Only American captive of Taliban released in prisoner swap

posted at 5:31 pm on May 31, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

The title pretty much says it all, but it certainly came out of the blue. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been held captive for roughly five years, but a deal was reached to trade five jihadis for him and bring him home.

The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to American Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of 18 Taliban, officials said.

American officials said that Sergeant Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

The five Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo were being transferred into the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban.

This is going to be a story with many mixed emotions for those reading it. Bergdahl is one of ours, never to be forgotten, and everyone wanted him back home safely. At the same time, we’ve had a standing maxim for a long time stating that we don’t negotiate with terrorists. This left us in a bit of a rock and a hard place situation. Frankly, I’d hoped that long before this we would have not only discovered his location, but launched an ambitious special forces effort to bust him out and bring him back alive if at all possible. Of course, not being privy to the intelligence surrounding the case, I have no way of knowing if that was even possible or if I’ve just watched too many war movies.

Just as a preview of possible things to come, here’s a profile of who we traded in exchange for the prisoner.

While not as well known as Guantanamo inmates like 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Taliban 5 were some of the worst outlaws in the U.S. war on terror. And their release will end up replenishing the diminished leadership ranks of the Afghan Taliban at a moment when the United States is winding down the war there.

“They are undoubtedly among the most dangerous Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at the Long War Journal who keeps a close watch on developments concerning the detainees left at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Fazl, for example, was the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister and is wanted by the United Nations for his role in massacres targeting Afghan’s Shi’ite Muslim population.

According to the 2008 Pentagon’s dossier on Fazl disclosed by Wikileaks (PDF), Noori also was a senior Taliban military figure and, according to his Pentagon dossier, was asked personally in 1995 by Osama bin Laden (PDF) to participate in an offensive against northern alliance warlord Rashid Dostum.

It just goes downhill from there. Read the article for the full cast of characters.

Still, we should mark this as a happy day, since the last man standing and unaccounted for will be coming back to the fold. But I can’t imagine how hard it must be for our troops to have to let those five Taliban fighters walk out the door. As I said, a day of joy and relief, but also of mixed emotions.

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Here’s a post from todays’ TV talk show thread over at FR.
Interesting to say the least.

To: rodguy911
Try this for a bit easier reading:
“I WAS THERE. I’m sick of all the lies. Here is the TRUTH, from someone on the ground.

We were at OP Mest,Paktika Province, Afghanistan. It was a small outpost where B Co 1-501st INF (Airbone) ran operations out of, just an Infantry platoon and ANA counterparts there. The place was an Afghan graveyard.

Bergdahl had been acting a little strange, telling people he wanted to “walk the earth” and kept a little journal talking about how he was meant for better things. No one thought anything about it. He was a little “out there”.

Next morning he’s gone. We search everywhere, and can’t find him. He left his weapon, his kit, and other sensitive items. He only took some water, a compass and a knife. We find some afghan kids shortly after who saw an american walking north asking about where the taliban are. We get hits on our voice intercepter that Taliban has him, and we were close.

We come to realize that the kid deserted his post, snuck out of camp and sought out Taliban… to join them. We were in a defensive position at OP Mest, where your focus is to keep people out. He knew where the blind spots were to slip out and that’s what he did. It was supposed to be a 4-day mission but turned into several months of active searching. Everyone was spun up to find this guy.

News outlets all over the country were putting out false information. It was hard to see, especially when we knew the truth about what happened and we lost good men trying to find him. PFC Matthew Michael Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Robert Curtiss, SSG Clayton Bowen, PFC Morris Walker, SSG Michael Murphrey, 2LT Darryn Andrews, were all KIA from our unit who died looking for Bergdahl. Many others from various units were wounded or killed while actively looking for Bergdahl.

Fighting Increased. IEDs and enemy ambushes increased. The Taliban knew that we were looking for him in high numbers and our movements were predictable. Because of Bergdahl, more men were out in danger, and more attacks on friendly camps and positions were conducted while we were out looking for him. His actions impacted the region more than anyone wants to admit.

There is also no way to know what he told the Taliban: Our movements, locations, tactics, weak points on vehicles and other things for the enemy to exploit are just a few possibilities. The Government knows full well that he deserted. It looks bad and is a good propaganda piece for the Taliban. They refuse to acknowledge it. Hell they even promoted him to Sergeant which makes me sick.

I feel for his family who only want their son/brother back. They don’t know the truth, or refuse to acknowledge it as well. What he did affected his family and his whole town back home, who don’t know the truth. Either way what matters is that good men died because of him. He has been lying on all those Taliban videos about everything since his “capture”. If he ever returns, he should be tried under the UCMJ for being a deserter and judged for what he did. Bergdahl is not a hero, he is not a soldier or an Infantryman. He failed his brothers. Now, sons and daughters are growing up without their fathers who died for him and he will have to face that truth someday.”

rodguy911 on June 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM


Bmore on June 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Obama used a Rose Garden press event to tout the surprise trade — which he won by making critical, last-minute concessions — while the parents of the freed soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, stood alongside.

At the end of brief event, the soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, recited the most frequent phrase in the Koran — “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” —which means “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”

After Bergdahl finished his statement and his praise for Allah, Obama hugged him.

The Taliban echoed Bergdahl, saying the trade happened “due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty and the sacrifices of the heroic and courageous Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate.”

Daily Caller.

Bet Dad has a COEXIST bumper sticker on his car.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM


CW on June 1, 2014 at 9:57 AM

GPS trackers surgically embedded into their necks — release them, track where they go, nuke ’em from space.

Or just a slow-acting poison. (less splashy, just as much fun!).

Old school: antibiotic resistant syphilis. Wipe out their livestock population in a year!

But, good old raised-Muslim-Barry just rolls over and says “Baaaaaaa!”

Tard on June 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Traitor gets release of deserter.

alanstern on June 1, 2014 at 10:34 AM

2 very different stories here…I’m guessing most people will be happy for Sgt. Bergdahl and his family and not begrudge his release. That being said, releasing 5 of the worst of the worst will be a seen as negotiating with Taliban terrorists. If any of these 5 end up as being part of any human deaths going forward, that blood is absolutely on Obamas hands. This was all about his admin being able to say “we take care of the men (and women) who serve” as part of quelling the VA scandal. As evidenced by his rambling West Point speech, he honestly believes in his ability to convince enemies to not hate us. His narcissism is actually fascinating if it was not so dangerous for America.

Tony0253 on June 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

This from Gateway.Bergdahl’s father,
“I am working for the release of all gitmo prisoners….ameen.

Sorta makes you think twice unless yho are totally braindead.

rodguy911 on June 1, 2014 at 10:56 AM

AFP: Taliban leader Mullah Omar says prisoner swap which freed U.S. soldier Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was a “big victory”.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I wonder if Obama will come out as a Muslim after he leaves office?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

JUst keeps getting better all the time. Now it seems Bergdahls father erased this tweet I got from gateway,too much. Lots going on here.

rodguy911 on June 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

2 very different stories here…

Tony0253 on June 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I guess we’ll have to see how this is handled but it sure sound like this guy was a deserted, and if so should be held accountable. However, no one will trust this Administration, Congress or current military leadership to make that happen. Look how the VA or IRS (as well as others too numerous to name) issue is being handled, does anybody trust any of these people to do the right thing?

whbates on June 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Seems like so many of our enemies take the same Stradivarius course.

TimBuk3 on June 1, 2014 at 12:16 PM

when obama reads in the papers that he released 5 of the worst of the worst for a deserter, i am sure he will be hopping mad.

t8stlikchkn on June 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

All POW’s are automatically promoted when they come up for it. The military have to go with presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I do know that in the past however, one of the FIRST things done to returned POW’s is that they are Mirandized. One hopes that has been done to this guy, so he can be tried, convicted, stripped of grade and pay, and set up in a nice, comfy cell.

quikstrike98 on June 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

I’m guessing most people will be happy for Sgt. Bergdahl and his family and not begrudge his release.

Tony0253 on June 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

You guess wrong. And if the MSM did it’s job more people would realize that Bergdahl is a deserter and 5 soldiers were killed searching for him. Villagers reported that he was asking to meet with the Taliban. His father has made anti American videos and tweets.

Blake on June 1, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Why hasn’t Jazz updated this post with info about Berdahl’s Taliban-sympathizing father and the questions surrounding his son’s capture?

bluegill on June 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Six terrorists free and Obama gets a press conference out of it. Seven if you go with the dad being one also…just seems odd to me.

rgranger on June 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I’m guessing most people will be happy for Sgt. Bergdahl and his family and not begrudge his release.

Tony0253 on June 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

not if he is a deserter. there were soldiers who died in ambush attacks while they were searching for him the days and weeks after he went AWOL. what will you tell these families if our idiot president exchanged five most dangerous taliban for a deserter who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers…even if he is not a deserter in the classical sense (as in premeditated desertion) he’s definitely a wacko, what normal person walks off the base without body armor and weapon,in Afghanistan???

jimver on June 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Is this another episode of that Claire Danes show, Homeland or something?


Nutstuyu on June 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

So we are dealing with al quada to knock the VA scandal off the front page.
Obama took a look at the islamist terrorists and decided that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I wish I was shocked.

V7_Sport on June 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM

As already noted numerous times…this are a lot of things wrong with this deal. What’s up with the dad’s tweet that was deleted…and why was this all done unlawfully (well, except that unlawful is pretty much Obama’s standard MO these days). I have a very bad feeling about this…but, of course, that pretty much goes for anything Obama is involved in, either directly or indirectly.

AUINSC on June 1, 2014 at 7:26 PM

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