Obama promised from day one that he would empty and shutter Gitmo. No surprises there. In this Bergdhal swap, Obama has furthered his endeavor to do just so.
A quick look at the five released:
Mohammad Fazi: According to Human Rights Watch, he presided over the mass killing of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001; he served as deputy defense minister under the Taliban regime and was briefly chief of staff of the Taliban army in 2001.
Khairullah Khairkhwa helped found the Taliban in 1994 and served as interior minister and governor of Herat province in Afghanistan which continues to be violent and unsettled as an Indian aid worker was just abducted there; just last week the Indian consulate was attacked. Khairkhwa was a close associate of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar and was a major opium drug lord.
Next up is Mullah Norullah Noori who who was a Taliban military commander in 2001 and is implicated in the murder of thousands of Afghan Shiites who opposed the Taliban.
Mohammed Nabi was a chief security officer for the Taliban and later worked in their communications office as a radio operator.
Abdul Haq Wasiq was a deputy minister of intelligence for the Taliban.
Clearly these are all bad, violent criminals. In the swap, these guys are released to Qatar where supposedly there is a "no travel" restriction on them for one year.
The five Taliban detainees at Guantánamo, including two senior militant commanders said to be linked to operations that killed American and allied troops as well as implicated in murdering thousands of Shiites in Afghanistan, were flown from Cuba in the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state. They will be subject to security restrictions there, including a one-year travel ban.Put that into perspective. How would you feel if we let Charles Manson out of prison and told him no tickets to Cozumel this year? "Got to stay right here in good ol' Cali this year, Charlie!"
As far as Bowe Bergdahl goes, we must all realize that Obama cares nothing for the fact that the law requires him to notify Congress thirty days before such an agreement. The fact that the administration has been "in talks" for three years in this "negotiation for peace" with the Taliban is just semantics. Politics.
Obama is hoping that we forget about this before the mid-term elections and that the blow back won't hurt Democrat candidates too badly and with our complacent media that is probably a safe bet on his part.
Susan Rice (as if anyone would believe anything she says anymore) claims that Bergdahl was "captured on the battlefield." In her mind that might be the same thing as putting down your weapon and deserting your post. Semantics. He did happen to be in Afghanistan. There are indeed battlefields there. You have to contort yourself around a bit to see her perspective but I guess it can be done.
In truth, we don't really know how Bergdahl ended up in captivity and the truth remains that he is an American and thus should be brought home. From a mother's perspective, I am full of empathy for this boy's parents. The pictures of the gaunt, sobbing young man pleading to come home are heart wrenching. I won't judge them or him.
That being said, he should be judged: there is a right time and place for that. The military has procedures for that and it should be done. The answers should be discovered and politics should have no part in that. If this soldier did in fact desert his post and put his fellow soldiers in harms way then he needs to answer for that. I am disturbed by the anonymous Defense official who says no punishment should be sought: "Five years is enough," he said.
Jake Tapper's article this morning indicates that at least six American lives were lost looking for Bergdahl.
According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary
At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.To that anonymous Defense official, I would suggest that those lives counted for something, too.