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Every year on November 25 we remember Johnny Micheal (“Mike”) Spann, the first American killed in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. It was on that date in 2001 that Spann was killed during a Taliban prisoner uprising at the Qala-i-Jangi fortress.
The “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh was being held and interrogated at the fortress, though it remains unclear what if any direct role he played in Spann’s death.
Tag - Posts - Post - May - Aftermath
You can scroll through our tag to view all the posts, including this first post in early May 2011, in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden:
Hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death brought forward many emotions and memories.
Memories - Story - Johnny - Mike - Spann
One of those memories for me was the story of Johnny “Mike” Spann, from Winfield, Alabama, the first American killed in … Afghanistan…, on November 25, 2001.
Spann was a CIA operative, one of a small number of Americans who landed in Afghanistan, helped coordinate local forces hostile to the Taliban, and directed bombing and other military action.
Story - Band - Men
The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough.
Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked.
Spann - Uprising - Video - Prisoners - Taliban
Spann was killed during that uprising (see video). One of the prisoners was the so-called American Taliban, John Walker Lyndh, who Spann interrogated shortly before Spann’s death.
Spann’s wife Shannon also worked for the CIA. In addition to his wife, Spann left behind two daughters and an infant son.
Year - Research - Facts - Stories - Letter
Each year the research seems to discover new facts and stories, including the letter from Afghan warlord Abdul Rahdis Dostum and the memorial he dedicated in Spann’s memory, interviews with his oldest daughter Alison, and the family’s reaction to the release of Bowie Bergdahl and the possible release of Lindh.
I found this first-hand account by Dartmouth Professor Brian Glyn...
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