Was Qaeda Cabbie Flunky or Warrior?

Hamdan's sentence depends on which image is convincing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 3:22 AM CDT
Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, is shown at unknown location.    (AP Photo/Photo courtesy of Prof. Neal Katyal)
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(Newser) – Now that Salim Hamdan has been found guilty of driving Osama bin Laden around Afghanistan, sentencers must now decide if that makes him a warrior or a flunky, USA Today reports. Testimony from a psychiatrist describing Hamdan's path from impoverished Yemeni orphan to chauffeur for the world's most wanted man is expected to play a key role in the decision.

The psychiatrist told the court that Hamdan was revolted and felt betrayed after learning his employer was behind terror attacks. Prosecutors say the driver was a "warrior" who pledged allegiance to  the cause—and emphasize that Hamdan, who could face a life sentence, continued to work for bin Laden after discovering his terror links.