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. . . wow, did I make a mistake calling that Walker kid misguided. Where were my political people on that one? This has become a real mess. Here we are - at Christmas no less - and thanks to Newsweek and CNN, every day that guy looks worse and worse. He got radicalized by Malcolm X. He approved of the attacks on the Cole, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He trained and fought with al-Qaeda, and maybe even met bin Laden. He stonewalled Mike Spann's interrogation, and may have been involved in his murder. He admitted his outfit and the camps were funded by bin Laden. He claims to know what happens next.


Every day the media flogs this story. Outside of his parents - even they've been keeping their mouths shut lately - hardly anyone has any sympathy for Walker. Rove just told me that CNN is getting thousands of emails condemning this guy. David Horowitz says he should be shot. Even most criminal defense lawyers have nothing good to say about him. We've got him on a Marine ship in the Arabian Sea. Ashcroft sends some FBI guys out there to read him his rights. Rumsfeld thinks he's a traitor. So do lots of people on the Hill. Democrats, too. But the libs and the peaceniks and a lot of parents feel sorry for him.


The lawyer the parents got him . . . Al Gonzales tells me he's a tough case. Brenihan or someone.


They're waiting for me to make a decision.


We sure have to charge him with something. Can't let him go free. Back to Afghanistan or Pakistan, or even California. People are angry. Me, too. Now, anyway. Got to climb back off that limb, Rove says, and he's right. I spoke too fast. We can put out the word that I didn't have the facts. And I didn't. Everyone knows that. More stuff is coming out every day. Everyone's talking about treason. That's pretty heavy. Even the Rosenbergs weren't hit with treason. Even Nixon didn't indict Jane Fonda. But Holzer says there's an easy indictment, and a jury could find Walker intended to betray America and gave aid and comfort to the enemy by an overt act. Two witnesses shouldn't be hard to find.


Ashcroft admitted that if we can't get him for treason, we can sure get him for something. What did he say . . . something like providing material resources to terrorists? Maybe aiding and abetting or conspiracy to commit treason, murder or terrorism. He figures that Bresnihan will try to plead Walker out using leverage, like his age, that he cooperated with us, whatever. But Ashcroft says there's no leverage here, just smoke and mirrors. We've got Walker on something and everyone knows it.


I don't want to make Walker a martyr, but how the hell can we make war on terrorism and let him walk? How can we uphold the rule of law and ignore what this guy did? He's an American citizen. All those World War II people - Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose, and the others - all they did was broadcast. This guy fought against us. He's a terrorist, he's al-Qaeda.


Why not treason, and a lot of other stuff, too? Let the jury decide. That's what they're for, right?


I'll tell Andy Card to have Ashcroft get me a laundry list. Maybe we'll throw the book at him. Let the chips fall where they may.


After Christmas.