Four of the "Taliban 5" are back... running the government of Afghanistan

(AP Photo/Mohammed Riaz, File)

One name that hasn’t shown up on the pages of this site for quite a while is that of Bowe Bergdahl. As you may recall, he was held captive by terrorists in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014. He was captured after deserting his post and was kept as a prisoner until finally being released under a deal negotiated by the Obama administration. It isn’t Bergdahl himself who is making news this week, though. It’s the terrorists who were released in exchange for his freedom, infamously known as “the Taliban Five.” Four of them are back in Kabul this week and to the apparent surprise of the Biden Administration and the European Union, they have all been given powerful positions in the newly announced Afghan government. Georgia Congressman Austin Scott tweeted out the details yesterday.

Having one of the former Gitmo detainees serving as the “Minister for Information and Culture” would almost be hilarious if it wasn’t such an insulting tragedy.

There’s one additional piece of Afghan government news that also has ties to Bowe Bergdahl. The group that held him captive was the Haqqani Network, one of the most brutal terrorist sects in the country and close allies to al Qaeda. You’ll never guess who is now serving as Afghanistan’s new Interior Minister. It’s Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the terror network and the son of the group’s founder, himself a close adviser to Osama bin Laden back in the day. For those keeping score at home, Sirajuddin Haqqani has a ten million dollar bounty on his head for the deaths of countless people, including a lot of American soldiers. And he’s now back in Kabul, posing for pictures and smiling for the cameras. (Wall Street Journal)

This is, literally, putting a jihadist terrorist in charge of internal security. Mr. Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list, and the U.S. is offering up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest.

The FBI says it wants to question him in connection with a January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul that killed six people, including one American. The Haqqani Network he runs is also accused of plotting a 2011 suicide truck bomb in Wardak province that killed 77 American soldiers, as well as a 19-hour siege of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul the same year.

The Haqqani Network was founded by his father, who had a close relationship with bin Laden. In 2012 the Obama Administration officially designated the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization. The ties between the Haqqani Network and al Qaeda are long and extensive, as Seth Jones describes nearby.

If anything, these new announcements make the new government of Afghanistan look even worse than it did when the first memo went out yesterday. The Wall Street Journal wryly notes that “Critics who said the Taliban were never serious about negotiating a power-sharing agreement were right.”

This isn’t just some series of coincidences. These are obviously intentional moves by the Taliban designed to embarrass not just Joe Biden, but all of us. They’re just rubbing our noses in it now. All of the Taliban’s promises that were made to the Biden administration and the European Union weren’t worth the paper nobody bothered to print them on. There is no representation for the other cultural sects who opposed the Taliban, nor are there any women in the government. It’s shaping up to be a murderer’s row of killers and Islamic radicals.

The formal announcement of the new government is coming up quickly, but the United States will not be invited to attend. Would you care to take a guess as to which nations will be sending representatives for that photo op?

Turkey, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and Qatar. The triumvirate of China, Russia and Iran tells you most of the story in one sickening breath. But this grouping also reinforces something we’ve been sounding the alarm over here for years now. Turkey and Pakistan are no longer reliable allies to the west. Turkey has been increasingly aligned with Moscow since the current president took power. Pakistan is little more than a terrorist state at this point. (A terrorist state with nukes, by the way.) And Qatar holds no allegiance to anyone, making deals with whoever comes up with the correct amount of cash.

And yet we are somehow still trying to make deals with this crew? These are not just “other players” on the global stage. They are our enemies. And they are currently still holding some unknown number of Americans and the Afghans who assisted us as hostages behind enemy lines.