Now that pardons are in the news, I would also like to ask for a pardon:
I beg your pardon but I have no sympathy for young John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban swept off the battle field in Afghanistan. He was sentenced to 20 years and now after serving seven, would like a Presidential pardon. Let him stay in jail and serve the full term. Being young and foolish is no excuse for taking up arms against your own country and especially on behalf of such vile company as he kept.
Mr. Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the shoe thrower who had the nerve to assault the President of the United States would also like to be pardoned for his "ugly deed." I'm sure he would. There's no question that instead of spending the next two years in jail, he rather be free and enjoying his new found celebrity in the Arab world.
BAGHDAD – The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush is begging for a pardon for what he described as "an ugly act," the prime minister's spokesman said Thursday.
Muntadhar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, could face two years imprisonment for insulting a foreign leader. He remained in custody Thursday night.
"It is too late to reverse the big and ugly act that I perpetrated," al-Zeidi wrote in a letter delivered to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to the prime minister's spokesman.
The spokesman, Yassin Majid, told The Associated Press that al-Zeidi went on in the letter to recall an interview he conducted with the prime minister in 2005 when al-Maliki invited him into his home, saying: "Come in, it is your home too."
"So I ask for your pardon, excellency," Majid quoted the letter as saying.
However, the journalist's brother, Dhargham al-Zeidi, told the AP he was skeptical that his brother would write such a letter.
"I am suspicious that my brother wrote that letter to al-Maliki because I know my brother very well," he said. He added that family members and staffers from Al-Baghdadia would stage a sit-in Friday near the U.S.-controlled Green Zone.
Obviously this is a matter of Iraqi law but if the Iraqis are smart, they will make sure that Mr. al-Zeidi's act does not go unpunished. Granting a pardon or not prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law would send a message that I suspect would not sit well with the majority of the American public. As we know, showing someone the sole of your shoe or throwing your shoes at someone is a common symbol of Arab disdain and disrespect. More than that, throwing a size 10 shoe is equivalent to throwing a punch or wielding a club. It's assault. And in this case, it was an assault on the President. Many of us would also view not prosecuting the perpetrator as disdain and disrespect. The Iraqis ought to consider this carefully as many US citizens are ready to wash their hands of a people they view as unappreciative and unworthy.