists seeking early release from prison in the wake of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh’s release on Thursday. In a Thursday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning, Byrne described his legislative proposal to make those convicted of terrorist offenses ineligible for early release.
Lindh served 17 years of a 20-year sentence he received following a 2002 plea deal, which CNN reported then-President George Bush and then-Deputy Attorney General Michael Chertoff approved.
Byrne recalled Lindh’s participation in a 2001 prisoner-of-war camp uprising in Afghanistan, alongside al-Qaeda and Taliban enemy combatants, in which CIA officer Mike Spann was killed.
“We actually had a CIA officer there interrogating people like Mr. Lindh, who had been caught as part of our offensive operations there,” said Byrne. “While Micheal Spann was interviewing Mr. Lindh, Mr. Lindh and his compatriots started a prison riot, and they killed Mr. Spann. So he was ultimately involved in this effort that killed Mr. Spann. So in addition to being a terrorist, he poses a direct threat to the lives — and has posed a direct threat to the lives — of American servicemen and women [and] CIA agents doing hard work in places like Afghanistan”:
Alison Spann, the daughter of Mike Spann’s daughter and a CBS affiliate anchor in Biloxi, Mississippi, sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to stop Lindh’s release.
Byrne stated, “Micheal Spann’s daughter asked me to do something, so I, along with Sen. Shelby and Sen. Cotton, have introduced this bill, and it’s a simple bill. It says if you’ve been convicted of a crime of terrorism, you don’t get time off. You don’t get time knocked off your sentence for good behavior. Why do we have to say this? I don’t know.”
Byrne introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives to Sens. Cotton (R-AK) and Shelby’s (R-AL) sponsorship of the No Leniency for Terrorists Act.
Byrne noted reports of Lindh’s ongoing support for “Islamic extremism” and the “Islamic State,” asking, “How did this guy get [time off] for good behavior when he’s still spewing this terrorist venom out there?” he asked. “What’s wrong with our jail system to let that happen?”
“He’s not the only one,” cautioned Byrne. “We’ve got others stacked up behind him who are trying to get off early for their, quote, ‘good behavior.’ This is not an abstract exercise we’re going through here. My prediction is that this guy, Lindh, will do something bad again.”
Byrne continued, “We do have these other individuals stacked up. We’re trying to stop that from happening. … If you’re convicted of a crime of terrorism, you don’t get out of jail. You’re there forever because terrorism strikes at the very basis of civilized society. We can’t let these people continue to do what they’re doing. We need to take them out of society altogether and not let them get back in.”
Byrne is a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate Seat in 2020, currently held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
“[Doug Jones] had been sharply critical of the new abortion statute passed in Alabama, and he’s spoken out vehemently against it,” said Byrne. “He’s a pro-abortion United States senator representing a state that’s very strongly pro-life. He continued to vote against the president’s nominee for key judicial positions, including a judicial position in Alabama.”
“It’s very important that we have the right person nominated by the Republican Party to go up against Doug Jones and not repeat the mistake we made in 2017,” remarked Byrne, recalling Jones’s defeat of Roy Moore in 2017’s special election. He described himself as a “strong conservative Republican” vying to “represent a strong conservative state in November 2020.”
“Unlike Doug Jones, I’m not only not going to attack our legislature; I’m going to defend our legislature,” stated Byrne. “That’s what I want our senators to do: to stand up and fight for Alabama. Doug Jones won’t. I will.”
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.