WH sales pitch on restrictions for released Taliban leaders not exactly a confidence-builder

posted at 9:21 am on June 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama expressed confidence that the emirate of Qatar could keep the US safe from the five high-ranking Taliban commanders that he released from Guantanamo Bay, but just exactly how will that work? The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan got a leak from the Obama administration on the “strict” conditions imposed on the newly-freed terrorists, and … it’s still not looking like much more than a trust me. In fact, it’s more based on a hope that they’ve outgrown being mass murderers, or something:

The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl.

The Afghans are also under a one-year travel ban insisted upon by Washington despite a Taliban request that the men be allowed to make the hajj, Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to nearby Saudi Arabia. …

People familiar with the negotiation said the five had become less worrisome as the years wore on, and were now considered “graybeards,” or elders unlikely to assume top battlefield roles. That said, U.S. officials acknowledged that some of the five could take on other leadership roles within the Taliban.

The strict travel ban will keep them from returning to any active role fighting U.S. forces for at least a year, U.S. officials said. By that time, all U.S. combat forces will be gone from Afghanistan. A small force devoted to training and counterterrorism will remain.

Ah yes, the “strict” travel ban. Exactly how does that work? As Bruce Goldberg reminds us at the New York Post this morning, Qatar has promised that before with an Gitmo graduate, only to discover that the man flew to London … twice.

But it’s not as if the five Taliban leaders have to travel far in order to start picking up where they left off either, as a recent Congressional Research Service paper explained to members on Capitol Hill. Qatar has a wide-open attitude to all sorts of terror groups who will happily beat paths to these graybeards’ doors. Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal has his global office in Qatar, and an Egyptian cleric organizing support for radical Islamists in Syria (and who supported attacks on American forces in Iraq) does as well. And the Taliban 5 might meet some old friends in Qatar, too:

“The State Department reported in 2011 that Qatari authorities ‘did not adequately enforce its laws and international standards to track funds transfers to individuals and organizations (including charities) associated with extremists and terrorist facilitators outside Qatar,’ ” according to the CRS.

Specifically mentioned is Abdelrahman bin Umayr al Nuyami, an al Qaeda financier and one of two Qataris the United States last year branded as “specially designated global terrorists.”

According to the Treasury Department, Nuyami last year “ordered the transfer of nearly $600,000 to al Qaeda via al Qaeda’s representative in Syria . . . and intended to transfer nearly $50,000 more.”

Nuyami has also “facilitated significant financial support to al Qaeda in Iraq,” the Treasury Department said.

The report also notes that a member of the Qatari royal family, former interior minister Shaykh Abdullah bin Khalid Al Thani, provided support to al Qaeda figures, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Qatar’s “counterterrorism cooperation” has improved since then, but as recently as 2011 the State Department said American officials wanted better “cooperation and information sharing” from the Qataris, the CRS said.

Feel better? Naaaah. That explains why John McCain told Jake Tapper that it’s not the deal in theory that’s a problem, but the actual deal itself:

But hey, these guys are too old for this, er, stuff — right? They’re “graybeards” now, which means Afghans can rest easy. Funny, the Afghans themselves don’t seem to think so:

Taliban forces led by Mohammed Fazl swept through this village on the Shomali plain north of Kabul in 1999 in a scorched-earth offensive that prompted some 300,000 people to flee for their lives.

Fifteen years later, local residents here are responding with fear and dismay to the U.S. release of the notorious commander, along with four other Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American prisoner of war who was held by the Taliban. The group released a video on Wednesday showing the hurried handover a few days earlier of the American captive, looking gaunt and dazed. …

Among the five, however, Mr. Fazl stands out as one with the strongest ties to involvement in wartime atrocities, Afghans familiar with the Taliban and human-rights groups say.

“Fazl is the case among the five where there is clear evidence that he had command responsibility for forces that committed atrocities,” said Patricia Gossman, a researcher with the advocacy group Human Rights Watch who has studied crimes committed during the Afghan civil war. “Shomali is the place where he was on the ground.”

Ms. Gossman added that evidence also places Mr. Fazl on the scene of a massacre of civilians in the Yakawlang district of central Bamyan province in January 2001. All of the parties in Afghanistan’s civil war that began in the 1990s were involved in atrocities and rights abuses, according to researchers.

“Relatively speaking, his crimes were no greater than those of many of the people the U.S. and other NATO countries have been happy to work with since 2001, including men who were involved in massacres,” said Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, a Kabul-based research group.

I’m sure his beard is too gray for him to go back to his old ways, though. Maybe we should release Charles Manson while we’re at it, too.


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He hopes they’ve changed.

Flange on June 6, 2014 at 9:24 AM

I go nuts when I hear Bergdahl was captured, he sought out the Taliban. He surrendered is more accurate or joined.

jmtham156 on June 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

They’re hoping these guys have been out of the market so long they’ve lost their terrorizing skills.

mchristian on June 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

These 5 would just as soon slit your throat as look at you. They’re already working on getting out and returning their subhuman buddies

jaywemm on June 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

They’ll probably be given US Passports in a year…

PatriotRider on June 6, 2014 at 9:28 AM

These guys will be back to their terrorist ways within 30 days.

tommyboy on June 6, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Well hope is all Obama ever had, so there is that going for him.

Johnnyreb on June 6, 2014 at 9:29 AM

despite a Taliban request that the men be allowed to make the hajj, Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to nearby Saudi Arabia

In Islam you’re required to make the pilgrimage once. Once in your life. I’m sure these five have already done so.

And Bergdahl isn’t a POW, he’s a deserter.

rbj on June 6, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Barack Obama expressed confidence that the emirate of Qatar could keep the US safe from the five high-ranking Taliban commanders that he released from Guantanamo Bay, but just exactly how will that work?

. . . safe for twelve months

. . . safe for an eternity of twelve months

. . . safe until released after an eternity of twelve months

hmmm, editing

Lolo on June 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I’m sure his beard is too gray for him to go back to his old ways, though. Maybe we should release Charles Manson while we’re at it, too.

Please don’t give him any ideas

Roy Rogers on June 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

They’re hoping these guys have been out of the market so long they’ve lost their terrorizing skills.

mchristian on June 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

They’ve had a decade to discuss tactics and trade tips with one another; their terrorist skills are probably better than ever.

It’s just a matter of time — and probably not much time — before they’re back to murdering Americans again.

AZCoyote on June 6, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I know everyone was watching the Megyn Kelly interview, but I caught the Rachel Maddow second show and she was interviewing the “Dude! That was four years ago” baby faced State Department idiot, who basically said he was involved with this “deal” from the beginning. Says a lot. Kos kids. (But you knew that). In fact, he admitted it was he who was directing the NYT on what to not release about this Bergdahl.

Marcus on June 6, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Dude theyve been out of commission for 10 years..they dont mean squat now…all of their guys are gone
-lefty talking points. Ad nauseaum

cmsinaz on June 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

You’re grounded mister. Got it? OK good, see you next year.

forest on June 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

I’m oh-so confident that these basturds will lack ANY modern forms of communications with their underlings.
Yup.
Thank God.

///

pambi on June 6, 2014 at 9:44 AM

The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

gophergirl on June 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Oh come on guys… What could possibly go wrong when you give 5 4 Star Generals 6 million dollars and send them back into battle? It’s not like doing that constitutes TREASON or anything.

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

If they don’t abide by the agreement we’ll arrest them and send them to…well, somewhere. We are still at war with these people and we are releasing captured enemy leaders on the condition that they don’t do anything naughty.

The US, in its current configuration, will never win another war.

Buddahpundit on June 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

They probably already have ObamaPhones with unlimited minutes…

PatriotRider on June 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

If they don’t abide by the agreement we’ll arrest them and send them to…

Buddahpundit on June 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

We’ll send them to bed without explosives… err I mean supper…

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Deserters and defectors are treated differently.

NotCoach on June 6, 2014 at 9:35 AM

I bet the Norks are kicking themselves over that one. (“We shoulda waited to deal with Obama!”)

I wonder what kind of deal they could have gotten for knocking the next scandal off the headlines?

Lolo on June 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

I bet the Norks are kicking themselves over that one. (“We shoulda waited to deal with Obama!”)

I wonder what kind of deal they could have gotten for knocking the next scandal off the headlines?

Lolo on June 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Well, there’s still one living defector left in North Korea, but supposedly he likes it there.

NotCoach on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

A report by Reuters quoted a senior Gulf official on security provisions for the Taliban in Qatar as saying, “They can move freely within the country. Under the deal, they have to stay in Qatar for a year, and then they will be allowed to travel outside the country. .  .  . They can go back to Afghanistan if they want to.” Reuters further reported that the men “will not be treated as prisoners while in Doha and no U.S. officials will be involved in monitoring their movements while in the country.”

They are free to meet with whomever they choose.

They are free to raise money for the Taliban.

They are free to engage in propaganda.

They are free to seek new recruits.

They are free to train said recruits.

They are free to make bombs in Qatar, which can be delivered elsewhere.

They are free to act as virtual commanders.

They are free to teach radical, virulent Islam.

They are free for a year from any fear of being droned.

They are free, in reality, to pick up where they left off…except for the actual firing of weapons and commanding, in person, people on the battlefield.

They just can’t leave the country of Qatar…for a year (maybe)

It’s really a shame that they will not have access to telephones, sat phones, television, radio, and the internet. Imagine how much damage they could do!?!?!

Oh wait…

Resist We Much on June 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Marie Harf
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 5, 2014

AFGHANISTAN

Sergeant Bergdahl / Concerns about Health and Physical Security
Prisoner Exchange / Agreement with Qatari Government / Assurances / Mitigated Risk / Commitment to Close Guantanamo
Violence / U.S. Working Closely with Afghan Government / Importance of Good Relationships with Neighbors

TRANSCRIPT:

1:44 p.m. EDT
*************

We wanted to make sure we got the assurances from the Qataris, and I have a little more on that today: that we demanded a complete travel ban; we demanded certain security measures be put in place to substantially mitigate the threat that these individuals may pose to the U.S. and our interests. Those demands were met prior to doing this. Those demands were important to us. We wanted to make sure we negotiated for them.

This isn’t to say – I think Elise asked yesterday about house arrest. Not under house arrest. It’s possible someone will see them on the streets of Qatar. But those types of activities don’t threaten our national security interests, and that’s the standard here about substantially mitigating the threat that they will pose. We’re confident in the Qataris that the restrictions agreed upon, and these individuals will be restricted from activities that pose a threat to our national security.

QUESTION: But yesterday you also said, quote, “I think people have confusion about – that eventually what was going to happen anyway.”

MS. HARF: Yep.

QUESTION: Can I –

QUESTION: So if these Guantanamo –

MS. HARF: Well, let me finish his, and then we’ll – yes, please.

QUESTION: If these detainees or prisoners of war, whatever you want to call them, were going to be released anyway, why was this such a great deal?

MS. HARF: Because we got the one American POW in Afghanistan home. And my point yesterday – and this is a broader conversation I think at some point we will all be having about Guantanamo Bay and how we eventually close it – is that the notion that these were the worst of the worst – and look, these were not good guys. I am in no way defending these men. But being mid- to high-level officials in a regime that’s grotesque and horrific also doesn’t mean they themselves directly pose a threat to the United States.

So I think when we were talking yesterday about eventually Guantanamo Bay will have to be closed, we’ve said that’s important. Even former President Bush said that was important. It was opened under his tenure. And we have identified the worst of the – I mean, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the worst of the worst. These people that we’ve identified, about 30, will be tried, will be prosecuted. So we need to be very clear when we talk about this. And if you look at the recidivism rate under this Administration with the protocols we’ve put in place – with the standards we’ve put in place, it’s dropped dramatically from where it was in the previous administration. So I think we need to be very clear when we talk about this issue and the threat from here on out, Lucas.

QUESTION: But if the Guantanamo detainees were going to be let out anyway, then we got something for nothing?

MS. HARF: No. Flip it, Lucas. If they were eventually likely going to be released, if we could get the one American POW we had back for something that was going to happen eventually, without firing a shot, without putting another American serviceman in harm’s way to get him back through some sort of riskier operation, I think many people, including many members of Congress, have spoken up throughout the years that they think that would be a deal they would take.

QUESTION: Are the suspects in Qatar at the moment going through any kind of reintegration process?

MS. HARF: I don’t have more details on that. Again, I had a little more additional details today about the restrictions. We’re confident in the assurances the Qatari Government has given us.

QUESTION: I’m just wondering: Is it not correct that also within this bucket there are people that the Administration doesn’t know what to do with because some of the evidence against them cannot be submitted into the courts because it’s too tainted because of the procedures under which it was taken?

MS. HARF: I don’t have all the details on that middle group of people. But what I do know – and I think some folks – some of – former, actually, prosecutors at Guantanamo and others have been out there talking about the process who know more about it than I do. But where we were able to get enough evidence to charge people there, we have said we’re going to, and that’s the first bucket of about 30 people. And it’s been how many years now – 13, 12 – since many of these guys have been there? We’ve had a lot of time to build cases. So for that middle group, as I said yesterday, it’s unlikely that they will be added to the group that’s going to be prosecuted.

QUESTION: But is that not because they’re not considered the worst of the worst? I believe there are some people who are considered very dangerous within that group.

MS. HARF: And that is accurate to say.

QUESTION: It’s more that you can’t get the evidence to prosecute them?

MS. HARF: Well, right. I’m not saying – I’m not speaking for that group broadly. I was speaking for those five when I would say these five aren’t the worst of the worst.

QUESTION: You stand by that: They’re not the worst of the worst?

MS. HARF: It doesn’t mean they’re good guys. I am in no way – it’s not my job to get up here and defend them. I think – and look, they were mid- to high-level officials in an incredibly repressive, violent regime, and it’s because – that’s why they were brought to Guantanamo, not because of their ties to al-Qaida – some of them may have had some – but because of their role in the Taliban very early on in the war.

QUESTION: So it’s not your –

MS. HARF: But that doesn’t mean they directly threaten the United States national security. We feel like we’ve sufficiently mitigated that.

QUESTION: So it’s not your contention then that they were among this group of hardened –

QUESTION: The Camp 7 guys.

QUESTION: — yeah, terrorists that could not be released, could not be approved for their release, but couldn’t be prosecuted?

MS. HARF: I’ll see if there’s more details for you on that. Again, these guys – we believe for these five what’s important now is that we believe we have sufficiently mitigated the risk, through our agreement with the Qatari Government that they will not be able to threaten the U.S. national security in the future.

QUESTION: For one year.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/06/227174.htm
=====================================================

Daily Press Briefing- June 5, 2014

June 5, 2014: U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing by Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf in Washington, DC.

http://video.state.gov/en/video/3608088971001

canopfor on June 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

No risk to America’s security?

Michael Leiter, the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center under Obama, said it was “very, very likely” that the five Taliban leaders would return to the fight.

An intelligence official who briefed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Rob Williams, the national intelligence officer for South Asia, said that there is a high likelihood that at least four of the five freed prisoners, and possibly all of them, will rejoin the fight.

Even Obama, after downplaying the threat, conceded that “absolutely” there was a chance they would take up arms against America.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2014 at 9:57 AM

There will be blood on the hands of Obama with the first death incited by any of these five.
It will be his legacy.

Tater Salad on June 6, 2014 at 9:57 AM

Hey, let’s put five hardened alcoholics into a room with tons of un-opened liquor bottles. If one gets opened they all explode and the whole building is destroyed, including the day-care center with 50 innocent children enjoying life. No problem, right? These nice Taliban commanders have no intention of “taking a drink”.

Rovin on June 6, 2014 at 9:58 AM

John McCain is wrong again.

The deal in theory is a problem.

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Shorter libfree: Please change the subject!

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Dude theyve been out of commission for 10 years..they dont mean squat now…all of their guys are gone
-lefty talking points. Ad nauseaum

cmsinaz on June 6, 2014 at 9:40 AM

They forgot how to speak Arabic!

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

A post already exists on this subject for you to spew your ignorance.

NotCoach on June 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

I bet the Norks are kicking themselves over that one. (“We shoulda waited to deal with Obama!”)

I wonder what kind of deal they could have gotten for knocking the next scandal off the headlines?

Lolo on June 6, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Lolo: The NKGoons just added another American (s)!:)
=====================================================

North Korea
11h
Kyodo quoting a diplomatic source says a third U.S. citizen has been detained in North Korea – @W7VOA
see original on twitter.com
===========================

https://twitter.com/W7VOA

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 8h

North Korea media identify the American tourist detained in #DPRK as Jeffrey Edward Fowle.

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 11h

Kyodo: @StateDept official says aware of a third American citizen detained in #DPRK.

Replied to 0 times

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 11h

KCNA: American tourist who entered #DPRK May 29 for illegal acts being held.

Replied to 0 times

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 11h

#DPRK acknowledges detaining another American.

Replied to 0 times

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 11h

In Washington-datelined story Kyodo quotes diplomatic source saying American detained in mid-May just before he was about to leave #DPRK.

Replied to 0 times

Steve Herman @W7VOA · 11h

Kyodo quoting a diplomatic source says a third U.S. citizen has been detained in the #DPRK.

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Squirrel! Girl, bye.

fortcoins on June 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

libfreeordie: Say boinking whats!
=================================

40
Jobs Bills Stuck In The Senate

House Republicans have passed 40 jobs bills that are currently stuck in the Democrat controlled Senate.

http://majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

The HotAir blog post just below this one, posted nearly an hour prior to this thread, covers that exact topic.

R>C>P

deepdiver on June 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

The HotAir blog post just below this one, posted nearly an hour prior to this thread, covers that exact topic.

R>C>P

deepdiver on June 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

The problem is, that posting his BS there, would not deflect from the fact that Obama gave 5 Four Star Taliban Generals 6 million dollars and sent them back into battle against the United States. In other word.. People might notice that Obama gave aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war, committed textbook TREASON.

oscarwilde on June 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

One of our commenters posted this late, this a.m. on QOTD. I thought it should be re-posted for more to read.

My two cents worth about the whole Bergdahl affair (as a former Special Ops Officer with 27 years of military service). Please excuse the long read.

1. “We don’t leave our soldiers behind.” True, but then, hardly anyone is saying that we should have. Further, “prisoner” exchanges have, in the past, occurred at the end of hostilities, not earlier. It isn’t smart to return your enemy’s leaders back into the fight before the fight is over. But then no one really thinks anyone in the Obama Administration is smart. We really don’t know when this fight will be over. They (the Islamic terrorists) certainly aren’t giving up soon.

Regardless if Bergdahl was a deserter or not, we should have tried to get him back. If it is proven he did desert (which, on the surface, is likely) he should face the appropriate punishment. The last deserter executed for desertion, PVT Eddie Slovik, did not desert looking to join up with the Germans, but left the front lines and walked to the rear and turned himself in. Slovik was scared of combat (basically a coward) and simply left the front lines. He was executed. Bergdahl was disillusioned with US policy in Afghanistan, stated he was “ashamed to even be American” and deserted with the intention of turning himself over to the enemy. If you compare the two cases, Bergdahl’s desertion was much worse and probably deserves the same fate as Slovik, but because the Obama Administration has declared his service to be “with honor and distinction”, that will probably never happen. At least not until Obama leaves office, unless he pardons the deserter on his way out.

2. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” The Obama Administration will claim that (1) they were negotiating with Qatar, not the Taliban, and (2) the Taliban has not been declared a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, in this case, Bergdahl was not actually being held by the Taliban, but the Haqqani network, which has been declared a terrorist organization. So, the Obama Administration, in effect, lied again.

3. “It was worth exchanging the five terrorists for Bergdahl.” The Obama Administration claims that Qatar will keep a close eye on these five terrorist leaders to make sure they do not go back to their terrorist ways for one year. If you believe that, I have some nice beachfront property in Arizona for sale. They will soon (if they haven’t already) be involved with terrorist activities. In my mind, every US service member killed or injured as a result of a Taliban attack is a direct result of Obama releasing these five terrorist leaders. In effect, Obama will be an accessory to murder in every future American combat death in Afghanistan.

4. “We had to act quickly as Bergdahl’s health was deteriorating.” Prove it. The medical reports out of Germany state that his condition is “stable.” If he was on the verge of death, you can bet that the Administration would be trumpeting every ailment. Since they aren’t, the odds are that he is, and was, in good health. He certainly didn’t look “on the verge of death” when he was turned over to the SF. The Administration is lying. Again.

5. “We didn’t inform Congress because we think the requirement is unconstitutional and the President issued a Signing Statement.” Just because a Signing Statement was issued, it doesn’t make the requirement unconstitutional. It is still the law. By failing to inform Congress 30 days prior to the release, Obama broke the law. Again. The families of every US service member killed in Afghanistan from this point forward need to file suit against Obama for violating the law and allowing the terrorists to return to the fight, resulting in the death of their loved one. Probably won’t result in any trials, but certainly would shine additional light on Obama’s lawlessness.

6. “We didn’t inform Congress because the Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if the exchange was publicized.” That’s odd, since the Taliban told the press that they were working on the prisoner exchange six weeks ago. Another Administration lie.

7. This exchange emboldens the Taliban/Haqqani network to attempt to capture US service members and hold them for ransom, either cash or for more detainee releases. That’s why you don’t negotiate with criminals/terrorists – it just encourages them.

8. “Bergdahl served with honor and distinction.” One of the most brazen lies I have heard. This even exceeds “The Benghazi attack was a result of an anti-Islam video.” If the Obama Administration didn’t know that Bergdahl was a deserter; that the military had stopped looking for him as he had, in effect, joined the “other side”; and that Bergdahl had made anti-American statements, they are more stupid that we thought. That Bergdahl deserted was public knowledge. The lie was an effort to minimize the damage of releasing five terrorist leaders (two of which are wanted by the UN, charged with being war criminals).

9. The optics of having Bergdahl’s father (who appears to be a Taliban sympathizer) in the Rose Garden with Obama was a disaster. Obama was counting on sympathy for the family, but when the father started spouting Islamic verses, coupled with the likelihood that Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter, the American people were insulted and disgusted.

10. It is reported that the US kept track of Bergdahl using drones, spies, and satellites and could have conducted a “rescue” operation several times during his detainment by the Haqqani network. We didn’t for two reasons: (1) It wasn’t worth possibly losing a Special Operator to rescue a deserter, and (2) the Obama Administration wouldn’t give the OK as they wanted to trade terrorists for Bergdahl. It appears that the Obama Administration was determined to release the five terrorist leaders back into the fight against us, and used the detainee exchange to do so.

11. Since Bergdahl was actually held by the Haqqani network, not the Taliban, and Taliban terrorists were released from GITMO, what did the Haqqani network get out of the deal? Did they receive cash, as posed by LTC North? If so, we have set another very bad precedent, encouraging terrorist capturing our service members and holding them for cash ransom.

Closing thoughts: The emphasis shouldn’t be on the status of Bergdahl as a deserter. As a veteran, I deplore his actions. But his status is beside the point. It lowers our sympathy for him, but isn’t the main issue. We should focus (as many are) on the illegal release of five terrorist leaders. Obama violated the law by failing to inform Congress, then went and released the last five detainees we should have released. That is the big issue. Obama claims the exchange was worth it. It won’t be if one US Service member is killed or injured as a result of this release. And don’t kid yourself, the five terrorist leaders are already involved in more terrorist activities and attacks against Americans.

Finally, three wishes (as granted by the HA genie): (1) I wish everyone would stop saying he was a POW. It appears that he deserted and was “detained” after finding the Taliban or the Haqqani network. There are reports of him playing soccer with the terrorists and taking part in marksmanship training. Hardly the activities of a POW. (2) I wish everyone would stop saying he was held by the Taliban. It appears that he was held by the terrorist Haqqani network. They are aligned with the Taliban, but separate. (3) I wish everyone would stop saying he was “captured” by the Taliban/Haqqani network. He deserted, went looking for the Taliban, and someone took him into custody. Hardly a “capture”. He basically surrendered to the enemy. When we say that “Bergdahl was a POW captured by the Taliban”, we are supporting the Obama Administrative narrative. When we say “Bergdahl deserted and was detained by the Haqqani terrorist network”, we are being accurate and are negating the Obama Administrative narrative.

That is all. Now back to your normal programming.

GAlpha10 on June 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Bmore on June 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

So the savages the U.S. just released in trade for a deserter will be allowed to return to Afghanistan while Americans are still there. No doubt our current president thinks that putting a few thousand U.S. lives in greater peril is an insignificant price to pay to close Gitmo. Just as a few hours of drinking and sleep were worth the lives of Ambassador Stevens and those who tried to save him.

WWPD?

ROCnPhilly on June 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM
A post already exists on this subject for you to spew your ignorance.

NotCoach on June 6, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Ignorance indeed. People like this have no clue about the millions who are out of work, and have left the rolls of being counted by our phony Dept. of Labor stats. “Dude” ObamaCare is…like… settled science now—move on. /

Rovin on June 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

I was just laughing to myself at how even the lib trolls on conservative blogs follow the same pattern/tactic of the broader progressive movement in America be it MSM, Obama administration, ACORN, Planned Parenthood …

Conservative raises concern about lefty action/policy/position
Liberal responds *squirrel*!!!
Turns out squirrel isn’t even a squirrel, but a possum that is factually incorrect both on its face and in underlying point and is currently faking death at the embarrassment of being dragged into the thing

deepdiver on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Well libtardordie Ed posted a story for the jobs for your ignorant ass and sorry champ it’s not as rosy as you’d like it to be. Guess you d-bags are going to have to try and find something else to distract from how you filth are killing vets and aiding those who want to kill us. But then who’s shocked dims have a habit of taking the side of this country’s enemies

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

By the way isn’t wagging the tail something that dims do to hide the fact they let the lik

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Recently arrested Nazi war criminals, most in their 90s. Why bother arresting those “graybeards” After all, Hostilities have ended right? sarc//

Dino V on June 6, 2014 at 10:26 AM

“Graybeards” eh?
Sure, because, like Carlo Gambino, Tony Salerno and Vicente Gigante retired quietly and left organized crime when they got gray and bald…right?

MistyLane on June 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Isn’t wagging the tail something dims like to do to hide when they’re allowing the likes of bin laden to escape so he can kill more Americans later? You know kind of like now with these scum. Tell us libtardordie why do libs hate this country?

bbinfl on June 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

It’s like letting a drug addict lose with a list of phone numbers of drug dealers…they will come to him.

Good grief, anyone hear of telephones?

It will take a month of celebration, a couple of months to catch up on what is happening with their band…than a couple of months to re-organize, next thing you know, a year has passed and they hit the ground running.

This one year ban is so foolish…

right2bright on June 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Ummmm pal, sorry to burst your bubble, but a post already exists.

And it is not “significant” it can’t even keep up with the growth of the workforce…it is basically stagnant, like your brain.

I love when you post, we all get a laugh…MIA, want a link, or can you scroll to the home page and click on the posting….

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Keep posting you are F’in brilliant…

right2bright on June 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Bmore on June 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Thanks.

Lolo on June 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Which, evidently, explains why Harry Reid is agitating for another unemployment benefits extension!

Obamacare hasn’t killed any jobs yet?

Do you really want me to debunk this? Verbaluce once claimed the same thing and I posted about 400 instances of jobs being lost, hours being cut, and/or benefits being taken away from employees.

Resist We Much on June 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

People familiar with the negotiation said the five had become less worrisome as the years wore on, and were now considered “graybeards,” or elders unlikely to assume top battlefield roles. That said, U.S. officials acknowledged that some of the five could take on other leadership roles within the Taliban.
The strict travel ban will keep them from returning to any active role fighting U.S. forces for at least a year, U.S. officials said. By that time, all U.S. combat forces will be gone from Afghanistan. A small force devoted to training and counterterrorism will remain.

They can still plan attacks, though. Can’t they.

Newtie and the Beauty on June 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

The five senior Taliban leaders released to Qatar after years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are subject to strict bans on militant incitement or fundraising that might pose a danger to the United States, according to people familiar with the negotiations that freed American prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl.

All they have to do to encourage their fellow jihadists is tell the truth:

“We attacked the Great Satan, and here we are comrades, as free as birds. Make up your own minds, brothers, whether you think the will of the infidel leaders is weak. Allah hu Akhbar!”

There is nothing to say to that. The fact that they are walking free is an incitement, even if they do nothing for the rest of their lives but laugh.

David Blue on June 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Are we talking strict as in all those “strict” red lines over the Ukraine, Syria, etc.?

formwiz on June 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

One small consolation is that with these guys in Quatar we don’t have to worry about Obama making one of them a national security advisor for his administration. That’s something.

tommyboy on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Hot Air posts on the second consecutive month of significant job growth: MIA. Way to wag the dog GOP. That jobs killing Obamacare bill hasn’t actually like…killed any jobs yet…

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

I work for a healthcare company that works with self-funded employers to save on their healthcare benefits costs while providing better service. Do you know what our sales pipeline looks like right now?

We have ZERO clients in the pipeline for June, September and January. This is because self-funded employers are considering dropping their employees to the exchanges, and more importantly, BENEFITS BROKERS ARE ADVOCATING IT!

Our company of ~350 employees may be bankrupt within two years because of Obamacare. My job will be gone if that happens.

Oh, and anyone familiar with the jobs numbers knows that until we hit over 300K per month, the economy isn’t recovering… its stagnating. So stop cheering your ignorance, it’s embarrassing.

dominigan on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

libfreeordie on June 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

And by the way, I’d LOVE to be LIB FREE. Your nick is a testimony to your ignorance, and it’s on display every time you post.

dominigan on June 6, 2014 at 11:06 AM

dominigan on June 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Too bad nobody could see this coming and warn the folks !!
///

pambi on June 6, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I don’t know about “Sales Pitch,” but I do recognize a “Self-Promoting Pitch,” when I hear one.

Obama, the Olympic grade self-promoter, might believe he’s pitching his monumental political genius to any of the masses who give a damn, but what we have actually seen is an equally monumental demonstration of abject stupidity and his failure to read the way the public is going to react to his promotion of, “Free At Last, Free At Last…Thank Allah Almighty, We Is Free At Last.”

Obama, the self-appointed genius, obviously misread the reaction, and is scrabbling like a crab to cover his ash and survive his huge mistake, which is actually going to require skills he doesn’t seem to possess.

Illegality has plagued this semi-moslem turkey since he was first promoted as a political genius by the Chicago branch of the American Communist Party. Nothing about the overall illegality of the turkey’s origins and qualification to be president has changed in the 5-7 years his cadre have been obfuscating the truth about their master.

Finally, we are hearing the “I – word” from pie holes that would never have had the idea left to their own devices.

Let’s hope it turns into a cacophony over the next few weeks.the

dockywocky on June 6, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Must read

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM

…send John McCain there….to watch them…he can come on the Sunday morning talk shows every week and report on their probation!

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2014 at 12:44 PM

The LA Times seems to think these guys are harmless old fogeys:

The backgrounds of the prisoners, who are confined to the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar for one year under the terms of the exchange, indicate that they would have little utility on the battlefield after more than a decade in prison. They range in age from 43 to 47.

If the LAT thinks these guys are too old for leadership in the Taliban, I wonder what they think of noted spring chicken Hillary Clinton?

Herod on June 6, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Say, wasn’t Osama bin Laden a “graybeard” too?

Adjoran on June 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

So Hillary has a gray beard, yes?

Cliff by the Ford on June 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

So Hillary has a gray beard, yes?
Cliff by the Ford on June 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Depends on where you look…ewww.

AppraisHer on June 6, 2014 at 9:32 PM