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Attorneys for American Taliban seek book ban

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  1. Prior Restraint

    NMU         CALIFORNIA         Prior Restraints         Mar 28, 2002    

Attorneys for American Taliban seek book ban

  • Publishing companies and book distributors said despite legal threats, they will continue to accept orders for the book about the life of John Walker Lindh.

In an attempt to prevent a book about John Walker Lindh’s life from being published, Lindh’s attorneys threatened the book’s publisher and several book distributers with legal action.

“Publication would be at your peril,” attorney George Harris wrote in a letter faxed to University Press, the publisher of John Walker Lindh: The American Taliban, in San Jose, Calif. According to an Associated Press article, Lindh’s lawyers called the book “grossly and outrageously false and defamatory.”

Lindh, an American who fought for the Taliban, is charged with conspiring to kill Americans abroad.

In a statement sent to AP, Rhawn Joseph, the book’s publisher, said he didn’t think a lawsuit would succeed against the book or his company. Attempts to leave a message with the publishing company were not successful because an answering machine disconnected the calls.

Amazon.com, Borders Inc. and Barnes & Noble also received copies of the legal threat. But each company was still taking orders for the $14.95 book on March 15.

Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said in the AP story, “We go by whatever the courts determine. The threat of litigation is no reason to take off a book.”

KG


© 2002 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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