Hagel: This prisoner swap might produce peace negotiations with the Taliban

posted at 11:01 am on June 1, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Members of Congress erupted in outrage over the prisoner swap that traded five high-ranking Taliban officials from GITMO for American POW Bowe Bergdahl, the only US soldier known to be held by the Taliban. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel defended the decision to make the swap, arguing that Bergdahl’s life was in imminent danger and that the President has the exclusive authority to act in regard to prisoners captured in wartime.

We’ll get back to that point in a moment, but Hagel also argued that this trade could produce negotiations long sought by the US to end the civil war in Afghanistan:

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed hope Sunday the release of US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would lead to direct US talks with the Taliban.

“It could, it might and we hope it will present an opening,” Hagel said in an interview from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Hagel noted that the United States had engaged in talks with the Taliban before, until they were broken off in 2012, and that it strongly supported an Afghan-led effort to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban.

“So maybe this will be a new opening that can produce an agreement,” he said.

There has been an avalanche of criticism over the release of these five GITMO detainees, who are the highest of  high-value Taliban operatives. The criticism misses a larger point, though, which is that they were going to get released sooner or later anyway. Their detention hinges on our participation in the Afghan civil war. Unlike the al-Qaeda operatives still in GITMO, there aren’t any other grounds on which to hold them. When we end combat operations in Afghanistan this year, and especially when we fully withdraw in 2016, any justification for continuing to hold them indefinitely evaporates along with our presence. At the very least, we’d have to return them to the custody of the Afghan government, which would probably release them for their own purposes, and Bergdahl would probably not have been one of them.

The fight in Afghanistan is a real civil war, and has been ever since the end of the Soviet occupation. It’s even more a tribal war, with the Pashtuns against the other tribes in Afghanistan. This isn’t the same dynamic as the broader war on terror, where AQ is a small but dangerous network of terrorists. The Taliban are part of the native Afghan mix, and the Pashtuns haven’t given up on loyalty to them. In order to end the civil war in Afghanistan, the Taliban have to eventually become a negotiating party at those talks. As despicable as these detainees are in American eyes, eventually they will become Afghanistan’s problem, and not ours — unless we want to continue to make war in Afghanistan for another decade or more, only to come to the same result, at least in the sense that this tribal/civil war will only end through integration of tribal systems and negotiated end to tribal disputes.

On the point of authority to execute this swap, though, Hagel and the Obama administration get pretty cynical:

Speaking to reporters aboard his aircraft en route to Bagram, Hagel rejected charges by some Republican lawmakers that the exchange of Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo prison had violated congressional requirements for advance notification on detainee transfers. He said that President Obama had used his executive power under the Constitution.

“We believe that the President of the United States, as commander in chief, has the power and authority to make the decision that he did under Article II of the Constitution,” Hagel said. Obama has hesitated at times to assert his executive power without seeking congressional approval.

If that sounds familiar, it should. George W. Bush used the same argument to defend the establishment of GITMO in the first place, along with the indefinite detention of people like the Taliban 5 that just got traded and the military commissions to try al-Qaeda terrorists at GITMO. Politicians like Barack Obama insisted that Bush didn’t have this authority, and pressed the courts to interfere with his administration’s attempts to try the terrorists, with enough success that we still haven’t tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 conspirators. Obama tried pushing the whole thing into the federal court system by arguing that the executive branch (including the military) should not have the final authority on matters concerning the detainees, although the White House ended up backing away from that political argument in the end.

Ironic or not, the authority to trade prisoners in wartime still belongs to the executive branch. The only reason Congress believes they have a say is because Obama and his allies demanded it before Obama became President.


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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 11:03 AM

…goofball!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Odds on how long it will be before we hear the “moderate Taliban” phrase again?

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Their detention hinges on our participation in the Afghan civil war. Unlike the a-Qaeda operatives still in GITMO, there aren’t any other grounds on which to hold them. When we end combat operations in Afghanistan this year, and especially when we fully withdraw in 2016, any justification for continuing to hold them indefinitely evaporates along with our presence.

The Taliban is evil isn’t enough? I mean, so long as we’re flouting legal requirements like informing Congress anyway, I see zero reason to ever release Gitmo detainees.

Stoic Patriot on June 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Timing…..

Electrongod on June 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

The Taliban is evil isn’t enough?

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.

Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

You are a damnable fool, Hagel. WHY would they start negotiating peace when you are giving them what they want?

Warner Todd Huston on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

WHy in the hell did my husband and his friends risk life and limb if we were going to negotiate the Taliban right back into power?

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Something is fishy here. I know how a Father can become unhinged when his son is in trouble, but this is more than that.

Bergdahl’s father posted a link on his twitter account to this article from a Jihadi site.

I don’t know if the account is verified as his but it sure looks like it.

https://twitter.com/bobbergdahl

kcewa on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I don’t know about peace negotiations, but it will definitely produce more kidnappings.

Mr. D on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

IMO, good intentions aren’t going out weigh the increased perception of American weakness abroad that stems from actions such as this one coming from the Obama admin.

They should have waited until they had no other choice before releasing them.

lineholder on June 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.

Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Except we aren’t dealing with a nation per se. We are dealing with terrorists who can move in and out of two nations. Their capture was to prevent them from having power in a nation, so that terrorists wouldn’t have a strong hold.

Apparently the people who died over there were a waste.

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Hagel is an idiot, a prisoner swap is seen as a victory to them and it is. We got back a probable deserter and they get back their leadership.

major dad on June 1, 2014 at 11:10 AM

The Terrorist in Chief and his gang are preparing for their allies victory when the U.S. leaves.

CrazyGene on June 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

What is this, an intentional distraction away from the VA scandal?

Dongemaharu on June 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

The criticism misses a larger point, though, which is that they were going to get released sooner or later anyway.

But people sure are hot.

Ironic or not…

Oh, the irony is deep, and wide, and flows with many channels.

cozmo on June 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

How in the hell did so many fools wind up in power in this country? “Peace in our Time” Hagel will be his new title.

Herb on June 1, 2014 at 11:14 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually. Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

They are non-State actors. They wear no uniform. They get Geneva rules?

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Bergdahl’s father deleted a tweet.
Doesn’t exactly sound like he’s on our side.

http://allenbwest.com/2014/06/bergdahls-fathers-deleted-tweet-smoking-gun/

vityas on June 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Hagel further went on to explain that putting a camera into outer space and taking a picture of the Earth would prove, beyond any doubt, that world is in fact…..flat.

BobMbx on June 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.

Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

The prisoners at Gitmo are not necessarily POW’s. They’re arguably unlawful comabatants – both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that I think.

kcewa on June 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

They are non-State actors. They wear no uniform. They get Geneva rules?

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

This ^^

Not to mention that we aren’t dealing with a conventional war. In a conventional war, we WIN, and then the new government of the nation we were at war with punishes the high level POW’s. I can’t see that happening this time.

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

They are non-State actors. They wear no uniform. They get Geneva rules?

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Classic, isn’t it? They’re not playing by the rules, but we will, even to the point of self-destruction.

Now that I think of it, it’s the perfect description of the modern GOP.

vlad martel on June 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Having Bob Uecker as our Secretary Of Defense is so inspiring…

Tim Zank on June 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

These negotiations are to give the U.S. a friendly face as they pull out of the country. Knowing full well that as soon as the U.S. has cleared out the country is going to plunge itself back into the same pathetic state the the U.S. falsely claims to have retrieved it. ‘The Taliban’ is simply a topical title.

At this point the U.S. can’t even manage itself, or according to Hilary:2014, ‘What damn difference does it make?’

Willys on June 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

There must be something about Obama that getting proximity to him turns people into fools, or maybe just draws out their inner fool. Why would the Taliban negotiate when all they have to do is get ahold of a few Americans and we’ll cave?

Wishful thinking trumps reality in Obama’s world.

307wolverine on June 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Oh dear Lord – these people are idiots.

gophergirl on June 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Bergdahl’s dad subscribes to the Chomsky and Brave New Films youtube channels, as well as a bunch Arab language channels. To be fair, on the Arabic ones, he might have been probing every angle to help his son. That doesn’t excuse the subscriptions to the commie channels though.

juliesa on June 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Umm… the Taliban is ideologically driven. They attacked us even when we were supporting them in Afghanistan in the 1990s!

Does NOBODY have any memory here?

Let’s look at the facts.

Obama goes out of his way to deflect Benghazi as a Taliban driven attack and blames it on US hate speech.
Obama pulls us out of Afghanistan leaving the government and country we spent blood and treasure on completely exposed to the Taliban that still operate there.
Obama “redirects” the war on terror by stopping all active aggression and moving to military training of islamic states.
Obama trades 5 high ranking prisoners at Guantanamo for ONE American POW, flaunting the law but scoring his own political points for trying to close Gitmo.

Meanwhile Taliban aggression grows and continues to claim more and more territories – including the UK.

This isn’t peace. This is, at best, surrender and, at worst, selling us out.

Skywise on June 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Illegal fundamental change…………..

d1carter on June 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Hagel: This prisoner swap might produce peace negotiations with the Taliban

Bull puckey

pambi on June 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

WHy in the hell did my husband and his friends risk life and limb if we were going to negotiate the Taliban right back into power?

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Why, indeed.

The Taliban knowingly provided aid and assistance to bin Laden and the AQ, all of whom attacked us on 9/11.

They should have been annihilated. In a sane world, they would have been.

AZCoyote on June 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

“So maybe this will be a new opening that can produce an agreement,” he said.

Of course. After years of conceding to the Liberals here in the US, this 5 for 1 trade (for a deserter who collaborated with the Tiliban, no less?)– must feel like a Massive Victory to the GOPe RINO he is.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

So, we trade 5 top terrorists for 1 terrorist sympathizer, and the best part of the trade per upChuck Hagel is it gives us an opportunity to negotiate our surrender.

Winning!

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Odds on how long it will be before we hear the “moderate Taliban” phrase again?

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM


Malaysian Islamic Leader: Term “Moderate Muslim” Invented By “Enemies of Islam”…

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Berghdal’s dad’s Twitter looks like something out of “Homeland”.

aquaviva on June 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Bergdahl’s father deleted a tweet.
Doesn’t exactly sound like he’s on our side.

http://allenbwest.com/2014/06/bergdahls-fathers-deleted-tweet-smoking-gun/

vityas on June 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

That is interesting, sad, and disgusting information. His father is a fool.

rlwo2008 on June 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Hagel: This prisoner swap might produce peace negotiations with the Taliban

LOL. Right, and they’ll be the same type of “peace negotiations” that this administration has going on right now with Iran.

The type of “negotiations” where we give them everything they demand, and we get empty — and obviously false — promises, while they laugh and joke among themselves about what damn fools we are.

AZCoyote on June 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

WHy in the hell did my husband and his friends risk life and limb if we were going to negotiate the Taliban right back into power?

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Boooooosh.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

So, we trade 5 top terrorists for 1 terrorist sympathizer, and the best part of the trade per upChuck Hagel is it gives us an opportunity to negotiate our surrender.

Winning!

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Well hopefully the truth will come out on this Guy. Already read statements from Men who were in his unit saying he “walked”…. Court marshal in order? Nah, Obama will probably give him the Medal of honor…

sandee on June 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

The fight in Afghanistan is a real civil war, and has been ever since the end of the Soviet occupation. It’s even more a tribal war, with the Pashtuns against the other tribes in Afghanistan. This isn’t the same dynamic as the broader war on terror, where AQ is a small but dangerous network of terrorists.

What an absolute load of rubbish. They’re all just Muslims. They don’t even recognize national borders of any kind. They only recognize the Caliphate. There is no distinction between the Taliban, AQ, Boko Harem, Hamas, Hezbollah, or all the millions of other Muzzie jihad groups.

Ed you live in a fantasy world. Do you honestly think the Taliban has serious internal discussions about what is best for the nation state of Afghanistan? Talk about “missing the big picture.”

Uy. You are hopeless Ed.

WhatSlushfund on June 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.
Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I don’t believe we ever declared war against anyone since the 40′s.

Herb on June 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

All is going according to plan.
The enemy occupies the WH, and comes to kill, steal and destroy this country.

pambi on June 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

WHy in the hell did my husband and his friends risk life and limb if we were going to negotiate the Taliban right back into power?

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 11:08 AM

More and more every day, I find myself thinking that I wasted 25 years of my life defending this country. This is NOT the country that existed when I joined up.

NavyMustang on June 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Obama will probably give him the Medal of honor…

sandee

There is no doubt he will be receiving a medal of some kind.

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Karen Tumulty wrote in Washington Post: “A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.”

So the President signed a law while declaring that he will not follow that law, and then doesn’t. The short version of this is that there are therefore NO LAWS THAT APPLY TO ANY PRESIDENT EVER!

This is one of the most remarkable things I have ever read. It’s hard to believe that Tumulty is not reporting accurately. It may be that the “Senior administration official” does not have the spin down properly.

Simply astounding!

pilsener on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Just remember, Obama said it was “a distraction” to inquire about who he was, to question his background. So did many a tool on the right, unfortunately.

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Well when we only have one “POW” to negotiate for we can’t be choosey on the facts. They better not try to make a hero out of this dope.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Non-State actor and the Geneva

I doubt Hagel has read this.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Are those Taliban jackholes uniformed soldiers who follow a chain of command and represent a legitimate government which can negotiate on their behalf, or vice versa?

They were caught on a battlefield wearing civvies, they use innocents as shields, they murder prisoners, they commit atrocities. We didn’t just hand back Germans and Japanese at the end of WW2, we held most of them accountable.

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

It has been reported that “American POW” (he’s a POW? sheesh, evidence mounts that he deserted; trained-before his desertion- with the enemy’s weapon, an AK-47; collaborated with the enemy to ambush US forces seeking him!) Bowe Bergdahl cried when ‘rescued’ (rescued? he was tuned over in an exchange!). Sure, he cried. There’s a death penalty for desertion.

On the bright side, those released from Gitmo move from the lap of luxury (albeit, while confined) to (literally) sleeping with goats. Bet they ‘cried’ when released, as well.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Yes Chuck, and if unicorns were real we could breed them and collect their farts to power Obama’s New America.

Is everyone in the Federal government a professional jackass?

clippermiami on June 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

So Ed, if it’s going to happen anyway, why doesn’t The Won just close Gitmo down. Wouldn’t that help his guys in the mid-terms?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

…they murder prisoners…

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Thanks for pointing that out.

Hmm, Bergdahl ‘survived’ for 5 years?

Pegs my BS detector.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

“It could, it might and we hope it will present an opening,” Hagel said in an interview from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

I mean…Really?

Barred on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

More and more every day, I find myself thinking that I wasted 25 years of my life defending this country. This is NOT the country that existed when I joined up. NavyMustang on June 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Me, too. I only did 6 years. USN. Under clintoon.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Bet they ‘cried’ when released, as well.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Probably not, there is a whole lot of crazy on both sides of this exchange.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

This does seem to be a case of applying some sort of warfare template to a broad enemy who doesn’t fit the template. The fools we have running this nation better get their heads straight and damn soon, this isn’t a bunch of Redcoats commanded by gentlemen officers we’re fighting.

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM

So Ed, if it’s going to happen anyway, why doesn’t The Won just close Gitmo down. Wouldn’t that help his guys in the mid-terms?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Cindy, he’s painted into a corner by announce cessation of our forces being there at end of 2016. No other country wants ‘em. They’re His Majesty’s until then.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Q: Is a defector, who is taken prisoner after he deserts, still considered to be a POW? Should he or she be?

Assuming that Bergdahl did desert (allegedly, he took off his uniform and then left his post, along with sending some highly questionable emails to his parents that could demonstrate his intent), should he really be considered to be a POW? How many people were put in danger searching for him? How many resources were diverted? In the event that one or more of the Taliban 5 commit crimes in the future, especially before the US completely leaves Afghanistan and especially if Americans are injured or killed, should he be considered an accessory or to have contributed to the illegality?

I don’t know, but I do wonder what we should do to or for someone, who has deserted during a time of war – an action for which he could be sentenced to death. If we had Goring and Himmler – both war criminals – like Mullah Mohammad Fazl and Mullah Norullah Noori – in detention during WWII would we have negotiated with Hitler via Switzerland to exchange them for an American deserter, who was in the custody of the Nazis?

As I said, I don’t know and I’m not presuming Bergdahl to be guilty of anything right now, but I am seriously interested because the questions raised are important.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Karen Tumulty wrote in Washington Post: “A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.”

Reporter Mark Knoller tweeted yesterday that the Bergdahl “swap” was a result of a plan of “reconciliation with the Tabliban” from 2010. It’s patently clear that Obama has acted in the present on a deal or plan made years ago, pulling this “magic deal” out of his hat, so to speak, at a time when he needed a publicity boost after the VA scandal revealed.

Obama’s and his Admin.’s woozy-weak-ways about national security, our military, our nation’s integrity — just remember Benghazi, VA, IRS, voter and donor ‘unusualness’ funding Obama/DNC elections, Obamacare, Pelosi’s and Reid’s ongoing disgusting denigrations of the nation’s citizens and much more — are not “sudden” or recent characteristics. No, they’re just increasingly being made mention of by more people/sources. But they’re not new characteristics.

Hagel, well, didn’t most of us know he’d be a big problem as Defense?

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Are those Taliban jackholes uniformed soldiers who follow a chain of command and represent a legitimate government which can negotiate on their behalf, or vice versa?

They were caught on a battlefield wearing civvies, they use innocents as shields, they murder prisoners, they commit atrocities. We didn’t just hand back Germans and Japanese at the end of WW2, we held most of them accountable.

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Details, details.
That’s rather pesky of you.

katy the mean old lady on June 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Has Hagel always been such a moron?

lonestar1 on June 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

…figures that JugEars will go out of his way to help a deserter…while ordinary citizens are languishing as “POW’s” in other jails around the world with no help from their government.

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Reprinting this, because it’s alarming and relevant:

note: “US reconciliation efforts with Taliban” and “in Nov 2010.”

Mark Knoller
‏@markknoller Senior Administration Official (SAO) says efforts to obtain Bergdahl’s release began w/ US reconciliation efforts with Taliban in Nov 2010.

10:51 AM – 31 May 2014

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Does he seem to give a flying flip about what anyone else wants? He can just close it up and drop them off and everyone can just try to guess where. It’s not like he thinks or cares what they might do next. After all, the NSA is on the case.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:54 AM

they murder prisoners…

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Thanks for pointing that out.

Hmm, Bergdahl ‘survived’ for 5 years?

Pegs my BS detector.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Bergdahl was more valuable alive. Why the Palis kept Gilad Shalit alive for years. Prisoner swap.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 11:54 AM

More and more every day, I find myself thinking that I wasted 25 years of my life defending this country. This is NOT the country that existed when I joined up. NavyMustang on June 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Me, too. I only did 6 years. USN. Under clintoon.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

You defended the country that did exist when you signed up. I don’t feel like I wasted my time, if anything all of us did a small part of delaying this national funk we are experiencing now. There’s still good people out here, we’re just feeling powerless in the face of a political system dominated by ignorant, self-important benchwarmers.

Either good people step up to take it all back or they don’t, and things truly go to hell, either way it’s going to be decided with a whole lot of people getting hurt.

Bishop on June 1, 2014 at 11:54 AM

There is no doubt he will be receiving a medal of some kind.

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I’m hoping for lead……..Oh wait, you said medal……….

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Didn’t we already know he was negotiating with the Taliban once Hamid Karzai became more than worthless?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

What the hell?

And now I see this — the American POW appears to be a deserter and a Muslim convert:

Did U.S. trade five jihadists for one jihadist?

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/06/did-u-s-trade-five-jihadists-for-one-jihadist

WhatSlushfund on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Reprinting this, because it’s alarming and relevant:

note: “US reconciliation efforts with Taliban” and “in Nov 2010.”

Mark Knoller
‏@markknoller Senior Administration Official (SAO) says efforts to obtain Bergdahl’s release began w/ US reconciliation efforts with Taliban in Nov 2010.

10:51 AM – 31 May 2014

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

2010. Meh, 4 years. Clearly illustrating the effectiveness of “The Regime’s” foreign policy acumen.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

I held negotiations with my beagle in an attempt to stop her from continuing to pee in the living room. She did not hold up her end of the bargain. I, however, have no treats left in the box.

You can’t negotiate with animals.

stvnscott on June 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.
Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Two of the 5 are wanted by the UN for war crimes (why weren’t they turned over to The Hague?) and, if as McCain has alleged any or all of the 5 have American blood on their hands, we could have charged and prosecuted them.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

There is no doubt he will be receiving a medal of some kind.

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Obama has that Nobel thingy he’s not using….

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

“The only reason Congress believes they have a say is because Obama and his allies demanded it before Obama became President.”

Actually, Congress believes it has a say because of a law passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by this president.

The fact that this president, in his first campaign, said that “signing statements” by President Bush were improper (and unconstitutional) is merely another example of him saying one thing and then doing another after the votes have been counted.

pennjohnd on June 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.

Ed Morrissey on June 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I was not aware that the Taliban was a nation, Ed…

bimmcorp on June 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

So which Obama half-brother is a Taliban fundraiser?

Peace with Taliban=Surrender.

But look on the bright side, Moochelle and Hildabeast would have to wear burkas, sparing us the sight of them.

The downside… Natalie Portman would have to wear burkas too…

ConstantineXI on June 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Hagel = pandering naive fool.

rplat on June 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Read these tweets:

https://twitter.com/CodyFNfootball

…go back to THIS (2:38 PM – 31 May 2014) and read forward from there.

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Yes, but sometimes you have to throw lourdes a bone.

Or she goes on a tear…for seventeen pages.

cozmo on June 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

but doesn’t executive control over pow only come after formal declaration of war or am I remembering wrong?

dmacleo on June 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

So – we’re going to try to talk the Taliban into throwing-in a pat hand?
Good one, Chuck.

TimBuk3 on June 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I held negotiations with my beagle in an attempt to stop her from continuing to pee in the living room. She did not hold up her end of the bargain. I, however, have no treats left in the box.

You can’t negotiate with animals.

stvnscott on June 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Comparing your beagle to these monsters is unkind to your beagle. I get your point though………

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

2010. Meh, 4 years. Clearly illustrating the effectiveness of “The Regime’s” foreign policy acumen.

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

At this point, I do believe there does exist “foreign policy acumen” but it’s not what just about all Americans expect it to be from the Executive Branch. Short of spelling it out, what I conclude that the policy is by current “rule” (Valerie Jarrett’s words, that) is, I say there IS one but it’s not what most of us would ever expect or assume would be one from a US President.

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I’m hoping for lead……..Oh wait, you said medal……….

VegasRick

I thought about that too as I was typing it, lol.

When nations withdraw from a war, they don’t get to keep the prisoners of it any longer. The legal justification for their detention ceases, and arrangements have to be made to swap prisoners eventually.
Ed Morrissey

And when and IF that day comes,so be it. None of that justifies a special deal giving some prisoners special treatment in exchange for a guy that may have been fighting on the same side as the prisoners you released. Per that logic, since a guy in prison for a crime is going to get out in 20 years anyway, may as well go ahead and let him out now.

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

So – we’re going to try to talk the Taliban into throwing-in a pat hand?
Good one, Chuck.

TimBuk3 on June 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

obaMe will just threaten them to “not call his bluff”. Oh wait, that’s just republicans that he uses tough talk with.

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

cozmo on June 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

LOL! Now, now, let’s not let a single night of grilling steaks be the only thing we remember. Everyone can have an off night or two.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

…if as McCain has alleged any or all of the 5 have American blood on their hands, we could have charged and prosecuted them.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

The two problems I see:
1) Relying on ‘Wacko Bird’ John McCain.
and B) Obama and Holder would never prosecute, let alone charge…

socalcon on June 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Didn’t we already know he was negotiating with the Taliban once Hamid Karzai became more than worthless?

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Yes, but now it’s being restated as routinely as the weather, that such exists (“negotiating with the Taliban”).

Obama’s not even hiding his intentions any longer — after yesterday’s presser, it looks like he wants everyone to know how proud he is of them, wants credit. He now has five of his fellows running free, plans for more.

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Oh, now I get it. We “freed” a voluntary prisoner so that Obama could claim a victory in the war on terror, just in time for the November election.

The soldier’s father sounds like he is on the other side, and his beard indicates he might be a Muslim himself. The acorn didn’t fall far from the tree.

So there we have it. After all these years of war and sacrifice by our best men and women, we have put back in place the enemy. Cuz the Dems are scared of the next election.

PattyJ on June 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

At this point, I do believe there does exist “foreign policy acumen” but it’s not what just about all Americans expect it to be from the Executive Branch. Short of spelling it out, what I conclude that the policy is by current “rule” (Valerie Jarrett’s words, that) is, I say there IS one but it’s not what most of us would ever expect or assume would be one from a US President.

Lourdes on June 1, 2014 at 12:02 PM

This is all a distraction from the VA scandal. Wake up people.

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Obama has that Nobel thingy he’s not using….

socalcon

Good point.

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

More and more every day, I find myself thinking that I wasted 25 years of my life defending this country. This is NOT the country that existed when I joined up. NavyMustang on June 1, 2014 at11:40 AM

Me, too. I only did 6 years. USN. Under clintoon.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

It’s really sad. My son turns 18 in three years, and until something changes; I want him as far away from a military career as possible.

melle1228 on June 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I’m going to go with someone smarter than Obama put a radio isotope of these guys arses and we are going to track them to a training camp then… BOOM!

Theworldisnotenough on June 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Has Hagel always been such a moron?

lonestar1 on June 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Why, yes…yes he has…

bimmcorp on June 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Oh, now I get it. We “freed” a voluntary prisoner so that Obama could claim a victory in the war on terror, just in time for the November election.

The soldier’s father sounds like he is on the other side, and his beard indicates he might be a Muslim himself. The acorn didn’t fall far from the tree.

So there we have it. After all these years of war and sacrifice by our best men and women, we have put back in place the enemy. Cuz the Dems are scared of the next election.

PattyJ on June 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Obama is going to be doing some serious (deflated) football spiking. If he starts doing that, you will know your theory is correct.

When Obama thinks he has a “victory” he ALWAYS spikes the football.

ConstantineXI on June 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

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