Benedict Walker

Californian John Walker Fought for the Taliban. Does This Make Him a Traitor to the U.S.?

What should the U.S. do with him? He should face the consequences of his actions. He should be put to death. If he had just been over there fighting the Northern Alliance, it would have been one thing. We wouldn't have cared. The World Trade Center attacks make him a traitor to the U.S.

Have you ever been attracted to an unorthodox ideology? I was raised a Catholic. I once went to a Buddhist service with a friend who was a practicing Buddhist. Some of their teachings appealed to me, but I came back to reality and realized I was a true Catholic. I was raised in Berkeley, which is very open and liberal and everyone is into all different kinds of things. John Walker's from California. I know where he's coming from.



MARGARET LANZONI
Age 25
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Photo editor

Is John Walker a traitor? I think it's ridiculous for us to call him a traitor. He joined the Taliban when the U.S. was not at war in Afghanistan.

What should the U.S. do with him? He should be questioned and released. The government should warn him that because of the current military situation, he's going to be watched very carefully. I think the whole thing is bananas. John Walker hasn't broken any laws, so he shouldn't stand trial for anything. I also don't think Osama bin Laden should be tried in the U.S. The E.U. countries won't extradite suspects to countries who practice capital punishment.

Have you ever been attracted to an unorthodox ideology? I was part of a Christian youth group when I was younger. It was very mild. We just ran around and told people to love each other. In America, we live in an open society with no premium on ideas. We have horrible organizations like the KKK in this country. They exist because we protect things like freedom of expression and religion.



JOSE FERREIRA
Age 32
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Corrections officer

Is John Walker a traitor? I think he was caught practicing his beliefs at the wrong time. He's just unlucky. Maybe he was brainwashed. He shouldn't be targeted because of what he believes. He's now in a lot of trouble because the government is going to work to affiliate him with the terrorists. They're going to pursue his case to the limit.

What should the U.S. do with him? They should try him, and operate as though he was innocent until proven guilty. Maybe he was just there. If that's true, they shouldn't go after him. If they can prove he actually killed Americans, maybe that's something else. I think they will "find" evidence even if it isn't there. This reminds me of the Red Scare of the 1950s.

Have you ever been attracted to an unorthodox ideology? No, but when you're young, you experiment. I'm religion-free right now, although I believe in God. I never obsess about anything. Whatever's cool is cool.



LUNA LOUIS ORTIZ
Age 29
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Teacher

Is John Walker a traitor? Even though his beliefs are his beliefs, I think he's probably a traitor. Even before September 11, we knew Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were terrorists. At the same time, I doubt John Walker knew that much about the attacks on the Trade Center.

What should the U.S. do with him? Does he want to come home? He should be held as a prisoner of war, then tried just for the information that a trial would provide.

Have you ever been attracted to an unorthodox ideology? I was supposed to be a Catholic, but I was never religious. In general, music and movies are my religion. I'm a Hollywood-obsessed person. I'm obsessed with Marlene Deitrich, even though she's long gone. I love Greta Garbo. And Bette Davis. I just got All About Eve on DVD. It's beautiful. I'm also obsessed with Lena Horne. I wouldn't want to forget her.

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