Unreal: U.S. trades top Iranian-backed Iraqi terrorist for British hostage

posted at 4:25 pm on December 31, 2009 by Allahpundit

So mind-bendingly insane is this that I thought Roggio might have been duped by his sources. Not so: Both the Guardian and now Jake Tapper have independently confirmed that it’s true. Remember Qais Khazali? We wrote about him a bunch in early 2007. He used to be an al-Sadr deputy, then broke away and hooked up with Iran to start his own little mini-Hezbollah. That group, the “League of the Righteous,” ended up pulling off one of the most notorious, sophisticated anti-American operations of the Iraq war in Karbala. The toll: Five Americans murdered, four of them after they were kidnapped, bound, and shot in the head like animals. U.S. troops caught up to Khazali two months later and captured him and his brother; the ID cards of several dead American soldiers were recovered at the scene. No less a figure than David Petraeus went on to blame the Karbala raid squarely on Khazali’s outfit and accused Iran’s Quds Force — the creme de la creme of the Revolutionary Guard, responsible for assisting Iranian proxy jihadis like Hezbollah in other countries — of bankrolling the whole thing.

And now, after three years in U.S. custody, he’s free.

“We let a very dangerous man go, a man whose hands are stained with US and Iraqi blood,” a military officer said. “We are going to pay for this in the future.”

The US military has maintained that the release of members and leaders of the League of the Righteous is related to a reconciliation agreement between the terror group and the Iraqi government, but some US military officers disagree.

“The official line is the release of Qazali is about reconciliation, but in reality this was a prisoner swap,” a military intelligence official said…

“This was a deal signed and sealed in British and American blood,” a US military officer told The Long War Journal. “We freed all of their leaders and operatives; they [the League of the Righteous] executed their hostages and sent them back in body bags. And we’re supposed to be happy about it.”

Tapper’s military source insists that this has nothing to do with a prisoner swap but merely the U.S. honoring its obligations under the U.S.-Iraqi Security Agreement, but it ain’t just Roggio’s sources who insist that’s a lie. According to the Guardian, not only is this a prisoner swap but the guy we’re getting in return — Peter Moore, a British computer consultant who’s been held hostage in Iran since May 2007 — was kidnapped by Khazali’s group precisely because they wanted a bargaining chip to negotiate for Khazali’s release.

Moore was seized two months later by the Righteous League, which aimed to swap him for members who had been detained during US military sweeps, then ultimately Khazali, who would emerge as the man who had seen his followers freed ahead of him. Moore was the group’s most valuable pawn…

Khazali’s stature within Shia circles has risen during his time in American custody and he is expected to assume a senior leadership role within the Righteous League, possibly replacing the group’s Iran-based leader, Akram al-Kabi. He is also expected to be offered a prominent role in Iraq’s Shia-dominated political landscape as the Righteous League gains political legitimacy.Khazali is now in the custody of Iraqi security forces. It wil be a short incarceration. He will face an Iraqi judge within days, who will almost certainly rule that he has commited no crime under Iraqi law. Khazali will then be freed and his latest role in public life will begin.

According to Roggio, it’s not just politics that the League of the Righteous is interested in: “Both the US military and the Iraqi military believe that the Special Groups are preparing to reinitiate fighting as their leaders and operatives are beginning to filter back into Iraq from Iran. On Feb. 4, Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, the deputy commander of Multinational Forces Iraq, said that Iran continues to arm, fund, and train the Special Groups, and that munitions traced back to Iran continue to be uncovered in Iraq.”

In a new piece out today, the Guardian quotes a former Revolutionary Guardsman as saying that Moore’s kidnapping was masterminded by Iran and that he’s been held in Quds Force prisons inside the country ever since. Which brings us to the two obvious questions. One: If we did release Khazali at the Iraqi government’s behest, why on earth would Maliki et al. want a turd like this on the loose? A Shiite government shouldn’t need a Shiite terrorist released in the interests of “reconciliation.” They can do plenty of other political favors for their sect. Either Iran has more leverage over Baghdad than we thought (even at a moment when the regime in Tehran is under fire at home) or the Iraqi government is hoping to coopt Khazali and his connections towards god knows what end. And two: Security agreement or no security agreement, why is The One agreeing to spring a guy whom we know is guilty of murdering American soldiers? He’s a clear threat to troops in the field, and not just in Karbala: Tapper cites documents recovered during his capture that point to his responsibility for upwards of 20 attacks in various cities. Surely the Iraqis aren’t about to kick us out of the country if we politely decline their request to parole a terrorist mastermind. How many jihadis do we have to release before someone figures out that releasing jihadis is an exceedingly bad idea?

Exit question, again via Roggio: Is this even legal?

Update: Am I hallucinating? Qais Khazali, Iraqi political rock star?

Iraq’s Shia Islamic groups and political blocs are casting Qais al-Khazali as a resistance hero with a big political future, despite American insistence that the soon-to-be-freed cleric plays no direct role in politics…

The leader of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s reconciliation committee, Mohammed Suleiman, said: “Qais al-Khazali has committed no crime under Iraqi law and is welcome to play a role in public life as we welcome all groups to be part of the political process.”…

The US military accused him of co-ordinating an ambush on behalf of al-Quds brigades that led to five US soldiers being killed in the holy Shia city of Karbala in January 2007. However, even if proven, such an action does not constitute a crime under Iraqi law.

Update: The left’s defense of this, I assume, will be that we’ve let Sadr run free for six years so what’s the big deal about Khazali? The answer: By that logic, why not repatriate those Yemeni Gitmo detainees pronto given that there’s already plenty of AQ in the field over there? If you’ve already neutralized someone, especially a fully funded Mughniyeh-esque proxy of Iran, for god’s sake, keep him neutralized.


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I don’t think I can survive another three day weekend with this administration–and it’s only starting. What next?!?!

FalseProfit on December 31, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Hey, I have a great idea…!

Let’s elect Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States!

(it never gets old, does it?)

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Acccck. I can’t stand to think about this anymore. I’m tired of being outraged by this administration. I’ve never been outraged at a president in my whole 55 years on this planet. Ticked off, yes, (mostly by Clinton and his arrogance and lies) disappointed, yes, (again, mostly by Clinton) but never shocked and outraged on what now seems to be almost a daily basis. I can’t wait for this guy’s term to run out. No way people will vote for him again, no way.

scalleywag on December 31, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Ok this is purely so I can have my info right. Many of the commenters are blaming the Obama administration. But wasn’t it Bush that signed the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement?

terryannonline on December 31, 2009 at 5:51 PM

There is an illness in the land, it’s called Bush Obama derangement syndrome. The air is fouler and your toast often burns and it is always Obamas fault. It is not very constructive and I would have thought that the rights message about the left acting the same way might have worn off back in May or June but apparently it is permanent.

If something or someone is to be blamed, it should be Islam first and then all those egg shell tip toers that have plagued the west as leaders for the last quarter century.

BL@KBIRD on December 31, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I miss America.

Star20 on December 31, 2009 at 6:46 PM

The sooner we’re out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the better. It’s apparent that Obama has no inclination, nor comprehension how, to win in either theater. Expect more of this from American politicians in the future, mainly since fewer politicians, and a greatly smaller percentage of Americans, will have had any military experience or have studied the art of war, unless of course you count experience and insight one gains from watching Saving Private Ryan or the tactical wisdom gained from playing Halo.
Give it another generation, with fewer and fewer veterans around to remind our citizens of the need for, sacrifices of, and mindset of those serving in the profession of arms. How many younger adults know the difference between a first sergeant and a lieutenant? It’s not hard to neglect a military whose heritage and relevance are forgotten by the citizens for whom it serves.
This is just one more reason why the Presidency should require prior military service.

Send_Me on December 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM

And if I read tomorrow that the administration blames Bush for this traitorous act (which they are probably scrambling to do as I write this), my head will explode.

scalleywag on December 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM

This is probably not a B+

chewydog on December 31, 2009 at 6:48 PM

OT good news – the Blackwater guards facing 30-life for using machine guns to commit manslaughter–in Iraq– have had all charges dismissed.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 6:14 PM

That is good news, got a link?

conservnut on December 31, 2009 at 6:22 PM

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-12-31-Blackwater_N.htm?csp=34

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 6:49 PM

canopfor on December 31, 2009 at 5:32 PM

canopfer–thanks for that link–loved the picture!!!

lovingmyUSA on December 31, 2009 at 6:49 PM

It wasn’t until last week that the first major oil field exploitation contract was signed with a foreign company — BP, in a joint deal with China’s state-run China National Petroleum Corporation.
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Maybe you don’t know that’s bogus?
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/061310.php

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 5:02 PM

I guess it depends on what the meaning of major is.

“It wasn’t until last week [from November 13, 2009] that the first major oil field exploitation contract was signed with a foreign company — BP, in a joint deal with China’s state-run China National Petroleum Corporation.”

The consortium, led by BP with 38 percent, with partners CNPC [China], 37 percent, and the Iraq government’s representative State Oil Marketing Organisation, holding 25 percent, has agreed to nearly triple the Rumaila field’s output to almost 3 million barrels of oil a day, which would make it the world’s second largest producing oilfield.

From your link: “Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad said the contract was a $136 million joint venture agreement among three companies, the Kar Company of Iraq, Turkey’s Avrasya, and Britain-based Dynamic Processing Solutions [and none of these sound very American to me either]. Kormale Dome is expected to produce 100,000 barrels of oil and 100 million cubic meters of gas per day.”.

I would say that 3 million barrels of oil a day is major; 100,000 barrels of oil [1/30 as much] and 100 million cubic meters of gas per day, not so much.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Allah, you fool! The Left’s defense here will be what it’s always been– it’s Bush’s fault! As in, “We’d never have had to release this guy had we not caught him in the first place! Because Bush captured him, they captured a British national, so it’s Bush’s fault they have to release him now.”

Nethicus on December 31, 2009 at 6:52 PM

This is just one more reason why the Presidency should require prior military service.Send_Me on December 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Amen to that.

And as for blaming the administration this happened on his watch, did it not? If not him, than who? Who signed off on this deal? Did it not require presidential approval?

scalleywag on December 31, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Since my cousin’s husband was one of the five soldiers in Karbala….

I’ll take whatever comfort I can in knowing that God’s judgment awaits this creature.

Hawkins1701 on December 31, 2009 at 6:23 PM

I am so sorry to see this–now I am really, really pissed!!!!!!!!!

lovingmyUSA on December 31, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Since my cousin’s husband was one of the five soldiers in Karbala….

I’ll take whatever comfort I can in knowing that God’s judgment awaits this creature.

Hawkins1701 on December 31, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Sorry for your family’s loss. God bless.

scalleywag on December 31, 2009 at 6:56 PM

The terrorist should have been hanged, and his body traded for a hostage.

That’s the more effective method.

Letting terrorizing s.o.b.’s live ~if you are lucky enough to catch them~ is the problem.

The West’s insanity is to try to fight fairly against theological Jack the Rippers.

Islam’s fanatics need to be killed, not coddled, having moved beyond the pale into intentional, tactical terrorism.

And for championing-to-the-death a monstrous theocratic tyranny.

Both aspects of this threat demand crushing.

Not trading with terrorists.

Playing for time is one thing, but playing with our security is insanity.

Unless this scumsucker had some Putin Brand polonium tea at his going away party, this hostage-for-homicidal-maniac trade is a completely self-inflicted wound whose injury is yet to be known.

Obama’s Weak Horse Doctrine limps onward.

profitsbeard on December 31, 2009 at 6:57 PM

“Guilty as hell, free as a bird.”

– Qais Khazali
– Bill Ayers
He must be a freedom fighter, or some such.

massrighty on December 31, 2009 at 7:03 PM

You know, Cheney’s words of the last few days stand well on their own merit.

Given the additional evidence provided by this hostage/terrorist trade, *no one* can make an intellectually honest argument with Cheney’s position regarding Obama’s outlook (or lack thereof) on this war.

Midas on December 31, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Iraqi Oil Production
Shortly after its failed 1990 invasion of Kuwait and imposition of resulting trade embargos, Iraq’s oil production fell from 3.5 million barrels per day to around 300,000 barrels per day. By February 2002, Iraqi oil production had recovered to about 2.5 million barrels per day. Iraqi officials had hoped to increase the country’s oil production capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by the end of 2000, but did not accomplish this given technical problems with Iraqi oil fields, pipelines, and other oil infrastructure. Iraq also claims that oil production capacity expansion has been constrained by refusal of the United Nations to provide Iraq with all the oil industry equipment it has requested.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aairaqioil.htm

Either Kormale Dome, at 100,000 barrels a day, represented 1/3 of Iraq’s postwar production, or was “expected to” resume prewar efficiency and 100,000 barrels/day represented 1/30th of its national oil production–that’s a hefty slice of a national industry to hand out at once. My whole point was that Iraq’s oil production industry has not lain fallow for 6 years of reconstruction and is “only now” big contracts.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Being a single father, I read to my 7 1/2 year old son nightly with bed time stories.

This is my favorite…

“Once in U.S. history an episode of Islamic terrorism was very quickly stopped. It happened in the Philippines about 1911, when Gen. John J. Pershing was in command of the garrison. There had been numerous Islamic terrorist attacks, so “Black Jack” told his boys to catch the perps and teach them a lesson.

Forced to dig their own graves, the terrorists were all tied to posts, execution style. The U.S. soldiers then brought in pigs and slaughtered them, rubbing their bullets in the blood and fat. Thus, the terrorists were terrorized; they saw that they would be contaminated with hogs’ blood. This would mean that they could not enter Heaven, even if they died as terrorist martyrs.

All but one was shot, their bodies dumped into the grave, and the hog guts dumped atop the bodies. The lone survivor was allowed to escape back to the terrorist camp and tell his brethren what happened to the others. This brought a stop to terrorism in the Philippines for the next 50 years.

Pointing a gun into the face of Islamic terrorists won’t make them flinch.

They welcome the chance to die for Allah. Like Gen. Pershing, we must show them that they won’t get to Muslim heaven (which they believe has an endless supply of virgins) but instead will die with the hated pigs of the devil.”

I’m still working on explaining what a ‘virgin’ is…

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Mole in the WH

clnurnberg on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

OT good news – the Blackwater guards facing 30-life for using machine guns to commit manslaughter–in Iraq– have had all charges dismissed.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 6:14 PM

That is good news, got a link?

conservnut on December 31, 2009 at 6:22 PM

I would not give Blackwater too many high-fives.

Blackwater Guards Fired at Fleeing Cars, Soldiers Say

Blackwater USA guards shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons.

“It appeared to me they were fleeing the scene when they were engaged. It had every indication of an excessive shooting,” said Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa, whose soldiers reached Nisoor Square 20 to 25 minutes after the gunfire subsided.

His soldiers’ report — based upon their observations at the scene, eyewitness interviews and discussions with Iraqi police — concluded that there was “no enemy activity involved” and described the shootings as a “criminal event.” Their conclusions mirrored those reached by the Iraqi government, which has said the Blackwater guards killed 17 people.

Tarsa said they found no evidence to indicate that the Blackwater guards were provoked or entered into a confrontation. “I did not see anything that indicated they were fired upon,” said Tarsa, 42, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. He also said it appeared that several drivers had made U-turns and were moving away from Nisoor Square when their vehicles were hit by gunfire from Blackwater guards.
*
Blackwater Is Soaked

The colonel was furious. “Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers.”
The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.
One military contractor, who spoke anonymously for fear of retribution in his industry, recounted the story of a Blackwater operative who answered a Marine officer’s order to put his pistol on safety when entering a base post office by saying, “This is my safety,” and wiggling his trigger finger in the air. “Their attitude was, ‘We’re f—ing security; we don’t have to answer to anybody’.”

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

While I appreciate that historical story, I do hope you’re kidding about sharing it with a 7 year old as a bedtime story.

Midas on December 31, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Very interesting post that I wanna read and dissect next year (lol!) Indeed, we are negotiating with terrorists and what, are we gonna look good in the end to the world? And what of our military and intelligence, are they happy about this?

Another slip under the desk before we crack it at midnight. Sweet.

ProudPalinFan on December 31, 2009 at 7:17 PM

My whole point was that Iraq’s oil production industry has not lain fallow for 6 years of reconstruction and is “only now” big contracts.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

And my whole point has been that America, which liberated those ingrates, with lives, limbs and treasure, and probably got a big majority democrat congress because of it, and is still there, is getting the short end of the stick, or bottom of the barrel, if you prefer.

Oh well, on to Afghanistan.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:18 PM

While I appreciate that historical story, I do hope you’re kidding about sharing it with a 7 year old as a bedtime story.

Midas on December 31, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Of course I jest…

But with respect, what do you think our enemies tell their children?

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:19 PM

Blackwater USA guards shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons.

Urbina’s ruling does not resolve whether the shooting was proper. Rather, the 90-page opinion underscores some of the conflicting evidence in the case. Some Blackwater guards told prosecutors they were concerned about the shooting and offered to cooperate. Others said the convoy had been attacked. By the time the FBI began investigating, Nisoor Square had been picked clean of bullets that might have proven whether there had been a firefight or a massacre.

The case fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.

The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-12-31-Blackwater_N.htm

You know that when Ballard found the HMS Titanic, he “found no evidence” anybody drowned?

They’re over there to kill people. Pretending automatic weapons charges were appropriate for a combat zone is a dangerous farce. High-fives all around.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Blackwater – the U.S. Army’s Millstone

Ten months later, however — after Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad traffic circle on Sept. 16 — the State Department can no longer quietly manage the consequences of having its own private army in Iraq.

With State Department and FBI investigations underway, the military leaked its own report on the Sept. 16 shootings, finding no evidence that the Blackwater guards fired in self-defense, as the company has maintained. U.S. [Army] officers have publicly criticized the security contractors as out-of-control “cowboys” who alienate the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last week that the contractors are at “cross purposes” with military goals.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

“Gird yer loins there will be an international crisis and you will be needed to stand by our new president”

Joe Obiden 2008

I was thinkin he was talkin about one international incident not one a week. How long can ones loins stay girded without negative consequences?

1.) How many Americans have to die before impeachment begins and
2.)will there be the will to follow through?

1. I don’t know, lots.
2. No!

dhunter on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

I can not even imagine back during RVN having an outfit like Blackwater running around loose. The U.S. Army itself would have moved against them. Just shows how undermanned and stretched our small Army is to have to have ever accepted the likes of them.

I wonder how many American Soldiers and American Marines have been killed by Iraqis pissed off at Blackwater.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM

They’re over there to kill people.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Well that was pretty obvious, including very likely getting American troops killed.

And remember, “hero” OJ got off too. I’m not going to ever high-five him either.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:10 PM

As a single dad of a 7.5 year old son, I love your bedtime history story. I think I’ll solve the virgin issue by just leaving it out.

I have been schooling my older son, 18, on the Religion of Peace since 9/11, so he’ll enjoy the story as well.

I have no problem with such schooling since the jihadists freely teach that we’re evil, and my boys will be in this war for decades to come and they need to understand their enemy.

Happy New Year, fellow infidels.

TXUS on December 31, 2009 at 7:34 PM

With State Department and FBI investigations underway, the military leaked its own report on the Sept. 16 shootings, finding no evidence that the Blackwater guards fired in self-defense, as the company has maintained. U.S. [Army] officers have publicly criticized the security contractors as out-of-control “cowboys” who alienate the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last week that the contractors are at “cross purposes” with military goals.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:22

This whole thread is about a successful “cultivation”. How do you like it? Personally I’d feel better if some cowboy stepped in and blew Khazali’s brains out. BTW, if I fire off 30 rounds from inside a car and then drive away, what exactly am I gonna leave behind as “evidence”?

Just shows how undermanned and stretched our small Army is to have to have ever accepted the likes of them.

You’re just brimming with defeatism at every turn ain’t you? Iraq wasn’t worth the risk to our brave precious troops, and anyhow there’s too few if we need mercenaries. Kind of like bitching about the food and the portions are too small.

I wonder how many American Soldiers and American Marines have been killed by Iraqis pissed off at Blackwater.
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Probably none, since Saddam prepped the secular Baathists to go guerrilla and AQI had its own agenda. In any case, the answer to that failure of hearts and minds is to kill the enemy until he gives up.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Come on guys, get with the program…it’s now OK to negotiate with terrorists. It makes the one popular with them and this failure of a President only wants to be popular…mission accomplished. The end of the republic is near!

jwp1964 on December 31, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Why cant we install some type of lojack on these freaks? They go to sleep one night and wake up with a chip up their azz. Release them into the wild find out who his buddies are and if they are accessible blow the whole bunch to he11.

Greed on December 31, 2009 at 7:36 PM

This is an unspeakable outrage.

Dave R. on December 31, 2009 at 7:36 PM

But with respect, what do you think our enemies tell their children?

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:19 PM

In all seriousness, they would use the story as an example of a “teachable moment.”

racecar05 on December 31, 2009 at 7:38 PM

And two: Security agreement or no security agreement, why is The One agreeing to spring a guy whom we know is guilty of murdering American soldiers?

Because Ed he meant what he said in his Cairo speech. Surely though no one actually believed he was so foolish and naive that he would take his act this far.

The left’s defense of this, I assume, will be that we’ve let Sadr run free for six years so what’s the big deal about Khazali?

As I recall Sadr, though a swine did not personally shoot or behead any Americans. (that we know of)

FireBlogger on December 31, 2009 at 7:40 PM

The main problem that Obama has is he can’t get away from the extremist indocrination of his Moslem upbringing and maybe understand the United States is not the devil. If there was any doubt that our president has no intention of reprepresenting the best interests or the values of our country, this this act, bordering on treason removes all doubt. We have a Manchurian candidate working to destroy us. Just a matter of time before the dying starts.

volsense on December 31, 2009 at 7:40 PM

They’re over there to kill people. Pretending automatic weapons charges were appropriate for a combat zone is a dangerous farce. High-fives all around.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Chris_Balsz: I do remember the gruesome mutilated bodies
hanging from a bridge,and I think,they were
Blackwater workers!!

canopfor on December 31, 2009 at 7:41 PM

With State Department and FBI investigations underway, the military leaked its own report on the Sept. 16 shootings, finding no evidence that the Blackwater guards fired in self-defense, as the company has maintained.

When peopel shoot out of cars, and others shoot back, what evidence is left at the scene?

U.S. [Army] officers have publicly criticized the security contractors as out-of-control “cowboys” who alienate the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last week that the contractors are at “cross purposes” with military goals.
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:22 PM

This thread is about some “cultivation”. How do you like it? I’d prefer some cowboy stepped up and popped that Quds guy.

Just shows how undermanned and stretched our small Army is to have to have ever accepted the likes of them.

The mission is unworthy and we’re not sending enough troops?
Kind of like complaining about the food, and the small portions. Your defeatism is starting to circle on itself…EVERYTHING is wrong in EVERY way….

I wonder how many American Soldiers and American Marines have been killed by Iraqis pissed off at Blackwater.
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Probably none, since Saddam urged Baathists to go guerrilla, the tribalists have homegrown reasons to fight anybody outside the neighborhood, and AQI has its own global agenda. In any case, the answer is combat.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:45 PM

From the looks of Obama, I am not sure he will make it to 2012. W.O.W. The dude looks sick.

Key West Reader on December 31, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Key West Reader:Oh come on,they will just dye his hair
more grey,like they did Clinton back when!:)

canopfor on December 31, 2009 at 7:45 PM

“In the hours and days after the Nisoor Square shootings, the U.S. military sought to distance itself from Blackwater. Dozens of soldiers went door-to-door to seek out victims, offer condolence payments and stress that the military was not involved in the shootings, Tarsa and his soldiers said. Their actions underscore the long-standing tensions between the U.S. military and private security companies — and the military’s concerns that such shootings, and the lack of accountability for the private security industry, could undermine U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.

“It was absolutely tragic,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division and the Army’s top commander for Baghdad. “In the aftermath of these, everybody looks and says, ‘It’s the Americans.’ And that’s us. It’s horrible timing. It’s yet another challenge, another setback,” he said.”

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Better Blackwater than Quds.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:50 PM

The mission is unworthy and we’re not sending enough troops?
Kind of like complaining about the food, and the small portions.

No contradiction there at all.

Your defeatism is starting to circle on itself…EVERYTHING is wrong in EVERY way….

Your confusion is what is circling on itself… KILLING is good in EVERY way …

I wonder how many American Soldiers and American Marines have been killed by Iraqis pissed off at Blackwater.
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Probably none

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:45 PM

That’s easy for you to say.

Have you somehow missed the what the U.S. Army thinks, and they have been in a position to know, about Blackwater? Do you support the troops or Blackwater?

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Blackwater. They’re shooting people who would shoot Americans. The Army is getting a promise not to do it ever again and letting them walk.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:58 PM

Have you somehow missed the what the U.S. Army thinks, and they have been in a position to know, about Blackwater? Do you support the troops or Blackwater?
MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Why don’t we have these Army psychics patrolling American cities? We sure could use guys in a position to know what went on 20 minutes before they show up.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Better Blackwater than Quds.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Well that is really high praise – better Obama than Hitler too.

Much better the U.S. Army than Quds and Blackwater (the State Department’s “Army”).

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 8:02 PM

The United States will now negotiate with terrorists and hostage takers; both for hostages, and for corpses of hostages who have been killed.

This may be intended for some rational reasonable purpose; but it will have one clear obvious outcome.

The taking of US civilians as hostages to attempt to coerce some action from the US government will increase. Because now it looks like it will work, and be an effective manner to get something you want from the US Government.

Is there a reason that we’d want to encourage people to take US Citizens hostage? Any reason at all that we’d want to tell Iran, North Korea, Somalia, etc. that any US Citizen you grab can now be traded for fabulous prizes…

In the eight months since, the bodies of three of Moore’s guards have been handed over in return for several hundred former Shia detainees

Oh, and if you kill your hostage, you can trade their corpses for somewhat less fabulous prizes, but prizes all the same.

What a brilliant plan. I’ve always thought too few Americans are taken hostage and we should do what we can to change that.

Oh, and terryannonline, who do we blame for making this deal and encouraging the taking of hostages? Bush or Obama?

Under a deal spelled out in March, Moore and Khazali were to be the last two men released as part of a phased swap of prisoners that would be cloaked under the process of Iraqi national reconciliation.

Who was making deals for the US in March? If that was Bush you can arrest him under the Logan Act and imprison him for 3 years for this felony. Heck if it was Bush I’d back his arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent under the law.

But I’m afraid it wasn’t Bush who decided that we needed to enact a plan that will have the end result of more US Citizens being taken hostage.

Does anyone think that rewarding hostage takers who killed most of the hostages they took will end up being a good thing? Seriously, anyone?

gekkobear on December 31, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Speaking of Iran. December 31st was to be the deadline for Iran to stop producing weapons grade uranium and be nice to the rest of the world...and from Washington Hawaii? The sound of crickets.

Once again, the Obama Administration clearly shows the world it is all words, just words. Words, the cheapest commodity on earth.

coldwarrior on December 31, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Much better the U.S. Army than Quds and Blackwater (the State Department’s “Army”).

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 8:02 PM

The Army saw its enemy and ran them out of Iraq.

It wasn’t Quds.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 8:07 PM

We sure could use guys in a position to know what went on 20 minutes before they show up.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 8:01 PM

The “guys” (U.S. Army – our troops!) did a thorough investigation. I suppose you missed that too or don’t care.

Your leg seems to be tingling over Blackwater almost as much (maybe even more) as Chris Matthew’s leg tingles over Obama. Maybe you can buy them a few drinks tonight and exchange “war” stories. Enjoy.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 8:10 PM

But with respect, what do you think our enemies tell their children?

Seven Percent Solution on December 31, 2009 at 7:19 PM

That one’s easy: “I knocked another three strokes off my handicap this morning, then we all went to the beach. Going to see a volcano this afternoon, then ice cream for all later tonight”.

Yoop on December 31, 2009 at 8:13 PM

The “guys” (U.S. Army – our troops!) did a thorough investigation. I suppose you missed that too or don’t care.

MB4 on December 31, 2009 at 8:10 PM

Where did you read that? Your source said the military leaked its results while the State Department and the FBI were still looking into the matter. Your source said “hours and days” after the shooting the Army was apologizing for Blackwater.

Do I think the FBI investigates better than the 1st Cavalry? I hope so…even where the Army did not have an immediate political reason to pin the blame on somebody other than Iraqis or US soldiers.

Chris_Balsz on December 31, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Where ever the impeachment bandwagon is located… please swing by and pick me up.

JCred on December 31, 2009 at 8:16 PM

I would like to think there is more to this than we know. But there probably is not. Maybe they turned him, or they are going to dog his trail and go after other people or zap him later, or something. One would hope. Too bad the guys who captured him, did not shoot him then and there.

Terrye on December 31, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Treason!!!

Impeachment!!

paustin110 on December 31, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Hey everybody.

Go to Google and type in the word “why” without hitting return.

Look at the drop down list. Ace has a thread on this.

Geochelone on December 31, 2009 at 8:29 PM

MB4, your libertarian Paul side is showing!

Vince on December 31, 2009 at 8:38 PM

CALL FOR ACTION!!!!!

The website ‘The Post and Email’ has recently begun a drive to petition the state of Hawaii for Zero’s BC.

As a result of this petition US ISP’s have decided to stop offering their services to the Post & Email.

The Post & Email needs $10K in donations by Jan 6th to fund a move to an overseas secure dedicated server. If they do not meet this goal they will have to cease existence.

Please spread this message, and donate if you can.

Mr Purple on December 31, 2009 at 8:46 PM

Maybe they turned him, or they are going to dog his trail and go after other people or zap him later, or something. One would hope. Too bad the guys who captured him, did not shoot him then and there.

Terrye on December 31, 2009 at 8:23 PM

The Iraqis freed this turd did they not? It wasn’t Bush or Obama. He is to be groomed for a place in government. He represents a new and growing Islamic religious party. By the way, that purple ink sh!t is wearing away everywhere in Iraq. Who would have guessed that?

BL@KBIRD on December 31, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Key West Reader:Oh come on,they will just dye his hair
more grey,like they did Clinton back when!:)

canopfor on December 31, 2009 at 7:45 PM

But what can they do about his saggy manboobs? They droop almost as much as his pole number.

Geochelone on December 31, 2009 at 8:53 PM

So what would Obama being doing differently if he was an actual enemy of the United States and western democracy??

aikidoka on December 31, 2009 at 9:00 PM

So what would Obama being doing differently if he was an actual enemy of the United States and western democracy??

aikidoka on December 31, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Here is a complete list:
.
.
.
.
.
Any Questions?

Geochelone on December 31, 2009 at 9:08 PM

But what can they do about his saggy manboobs? They droop almost as much as his pole number.

Geochelone on December 31, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Oh God, did you have to tell us about his pole, too?

OTOH, if that gets out there goes his poll numbers.

Yoop on December 31, 2009 at 9:15 PM

Whoops, for got to add the ;-)

Yoop on December 31, 2009 at 9:16 PM

BL@KBIRD on December 31, 2009 at 8:51 PM

Who would have guessed they would ever even have a chance to have ink on their fingers? Are you saying this nation was better off long ago? Not sure what your point is in this last statement

Rovin on December 31, 2009 at 9:17 PM

I would like to think there is more to this than we know. But there probably is not.

Terrye on December 31, 2009 at 8:23 PM

If I were to venture a guess…of course there is more to this than we know, but you and I and the rest of the world…and the enemies of the US know only this, which means the damage is done.

Saltysam on December 31, 2009 at 9:26 PM

O/T Where the heck has Mr. Amos been in forever?

Cindy Munford on December 31, 2009 at 9:32 PM

It sounds scary.

AnninCA on December 31, 2009 at 9:33 PM

Perhaps it is about time for a “fake but accurate” ODNI memo to be leaked showing that Qais Khazali was successfully “turned” while in captivity and is a CIA asset. Likewise the recently returned Yemeni detainees.

After all, they’ve been isolated from their comrades, followers and supporters for a good deal of time. If made plausible it could fly. Let their comrades, followers, and supporters take care of them in their own way.

coldwarrior on December 31, 2009 at 9:34 PM

This is not about releasing a British hostage; that’s incidental. It’s about Obama continued habit of giving terrorists a free pass. Kill an American soldier? That’s nothing to Obama cuz he thinks American soldiers deserve payback for the thousands of Muslims they’ve killed. This guy is gonna do Obama’s will and dish out the payback. That’s the Obama that folks elected.

SilentWatcher on December 31, 2009 at 9:44 PM

This is just another reminder of how futile it is to be “fighting” a war your government doesn’t take seriously. It’s just a huge waste of lives and gold because there is no end game.

keep the change on December 31, 2009 at 9:45 PM

It’s just a huge waste of lives and gold because there is no end game.

keep the change on December 31, 2009 at 9:45 PM

Even worse than that, I’m afraid. We let ourselves be convinced that the gold standard was outmoded, that money backed by military might and politician’s promises – neither of which are reliable in the long term.

Our wars not only lack backing from the public or the civilian leaders, they’re essentially being funded with a nation-sized credit card.

Dark-Star on December 31, 2009 at 9:56 PM

The value of a western hostage just increased exponentially for any sort of scumbag with a weapon and a thirst for $. Did Obummer order him some financial aid and a comfortable pillow as a goodwill gesture?

Reality Check on December 31, 2009 at 10:26 PM

From the looks of Obama, I am not sure he will make it to 2012. W.O.W. The dude looks sick.

Key West Reader on December 31, 2009 at 7:37 PM

Been sayin’ it people! Obama won’t make it to 2012, for one reason to another.

ProudPalinFan on December 31, 2009 at 10:31 PM

We really need to be implanting gps chips or time-release poisons or something in these vermin if we’re going to be playing catch-and-release.

notropis on December 31, 2009 at 10:38 PM

If this terrorist was captured back in 2007 why was he not quickly tried for his crimes and immediately shot? If you keep these terrorists alive then of course their friends will kidnap and demand a swap. Execute these terrorists in short order – it’s a no-brainer! Is our military trying to be sensitive to liberal feelings?

Chessplayer on December 31, 2009 at 11:39 PM

Chessplayer,

Megaditto.

Star20 on January 1, 2010 at 12:03 AM

SPECFINGTACULAR.

Really….What can we say at this point? I am sure it will only be more unreal and hey..we get three more years of this.

God help us

proudteadrinker on January 1, 2010 at 12:22 AM

In an ideal world we’d gather intelligence from someone like this and then after 1 month put him on a military trial and then execute. (ahem, WWII and German soldiers)

In today’s world we’ll trade KSM when he arrives to NYC and hostages are taken somewhere in the world.

You think KSM would be let go if Obama’s interests were kidnapped?

You decide.

father on January 1, 2010 at 1:25 AM

This is worse than just the head honcho. A Powerline Post says 100 additional terrorist were released as part of this deal. Nice

chemman on January 1, 2010 at 2:25 AM

This is truly baffling. We (the British) really don’t like doing this kind of thing for our hostages. (a) I find it hard to believe that our government would care enough to want to ask the US to release someone like this. (b) I find it very hard to believe that the US would agree to do so for a lowly computer programmer. There simply must be a lot more to this, but what it is I really don’t know.

thedarknight on January 1, 2010 at 2:52 AM

Murdering hostages/prisoners is a war crime.

You DO NOT SWAP PRISONERS WITH WAR CRIMINALS.

Obama needs to be impeached and removed from office for doing this.

scotash on January 1, 2010 at 2:54 AM

Does ANYONE in this administration have a clue as to what they are doing? At this rate, there will be no country left to save in 2012.

tballard on January 1, 2010 at 3:54 AM

I hope that – at least – they injected some kind of chip into him, so that he can be located in future.

uptight on January 1, 2010 at 4:06 AM

From someone over here in Baghdad currently and have been since about 2005, we are not too happy about the Qays situation. He has, to his credit, for the most part had his group, AAH, lay their weapons down, however, this in the long run will not be a good deal. I really cannot speak more about this situation.

MB4,
You like to twist what you receive as information from the Blackwater incident. Even in your own statement you stated that the Army showed up 20-25 minutes after the incident. In Iraqi insurgent culture that is already 20-25 minutes too late. The insurgents are the best at cleaning up their dead and removing any evidence that would implicate them and we all in the military know this! Serving with SOF, i also do not take offense of the Army saying what they did because they do not always like us as they call us “Cowboys” or “Team America” in unaffectionate terms. I would take Blackwater types anyday if I was in tight scrum. The Blackwater guys you are so willing to jump all over are the exact people the State Dept CHOSE to protect them and then throw them under the bus after they have protected their rear ends day after day! Typical State Dept!! One other note, these same Blackwater types are the same that come home and become your SWAT and Special Forces members on Police Units, CIA, FBI, etc.

Happy New Year from Baghdad!

g2825m on January 1, 2010 at 4:32 AM

At whatever level this deal was approved, it was a spineless, brainless, counter-productive blunder which will cost many lives in both the short and long terms.
`
The number of death cult jihadis looking for work just went up sharply, as did the perceived value of kidnapping for fun and profit.
`
Heckuva job, there, Barry! You lily-livered buffoonish poser, you!

Adjoran on January 1, 2010 at 6:01 AM

Every US soldier in Iraq should find a ride to the Baghdad airport and buy a ticket home!!

Another point– Is that Lockerbie bomber dead yet?

Bicyea on January 1, 2010 at 7:23 AM

why not repatriate those Yemeni Gitmo detainees pronto given

Why not send them back with gps transmitters implanted in their bodies so we can wipe out their debriefers when they head back to the fold. Oh yeah, because we are the bad guys and the president wants to make sure we are punished for our sins and put in our place. Happy 2010.

peacenprosperity on January 1, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Another point– Is that Lockerbie bomber dead yet?

Nope. He was awarded his 70 virgins here on earth as a hero against the great satan.

peacenprosperity on January 1, 2010 at 8:19 AM

Bicyea observed: Another point– Is that Lockerbie bomber dead yet?

My thoughts exactly.

Latest word is that Megrahi is too busy enjoying his £1.8 million Swiss bank account to worry much about death… while British Labour have their Libyan oil deals to reward their “compassionate” release.

No doubt this Khazali goon also has a padded Iranian bank account waiting to remunerate him for mass murdering American soldiers… and rest assured American Leftists will somehow benefit from this macabre Iranian hostage deal.

Prediction: Watch the UC Berkeley student hostage crisis reach a conclusion.

The victims’ families? Who cares? Can’t bring back the dead.

Terrorism still pays: handsomely.

Terp Mole on January 1, 2010 at 8:45 AM

thedarknight: I find it very hard to believe that the US would agree to do so for a lowly computer programmer. There simply must be a lot more to this, but what it is I really don’t know.

Prediction: Watch the UC Berkeley student hostage crisis espionage trial pirouette in tune with Iraq’s Khazali hearing.

You can bet Foggy Bottom is orchestrating this diplomatic kabuki theatre. Obama still believes the mullahs will unclench.

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.” [Proverbs 26:12]

Terp Mole on January 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM

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