May 31st, 2014

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held by Taliban for five years…

has been released.

I’m glad he’s out. But we gave them five Guantanamo prisoners in exchange. Who are they? Some very bad guys, apparently:

The detainees are believed to be the most senior Afghans still held at the prison. They are believed to be:

-Abdul Haq Wasiq, who served as the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence

-Mullah Norullah Nori, a senior Taliban commander in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban fought U.S. forces in late 2001

-Khairullah Khairkhwa, who served in various Taliban positions including interior minister and had direct ties to Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden

-Mohammed Nabi, who served as chief of security for the Taliban in Qalat, Afghanistan, and later worked as a radio operator for the Taliban’s communications office in Kabul

-Mohammad Fazl, whom Human Rights Watch says could be prosecuted for war crimes for presiding over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001 as the Taliban sought to consolidate their control over the country.

Ah, but they’re being released to the custody of Qatar:

The five Guantanamo detainees were still at the base as of Saturday morning, but were being transferred into the custody of Qatari officials. Under the conditions of their release, the detainees will be banned from traveling outside of Qatar for at least one year.

That’ll hold ’em, right? I don’t pretend to know all that much about what Qatar plans to actually do with them, but the country is both a Wahabi stronghold and a dictatorship. Chuck Hagel had the following to say on the subject:

The United States has coordinated closely with Qatar to ensure that security measures are in place and the national security of the United States will not be compromised. I appreciate the efforts of the Emir of Qatar to put these measures in place…

Reassured? I’m not:

he U.S. has received “appropriate assurances” that the five Guantanamo detainees will be secured in Qatar and will be subject to a travel ban for one year, the Defense official said. The White House has not yet responded to a request to clarify whether the Guantanamo detainees will be held in Qatari custody or free to live as legal residents.

If the released prisoners—who have not been officially identified yet—are in fact the five men on the above list, I can’t imagine that they’ll be stopped from doing a lot of damage unless they are kept for life in another highly secure prison, and maybe not even then. But it sure doesn’t sound as though that’s going to happen.

Prisoner exchangers for terrorists always present this dilemma. Do we let our people languish in captivity? Or do we free them and release terrorists who will almost certainly plot against us again? Israel, when faced with the same conundrum, often chooses the same solution: release the terrorists (and sometimes in a ratio a lot more lopsided than five to one).

28 Responses to “Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held by Taliban for five years…”

  1. waitforit Says:

    . . . President Barack Obama said Bergdahl’s recovery “is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.

    Wonder why he qualified it with the term “in uniform.”

  2. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Israel, when faced with the same conundrum, often chooses the same solution: release the terrorists”

    The inescapable result of a refusal to actually identify the enemy, which are not ‘radical’ Islamics but Islam’s irreformable theological tenets.

  3. Snackeater Says:

    So we are now willing to negotiate with terrorists?

  4. Bill Says:

    This is an easy one.

    When terrorists want to make a swap like this one, always agree, always give them the people they want. But with some form of tracking attached, a biometric implant, something.

    And the moment our people are back in our hands kill the terrorists we released, without letup or mercy. And without comment. The message will be heard.

  5. Lizzy Says:

    I’m happy for Bergdahl, his family and friends; however, I think it sets a bad precedent.

    *Interesting timing, with Obama’s recent visit and the ‘accidental’ outing of the CIA station chief, eh? Wonder if they’re related….

  6. Ann Says:

    Snackeater asks: “So we are now willing to negotiate with terrorists?”

    I think the negotiations were with the Taliban based in Afghanistan, and they’re not on the State Dept. list of terrorists. Only the Taliban in Pakistan is on that list.

    Crazy, crazy world.

  7. parker Says:

    I do not consider exchanging prisoners to be negotiating with terrorists, its getting our own back. Bill’s idea is not something I could support as it would end any chance of exchanging prisoners in the future. Instead, we should keep close tabs on them (as much as is feasible) and kill them 2 or 3 years after their release. I’m all for revenge, but as the Godfather says, its a dish best tasted cold.

    Welcome home Sgt. Bergdahl to your family and friends and with a big thank you from those of us who appreciate your service.

  8. M J R Says:

    Bill, 3:54 pm — “And the moment our people are back in our hands kill the terrorists we released, without letup or mercy. And without comment. The message will be heard.”

    I like it, except for one niggling, pesky consideration: we will never again be in a credible position to negotiate the release of any of our fellow Americans anywhere.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    I don’t suppose people know why there were no Taliban prisoners during Bush’s admin. At least, certainly not the 5 year trade in kind.

  10. Mr. Frank Says:

    Bergdahl was the only American the Taliban had. Thus we got 100% of our prisoners out. We can hope that down the road the guys we exchanged will have lots of unexpected accidents.

  11. Don Carlos Says:

    Come on! How you gonna find ’em again? Who’re you kidding with revenge fantasies?
    I favor killing ’em after waterboarding ’em first time around. Feed ’em to the sharks. No inventory=no trade possible. Might keep the next bergdahl from “wandering” off in the middle of the night against orders.

  12. parker Says:

    The Israelis have been able to successfully hunt down and target enemies after decades, so I see no reason we can not do the same if there is the will to do so. However, what is of greater importance is that Sgt. Bergdahl will rejoin her family and friends. That smells like victory to me. Trading 5 jihad towel wrapped too tight monsters for her freedom in a world infested with millions of towel wrapped too tight monsters is not a major breach in national security. As we all know, there are plenty of cases where captured jihad loons have been released only to show up later on the battlefield.

    In this case I am more than willing to cut the messiah regime some slack.

  13. Ymarsakar Says:

    To answer my own question, Afghanistan was filled with Special Forces hard core warriors, who would shoot themselves out of ammo, saving the last bullet for themselves. They knew not to be captured by the Taliban.

    After NATO got in, the War on Terror kept on mobilizing young and old warriors to the same standard. Given that your buddies were covering you and your training was full of work and effort, it’s hard to get captured, since either your buddy would save you or he would shoot his last bullet in you.

    Now suddenly the Left takes control, homosexuals and women on the front lines are put there so they can get more promotions and suddenly…

    here it is.

  14. Ymarsakar Says:

    Israelis trade 1000 hardcore Pali killers for the dead bodies of 2 Jews the Arabs tortured and eviscerated.

    That’s “victory” all right, for some people.

  15. nkbay99 Says:

    Has anyone considered: This gives a real incentive to the Taliban. Capture more Americans and gradually empty Gitmo – That’s what BO wants anyway. So he kills two birds with one stone. BTW, check out the “Long War Journal” if you want to find out how bad these guys are

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    To get this out of the way, I’m not responsible for ensuring the release of American soldiers. That’s the responsibility of logistics, their commanders, their subordinates, people who owe them debts, and their families.

    The nation is responsible for the people in the nation. And if Hussein can ignore Americans trapped in Sudan, they can certainly ignore soldiers they have ordered to die in the front lines. That does not absolve people with connections to the prisoner, to get it out, but that is a personal debt, not a national one.

    America long ago forgot such debts. It’s not going to start repaying it now.

    So, what will happen, and I emphasize “will” is that instead of Hasans shooting up FT. Hood or Muslims rolling grenades into American officer command tents, they will be using sleeper cells and organizing kidnappings. Since, after all, prisoner trades are merely outsourcing the risk. Instead of the prisoner taking the risk for capture, this risk will be partially outsourced to the people that the Islamos will kill once they are freed.

    So in exchange for one prisoner, dead or alive, the Islamos get 1000 extra chances to kill, that they wouldn’t have had, since those 1000 people would have been executed normally.

    So first an American soldier has to risk death and capture by fighting an Islamo. The Islamo is then captured. Then next time, the cycle starts up again as the Islamos are released.

  17. parker Says:

    “Israelis trade 1000 hardcore Pali killers for the dead bodies of 2 Jews the Arabs tortured and eviscerated.

    That’s “victory” all right, for some people.”

    IMO that is love and respect for one’s kin and compatriots. 1,000 Pali killers can always be killed at a later date. Were I an Israeli I would want my government to go Sherman on the arabs in the West Bank and Gaza. Were I an American president circa 9/11/01; Mecca, Medina, and Qom would become glass parking lots within mere minutes after learning the source of the attacks. That is where I find fault with GWB. Islam means peace is such BS that even an Iowa farm boy knows it stinks.

    I don’t give a damn for world opinion and the whining bloodsuckers of the UN. I want the enemy to know there is no escape, no quarter, and all that remains is total surrender and years of occupation where we dictate exactly how the defeated will conduct their affairs in the decades to come.

  18. Beverly Says:

    The Soviets had their own method of dealing with this sort of thing. When the jihad boys kidnapped and killed a couple of Soviet agents (I think in Syria), the Soviets didn’t deal — they kidnapped twice as many jihadis, castrated and shot them, and dumped the bodies in front of one of the jihadi hangouts.

    Message received: no more kidnapped Soviets. It was the castration that convinced them. Apparently they don’t want to go to their alleged paradise without their, er, wedding tackle, as Mark Steyn puts it.

  19. Ymarsakar Says:

    1,000 Pali killers can always be killed at a later date.

    By your kin? No, it’s always somebody else’s kin doing that. Conveniently.

  20. Ymarsakar Says:

    Beverly, the US has a more humane solution devised. Transgender surgery.

  21. Don Carlos Says:

    Turns out the exchange was Obama giving the Congress the finger (again).

  22. Snackeater Says:

    Ann–true, the Taliban is not on the list (why I’ll never know) but the Haqqani Network is–and they were the group holding Bergdahl. So we are now indeed negotiating with terrorists.

    And you need to read the Wikipedia entry on Bergdahl–if even half of what’s written there is true, well, let’s just say something stinks to high heaven here–always has.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Soon the entire US military will be composed of Bergs

    The career officers, the war leaders, will have been purged or sacrificed. The replacements, made into cogs commanded by officers loyal to the Regime alone.

  24. kit Says:

    I read he was a deserter, a traitor and a muslim convert His father thanked Allah on TV.
    Obama had Seal Team 6 killed but brings this traitor home?

    Why else would obama care about an American.
    He is thumbing his nose at those West Point cadets again and all Americans.

  25. J.J. Says:

    I’m happy for Bergdahl’s family.

    That said, Bergdahl should face military justice for his actions. In all likelihood, he won’t. 🙁

  26. Ymarsakar Says:

    This country is proving more and more, that it no longer deserves justice. It has lost sight of the sacrifice and red ink debt already.

  27. Ymarsakar Says:

    Before it can pay the costs of atonement and sacrifice, a whole lot of blood will be needed to obtain “qualifications” to justice.

    It’s like Original Sin all over again.

  28. Ymarsakar Says:

    Bergdahl was the only American the Taliban had.

    That’s not quite true. There were other Americans in Taliban hands, but generally they either died really quick or they were saved by gun ho comrades, since there was a battle going on and assets were available.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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