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Old 06-01-2014, 10:02 AM  
banyon banyon is offline
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USA now negotiates with terrorists

Here are the Taliban Terrorists Obama Released to Free POW Bowe Bergdahl

http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ghanistan.html

In exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl, the U.S. has released five senior Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. They are considered some of the worst of the worst.
The five Guantanamo detainees released by the Obama administration in exchange for America’s last prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, are bad guys. They are top Taliban commanders the group has tried to free for more than a decade.



According to a 2008 Pentagon dossier on Guantanamo Bay inmates, all five men released were considered to be a high risk to launch attacks against the United States and its allies if they were liberated. The exchange shows that the Obama administration was willing to pay a steep price, indeed, for Bergdahl’s freedom. The administration says they will be transferred to Qatar, which played a key role in the negotiations.

In the initial statements released about the deal, the White House declined to name the detainees who would be leaving the Cuba based prison Obama has been trying to close since his first day in office.

A senior U.S. defense official confirmed Saturday that the prisoners to be released include Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammed Nabi Omari.

While not as well known as Guantanamo inmates like 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Taliban 5 were some of the worst outlaws in the U.S. war on terror. And their release will end up replenishing the diminished leadership ranks of the Afghan Taliban at a moment when the United States is winding down the war there.

“They are undoubtedly among the most dangerous Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at the Long War Journal who keeps a close watch on developments concerning the detainees left at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Fazl, for example, was the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister and is wanted by the United Nations for his role in massacres targeting Afghan’s Shi’ite Muslim population.

According to the 2008 Pentagon’s dossier on Fazl disclosed by Wikileaks (PDF), Noori also was a senior Taliban military figure and, according to his Pentagon dossier, was asked personally in 1995 by Osama bin Laden (PDF) to participate in an offensive against northern alliance warlord Rashid Dostum.

Wasiq, a former deputy minister of intelligence, at one point tried to cooperate with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and asked for a GPS system as well as a special radio to communicate with the U.S. military after the U.S. invasion in 2001. His dossier (PDF) says that he was a crucial liaison between the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist groups while he was deputy intelligence minister. But the 2008 report also said he was holding out information he had on other top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders during interrogations.

Khairkhwa, a former Taliban governor of Herat, was considered by the Pentagon’s 2008 dossier to be a likely heroin trafficker (PDF). That dossier also says he likely participated in meetings with Iranian officials after 9-11 to help plot attacks on U.S. forces following the invasion.

Iran has worked in some cases with the government that has replaced the Taliban in Afghanistan, but also has been accused by the U.S. military of supplying the Taliban and other insurgent groups with roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices of IEDs.

Nabi held several military leadership posts for the Taliban and helped organize the al Qaeda/Taliban militias that fought against U.S. and coalition troops in the first year of the war, according to his Pentagon dossier (PDF).

This week’s secret diplomacy was not the first time the U.S. government had engaged the Taliban in an effort to negotiate a prisoner swap for the release of Bergdahl. In 2011, State Department officials held a series of meetings with Taliban leaders in Doha.

In Congress, there was bipartisan opposition to any release of Guantanamo prisoners. After the negotiations were made public in early 2012 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein the Taliban announced they were pulling out of the talks.

In the summer of 2013, the U.S. attempted a Taliban confidence building measure, the opening of a Taliban representative office in the diplomatic enclave inside Doha, Qatar. Karzai was also mistrustful of that effort and his skepticism was validated when the Taliban violated their agreement with the U.S. and raised their flag at the office’s opening, causing Karzai to have a fit and forcing the U.S. to abandon the deal to keep the Taliban office open.

Talks resumed in late 2013 and the Taliban provided a video proof of life to the U.S. military in December 2013, which had been a condition for the U.S. to continue with the negotiations.

Many in Congress will still be opposed to the swap, but lawmakers gave up their right to stop it. A small change in the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed last December, now makes it only a requirement that the Defense Secretary notify Congress when releasing Guantanamo prisoners. Before the change, Congressional sign off on any Guantanamo releases would have been needed.

At about 10:30 am eastern standard time, Bergdahl was released from his captors. The handover was peaceful and happened in eastern Afghanistan along the border, according to a senior U.S. Defense official. U.S. special operations forces conducted the rescue.

The official said that once he was on the helicopter, Bergdahl wrote on a paper plate (writing instead of talking because it was so loud) “SF?” The operators sitting with Bergdahl responded loudly, saying, yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time. Bergdahl broke down crying, the official relayed.

In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be released to Qatar. The US has “appropriate assurances” that Qatar will be able to secure the detainees there, a U.S. official said. The detainees are under a travel ban for a year.

The transfer took place quickly without incident, peacefully and without violence. There were approximately 18 Taliban on site.

U.S. officials believe Bergdahl had been held for the bulk of his captivity in Pakistan. They’re not sure when he was moved to Afghanistan.

The transfer was not negotiated with the Haqqani network, a network of former Pakistani defense officials and other designated terrorists. Instead it was brokered through the Qatari government.

Bergdahl’s parents happened to be in Washington when the news broke. They had come from their home in Idaho for Memorial Day.

Bergdahl is currently being held at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. He will be there until doctors are ready to let him go, and his next move will be to Bagram only when he’s ready.

The U.S. official praised this operation as a show of interagency cooperation—it was a whole-government effort that he said had been in the works for five years. “We really got traction in the last week but we never lost sight of Bergdahl,” he said.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:10 AM   #136
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Former prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's father, Bob Bergdahl, is under fire for remarks made on Twitter in the days leading up to his son's controversial release.

According to the New York Daily News, Bob Bergdhal established a dialogue with the Taliban online in order to ensure his son's safety.

Three days before Bowe's rescue, Bob tweeted:

"I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen."
The tweet was deleted, but not before other users were able to take screenshots showing that it was directed to @ABalkhi, the Twitter handle for Abdulqahar Balkhi, a website claiming to be the "Voice of Jihad." The site posts updates on the Mujahideen's operations against "American invaders," "U.S. terrorists," and their Afghan "puppets," according to the Daily News.

A previous tweet from Bergdahl in March saying, "'Democracy' is a cult in in the West," has also raised some eyebrows, according to the Daily Mail.

At a White House press conference announcing his son's release, Bob Bergdahl sported a bushy beard that he has not trimmed since his son went missing in 2009, spoke Pashto, Afghanistan's main language, and a few words of Arabic.

Bergdahl's former pastor Bob Henley said the man had become an anti-war campaigner since his son's capture. He has studied radical Islamic politics in order to better understand Bowe's captors, according to the Daily Mail.

A senior White House official called the tweet from Bob Bergdahl irrelevant, telling the Daily News, "Our sacred obligation to bring home our service members is rock solid. No tweet could ever affect that."

But some conservative activists have called Bob Bergdahl's loyalties into question.

"Folks, this is either a very bad case of Stockholm Syndrome or something far more nefarious is at stake," wrote former Republican Congressman Allen West. He called the tweet from Bergdahl a "smoking gun."

"He was trying to understand," said Henley. "It's not a question of agreeing with people. It's a question, from his point of view, of trying to understand where they may be coming from."

In a video from The Guardian, Bergdahl said, "I don't work for the military. I don't work for the government. I don't represent the American people. I'm a father who wants his son back."

The exchange of Bowe Bergdahl for five Afghan prisoners detained in Guantanamo Bay was already a controversial decision.

A 2010 investigation by the Pentagon found that Bergdahl left his unit, believing he could help the Afghan people by leaving his post, according to the Daily News.

Six soldiers died during the search for Bergdahl before the military decided to negotiate for his release.

Sgt. Evan Buetow and others involved in the search for Bergdahl did not think highly of their fellow soldier.

"He's not a great person or great example of a solider," Buetow, now a sheriff's deputy in Washington state, told the Daily News. "He deserted his men, put us in danger so he could find the Taliban. And several soldiers died looking for him in the weeks and months to follow."

President Barack Obama has faced backlash and criticism over the exchange.

Republicans in Congress complained that they were not given the legally required 30 days notice prior to a prisoner release from Guantanamo Bay. The administration explained that Bergdahl's safety was at stake.

Others, like New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, have criticized the precedent set by the exchange.

"If we make a deal like this to bring Bergdahl home, how many bad guys get their ticket out of Guantanamo punched the next time the Taliban grabs one of ours?" Lupica wrote.


The father of released Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl appeared to send out a tweet Sunday afternoon suggesting support for the release of several Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Robert Bergdahl tweeted a 2012 video report by the Guardian detailing how five Tunisians are being held at the controversial detention camp.

“Ten years in Guantanamo: Tunisian families hope for loved ones’ release,” the tweet said.


In another instance, Bergdahl appeared to have retweeted a Taliban representative linking to a news article detailing how the militant Islamist group stormed a base and killed “as many as 25 US cowardly troops.”

On Sunday, Bergdahl said he follows on Twitter “a bunch of jihadis” because they are “great sources of information.”

“Direct communications is the key to resolving conflict,” he added in his tweet.

Bergdhal had stoked controversy earlier this week when it was discovered that he had appeared to tweet that he was “still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners.”
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:13 AM   #137
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
What was Obama's motivation to trade 5 high value (from an operational/intel perspective) targets for one low value deserter, who according to all reports left by his own volition?

I can understand the operations to recover him in the time immediately following his disappearance, but after 3-4 years any intel he could provide would have already been provided, if he were working for the Taliban he'd have told everything he knows... for all we know he was an enemy combatant, if he was training them in bomb making and their search tactics as the New York Times article suggests then he definitely was. Something else that I read suggested that the CIA knew where he was, so then it follows that we could have probably had an operation to retrieve him, so why trade terrorists for him?

So Obama brings him home not to face courtmartial or trial in another court but as a hero, and sends Susan Rice out to try to tell people he served honorably and with distinction?

What is their play here? Did they think this was going to work out in their favor? What's the upside to their actions here?
Could be

a) thinks it will gain him favor with the taliban so they will negotiate a peace settlement

b) thinks these were 5 tough to release prisoners that are no longer standing between him and closing gitmo

or

c) plans on being out of afghanistan completely and doesn't want a lingering POW hanging over his head.

Those are the 3 possibilities that I can think of.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:14 AM   #138
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best case scenario imo is that they honestly thought not leaving a man behind would be worth all the negative press and outcry...

obama is not running for reelection, which explains part of it, but it certainly can't help hillary's campaign...

overall, this whole deal was dumb from the git go...
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:16 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Could be

a) thinks it will gain him favor with the taliban so they will negotiate a peace settlement

b) thinks these were 5 tough to release prisoners that are no longer standing between him and closing gitmo

or

c) plans on being out of afghanistan completely and doesn't want a lingering POW hanging over his head.

Those are the 3 possibilities that I can think of.
you're too kind, this was no more than a major ****up on the administration's part...
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:16 AM   #140
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As for Bob Bergdahl:

If my son were captured and a prisoner, I'd probably do anything I could to keep him alive and get him back, even if that meant praying to Mecca 5 times a day in order to make the captors more sympathetic toward his family.

I still think the guy's a complete wackjob, but I also think that many of his actions (appearing to be sympathetic to the captors) could be explained as those of a father doing what he can to improve his son's chances of a safe return.

That being said, if that's the case, now that his son is home safe, he should be telling Al Qaeda to get bent and wishing them many drone strikes.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #141
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As for Bob Bergdahl:

If my son were captured and a prisoner, I'd probably do anything I could to keep him alive and get him back, even if that meant praying to Mecca 5 times a day in order to make the captors more sympathetic toward his family.

I still think the guy's a complete wackjob, but I also think that many of his actions (appearing to be sympathetic to the captors) could be explained as those of a father doing what he can to improve his son's chances of a safe return.

That being said, if that's the case, now that his son is home safe, he should be telling Al Qaeda to get bent and wishing them many drone strikes.
It has been no secret that he offers compassion to his son’s captors.

“Strangely to some we must also thank those who have cared for our son for almost two years,” Bergdahl said in the 2011 video message to the Taliban. “We know our son is a prisoner and at the same time a guest in your home.”

Last year, during a rally hosted by the P.O.W. activist organization Honor-Release-Return, Bergdahl commented that the Taliban treated his son “fairly.”

“Bowe and the other Americans in captivity have been extremely fortunate not to be badly mistreated by the Taliban,” he said, referring to other unnamed Americans in captivity, as he often does.

At times during the last five years, he considered taking matters into his own hands. He thought about going to Pakistan to retrieve his son himself.

“I’ll talk to them,” he told Rolling Stone Magazine in a 2012 profile. “I’ll bring him home myself.”

And he has said he maintains constant e-mail contact with a Taliban member with knowledge of his son’s whereabouts.

When negotiations stalled in 2012, the Bergdahls spoke out forcefully in favor of the exchange of Guantanamo prisoners for their son, in an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express — even while they praised the U.S. government’s handling of the situation.

Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl … are advocating that the Pentagon and the White House consider swapping one or more U.S. prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for their son.

“I’m pushing it hard,” Mr. Bergdahl said. “We started out by trying to encourage the Taliban to take care of our son. … Now, we’re worried that the government isn’t concerned enough to put him on the (negotiating) table.” …

Mr. Bergdahl said he believes a deal to swap Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo for Bowe would be a “win-win” for the United States—his son could be returned safely to Idaho and the government could foster goodwill with the Afghan people.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:24 AM   #142
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Sure sounds like a big ruse by Bergdahl's to get Taliban terrorists set free. Obama got punked. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to run through rose garden.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #143
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I think there's probably more to the story behind the swap that they're not disclosing. Some motivation other than just a desire to get him free. Some intelligence they got or could use somehow as a result.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #144
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Maybe people are just trying to debunk the bullshit story that he was captured.
Well, he was captured, wasn't he? Either that or he knocked on the clubhouse door and said, "Can I join?"

I don't claim to know what happened. It just sounds pretty odd to me to simply walk away with no intention of returning, unarmed, with no reasonable chance in hell of actually reaching someplace safe. Unless he just completely when nuts.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:28 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Well, he was captured, wasn't he? Either that or he knocked on the clubhouse door and said, "Can I join?"

I don't claim to know what happened. It just sounds pretty odd to me to simply walk away with no intention of returning, unarmed, with no reasonable chance in hell of actually reaching someplace safe. Unless he just completely when nuts.
Or he thought he could get the poor Taliban some of their friends back by using himself as pawn
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:34 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by ForeverChiefs58 View Post
Or he thought he could get the poor Taliban some of their friends back by using himself as pawn
yeah, probably
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:52 AM   #147
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Pander and spin....
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:53 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by NewChief View Post
As for Bob Bergdahl:

If my son were captured and a prisoner, I'd probably do anything I could to keep him alive and get him back, even if that meant praying to Mecca 5 times a day in order to make the captors more sympathetic toward his family.

I still think the guy's a complete wackjob, but I also think that many of his actions (appearing to be sympathetic to the captors) could be explained as those of a father doing what he can to improve his son's chances of a safe return.

That being said, if that's the case, now that his son is home safe, he should be telling Al Qaeda to get bent and wishing them many drone strikes.
Or at least shutting up. I agree with this though.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:53 AM
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #149
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Sure sounds like a big ruse by Bergdahl's to get Taliban terrorists set free. Obama got punked. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to run through rose garden.
Obama knew exactly what he was doing.....
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #150
patteeu patteeu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post




Pander and spin....
Chris Murphy sounds like a moron.
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