Johnny Spann — father of Mike Spann, a CIA officer and the first American killed in the Afghanistan War — recalled his son’s last moments with his then-nine-year-old daughter before deploying in 2001, sharing his memories in a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Spann’s comments came after Thursday’s early release of Islamic terrorist John Walker Lindh from federal prison for “good behavior,” 17 years into a 20-year sentence.
Lindh was convicted in 2002 following a plea deal approved of by then-President George Bush and then-Deputy Attorney General Michael Chertoff. He pleaded guilty to providing services to a designated terrorist organization and carrying explosives during the commission of a felony.
Spann said, “The night before Mike left to go to Afghanistan, his daughter Alison was nine-years-old at the time, and she cried and begged her daddy not to go when he told her he was going to be leaving the country, because she knew what happened.”
Spann continued, “[Alison] knew about 9/11. She was old enough to know. They studied it in school. His answer to her was, ‘Alison, we’ve been attacked. People like me have to go do the things I do to be sure that people like you and everybody else has the freedoms that you have to be able to go to church, go to school, go to the playground, go to the mall, and do the things you do. I don’t have a choice. We have to go.’”
“That’s the way a patriot looks at it,” said Spann of his son’s approach to duty.
Prior to Lindh’s release, Allison Spann — now 27 and an anchor with a CBS television affiliate in Biloxi, MS — wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking for its stoppage.
“We still feel that he is radicalized and that releasing him into our public is a danger to everybody,” Alison said. “I wanted the world to know, hey, Mike Spann isn’t just the first American killed in Afghanistan. This is Mike Spann. He has a family who loves him and misses and we’re fighting for him.”
Allison Spann also described Lindh’s release as a “slap in the face,” warning, “[John Walker Lindh] hasn’t denounced radical Islam. And I think whether it’s the United States or the rest of the world — that should scare everybody.”
Mike Spann had spent eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the CIA, where he worked for three years.
Ahead of 2019’s Memorial Day weekend, Johhny Spann invited listeners to “have some thoughts [and] prayers” for “those people that stood up, put their lives on the line, and lost them for your freedom [and] to keep America free.”
Spann concluded with a warning of the erosion of human freedom. “I hope I don’t live to see the day, but I think it’s coming,” he said. “If we don’t do something … my kids [and] my grand-kids will have to sit down with their kids and their grand-kids and they’ll be telling them about how it used to be when it was free in America, when you lived free as an American citizen. It just seems like our freedoms are being tested everyday and taken away from us.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.