I certainly agree about Steve Earle, as I expressed in my first posting to this thread.
I'm not an expert on the Constitutional questions, nor in fact am I an expert on the relationship of the Taliban to the US government pre-9/11, or any of the other questions being bandied about here (most of us probably aren't experts on these questions, if the truth be told). But if a grown man (despite how he's been characterized, Lindh is not a child) chooses to carry arms for a foreign government, and chooses (for whatever reason) to continue to participate in their military activities even after hostilities have been declared and shots are being fired between them and the armed forces of his own country, he's got some things to answer for. His guilty plea was his answer, and it was entered voluntarily.
He has made a lot of completely unsubstantiated claims throughout this process, through his attorneys, in order to make him appear to be a more sympathetic character. It's not uncommon for accused criminals to do that. He has claimed that his motivations were religious rather than political, that he wanted to leave but had no choice but to continue fighting for Taliban, that he never actually fired a shot, etc. But if he truly felt he had the better argument, he should have raised these defenses in open court, on the record. The proceedings were being scrutinized closely, and I believe he would have gotten a fair trial. Others may feel differently.
No, being foolish, misguided, and even wicked is not against the law. And you're right, in a legal context it doesn't matter whether I lose sleep over the guy or not. I was speaking about both legal and moral issues. Legally, he got what he deserved, in my opinion. Morally, I find him fairly repugnant, notwithstanding all the "he was just a misguided kid" rationales that have been offered. That's my own opinion, and others are free to disagree. Fair enough?