Five of Most Dangerous Taliban Commanders in U.S. Custody Exchanged for American Captive…


gitmoThe Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors. Reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family. NBC News reports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”

“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”

Unfortunately, America is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups. But the president did not say who America exchanged for Bergdahl: five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody.

The Taliban has long demanded that the “Gitmo 5” be released in order for peace talks to begin in earnest. The Obama administration has desperately sought to engage the Taliban as American forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, but those talks have gone nowhere to this point. At first, the administration set preconditions for the talks, including that the Taliban break its relationship with al Qaeda. When it became clear that this was a non-starter, the administration decided to make the Taliban’s desired break with al Qaeda a goal, and no longer a precondition, for its diplomacy.

Read more at the Weekly Standard.

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  1. We value our soldiers 5x as much as they value their terrorists. This is something for which we can be proud.

  2. #2 lipa21 the law is clearly an unconstitutional infringement on the President’s unrestricted power to issue pardons and clemency to anyone he wants at any time for any reason or for no reason. See Article II, Section 2.

  3. So apparently Obama DID negotiate with terrorists! Very nice. I thought he was such a tough guy? He “took out” Bin Laden without releasing anyone. What happened here? Where is the toughness?

  4. #3 Unlikely, as the White House didn’t make that argument. I doubt that a court would hold that a 30 day notification requirement limits the President’s power. Additionally, this wasn’t a pardon anyway–it was returning captured enemy combatants. They certainly have not been pardoned–if recaptured they can be tried for their crimes.

  5. The US negotiated with Hitler yemach shemo, and even traded Nazis for American POWs (at least one of whom was Jewish and would certainly have been murdered by the Nazis had the exchange not taken place).

    A “tough” attack to try to liberate this POW would have resulted in the deaths of many American soldiers, and probably the POW himself. Results matter more than “toughness”. An American is now free of the Taliban, much to the chagrin of the Obamahaters.