Feds Oppose Subpoena Of CIA Agent

John Walker Lindh, and the scales of justice, 2002
A government agent who questioned American-born Taliban John Walker Lindh in Afghanistan can testify at Lindh's trial but should not be summoned to a hearing on suppressing evidence, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The government asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III to dismiss a subpoena for the agent identified as "CS-1," a designation meaning "confidential source." "CS-1" has nothing to contribute to a hearing on defense efforts to throw out Lindh's statements in Afghanistan, the written motion said.

The agent and CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann spoke with Lindh after he was captured and held in a fort near Mazar-e-Sharif. Shortly afterward, prisoners staged a bloody revolt that claimed Spann's life.

The killing of Spann was an overt act mentioned in the indictment of Lindh, who is charged with conspiring to murder U.S. citizens, providing support and services to foreign terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda and using firearms and destructive devices during crimes of violence. Three of the 10 charges carry a maximum life sentence; the other seven have prison terms of up to 90 years.

Lindh's lawyers have contended his statements should be thrown out because he did not have access to a lawyer and was held under horrible conditions as a captured fighter.

The government said neither Spann nor the confidential source had success in getting Lindh to answer questions, adding the unnamed agent never spoke with him again.

Prosecutors contended that "CS-1" would be at greater risk of having his identity disclosed every time he appears in a public forum. Even at trial, the government said, the agent's identity and affiliation would have to be kept secret.