Senior intel official suspects U.S. paid cash ransom for Bergdahl too

posted at 6:41 pm on June 6, 2014 by Allahpundit

Can’t be true. Ransoms are paid for hostages, and Jay Carney assured me Bergdahl was a prisoner, not a hostage.

This isn’t out-of-left-field speculation. Fox News reported two days ago that a ransom for Bergdahl was on the table inside U.S. intelligence circles as recently as December. The key point to grasp here, writes Lachlan Markay, is that the Haqqani Network, which was holding Bergdahl, and the Taliban are two different outfits. The Taliban are true jihadis, bent on reconquering Afghanistan. The Haqqanis are more of an Afghan mafia, bent on enriching themselves. Both have killed lots of American soldiers but only the Haqqanis are a terrorist organization designed by the State Department. The Taliban should be designated, but if we do that and then keep pressing ahead with “peace talks” with them on our way out of the country, Obama will be accused of negotiating with terrorists. (Like he did here, in negotiating with the Haqqanis.) So, voila — the Taliban technically aren’t “terrorists.”

The important thing to understand is the oddness of trading four Taliban to the Haqqani Network. Why would they want the Taliban’s guys out of Gitmo instead of their own guys? Or, to put that differently, did they want these guys out of Gitmo at all?

“The Haqqanis could give a rat’s ass about prisoners,” the official said, referring to the Haqqani Network, a designated terrorist group in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were freed in exchange for Bergdahl’s release.

“The people that are holding Bergdahl want[ed] cash and someone paid it to them,” he said…

Only one of the freed terrorists, Nabi Omari, was part of the Haqqani Network. But the presence of other more senior Haqqani prisoners at Guantanamo has observers wondering whether the network’s goal in the exchange was actually the release of Gitmo prisoners.

“One of these things doesn’t belong,” the intelligence official said. “If you were to put one of these [freed Taliban prisoners] with Haqqani in a room together, they’d beat the shit out of each other.”…

Haqqani, he said, “benefits zero from the prisoner exchange. … Based on 10 years of working with those guys, the only thing that would make them move Bergdahl is money.”

“We just funded them for the next 10 years is my guess,” he told Markay, which explains why the White House might have wanted to frame this deal as a straight prisoner swap for a missing POW while omitting any details about a big payday.

But that doesn’t answer the key question — namely, if the Haqqanis didn’t care about prisoners and if they really didn’t care about Taliban prisoners specifically, how on earth did four Taliban bigwigs end up being part of the handover? If you believe that O’s prime motive in all this was unloading some weight from Gitmo in preparation for closing it, you already know the answer. If Markay’s source is right, it may be that the U.S. was more eager to include the Taliban Five (or four) in the deal than the Haqqanis were. Obama wanted them gone but he was afraid of the political backlash if he simply released them to Qatar’s custody having gotten nothing in return. So he constructed a deal for Bergdahl which he knew he could kinda sorta defend using the principle “leave no man behind.” Seeing that Obama was willing to free people from Gitmo as part of the deal, it could be that the Haqqanis asked for some of their own men back first but were rebuffed because those guys belong to a “terrorist organization,” which would be harder to defend than letting Taliban “POWs” go. So they accepted the Talban instead. And maybe, given their knack for ransoming, they got something on that end of the deal too: Imagine what the Taliban might have paid them to negotiate the release of degenerates like Mohammed Fazl on the Taliban’s behalf. All speculative, but all worth thinking about.

Exit quotation from Ben Domenech: “This is more about Barack Obama realizing he made a politically beneficial promise in 2008 without thinking it through than the government pursuing the national security interests of Americans.”


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Religious.. sorry for the sp

tstar44 on June 6, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Obama’s reasons for the swap were:

1) Fund more muslim violence
2) Enhance violent muslim leadership
3) Spit in the eye of American vets by giving hero’s welcome to a deserter
4) Draw down Gitmo inmate population

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:07 PM

gave them $$ while telling us the prisoners were the tradeoff.
in reality the prisoners were probably not part of the actual deal at all.
they just used the freeing of the traitor as a way to hide releasing some from gitmo.

dmacleo on June 6, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Just watched Hannity.

Andy McCarthy, former federal prosecutor, stated if a ransom was paid then one of the most serious felonies has occurred.

metprof on June 6, 2014 at 11:17 PM

Ya know, I do make snarky one-liners about this and bash Obama, but I am stunned at what my country has become. Where are the torches and pitchforks? Why are people defending this crapola? It’s like I’m watching a bad movie.

307wolverine on June 6, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Considering this great question, my answer is shameful:
I have given up on America, because I am powerless.
My vote as a conservative in uber-blue WA State is irrelevant.

Tard on June 7, 2014 at 12:12 AM

I don’t know how 0 does it. He releases five commanders, guys with strategic value, in exchange for… A likely deserter? I’d have a problem with this even if Bergdahl was an all-American hero who got captured in combat. Surrendering five guys with strategic expertise and proven skill in return for one door-kicker (no matter how good/heroic/etc) is a stupid move that guarantees more American deaths.

But Bergdahl isn’t an in absentia Medal of Honor winner. He’s a almost-certain deserter and likely traitor. No disclosure to Congress (as required by law). A likely payoff, again against the law. And releasing some of the most valuable prisoners we held! How do you prosecute a criminal President when the Senate and the Department of Justice are covering for him?

I’d actually be okay with this if we had implanted some form of bio-electric GPS transponder in them, sent them home, and then used them to mark enemy camps and blow them to Hell. The odds of this being the case? Somewhere between zero and none. Americans don’t think like that, and Obama, empirically, hates America and wants Americans to die at our enemies’ hands. There’s no other explanation for his actions that fits the data.

Asurea on June 7, 2014 at 12:25 AM

I don’t get it. Where the taliban completely out of the loop? Where we negotiating only with the Haqqanis? If so why did we give up 5 taliban commanders if we were directly dealing with the Haqqani?
It seems the Haqqani and the Taliban don’t really play well together and to get Bergdahl back a prisoner exchange was not in the cards. The Haqqani don’t seem to get anything from a Taliban deal. If so we let those 5 guys for nothing. If this is true impeachment is on the table. Am I missing something?

warmairfan on June 7, 2014 at 12:44 AM

warmairfan on June 7, 2014 at 12:44 AM

Going on the info that we have so far, who benefitted? The Taliban did. The Haqqani had Bergdahl & they wanted money. So it seems to me, either the Taliban paid the Haqqani Network or someone on behalf of the Taliban did.

You had a seller and a buyer and a willing negotiator.

bluefox on June 7, 2014 at 1:05 AM

Of course there was a ransom. Obama funded the Haqqani for the next ten years. The prisoner ‘swap’ was just a fig leaf, a ruse that allowed Obama to release the worst five of Gitmo prisoners under the banner of “leave no man behind.”.

petefrt on June 7, 2014 at 4:10 AM

At least one talk show host wondered why we would release the Taliban prisoners days before we picked up Bergdahl. Well, here’s the answer: Ransom had not been paid yet. Ransom was withheld until after Bergdahl was safely retrieved.

petefrt on June 7, 2014 at 4:16 AM

Petefrt, the other part of this is, in three simple letters. I.S.I. Damn fool Obama has almost put us directly against Pakistan. The only way out now, is to do what we almost did 13 years ago. God help our next President.

flackcatcher on June 7, 2014 at 4:59 AM

flackcatcher on June 7, 2014 at 4:59 AM

Obama will ‘absolutely make no apologies’

petefrt on June 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

So can we impeach the Choom Gang now?

formwiz on June 7, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Obama will ‘absolutely make no apologies’

petefrt on June 7, 2014 at 7:42 AM

He is on record as saying he would do it again….because he can….without any accountability from anyone. This includes our wimpy GOP who seems to wanna run to the talk shows and whine but when it comes to action they slink away like a whipped dog.

kawfytawk on June 7, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Obama’s reasons for the swap were:

1) Fund more muslim violence
2) Enhance violent muslim leadership
3) Spit in the eye of American vets by giving hero’s welcome to a deserter
4) Draw down Gitmo inmate population

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:07 PM
===========================================

Pretty much says it all

georgealbert on June 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM

If so, how much?
Who gave the final nod?

TimBuk3 on June 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

I love how when Obama saves an American soldier, it becomes a treasonous act.

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Remember the part where you didn’t want to pay for Sandra’s birth control?
 
This was payback for that.

rogerb on June 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM

George Soros is a likely pay master for his puppet.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I love how when Obama saves an American soldier, it becomes a treasonous act.

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Do you think if he could turn back the clock he’d do the same? That the brains behind the entire deal (including the “Dude!” dude) aren’t catching holy hell? It’s worked out so beautifully for him. :)

Marcus on June 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Do you think if he could turn back the clock he’d do the same? That the brains behind the entire deal (including the “Dude!” dude) aren’t catching holy hell? It’s worked out so beautifully for him. :)

Marcus on June 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

yes, he would do the same thing if he could turn the clock back

Obama didn’t save the soldier to earn accolades…he did it because it is the right/American thing to do

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

BS. It has been a complete disaster capped off by the Rose Garden fiasco. You’re not worth my time.

Marcus on June 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

I love how when Obama saves an American soldier, it becomes a treasonous act.

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Got strawman?

That’s not the argument at all and you know it.

Ed, please ban this dude.

307wolverine on June 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Obama didn’t save the soldier to earn accolades…he did it because it is the right/American thing to do

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Amb Stevens was unavailable for comment.

307wolverine on June 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I love how when Obama saves an American soldier defector, in exchange for 5 rug-flying terrorists, it becomes a treasonous act.

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Fify, free

Schadenfreude on June 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Three words: Im. Peach. Ment.

factsonlypls on June 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM

It appears Bowe is still in captivity. Even his parents haven’t seen or talked to him.

Is he under arrest for desertion? Or is under political arrest to keep him from saying things in public that would be damaging to Premier Obama?

forest on June 7, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Derelict, more like depraved indifference, officers sent 16 men (6 + 8 apparently) to their deaths on a worthless, other than political, mission of “Saving Private Bergdahl”.

VorDaj on June 7, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Your fuhrer Obama has no class. He’s a horse’s ass.

VorDaj on June 7, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I love how when Obama saves an American soldier, it becomes a treasonous act.

Stay classy, my hotair partisans.

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Got strawman?

That’s not the argument at all and you know it.

Ed, please ban this dude.

307wolverine on June 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I agree with you that he(?) should be banned, for the very reason you cite. He’s a disingenuous troll and a sock, a disruptive sociopath, not someone who’s honestly promoting his stupid opinions.

non-nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 2:15 PM

It appears Bowe is still in captivity. Even his parents haven’t seen or talked to him.

Is he under arrest for desertion? Or is under political arrest to keep him from saying things in public that would be damaging to Premier Obama?

forest on June 7, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Who knows…he can’t speak English anymore…remember?

gracie on June 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Who knows…he can’t speak English anymore…remember?

gracie on June 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Sounds legit.

You’d think the news media would be clamoring to hear from him.

forest on June 7, 2014 at 2:54 PM

So it’s legal now to give money to terrorists? Can I have my bank account back now, Chase?

Nutstuyu on June 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Can I file a class-action lawsuit for a refund of my tax money used to fund terrorism?

Nutstuyu on June 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Golf. Foxtrot. Yankee.

Nutstuyu on June 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM

The Taliban are true jihadis, bent on reconquering Afghanistan. The Haqqanis are more of an Afghan mafia, bent on enriching themselves.

The two sides of the Muslim coin. Heads can be tales can be heads or a mix of each. Being mystified by pathetic “intelligence”, generated by people not allowed to say the word ‘Islam’ out loud, is hardly worth puzzling over is it?

BL@KBIRD on June 7, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Nonpartisan is such the Boot lick.er.

CW on June 7, 2014 at 8:14 PM

So the Haqqani held him and wanted cash?

We call these people: pirates.

The Taliban were interlocutors and wanted something in exchange for a life, like those 5 Jihadi leaders?

We call these people: pirates.

They follow no law save the law of nature and impose their will upon any for their own reasons.

They take up arms unlawfully and inflict the negative liberty of war upon their fellow man. They are savages, their acts are savage and their word is not to be trusted in anything. When you deal with them you legitimize Private War and unlawful war amongst men and Nations, and encourage those who are the enemies of all Nations to seek to impose their will upon the world.

Such as these are accepted by no Nation, are not a government trying to establish itself as they follow none of the necessities of such government to be held accountable, establish rules they will follow, put forth a chain of command that is accountable, and put their soldiers in uniform.

Those who do not do these things have a term to them: pirates.

They stalk the land, the sea and come from the darkest heart of man the savage seeking to be free of civilization and to destroy all civilization in the doing.

The Left makes such great sounds about being against piracy.

And yet they encourage it at every turn and never, ever do the right thing.

ajacksonian on June 8, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Of course they did. And anyone who didn’t figure this out on day one needs to catch up.

If you know how the region works, especially the players we dealt with- cash is king.

Now, we did not pay directly- per se. But there was cash involved.

Cash, by the way, that will now be funding more weapons and terror against the United States and her citizens.

Marcus Traianus on June 8, 2014 at 7:53 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tollybon also paid off Obama by means of a foreign “retirement account.”

MrKleenexMuscles on June 8, 2014 at 10:44 AM

non-nonpartisan on June 7, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Does Hot Air even have a policy against trolls? They stink up the comment section really bad.

Bleed_thelizard on June 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Does Hot Air even have a policy against trolls? They stink up the comment section really bad.

Bleed_thelizard on June 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Of course they do. They let a lot of crap fly here, but they have their limits. Spiteful trollery, which is a form of fraud, does not fall under the umbrella of free speech. People have been banned here for it, rightfully.

From their Terms of Use:

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Spiteful trolls are selfish, serve no good purpose, and inhibit other users’ enjoyment of Hot Air. End of story.

non-nonpartisan on June 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

My big fear is that if Obama leaves office early is who will they get to replace Biden? — Hillary? Pelosi? Reid? Then after the replacement becomes VP, Biden quits and we have our new ruler.

Tinker on June 8, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Maybe they paid with those Super Dollars that the North Koreans were printing. That would be interesting to see The Taliban and The Hagganis going after each other.

jpcpt03 on June 8, 2014 at 11:41 PM

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