Controversial OP Ed in USA Today

I wrote a blog not long ago about Arthur Walker whose brother, John Walker Jr., got him to spy for the KGB during the Cold War.  John also groomed his own son, Michael, and recruited his best friend, Jerry Whitworth, as Soviet spies.

Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring was my first book, a national bestseller and a five hour mini-series on CBS.

I’ve always felt that Arthur was gullible and easily mislead by his brother.

I also felt the Justice Department made his case more than it really was. So I decided to write an editorial for USA Today about Arthur and how I felt it was wrong to keep him incarcerated longer than his unrepentant brother, which is what is going to happen unless the U.S. Parole Commission shows Arthur mercy.

My OP ED piece was published Monday — September 20th — and picked up by the Associated Press for distribution to other newspapers. Needless to say, it sparked a controversy. When I last checked USA TODAY there were more than 20 comments — all of them negative.  The writers were shocked that I recommended mercy and felt that Arthur deserved to be executed.

You can read the piece and form your own opinion about whether someone who betrays our country, even if he does it only once and passes inconsequential information, should ever be released.

Obviously, my view is not a popular one with many readers — or at least those who were moved to comment.

About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.


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