What’s the difference between Mike Spann and Leroy Harris-Kelly?

by Seattle

As many of you probably remember, Mike Spann was the first American – a CIA officer – to be killed in the US invasion of Afghanistan. Spann’s death was all over the news (scroll about two thirds of the way down for typical photos), CIA director George Tenet shed a tear on TV at Spann’s funeral, Bush pointed out Spann’s widow in the audience of his State of the Union address, Spann’s funeral and flag-draped coffin were all over the nightly news, and …. well let’s just say that we got a hefty dose of images and stories about Mike Spann and his death.

Leroy Harris-Kelly is a different story. I’m willing to bet that noone reading this has ever heard of Leroy Harris-Kelly. He’s the latest American military fatality (number 706?) in the US invasion of Iraq. He was twenty years old.

So what’s the difference between Mike and Leroy? The answer is that it was politically valuable to broadcast images of Mike Spann’s death back then and it’s politically harmful to broadcast images of Leroy’s death now.

Two recent events relevant to this issue are interesting. An employee of the military contractor Maytag Aircraft was fired for releasing an image of flag-draped coffins coming back from Iraq and there is a battle going on between a press freedom activist and the Department of Defense over the release of these images.

The administration knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, and there are many thousands of words that they don’t want Americans to hear.

One response to “What’s the difference between Mike Spann and Leroy Harris-Kelly?

  1. False and misleading statements by Mr. Frank Lindh omits
    many known facts
    Article of appeal by Johnny Spann
    February 01, 2006
    This rebuttal of statements and claims made by Frank Lindh, father of John Walker Lindh, will
    address these issues. Frank Lindh is pushing for an official pardon or clemency of his son for the
    Al Queda activities of which he is known to have been involved. These activities came to
    the public’s attention in November of 2001, and involved the death of my son, Johnny Micheal
    Spann, a CIA agent sent to interview the prisoners at the Qala I Jangi fortress outside Mazar E
    Shiref. My son met his death at the hands of Al Queda terrorists on November 25, 2001… one of
    the Al Queda terrorists present that day was Frank Lindh’s son.
    First and foremost I would like to clarify two primary points:
    •Frank Lindh claims that his son never fired his weapon. This is false.
    •Frank Lindh claims that his son did not fight against Americans. This also is false.
    Some other known facts that Frank Lindh
    chooses to overlook are listed below.
    1. John Walker Lindh, changed his name to Suleyman al-Faris and was also known
    as Abdul Hamid.
    2. John Walker Lindh was a member of, and trained with Al Queda. Al Queda is a
    league of foreign fighters who are trained by Osama Bin Laden. Members of this
    group of fighters are typically not citizens or natives of Afghanistan. John Walker Lindh
    was not allowed to join the Taliban, because he did not speak any of their languages like
    Dari or Postum, and was not a Afghan. But was allowed to join and train with the Al
    The Taliban harbored Bin Laden and his Al Queda terrorist.
    3. Al Queda terrorist members flew airplanes into U.S. buildings on September 11,
    2001, killing over 3,000 Americans.
    4. John Walker Lindh trained in the mujahideen terrorist camps first.
    5. After trying to join the Taliban and being refused. John Walker Lindh trained at Al
    Farooq – Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist training camp – and has officially stated that
    he met and talked to Bin Laden more than once while in this training. He also
    stated he spent time at Bin Laden’s guest house.
    6. John Walker Lindh stated that he had knowledge of the plans for the 9-11 attacks
    against the U.S. He stated that he knew that Al Queda members had been sent to the
    United States to carry out suicide missions. He stated that he had also been told about
    the 9-11 attacks on America, but chose to stay and continue to fight with the Al Queda
    terrorists. For all Lindh knew, his own family members could have been victims of
    the suicide missions.
    Frank Lindh claims that his son was not responsible for 9/11 attacks, and that he
    had nothing to do with them. He is not telling that he not only knew about the
    plans, but also opted – as an American – not to alert anyone about his knowledge.
    Lindh stated that after training camp he was asked if he like to go to other places
    to carry out terriost activities, This proves he was just like the rest of the trainees
    or he would never have been ask to go.
    7. John Walker Lindh sent an email to his mother stating that the attacks on the USS
    Cole were justified, and that he did not care if he ever set foot in America again.
    8. After leaving the training camps, John Walker Lindh went to Takar. While in the
    trenches on the front lines in Takar, he said that his rifle malfunctioned and was
    issued another one.
    Frank Lindh said his son never fired his weapon. How can his rifle malfunction, if
    he never fired it?
    9. John Walker Lindh surrendered with the other terrorist Al Queda fighters at
    Kundus, having retreated there from Takar. He did not let anyone know that he was
    American, or that he wanted to leave. (He stated that he was told to say that he was
    Irish if anyone should ask).
    10. John Walker Lindh was transported to Qala I Jangi Fortress on Saturday evening,
    November 24, 2001, and stayed in the basement house, also known as the Pink House,
    that night.
    11. The revolt was planned that night while at the Pink House. Two of the prisoners
    stated that everyone there that night had to choose if and how they were going to be
    12.Sunday morning, November 25, 2001, my son and his partner arrived at the prison.
    During this time Micheal Spann attempted to question John Walker Lindh. This
    encounter was captured on the, approx. 2 hours of video, being filmed by General
    Dostum’s soldier.
    The prisoners being interviewed were led one at a time, from the Pink House to an open
    courtyard. They were lightly restrained with their elbows tied behind their back. This left
    their hands free to the front. This was the afghan way of restraining.
    John Walker Lindh was one of these prisoners. After being asked to identify himself,
    (practically begging him). He would not talk to his fellow Americans, and yet another
    opportunity went by to tell someone whom he was and that he needed help. John
    Walker Lindh also did not inform Mike Spann, or any other American there, about
    the planned revolt.
    If that information had been shared it would have saved my son’s
    13. At approx. 11 AM Sunday Morning, as planned on Saturday evening by the
    prisoners, a grenade was thrown to signal the attack. This is verified on the twohour
    The prisoners inside the Pink House, which were approx. 300, began their attack against
    the guards, and the Americans. The prisoners in the courtyard, which only had their
    elbows tied, jumped to their feet and attacked my son, Mike, from behind while he was
    engaging the terrorist that were charging him from the basement house.
    This is verified in the FBI documents released in late 2004, of interviews with
    prisioners at Guantánamo Bay. which have the accounts of that attack how it
    started and what ensued. Additionally, two doctors and other northern Alliance
    soldiers that I personally talked to in Afghanistan, stated that they were within feet
    of Mike when the grenade was thrown by the terrorist to start the revolt.
    John Walker Lindh jumped to his feet to take part, just like the other terrorists,
    and was shot in the leg. ( His father says he jumped to his feet to run)
    14. John Walker Lindh, and the others in the courtyard, retreated to the basement
    house (Pink House), and continued to fight the Northern Alliance and the
    On the second day, the Northern Alliance sent Red Cross workers inside to get
    them to surrender, and John Walker Lindh, and his fellow terrorist fighters, killed
    them. Some 5 days later they finally surrendered.
    15. Robert Young Pelton, a reporter working in Afghanistan, was the first to
    interviewed John Walker Lindh after they finally surrendered. After bringing John
    Walker Lindh food and an American Medic, he tried to help him during their interview
    offering to get in touch with his parents. John Walker Lindh stated to Pelton, when
    asked if this was what he thought it would be like. He stated “This is exactly what I
    thought that it would be like”. Pelton stated that John Walker Lindh showed no
    remorse for his actions. Pelton’s account is also attached to this article.
    16. Frank Lindh maintains that the terrorists’ prisoners were beaten. This is blatantly
    false. I personally have a copy of the original video, which clearly shows that no
    beatings took place. It is documented on the video that two doctors were brought
    to the site and were treating and tending to the wounds of the terrorist prisoners.
    There was no violence at all until the grenade was thrown to start the revolt. This is
    also shown on the video.
    This is only a portion of information that Frank Lindh is not making public
    during his quest for his son’s pardon.
    The facts stated in this letter are documented in the following ways:
    •Video from General Dostum, taken the morning of the attack, which is the video the
    French reporter obtained and sold to CAPA TV, which in turn sold a small portion to 3
    American TV news networks. This small portion was then shown on television showing
    Mike Spann trying to talk with Lindh.
    •Reports of the attack given by the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and released by FBI,
    •Eyewitness accounts: including the accounts of two Afghan doctors that I personally
    spoke with while visiting Afghanistan. A Northern Alliance intel officer, and several
    northern alliance soldiers. The two doctors and the intel officer are shown on the video.
    •Information given to Mark Kukas, by two prisoners in Shurbergon prison.
    •Information supplied by Robert Pelton, whose letter is attached.
    •John Walker Lindh’s own personal statements.
    * Information given to me by General Dostum and his staff
    As an American, and one of many parents who have lost a child to war in order to protect our
    country, I appeal to you to not allow Frank Lindh to achieve a pardon for his Al Queda, terrorist,
    traitor son, John Walker Lindh, Aka: Sulleyman al Farris, Aka: Abdul Hamid
    Johnny Spann
    P.O. Box 308
    Winfield, Al. 35594
    Tele: 205.487.6536
    Website: http://www.honormikespann.org

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