The story started with John Walker Lindh, documentary filmmaker Greg Barker told me in a phone conversation. Lindh was a young man from Marin County, California, when he was captured as an enemy combatant in late 2001. Nothing about his childhood or upbringing suggested this would happen. His father was a prominent attorney in California. His family was comfortably middle class. Lindh had been baptized Catholic but converted to Islam at age 16, leaving the United States to study Arabic in Yemen and later at a madrasa in Pakistan. By age 20, he traveled to Afghanistan to join the Afghan Taliban and fight against the Northern Alliance. That was in May of 2001. By November, he was captured by the Northern Alliance and detained at a military prison in Qala-i-Jangi. Three days after Thanksgiving, on the morning of November 25, 2001, Lindh was questioned by another American who had traveled far from home to serve in Afghanistan as a CIA paramilitary officer. Johnny Michael "Mike" Spann, along with CIA intelligence officer Dave Tyson, questioned Lindh, but he had little to say. Minutes after their meeting, Spann became the first American killed in combat in Afghanistan during a prison uprising that kicked off the days long Battle of Qala-i-Jangi. Lindh survived the battle but was wounded, later suffered abuse as a detainee, and spent nearly 20 years as an inmate in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Though Lindh was released in 2019, questions remain about what he knew of the prison uprising at Qala-i-Jangi, and whether he could have saved the life of Mike Spann on November 25, 2001. Barker, a veteran filmmaker of war stories and politics, knows there are more questions than answers in the life of John Walker Lindh, but that the emergence of the so-called "American Taliban" marked the beginning of a much larger story of America in the war on terror. We spoke about Lindh and Spann, Qala-i-Jangi and about America's fascination with war since 9/11. This conversation has been edited for clarity.